'So You Think You Can Dance' Top 4 finalists receive three standing ovations, two performances get panned
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/04/2013
So You Think You Can Dance's Top 4 finalists had their share of high and low moments, except for Amy Yakima, during Tuesday night's broadcast of the tenth season's final performance show.
Out of 20 total competitive dances last night, three performances earned a standing ovation from So You Think You Can Dance judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy as well as guest judges Paula Abdul, a singer and dancer who previously judged American Idol and Live To Dance, and Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Gabby Douglas.
In addition, two performances in particular were panned by the judging panel.
During last night's show, each Top 4 dancer was required to perform a solo, a dance with each of their fellow remaining competitors -- meaning three routines per person -- and a performance with a So You Think You Can Dance all-star in the genre of each contestant's choice.
Aaron Turner, a 25-year-old tap dancer from Las Vegas, NV, received the first enthusiastic standing ovation of the night for his tap routine with all-star Melinda Sullivan. Paula called Aaron "the ultimate storyteller of the season," Nigel applauded him for being the only tap dancer to ever compete in a season finale, Gabby admitted she was "in awe," and Mary noted the tapping sounds registered as music to her ears.
Amy, a 19-year-old jazz dancer from Northville, MI, got all the judges on their feet for her solo jazz performance. She was the only finalist to receive a standing ovation from the judges for a solo. Mary said her power and strength was exquisite, while Paula explained she was an "angel" whose solo performances she best remembered throughout the entire season.
Amy also received a standing ovation for her contemporary routine with all-star Robert Roldan.
Paula told Amy and Robert their pairing was a "symphony" and Amy had stolen her heart. Nigel said everything about the "stunning routine" was "intoxicating" and it took his breath away. He also noted Amy's performance had put her into his lead. Last week, he said Jasmine Harper, a 20-year-old contemporary dancer from Lawrenceville, GA, was his favorite. Gabby added that she was blown away by the routine.
One of the two performances that left the judges less-than-satisfied was a tango routine by Amy and "Fik-Shun," an 18-year-old hip-hop dancer from Las Vegas, NV. What "Fik-Shun" brought to the table in the pairing was ultimately criticized.
"Fik-Shun, I think this was probably your toughest challenge out of everything you've been asked to do on the series so far... It was a brave attempt, [but] it really wasn't strong enough for me on this occasion. Amy, I thought that you were really strong in this. You held yourself all the way through it. I think Jasmine has done two great routines so far, I think you've just now shown you are as strong as she is and I think the competition begins now," Nigel explained.
The judges also weren't pleased with Jasmine and Aaron's samba routine. At this point in the night, Nigel admitted Jasmine and Aaron had fallen out of the running for his "favorite couple" of the season because he wanted more from both of them. He said the couple's chemistry was missing and they both looked uncomfortable performing the choreography.
Added Mary, "This is really hard for me, to be honest with you. There was some great choreography, [but] I just didn't feel like it was danced very well though for the most part. There was a lot of shaking going on -- some of it shaking in a good direction, some of it not... Aaron, as you came in across the stage, it was very awkward... the line [in your shoulders], just not good... Some of the [samba] technique was not there at all... Jasmine, you fared a little bit better because you can shake it!... I didn't think this was the best thing for both of you, but not bad."
At the end of last night's broadcast, Nigel told Amy and Jasmine if two girls could win the season, they both would probably take the cake over the two remaining guys.
However, one female and one male dancer will be crowned "America's Favorite Dancer" during next week's tenth-season finale on Tuesday night. They will each walk away with $100,000 and a cover appearance on Dance Spirit magazine.