And cue LEGSSES!

Posted: Wednesday, September 04, 2013 by Travis Cody in

The Final Four dance.  Fans vote.  Next week, we find out who America chose.

Cat update...rocking the curls and funky frock.

Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy are joined on the panel by Paula Abdul and Olympic gold medalist Gabrielle Douglas.

Lots of dancing for our Final Four so they get a full chance to show off the talent...solo, with each other, and with an All Star as they choose the style they want to interpret.

Amy Yakima, a 19 year old Contemporary dancer, is paired with Aaron Turner, a 25 year old Tap dancer, for Jazz choreographed by Ray Leeper.  This is not my favorite Jazz style.  It starts off with a lot of sharp crisp angles and shapes.  Then there's a tempo change with a lot of rounded edges and rolling hips.  Then we speed back up with some more punch.  I thought Amy owned it.  She was totally fearless.  I thought the size difference between Amy and Aaron accentuated the tone of the piece.  The choreography asked Amy to be a beast, and she was.  Then she rolled into precise technique.  Aaron was all about strength.  I thought this was an interesting departure for him because he had to find different ways to connect with the routine and with Amy.  I think he was successful, but I thought Amy stole the routine.

Jasmine Harper, a 19 year old Contemporary dancer, is paired with Du-Shaunt "Fik-Shun" Stegall, an 18 year old Hip Hop dancer, for Contemporary choreographed by Travis Wall.  This is another stunning piece of art.  I expected Jasmine to be beautiful.  Travis designed this dance around her gifts...the leg extension, the ability to emote.  It was also wonderful to see Fik-Shun control his movement and dance slow.  He managed to breathe through the phrases and hold still when he should be still.  The choreography required constant movement with the breath coming as the angles and holds changed.  I was impressed with the way they were able to enfold each other in the motion.  There were so many things to like in that performance.  I need to make sure I give a nod to Fik-Shun's skill as a partner.  It has been there all season and in this piece he made all the lifts and transitions look effortless, even with Jasmine being a head taller.

Aaron chooses to tap alongside All Star Melinda Sullivan from Season 7, choreographed by Anthony Morigerato.  This is really interesting.  The music tempo is slow, which to an untrained observer such as myself would make a tap routine difficult to appreciate and understand.  But this one had passion and style and so much control.  This really showed me how talented Aaron is as a performer.  Not just as a tap dancer.  It was good to see Melinda again.  It is remarkable to see a tap dancer in the finale and to see the art form done to perfection.  Their feet spoke to us.  The music and the tap rhythms were so complex and yet understandable.  I knew what was being said to me through the tapping.  They interpreted a wonderful story coming from the music and the choreography.  That's a tribute to the talent of the choreographer and both dancers.

Jasmine chooses Hip Hop alongside All Star Comfort Fedoke from Season 4, choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon D'Umo.  I think it's great that she chose this, because she's damn good at it.  And we get to see two strong women ratchet up the intensity.  I thought that was right in the pocket gang.  It was down in the floor.  It was mean.  You find me a word to describe some slammin' Hip Hop and I'll put it right here in this recap.  It had energy and flash and style.  What a great choice for Jasmine to do this.  She got a chance to have a great time in a style that she has mastered.  She proved her versatility.  She understands the different kind of attitude needed for Hip Hop.  Paula had the word...ferocious.  After watching her all season, I think I've got Jasmine figured out.  She lives in the routines.  They become part of her.  So when she performs, the performance is Jasmine no matter the style.

Amy and Fik-Shun pair up one last time to dance Argentine Tango fused with Paso Doble choreographed by Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo.  This is a tough draw, but I think they can pull it off.  I saw it.  I saw the stalking.  I saw the slow, passionate control.  I saw the lead foot slide into the next step.  Yes, you can look closely with a practiced eye and find technical issues with some of the things Fik-Shun did.  But you also have to see how strong he was with his frame and carriage as he led Amy through that piece.  Amy was able to count on him and trust that he was going to be there for her.  Amy's tight leg and precision was amazing.  The choreography was incredible.  It was another piece of art and I loved the way both Tango and Paso were melded together.  I thought Amy had the stronger performance if you make me compare the two of them, but she danced so well that I enjoyed the performance as a whole based on her strength.

Jasmine dances solo.  Gosh gang.  She is having a splendid evening.

Jasmine and Aaron pair up one last time to dance Samba choreographed by Dmitry Chaplin.  Their personality as individuals and as a pair was all over that dance.  It's too bad they had a little wardrobe malfunction with Jasmine's skirt.  It kind of threw off their timing in the middle of the routine.  They had some of the bounce and plenty of the energy.  The choreography was fantastic.  But I do have to point out that Aaron was a little awkward, and I think that mostly had to do with his size and not enough time to understand how to get the hips to roll in the right way.  I thought Jasmine had most of the technique down.  Unfortunately it looked like they just didn't have the time to really nail the entire routine in rehearsal, so it looked forced and uncomfortable.  Too bad.  It was great to see them together again, but I wanted them to dance the routine at a higher level.

Fik-Shun dances solo.  I really like this kid.  He's a show.

Amy dances solo.  That was genius.

Fik-Shun chooses Hip Hop alongside All Star tWitch Boss from Season 4, choreographed by Luther Brown.  Well of course!  If you were a Hip Hop dancer and got to choose an All Star in the finale, wouldn't you pick tWitch?  Fik-Shun himself said that dancing with tWitch would make his life awesome.  I've been waiting to see this all season.  That was too much fun.  They both have a similar style, and they both have excess personality.  Luther put down the basics and these two made the routine live and breathe.  I don't know what all those Hip Hop steps are called, but it doesn't matter.  I appreciate that the routine started out in a style that I enjoy.  Then I could just sit back and watch the magic.  And that's what I thought it was...magic.

Aaron dances solo.  He knows how to make his feet converse with an audience.

Amy chooses Contemporary alongside All Star Robert Roldan from Season 7, choreographed by Stacey Tookey.  Gosh gang.  I'm running out of ways to describe the amazing things I'm seeing on this stage.  This was a professional grade performance.  Sometimes lifts are in a dance because you put lifts in a dance.  But the lifts in this piece were enhancements to the story.  They just flowed naturally from the way the rest of the dance connected.  The raw emotion in this routine built from the first pose to the first breath to the first step.  It was soft then it was harsh.  Then the whole thing breathed.  Both Amy and Robert were enveloped in the moment and we got to watch it.  I don't know what else to say.  This piece was the equal to the piece Amy got to dance with Travis Wall earlier in the season.  Wow.

Aaron and Fik-Shun dance Broadway choreographed by Tyce Diorio.  Remember the names.  Aaron Turner and Du-Shaunt Stegall.  If you see those names in a Broadway cast, get tickets.  These two personalities are so big that they might be contained on a Broadway stage...maybe.  I liked this choreography from Tyce because it had a nod to some of the older style 1940s and 1950s flair.  I think both of these guys are at home in almost any style or period.  They have tremendous control over the way they move.  They are both charming.  They played off each other.  They both have all of the little performance details that come to life on stage.  They project to the back row.  Well done.

Amy and Jasmine dance Jazz choreographed by Mark Kanemura.  Interesting.  That's a lot of responsibility they gave to Mark to bring his wackiness for the final dance for these two ladies.  It's so good to see them side by side in something so odd.  Amy is small and explosive, while Jasmine is long and extended.  They are both incredibly powerful.  I have no idea what this piece was supposed to represent, but Mark put it in excellent hands.  I thought the gals embraced the quirkiness of the choreography and brought something strange and unusual to life.  The piece was so creative and I thought both Amy and Jasmine looked like they had so much fun with it.  I was impressed with how synchronized their movements were.  I can't pick between them.

Amy or Jasmine.  Jasmine or Amy.

Aaron or Fik-Shun.  Fik-Shun or Aaron.

I don't know how it's going to go.  I only know that America's Favorite Female dancer is going to be Amy Yakima or Jasmine Harper, and America's Favorite Male dancer is going to be Aaron Turner or Du-Shaunt Stegall.

Tune in next week gang.


  1. Anonymous says:

    I only saw the beginning and Cat looked beautiful as ever, but I switched it to Extreme Weight Loss only because they featured a detective who admitted to loving doughnuts and he was from one of the towns where I just did some genealogical research, so I was interested in the camera footage . . . and his doughnut story reminded me of Officer Friendly. GGG

  1. There's someone named Fik-shun on there? Wow.

  1. Cherie says:

    I'll have to be sure to get caught up online. I don't want to miss any of that! :)

  1. Jean(ie) says:

    I sense that next week will be a legsses party at your house. A special dinner and lots of dancing.