Dance! Show! Final! Post!*

* Many thanks to Julie for that kick-ass title.

So. Dance! Show! is all over for another few months and I have the usual burn out. I think what happens, after the finale, is that a huge chunk of my brain that was very busy keeping track of all things Dance Show at all times suddenly has nothing to do, and it’s like a physical withdrawal. I get all bitchy and cranky. Or maybe that’s just PMS.

Also, I always seem to declare the latest season as being the worst ever, and again, I find I was not as engrossed this season as I have been in the past. Of course, that could be because I watched most of the episodes in super-fast-forward with Little Miss Sunshine whining beside me that she waaaaants to waaaaatch Toooopy!

Proposed: Dance! Show! has jumped the shark due to the loss of critical choreographers and the lack of remaining mature talent in America to tap, and thus will never again see the heights that were Seasons 2, 3, and 4. Discuss.

In the meantime, let’s break down Season 6, shall we?

The Good

The best thing about this season was the addition of the specialty show — the extra episode in which each set of dancers got to do a number in their specialty. There’s no question that this show was specifically added so that tap dancing could be profiled on the show — Nigel makes no attempt to hide his affection for tap. Still, I hope they keep this format, because it led to some of the best numbers of the entire season (witness half of this program being re-shown in the finale).

Also good: the addition of Adam Shankman as a permanent judge. I thought I would miss the various guest judges, but Shankman really did me proud this season, offering up meaningful and hilarious commentary. In fact, dare I say that he has become the most relevant judge on the panel? I hope he’ll stick around for next season as well. The only real drawback is that we don’t get to see any of his fantastic choreography while he’s sitting at the judges’ table.

In other good news, I really enjoyed most of the group numbers this season. In the past couple of seasons they’ve been kind of hit-or-miss for me, but this year there were several I really loved. Of course, Wade Robson’s Top 20 number — the dance-off to the fantastic song Comanche — is my favourite group number of all time. So if nothing else, there’s the beauty of Wade.

The Bad

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I’m a little disappointed in the winner. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so strongly about who should win the show — usually by the time the top 4 roll around, I have a personal favourite but would be happy to see any of them take the title. This year, though, I was on Team Jakob all the way. He was seriously a cut above every else this season — and possibly ever, the only person I think who could match him for talent is Season 3’s Danny — and he deserved to win. I hope he goes on to have a fabulous dancing career, because I’d totally pay to see him on Broadway or in his own show or wherever.

It’s funny, but way back in Season 2 there was a similar showdown between Benji and Travis (Travis Wall, now a choreographer on the show). Travis was the more skilled dancer but Benji, who was a ballroom dancer, had this amazing charisma and made every number he ever danced into something fun and powerful. Back then, although I recognized Travis as being the better dancer (and lordy, the judges were totally cramming him down the throats of the voting public with their effusive praise), I really wanted Benji to win (and he did). This season, my sympathies were totally reversed. Interesting.

The Ugly

Oh my heavens. That finale SUCKED.

First of all, THREE musical guests? And TWO numbers by J.Lo? I understand that this is Prime Time and you have to goose the ratings however you can. But it is Dance! Show! after all! All that craptastic singing left precious little time for, you know, DANCING. Traditionally the finale is my favourite episode of the season, because all my favourite numbers get repeated and I just swoon and swoon over the glory of the movement. This time there were, what, like six numbers?

And almost half of them were just the pre-taped version?

And like, 80% were either from the specialty show, or the Top 6 show that had aired just the very night before?


Speaking of the penultimate episode, I felt there were few standouts. The best part of the whole show was when Ashleigh danced with Ryan (mushy contemporary, I totally called it!). I thought they were actually pretty good — it was maybe the best I’d ever seen Ryan dance a non-ballroom number — and I liked it fine. But the judges! They were so hilariously careful in their comments. They didn’t want to say that it was terrible, so it was all softball crap like, “You’ll always remember this special night,” and “What a wonderful moment for you,” and “That must have felt so wonderful for you.” The whole undertone was, “We’re so glad it was good FOR YOU, because it was rotten for us!” Poor poor married couple.

And to add insult to injury, they even had them throw together a last-minute jive for the finale because, apparently, their professionally choreographed number was just TOO GROSS to repeat air. Seriously, Nigel, was it that awful?

Overall, I do feel that this season was low on the big numbers, the ones that will live on in memory, but here are a few of my favourites that I wish they had found time for:

  • Karen and Kevin hip hop to Ice Cream Paint Job, where Kevin is the mechanic and Karen his muse, by Taboleon, Week 2
  • Ellenore and Ryan tango by Miriam and Leonardo, Week 2
  • Mollee and Nathan Bollywood routine, by Nakul, Week 2 (shown in the finale)
  • Ashleigh and Jakob jazz routine to Relax, with the cane prop, by Mandy Moore, Week 3
  • Noelle and Russell african jazz (shown in the finale), by THE CHEESEMAN (so awesome!), Week 3
  • Channing and Victor blackbird number (with the birdcage), by Tyce Diorio, Week 4
  • Kathryn and Legacy jazz with Sonya from week 5 – this is the one where they wore the red costumes and Legacy entered with a crab walk and it was SO COOL
  • Mollee and Jakob Broadway routine to Easy Street from Annie, by Joey FREAKING Dowling, in Week 8
  • Ellenore and Legacy contemporary routine to Machine Gun, with the table prop, by Travis Wall (shown in the finale)
  • Kathryn and Ryan samba from the top 6 show, by Jason Gilkison — this was practically the only ballroom number from the season that I thought was truly outstanding, and I hope we see a lot more of Jason next season

And that’s a wrap! See you in the summer.

7 thoughts on “Dance! Show! Final! Post!*

  1. This season has me rethinking investing time in next season.

    There were no real standout fabulous numbers for me. I did really love the table routine/Machinegun with Legacy and Lenore… (Love Portishead). Travis was my favourite choreographer this season. I did love the cha cha with Jakob and Ashleigh. I tend to agree that there isn’t much chemistry between Ashleigh and Ryan. I am sure they are crazy about each other but damn — nothing on the floor. (I thought Ryan was better with Kathryn.) But unlike even the stellar SYTYCD Canada routines … I thought most of it was good. Not great.

    That stage has got to go… it’s just too dark or something. They need knew blood or shane sparks needs to come back… or something. Meh.. I’ll see what I think this summer.

  2. oooooh. and I really really missed the all girl/ all guy routines that are traditional in the final show…

    Sigh. Legacy jumped the table. The series jumped the shark.

  3. I was sooooo disappointed that Jakob didn’t win. But I admit I’m pretty used to it by now because my faves never win!

    I am a complete sucker for technical excellence. Jakob is so incredibly talented. I think he is the most talented dancer they’ve ever had on the show. He didn’t make a mistake the entire season and held up some pretty weak-ass partners to boot.

    Russel, well, I at least expected him to give a cursary nod over to the second place finalist (my beloved Jakob) but instead he just looked all angry and was miraculously jumping around after not being able to dance all show … and then, correct me if I’m wrong … did he actually rip his shirt off and yell “it’s God, it’s all God”?? GAWD.

    p.s. I’ve been voting for you on the blog awards. I love reading your blog!

  4. I confess I didn’t watch this season. I was a huge fan of SYTYCD in seasons 2, 3 and 4, but I just can’t put in the time investment that the show requires anymore. I tried to watch a bit of season 5 with the kids but Hana drove me crazy complaining that the show was BOOOOOORING and please couldn’t I put on Scooby-Doo. I thought she’d like the show ’cause she’s taking dance class, but no such luck.

    I do kind of miss it, even if it has kinda jumped the shark. I even miss Mary Murphy’s screams.

  5. I just couldn’t get into this season. I think it was too close to last season. And I agree, I think they might have jumped the shark. Hopefully they can recover, but does any show ever recover from that?

    I did however watch the finally. And I agree, it sucked! And I have to agree with Julie, How was Russell able to jump all over the place after crying because his leg hurt too much to dance all night? Yeah, I guess adrenalin and everything, but seriously?

    Maybe some time off for everyone will be good and we can enjoy it over the summer when all there is to watch are crappy reruns!

  6. famethrowa

    Finally I’m caught up! Only now can I go to the Dance web site and read about the dancers. Been waiting all season to do that!

    I was split as to who I wanted to win, Russell or Jakob. Russell was my favourite from the auditions whereas I didn’t see the fuss about Jakob until the top 20 started performing.

    Jakob has a bright future ahead of him, and he’ll no doubt get snatched up by a dance troupe before the end of this year whereas I think Russell has a tougher climb ahead of him.

    Does that mean Russell should have won because he needs it more? It’s hard to say.

    Even though Russell isn’t as strong a dancer as Jakob, I think he has the potential to be. Geez, that guy improved over the season! Plus I’ve never seen a guy do crump or hip hop as good as Russell. I think Russell is even better than L’il C!

    Once they were down to the final 3, Mr. Chatty and I were happy. We thought Kathryn was the top girl even if she was a bit bland. (Such a fab dancer – she just needs to put more personality into her face.)

    Overall I think season 6 was better than season 5 in terms of the dancers, but I’m still very bitter about the horrible set and stage changes (TURN ON THE F**KING LIGHTS, PEOPLE!!!!) and the costumes (both for the dancers and for Kat) were ghastly.

    I did like that the final competition show was just couples dancing instead of more solos although I did miss the same-gender group numbers.

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