So You Think You Can Dance: Finale
September 4, 2014 2:46 PM - Season 11, Episode 15 - Subscribe

The top 20 dancers all return and the winner is chosen, as the finalists and the judging panel of Mary Murphy, Nigel Lythgoe, Debbie Allen, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Adam Shankman, and Tara Lipinski pick their favorite dances of the season. Guest performances from Enriquez Iglesias, winner of SYTYCD Australia Michael Dameski, Wanted Ashiqz, and Les Twins.

Top 20 Group Routine: "Doctor Jazz," choreographed by Warren Carlyle

Top 10 and All-Stars Group Routine: "Sweet Disposition," choreographed by Sonya Tayeh and Christopher Scott

Mary Murphy's pick: Jessica and Casey in "Like Real People Do," choreographed by Travis Wall

Debbie Allen's pick: Valerie and Ricky in "Turn Down for What," choreographed by Christopher 'Pharside' Jennings and Krystal 'Phoenix' Meraz

Zack's pick: Zack and All-Star Amy in "Europe, After the Rain," choreographed by Sonya Tayeh

Nigel's pick: Rudy and All-Star Allison in "Dirty Diana," choreographed by Ray Leeper

Valerie's pick: Valerie and Zack in "Sing," choreographed by Anthony Morigerato

Ricky's pick: Ricky and Jessica in "Vow," choreographed by Sonya Tayeh

Viewers' pick: Carly and Serge in "Senile," choreographed by Luther Brown

Jenna's pick: Tanisha and Rudy in "You Need," choreographed by Sonya Tayeh

Adam's pick: Ricky and Zack in "The Antidote," choreographed by Christopher 'Pharside' Jennings and Krystal 'Phoenix' Meraz

Tara's pick: Emilio and All-Star Jasmine in "Get Low," choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon D'Umo

Jessica's pick: Jessica and All-Star Robert in "When I Go," choreographed by Travis Wall

Cat's pick: Valerie and Ricky in "Oh Darling," choreographed by Travis Wall

Ricky Ubeda was crowned the winner, with Valerie as the runner up, and Jessica and Zack coming in third and fourth places, respectively.
posted by yasaman (6 comments total)
I loved the top 10 and All-Stars group routine. It was nice to see Dominic dancing. I was not surprised by Ricky's win, but I still thought he was a very deserving winner and had been gracious and likable throughout the show.

I was disappointed by the lack of ballroom in the finale. I am actually disappointed by the shows trend towards ballroom in general.

I do hope the show gets renewed.
posted by bove at 5:34 AM on September 5, 2014

The AV Club gave the finale a solid B, and I think that's what I'd rate the season as a whole. Ricky was a phenomenal dancer and pretty much guaranteed the win from the start, which I don't begrudge. It was a strong slate of dancers overall, and a lot of good dances, even if nothing stood out as instantly memorable to me.

I love the show and hope it gets renewed, but I am starting to get tired of the samey choreography. Things improved a little this year with the variety of hip hop thankfully. But the contemporary and jazz all blend together, to the point where even a lot of Travis's routines felt like he was phoning it in. And yeah, after having so many ballroom dancers in the top 20, ballroom kind of disappeared to my dismay. Watching the Australian SYTYCD is a breath of fresh air choreography-wise compared to the US version.

Incidentally, I highly recommend the Australian SYTYCD. The first three seasons were pretty great, and then it got cancelled and resurrected this year with a new judging panel. This latest season was a bit flashier and more obnoxiously produced than the original three, but still featured some amazing dancers and had the great idea to skip the auditions and start with the callbacks. If you find a way to, uh, acquire it, it's a great way to tide you over until the US version comes back.
posted by yasaman at 10:27 AM on September 5, 2014

How do you watch the Australian version? Is it on Hulu or Netflix or something?

One of the reasons I am disappointed by the ballroom issue is that so many of their ballroom dancers are obviously amazing b/c they get hired to other shows, etc. and yet I feel like the judges are the hardest on ballroom dancers and so they never go all the way (except with Benji in Season 2).

I also feel like there is a huge systematic bias against female hip hop dancers. All time there have only ever been a few in the top 20. This seems really bizarre to me. This season YaYa was amazing. You can't tell me that she isn't as good at hip hop as almost any of the other top 20 girls were in their own style.

So, I want the show to come back, but I am hoping for some of the changes we have been discussing here all season. I would love to see more variety in choreography (why not limit a choreographer to only so many dances per season), not such a clear preference for contemporary dancers and dances, more expert judges (like Misty Copeland) and less from Nigel, less of a bias against ballroom dance and dancers, and some female hip hop dancers. That is just off the top of my head.
posted by bove at 10:39 AM on September 5, 2014

I'm afraid I'm not aware of any strictly legal ways to watch the Aussie SYTYCD outside of Australia. I torrented it, and downloaded the prior seasons as they were airing. You can find clips on Youtube too.
posted by yasaman at 11:12 AM on September 5, 2014

I LOVED that Top 10+Allstars number. It was beautiful and creative and exciting in a way that I don't think anything on the show has been for a few seasons.

I feel like it used to be that there would be at least two or three routines every season that would just be so exciting and creative, it was almost hard to believe you were watching a competition reality show on FOX. But the last few seasons, especially this one, have just felt pretty "meh" and rote to me. I don't know, maybe I've just watched too many seasons.

I just remember seeing that first Sonya Tayeh routine and being like "holy shit, what did I just see?!" but then after two dozen samey samey Sonya Tayeh routines (or Travis Wall, or whoever), it gets boring. I think this Top 10 routine was probably so great because she co-choreographed it with Christopher Scott - it really reminded me of this League of Extraordinary Dancers routine from a few years back, which I believe he choreographed, or the Virgin America safety video, which he definitely did. But it has that Sonya Tayeh drama, which I love. It would be great to see more cross-pollination like this!
posted by lunasol at 7:56 PM on September 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

After eleven seasons, you'd think they'd have enough dancers to launch "So You Think You Can Choreograph" with only their "all-star" dancers performing. It could be a nice change and I'd still get to watch dancing.
posted by Margalo Epps at 11:37 AM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

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