It should come as no surprise to anyone – even to the winner himself – that Ricky Ubeda was declared America’s Favorite Dancer on the So You Think You Can Dance finale show. After receiving consistent praise and fan adoration throughout the course of season 11, it seemed almost too predictable that Ricky would win. Of course, that doesn’t mean that he didn’t deserve it. Ricky has proven himself to be of the most talented dancers to hit the SYTYCD stage and I’m sure that we’ll see him again as an All-Star in years to come. But after this opening group number, it was pretty obvious that he would walk away with the title. Why didn’t they just call this, “Ricky Ubeda, featuring 19 other people I guess”?
The finale itself was…alright? I know that it’s fun to have lots of judges commenting on their favorite routines, but it’s kind of amusing that they bring in a huge panel when there’s no actual judging left. Tara Lipinski, Jenna Dewan Tatum, Debbie Allen and Adam Shankman all joined Nigel and Mary to relive their favorite moments from season 11 – or, more accurately, to introduce which routines will be featured on this year’s So You Think You Can Dance tour, tickets now available in a city near you, check your local Ticketmaster outlet.
Obviously, I know the show cannot book each and every All-Star for its tour and thus, the dances featured on the finale aren’t actually the “best,” but the “best they can get.” I was pretty disappointed with some of the choices, though. Some of my picks that we didn’t get to see: the tap routine with Zack and All-Star Aaron Turner; the hip hop routine with Zack and Fik-Shun, the Mandy Moore contemporary routine with Jessica and All-Star Will Wingfield; the old school jive with Bridget and Emilio.
However, I was happy to re-watch Casey and Jessica’s contemporary “kiss” piece from Travis Wall, the amazing Phoenix and Pharside “doll” dance with Ricky and Valerie and Jessica and All-Star Robert’s powerful Travis Wall routine from last week. Oh, and the “playing cards” Phoenix and Pharside piece with Ricky and Zack – that was also fun to watch again!
The results themselves went like this: Zack in fourth place, then Jessica, then Valerie as runner-up. Ricky won, guys. Ricky won.
A few random comments:
- I found it amusing that Nigel introduced Rudy and Allison Holker’s performance of “Dirty Diana” with a “funny” story – Allison almost couldn’t get away from her commitment to Dancing With The Stars and hopped on a flight literally moments after her performance. A funny story, yes, but Nigel forgot to include the part where he was a huge ass about it. Oops.
- The winning crew wasn’t Academy of Villains? Really? REALLY?!
- I thought they took an awfully long time to get to the results – we were more than an hour in before the first of the final four was eliminated.
Finally, I will leave you with this – what I believe to be the best group routine of the season. Hell, of several recent seasons. The piece, which features the SYTYCD top 10 and a smattering of All-Stars, was choreographed by Sonya Tayeh and Christoper Scott. Unlike those tear-jerker contemporary pieces we’re so used to seeing on this show, this particular routine is filled with pure, unabashed joy. I cried like an idiot and watched it three times in a row. I think it’s a great moment to end the season on – seeing how dance can express happiness in a way that nothing else can.