And cue music

Posted: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 by Travis Cody in

Welcome to

It's the performance finale.  America's Favorite Gal - Tiffany Maher or Eliana Girard?  America's Favorite Guy - Chehon Wespi-Tschopp or Cyrus Spencer?

They dance for our votes.  A lot of dancing for our votes.  Five routines for everyone.

Cat update...loose and flowing hair, just the way I like it.  And she's always stunning in red.

Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy are joined on the panel by Emmy and Oscar winning choreographer and producer Rob Marshal.

Let's do it.

Eliana and Cyrus dance Paso Doble choreographed by Jason Gilkinson.  It's role reversal...Cyrus is the cape and Eliana is the matador.  Cyrus is surprisingly effective in this style.  I think maybe it's because the movement must be sharp and precise, and that's essentially what he does in his animation work.  Eliana is wonderfully dramatic and sleek.  This is a really solid dance for the two of them.  It's unfortunate that they seemed to have a mistake right at the end, but they covered it pretty well and I don't think it took away from the impression they made with the story in the piece.  I liked the partner work Cyrus did, and his posture was mostly elegant and refined with just a few small exceptions.  Eliana brought tremendous technique and I thought she was the grounding force in the routine.  Well done.

Tiffany is paired with All Star Will Wingfield from Season 4 for Jazz choreographed by Sonya Tayeh.  I love the way she moves.  Her lines and extensions stretch completely through her fingers and toes.  There's almost a visible line that shoots from those hands and feet, drawing the eye through the movement.  I love the shapes Sonya gave them in this piece.  The choreography emphasized all of Tiffany's strengths and took excellent advantage of Will as a partner.  The piece had energy and drive.  All the elements of that choreography flowed seamlessly, one to the next to the next.  I thought the dance filled the stage.  Excellent.

Eliana and Chehon dance Ballet choreographed by Marat Daukayev.  This is classical and I love that they get a chance to do it together.  I'm not sure about this particular suite.  It was lovely, but it didn't find it dynamic enough for them.  I don't really know how to critique ballet.  I understand how difficult it is for the male to hold the frame and to keep the balance, but I don't know how good or bad the dancing is.  I did enjoy the piece, and it was wonderful to celebrate ballet in this medium.  But I don't know whether that was best piece to get them votes.  The judges felt it was excellent and praised many key elements, which I appreciated.  I liked the piece, but I can't tell you specifically about it.

Tiffany and Cyrus dance Lyrical Hip Hop choreographed by Tassandra Chavez.  Gosh that was good.  The commitment they had to each other and the material transcended the choreography, which was excellent.  That was theatre right there.  It was interesting to see Tiffany be so in control of the piece while she was being slung around through so many tricks and throws and spins.  Cyrus was amazing.  His acting was the backbone through which the entire story moved.  Technically they were both incredible.  They danced with freedom and complete abandon.  It was never about the was about the timing and the connection between the dancers, and the phrasing of the movement to the music.  Wonderful work.  Click here if the video doesn't play.

The Top 4, choreographed by Tyce Diorio.  That was cool.  They essentially danced tegether, but separately also, each to his or her own particular style. 

Eliana dances solo.  She really has the whole package.  She has an effortless grace to balance the power of her dancing.  And she's able to act and tell a story in her movement.

Chehon is paired with All Star Allison Holker from Season 2 for Contemporary choreographed by Stacey Tookey.  Oh my...that lift in the middle was so high and so powerful, and he did it with one hand.  Wow.  In just the few weeks of being on this show, Chehon has progressed so far in the things other than dance.  The way he expresses the emotions in each piece.  This dance was so profound.  It felt like Chehon was floating.  And to do that with Allison, one of the most amazingly emotional dancers I've seen on this program.  Chehon has strength, power, technique...and now the emotional weight to go with all of that talent.  This was just a stunning piece.  Incredible.  Click here if the video doesn't play.

Eliana and Tiffany dance Broadway choreographed by Ray Leeper.  It's pole dancing.'s not what you think.  There's a burlesque element to it, but it's not raunchy.  They are both so good.  Wow.  That wrap around the pole that Eliana did...I can't even tell you.  The strength that took.  And these were the two dancers to pull that off.  If I had to decide between the pair based only on this dance, there's no way I could do it.  They are equal.  Power and sass.  Both of these young ladies would have been right at home on last year's beast train.  Outstanding.  Click here if the video doesn't play.

Cyrus dances solo.  You have to see him do it to understand what it is.  He is extraordinary.  I've never seen anything like what this young man does.

Tiffany dances solo.  She didn't stand out for me in the beginning, but she has grown to fill the stage at this point.  The quality of her movement is incredible.

Chehon and Cyrus dance Jazz choreographed by Sonya Tayeh.  Sonya really understands how to make a dance for the fellas.  She emphasizes strength and power.  Then she finds the smaller details to humanize them and connect them to the music.  She took two guys with completely distinctive and disparate styles and managed to make them look good together, each with his own purpose.  It's been almost 10 weeks worth of dance class for Cyrus and he has come such a long way.  And for Chehon, it has been almost 10 weeks of psychology sessions as he has learned to express his emotions and become a complete entertainer.

We have an interlude for a presentation by a one-legged dancer from France.  His name is Jean Sok.  So inspirational. 

Chehon dances solo.  That solo told the story of where he was and where he is.  This is a stunningly talented young man.

Eliana is paired with All Star Alex Wong from Season 7 for Contemporary choreographed by Travis Wall.  Two dancers don't often get to make more than a single moment in a season on this show.  Eliana and Alex are that rare pair that has made two moments together.  The first was Bang Bang.  Damn that was so good.  It's a good thing this season is almost over because I am flat out of adjectives and ways to describe what I'm seeing.  Travis Wall makes amazing dances.  And when he gets amazing dancers, he steps up his level and creates magic.  That's what this one was...magic.  And it is rewarding to know that Alex has recovered completely from severe ankle injuries to have a successful run on Broadway in Newsies, and to return "home" to dance for us again.  This one is dance of the night for me.  Click here if the video doesn't play.

Tiffany and Chehon dance Rumba choreographed by Dmitry Chaplin.  Chehon can be forgiven somewhat his lack of hip action in this dance because of his excellent partnering work.  He made a wonderful frame for Tiffany to dance in.  I love the design of the routine.  It was sensual and somewhat fragile.  I thought Tiffany was terrific.  She had the full flavor of a classic Rumba and she was totally sexy and believable.  I thought the connection between them was sweetly romantic.  They were focused on dancing with each other, and that made the dance compelling to watch.  I thought the sensuality was subtle and understated, which makes a Rumba enjoyable for me.

Cyrus is paired with All Star tWtich Boss for Animation choreographed by Christopher Scott.  This is a dream match up, and not just for Cyrus.  I've been hoping to see this all season.  I'm glad it gets to be in competition and not just as an exhibition on the results finale.  Oh.  Oh.  Oh.  Damn.  You can't really describe that.  That was Glitch and tWitch.  That's just not something you see every day and it isn't anything you can put into words.  I knew how good Cyrus would be because this is what he does and who he is.  And to see him do this with tWtich was a great way to cap the competitive part of Season 9.  Click here if the video doesn't play.

Well done to all four of our finalists.  Tiffany or Eliana?  Cyrus or Chehon?

I don't care.  I won't choose.

At least this time we get to let the dances settle in.  Results will be announced next Tuesday.  Tune in for what promises to be an entertaining finale.

Later gang!


  1. Dang! I fell asleep before the show ended! I was just too tired to keep my eyes open. I got to see some of the dancing, though. Had to come here to see the rest.

  1. Marsha says:

    WOW, what an awesome night...ALL of the dance was fantastic, but got to say, Cyrus and Twitch was my favorite!!

  1. Cherie says:

    I actually got to see part of this last night. Super cool! I can't choose either. :)

  1. Ivanhoe says:

    Never got into this show, but enjoy your review. Little curious about the X factor tonight though. Might have to take a peak ;)

  1. All of the dances were special but that Eliana move on the pole was something else. For ballet, you might rent a copy of "Dancers" to watch the slow motion credits at the end as Baryshnikov makes the 2nd act entrance in Giselle. :-)