‘Finale Part 2: Winner Chosen’

15 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

SYTYCD: Season 12 has a winner!.

SPOILERS for the season 12 finale of So You Think You Can Dance are ahead. I thought for a while that Jaja, with her expressive face, adorable accent, and willingness to tackle any style, might take the crown — and wouldn’t it have been cool if America’s Favorite Dancer were a tiny krumper from the Czech Republic? — but whenever they danced side by side, Gaby outshone her.

The four remaining dancers Gaby, Hailee, Jaja, and Virgil were reunited with the rest of the season’s Top 20 in a night of celebration and suspense. Gaby earned and deserved this, and I think we should all dance on a box in her honor. (On second thought, spare your local emergency response teams and just clap a lot while standing firmly on solid ground.) Gaby, though! Street format, which put classically trained stage dancers in competition with street style dancers. “I thought it brought a lot of flavor to the show,” Diaz says of the new approach. “I think I was a little nervous about it at first, but the street dancers did so incredible, and it was so wonderful to be around their energy and learn from them.” Past competitors tWitch and Travis Wall mentored Team Street and Team Stage, respectively. “I don’t know how I would have done the show without Travis,” Diaz says. Season 12, which concluded on Monday (Sept. 14) with Gaby Diaz’s win, was the first time “SYTYCD” pitted stage dancers versus street dancers until only one contestant from each group remained. Dancers from both teams had to expand their horizons and perform in styles outside their comfort zones, and Diaz cites a Bollywood routine as her favorite that she did in an unfamiliar style, but a contemporary duet, which she chose as her dance to bring back last night, as her No. 1 highlight from the whole season — as well as “this moment today,” she says of her victory, laughing. “This was pretty cool.” The show has been on for 12 seasons now, and celebrated its 10th anniversary this summer.

Before the results of America’s votes were revealed, the judges, Top Four and team captains chose their favorite performances of the season to come back. But let’s flash back a few hours to a time when her win was still technically not guaranteed and Travis was backstage ruining his manicure in anticipation.

It’s just really beautiful.” Now she’s in a position to be an inspiration to young dancers, and shared the advice she would give the little kids who dream of appearing on SYTYCD in another decade. “If you love dance, stick to it,” she says simply. “Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, because you will hear from everyone: you’re not right, blah blah blah, whatever… Keep going. Stick to it if you love it, because you can achieve so much as long as you put your heart into it.” Diaz and her fellow dancers in the top four — her Stage teammate Hailee Payne and Team Street dancers Virgil Gadson and runner-up Jana “Jaja” Vankova — all have an evident, deep bond between them. “They know how much I love them, and how proud I am of all four of us,” Diaz says. “I love getting to dance with all of them, I love them all, and I can’t wait to go on tour with them.

Cat looks smashing tonight in a bronze frock that shows off just a hint of her baby bump, because the bigger the night, the more Cat sparkles. (Is this why SYTYCD doesn’t have a physical trophy? Then Paula Abdul chose the Talia Favia piece for Megz and Edson along with Jaja and Ricky in the Broadway number to “Let’s Face the Music and Dance.” Team Captain tWitch chose Stacey Tookey’s piece for Gaby and Neptune as his favorite. We kept saying that we would genuinely have been proud of any one of us who would have won.” As this season’s winner, Diaz will take home $250,000 and will be given the opportunity to perform with Jennifer Lopez in Vegas. “It means the world to me,” she says. “I’ve gained so much more than just winning the show. Is Cat the trophy?) She and the judges take a moment to celebrate the Creative Arts Emmys, which rewarded the show for its lighting and costumes, gave honors to the Houghs and Tessandra Chavez, and — cue “the full-on Deeley chills” — finally recognized Travis.

After a “celestial” group routine featuring the top 10 and 10 All-Stars, in which Jaja wears golden ram horns and pulls them off, it’s time for everyone to wind down by selecting a few favorite routines to watch again, also known as “what I do before bed every night.” In this season of Stage vs. The Team Street top 10 perform their NappyTabs group routine, and tWitch throws it back to Gaby and Neptune’s contemporary piece. tWitch loves Neptune, and who can blame him? Then it came time to find out who takes the title of “America’s Favorite Dancer.” After the performances we were left with finalists Gaby and Jaja.

On the other end of the spectrum, Cyrus dances with 10-year-old animation phenom Phoenix Lil’Mini, who inspires Nigel to wish there were a SYTYCD for kids. But I know from a few episodes of Dance Moms that I’ll never admit to watching years of dance that those children would probably drive themselves to the breaking point. American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Herman Cornejo and hip-hop dance group Academy of Villains arrive to shake things up, but the really exciting new routine is yet another Travis Wall original. Travis and Jenna perform a smooth and sultry piece to the Alabama Shakes’ “Gimme All Your Love,” which Cat calls “delicious.” But even the best piece of cake must end, and Hailee’s Team Stage journey is the first to wrap up. She takes it well, smile on her face and oversize bouquet in hand, then runs off yelling “WHERE’S ROBERT?” I respect the heck out of Hailee’s priorities.

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