The four remaining contestants on SYTYCD brought their game to a whole new level last night. The final four exploded onto the stage and sent shock-waves through the crowd and judges (refer to my favorite judges' quotes of the night below). Of course there were some obvious standouts, a few less than stellar performances, and in my personal opinion, the revelation of SYTYCD's next All-Star -- win or lose (even though I think she should win) -- Lauren.
Before I get into the dancers and their performances, I'd like to take a brief moment and mention Cat Deeley's hair. What the hell was that? A faux bob? Seriously? That should be illegal. I can deal with the occasional faux hawk on people, but a bob? Oh hell no. I'm sorry, but I just can't. And I love that British Amazon chick. But that hair last night? Awful. She will undoubtedly watch that episode and fire her stylist for that one. Just hideous.
OK -- now that I've gotten that out of my system, here's my take on the final four:
Ade'Cheke': Had I seen that video montage about how he attended Laguardia Performing Arts Center and grew up in Bed-Stuy, I think I may have liked him more and given him more of a chance in my mind. I never felt as though his personality shone through in his performances and I believe the judges felt the same way. They didn't love his performances last night, but rather praised his abilities and encouraged him to learn from their critiques and continue to grow. To me, that translated as, "you're totally going home tomorrow, but we really think you're good -- you just need work." My prediction is that tomorrow Ade' will dance his last dance as a contestant on the SYTYCD stage.
Robert: It took a while for this guy to grow on me. I always felt as though he was a bit vapid. I never felt any depth of character from him and on a personal level, I need that emotional connection to connect with any artist, especially dancers. At times he seemed a bit contrived to me and so it wasn't until he performed Travis Wall's contemporary piece with All-Star Allison that he completely blew me away, as well as the judges and much of America.
Kent: Oh Kent. This little boy has won over the entire country with his small-town background and his complete and utter lack of street smarts. But when he dances, he leaves me speechless. I agree with the judges that his facial expressions can be over the top and sometimes pull your eye away from his dancing, but as he once put it, "I can't help it, it's just who I am." Hard to argue with that logic. Nevertheless, lose the faces and you won't annoy people as much. His dancing is impeccable. He truly is a beautiful and gifted kid. I see him as the next Travis Wall. Despite the judges' dislike of his jazz performance with Courtney, his final performance of the night with Neil, choreographed by (of course) Travis, was a complete show-stopper. I rewound it and re-watched it a few times. It was truly amazing. My personal opinion is that he and Lauren will be the final two standing.
Which brings me to ...
Lauren: When Lauren started out in this competition, the overwhelming feeling of the judges was that she was a bit immature and silly and wouldn't be taken seriously by America. Fast-forward one week and Lauren was all woman. In terms of personal and professional growth, Lauren is hands-down the winner. She has turned into a steaming hot woman right before our eyes. She has been referred to as "an All-Star" already, and last night Adam Shankman flat-out told her he wanted to work with her and all but offered her a job on the spot.
My pick to go home tonight: Ade
My pick to take the whole competition: Lauren
Alas, it is no longer about talent, but is now a popularity competition left up to America. Remember -- the show is about finding America's favorite dancer -- not America's best dancer. Tonight should be interesting. Anything can happen.
Quotes of the night:
"I wanna hire you." -- Adam Shankman to Lauren after her jazz routine with Ade.
"You're a beast." -- Mia Michaels to Lauren after her jazz routine with Ade.
"The heart of a dancer lives in the storyline." -- Tyce Diorio
So America? Who's your pick to take the title?
Image via Fox