And cue LEGSSES...

Posted: Thursday, August 11, 2011 by Travis Cody in

Welcome to

Well, we made it to the performance finale.  Melanie, Marko, Sasha, and Tadd will dance for our votes to become America's Favorite Dancer.

Cat Update:  Oh man...I do not like the hair up.  But I'll take that trade off for the bare shoulders and LEGSSES.  And the amazing SHOESSES!  Vinny!  Did you see the SHOESSES???

Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy are joined on the panel by Kenny Ortega and Katie Holmes.

It's solos, dances with All Stars, and dances with each other.  Everybody is dancing with everybody!  Here we go!

Melanie and Marko pair up for Disco choreographed by Doriana Sanchez.  It's great to see these two dancing together again.  In my opinion, this is the best pairing of competitors ever.  I'm not wild about the music in this piece though.  The choreography was some of the most difficult Disco stuff I've seen on the show.  Lots of lifts and spins.  They managed everything well and made it look effortless, except with one lift when it seemed like Marko didn't quite have his balance and he had to power through it.  I thought the connections between the dance movement and the lifts was mostly smooth and seamless.  It was really fast.  And it looked like they were having fun.  No pasted on smiles here.  Well done. 

Sasha and All Star Mark Kanemura from Season 4 dance Jazz choreographed by Sonya Tayeh.  This is a great draw for Sasha in the finale in style, partner, and choreographer.  For me though, this is Sonya at her worst.  I don't like the music choice or the styling of the piece.  It certainly suits Sasha right down to the ground.  It shows off her power and athleticism.  It was fine work if you like that kind of dancing, but I just didn't enjoy it.  I should point out that I recognize Sasha's continued growth...we know she has power, but she is learning to blend the strength of her body with the strength in her character, which allows her to frame a performance.  Nice work, even if I didn't care for the particular design of the dance.

Tadd and All Star Joshua Allen from Season 4 dance Hip Hop choreographed by Lil C.  This is way more hard core than I normally like.  Tadd's journey this season actually reminds me a little of Joshua when he won Season 4, because they both came as such a pleasant surprise when they danced outside their style.  Of course Tadd is actually a B-Boy, which means he's outside his style almost every week, even when he draws hip hop.  Tadd was good in this routine, but you have to be better than good when you dance with Joshua because I put Joshua on a level with Twitch when it comes to hip hop.  I wanted to see Tadd get more into the floor with it and rough it up a little more.  I didn't see enough of the nastiness that you have to bring when you perform Lil C choreography.  I thought it was good, but not great.

Melanie and All Star Robert Roldan from Season 7 dance contemporary choreographed by Stacey Tookey.  She gets me right in the moment with just an opening pose.  One thing I haven't mentioned all season is the honesty she exudes when she dances.  I believe every moment of what she is showing me on stage every time she dances.  To dance that well while showing all that emotion...and to make it look so effortless and human.  Unbelievably amazing.  That piece was understated and poignant.  The choreography was stunning in how simple it was, which reinforced the drama in the story.  I bow to Melanie's brilliance.

Sasha and Marko pair up for Broadway choreographed by Spencer Liff.  Add the technical excellence to the acting ability and you have a tremendous performance from Marko.  And Sasha was smoking hot. I really enjoyed that piece.  The choreography played off Sasha's power but emphasized her femininity.  She played the seductress without copping out to a raunchy caricature.  And Marko played the proper but clueless waiter without resorting to being clownish or overly silly.  Perhaps each of them could have gone a step or two farther with emphasis on character, but I'd be picking nits if I did that because I thought they both did excellent work.

Melanie sits down with Cat for a quick chat.  And then she dances a beautiful solo. 

Marko sits down with Cat for a quick chat.  When I watch him dance I see joy.

Sasha and Tadd pair up for Cha Cha Cha choreographed by Mark Ballas.  Yes, that Mark Ballas from DWTS!  We finally found a style that Tadd is not able to absorb quite so well.  Cha Cha Cha needs way more hip action and it just wasn't there.  I will give him credit for being a strong partner, but the rest of it didn't quite measure up.  And Sasha kind of left me flat as well.  Neither of them looked comfortable in the style.  All the elements were there for them to perform well, but they didn't quite get there for me.  The good thing is that it wasn't the last impression to leave with voters.  They can shake it off.

Marko and All Star Lauren Froderman from Season 7 dance Contemporary choreographed by Tessandra Lopez.  Marko is having some balance issues tonight, but I like the way he is powering through them and not letting the mis-steps pull him out of the moment.  For me, that bobble actually enhanced the honesty in the performance.  I like the shapes they were asked to make.  The dance was full of emotion and the innovative movements emphasized the struggle they portrayed in the story.  Marko and Lauren did a wonderful job of interpreting the vision in the choreography and the music.

Nigel made a comment after Marko and Lauren danced that he was disappointed in how the finale was turning out.  Well, these kids are having to dance 4 partner routines and a solo.  Not to mention all the routines they must also have had to learn or re-learn for the results finale.  It's a lot to put together in just the few days they had.  Now I grant you, that's the job.  But it can't be easy when you toss in the stress of competition.  And for most jobs these kids get in the future, they'll have weeks of rehearsal.  So lighten up Nigel and enjoy the last competitive moments from the Top 4 of arguably the best Top 20 in the history of the show!

Tadd sits down with Cat for a quick chat.  And then he throws down that vibrant personality with 30 seconds designed to grab votes.

Melanie and Tadd pair up for Jazz choreographed by Ray Leeper.  Melanie danced the first third of that routine with one shoe.  The choreography was simple but effective.  The piece wasn't driven by difficult movements or fancy lifts and tricks.  Rather it was character driven.  Melanie set the tone in that opening pose, and she built on the sass throughout.  I enjoyed Tadd in the routine, but I thought the dance was made for Melanie to shine.  She dominated it, with Tadd's personality folded within the story.

Sasha sits down with Cat for a quick chat.  And then shows off the artist she has become in the last 8 weeks.

Sasha and Melanie pair up for Contemporary choreographed by Stacey Tookey.  Oh my.  Talk about saving the best for last.  How do you make up your mind between these two women?  That piece was all soft lines and warm shapes.  Pam said that they interpreted such a tender story of the friendship between women, which is sometimes all two women have.  The piece spoke a language in movement, weaving the hopelessness of feeling trapped with the hopefulness in the possibility of breaking free...if only for moments with a friend.  Wonderful.

Marko and Tadd pair up for Wellington Boot Stomp, a South African style of Hip Hop choreographed by Chuck Maldonado.  Why throw that kind of style in the finale?  It had potential to leave the house screaming, but for me it just wasn't worth the last competitive spot in the season.  Both guys deserved better for their final performance.  Maybe for some it measured up, but I would have preferred a better dance piece for them.

Gosh gang!  It's anybody's show to win.  I have no idea how America is going to vote.  My preference would be Melanie.  Or maybe Sasha.  But I like Marko too.  And I could easily choose Tadd.

Can we just choose to have this group keep on dancing? 

You know the drill by now.  Tune in tonight for the 2 hour results finale.  And check back here tomorrow for my encores and finale recap.  I suspect we'll have a show full of favorite routines from the season, so don't miss it!

Remember we're counting down the days to 4 November 2011 and the 8th Blog Blast for Peace with 100 reasons to Blog for Peace.

Reason 85:  Because a peaceful state of mind requires dedication to achieve and vigilance to maintain.  One of the ways I attend to that dedication and vigilance is to blog for it.

Join the movement in November.  You know you want to.


  1. BeckEye says:

    I think Melanie SHOULD win, but I feel like she's been so heavily favored since the beginning that all that adoration could backfire on her and Sasha could end up pulling in more votes. She's certainly no underdog in this competition, but they've sort of portrayed her as an underdog in life, and people really respond to that.

    Honestly, I think any of the four could win. They're all really good. But Melanie is just a notch above the other three.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Trav: Legsses showed up on the Teen Choice Awards. My Granddaughter was watching and I happened to catch her appeareance.

  1. I saw the shoes...THUMP THUMP. Though I did not see the whole show. Have to watch tonight after my meeting. I was not in a mood to watch last night after the cortisone shot...

  1. I have to admit, I thought the whole night was geared toward the girls. The guys were just there because they had to. The dances showcased the girls and Melanie definitely won that throwdown.
    I thought the same as you when Nigel commented about the overall show. I too was a little disappointed, but I reminded myself 4 dances and a solo. I forgot about the results numbers as well.
    Still, I thought the night and the season belonged to Melanie. I just wish that she and Marko had been given a better number to dance together. Disco is okay, but it does not showcase what these two can do. Looking forward to seeing the results.