Monday, September 14, 2015




Kim Stempel
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
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I am excited to find out how So You Think You Can Dance, and its Team Stage versus Team Street grand experiment, will end. Only four amazing dancers remain in the hunt to nab the title of season 12 champion: Hailee Payne, Gaby Diaz, Virgil Gadson and Jana "JaJa" Vankova.

Before we find out who wins the $250,000 prize and a role in Jennifer Lopez's Las Vegas show, we can look forward to a finale packed with spectacular dancing.

Buckle up, dance fans. This is the So You Think You Can Dance live blog!

We kick off with a group routine featuring the Top 10 dancers along with the All-Stars. I hate to say it, but I really dislike this routine, which was choreographed by Nick Florez and RJ Durell. It is very hectic and busy.

Now here is our hostess and mom-to-be, Cat Deeley, wearing her sparkly best. It's time to welcome our judges: Paula Abdul, Jason Derulo and Nigel Lythgoe. Nigel shares that Bob, the lighting director, and Marina, the costume designer, both won Emmys. Travis Wall also won an Emmy. Kudos to Travis, Bob and Marina!

So You Think You Can Dance Prediction: Who Will Win Season 12? >>>

Jason's Pick: Virgil with All-Star Joshua
Hip-Hop choreographed by Pharside and Phoenix

This old-school hip-hop number is raw and fresh. I also love this piece.

Audition Hero: Ladia Yates

This dancer auditioned in Memphis and captured everyone's heart with her dance group. They were joined on-stage during the audition by Jason Derulo.

Paula's Pick: Edson and Megz
Contemporary choreographed by Talia Favia

This is a gorgeous number which utilizes t-shirts as props and really showcases Megz's versatility and grace.

Paula's Pick: JaJa with All-Star Ricky
Broadway choreographed by Al Blackstone

I think that this number is full of charm and ease. Finalist JaJa's acting ability is on full display here.

Cat's Pick: Team Street
Hip-Hop choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon

This routine is about a group of soldiers and is full of attitude and energy.

The Finalists' Favorite Moments

JaJa was full of confidence at her audition, and that made all the difference. She feels that she can do anything with dance after this experience. Gaby credits her hip-hop routine as the geisha for pushing her out of her comfort zone. Hailee recalls a compliment from Paula where she said, "You have such a radiance about you, we can't help but laser into you." Virgil was compared to Sammy Davis, Jr. after his Broadway routine with Gaby.

tWitch's Pick: Gaby and Neptune
Contemporary choreographed by Stacey Tookey

This lovely routine is about overcoming adversity.

Special Performance

Nigel introduces a performance from 10-year-old dancer Little Phoenix who is joined by All-Star Cyrus. Little Phoenix is incredible and steals the show. Nigel has a good idea -- maybe they should do a So You Think You Can Dance for kids.

Sexiest Moments

Apparently, Asaf is an expert on what is sexy, and he is pretty sure that no one is sexier than him. Unless, of course, you count Jason Derulo and all the attention that he got from the female competitors. Asaf only has eyes for one woman -- Paula Abdul.

Hailee's Pick: Hailee with All-Star Robert
Contemporary choreographed by Nick Florez and RJ Durell

This is Hailee's favorite because it is sexy, dark and she gets to kiss Robert. Some of the lifts in this piece are insane.

So You Think You Can Dance Season 12: Top 4 Performance Rankings >>>

Audition Hero: Cody Carlson

This hip-hop dancer who has down syndrome was an inspiration. He is Jason's biggest fan, and they spent some time bonding.

Travis's Pick: Gaby with All-Star Joshua
Hip-Hop choreographed by Pharside and Phoenix

This routine, known as the geisha and ninja, is full of swag and sexy moves. Gaby really kills it in this piece. Sadly, she also kills Joshua.

Special Performance: Herman Cornejo

He is a principal dancer from the American Ballet Theatre. His performance is athletic and graceful.

Jason's Pick: Team Stage
Contemporary choreographed by Travis Wall


This piece, about the ghost light in a theatre, features the dancers performing while holding lit lamps. It is spooky but beautiful at the same time. This is one of my favorite routines of the season.

Audition Hero: Thomas "Mr. Hollywood" Condello

What he lacked in dance talent, he more than made up for with his confidence and personality.

Virgil's Pick: Virgil and Hailee
Hip-Hop choreographed by Pharside and Phoenix

This robot routine is awesome because it is fun, pure and simple.

Nigel's Pick: Jim with All-Star Alex
Contemporary choreographed by Travis Wall

While this piece was originally created for So You Think You Can Dance, it was never on the show. The routine is about an absentee father and his son. It is stunning and emotionally powerful.

Team Stage Results: Safe

Gaby

Team Stage Results: Going Home

Hailee

Audition Hero: Eliazer Chapman

This Bronx native was a breaker with a heart of gold.

2015 Creative Arts Emmy Awards: Complete List of Winners >>>

Nigel's Pick: JaJa with All-Star Alex
Contemporary choreographed by Tessandra Chavez

I think this routine is unforgettable because of the dancing and the feelings that it invokes. It stayed with me days after I first saw it.

Dance Crew: Academy of Villains
Hip-Hop choreographed by Pharside and Phoenix

This is another fierce performance from the dance crew.

Special Performance: Travis Wall and Jenna Dewan-Tatum
Contemporary choreographed by Travis Wall

Another amazing performance from the Dizzy Feet Gala. These two have sizzling chemistry.

Team Street Results: Safe

JaJa

Team Street Results: Going Home

Virgil

JaJa's Pick: JaJa and Jim
Hip-Hop choreographed by Christopher Scott

This piece was a great showcase for JaJa's dance skills and ability to act and portray emotions effectively.

Group: Team Stage and Team Street
Choreographed by Christopher Scott and Jessica Lee Keller

This routine was the debut of the Top 20 dancers, and it is a combustible mix of genres and styles.

Gaby's Pick: Gaby with All-Star Robert
Contemporary choreographed by Mandy Moore

Let me just say that I think this is the most memorable routine of this season. It is simple, emotional and stunning.

The Top 2

Team Stage: Gaby
Team Street: JaJa

The Winner Is...

Gaby Diaz (Team Stage)

Gaby Diaz is America's favorite dancer and the winner of So You Think You Can Dance season 12.

I think that American made the right choice. Congrats, Gaby!



(Image courtesy of FOX)



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