So You Think You Can Dance – Not quite the finale I was expecting

SYTYCD Cyrus Eliana rev

It took two hours too long to get to the moment we really wanted: The announcement of America’s favorite dancers on the 9th season of ‘SYTYCD’


It took a while, but we got there. The better part of two hours was much too long to wait for the final announcement of the gal and guy who performed their way to the very top on So You Think You Can Dance.

From a personal standpoint, I already saw the show’s best episode a couple weeks ago. (And yes … it was, far and away, the best SYTYCD had to offer.) But these things have an order they need to march precisely to, a chain of command that must be kept lest the art of falling apart raises its head and complains it didn’t get its due. So we get “best of” re-performances from episodes past showcasing the judges’ picks.

And … what Cat Deely wanted to see.

And … what each of the Top 4 remaining contestants wanted to do.

And … the Top 5 audition moments from the season. Come on! I’m huffing and puffing over here. Enough, already. Everything else we’ve already seen. No need to blather about it any longer. But FOX does. Cat feeds it. Nigel and Mary swoon over it. The audience infuses energy into it. *sigh*

(Well … okay. I’ll relent. I can’t resist Dragon House and their incredible roboticism and abilities. The moves they put on stage? They’re worth the delay in getting to the winners.)

So … finally the tension ramps up as Cat calls out the Top 2 girls. Their histories on the show are reviewed. Everyone knows Eliana is going to best Tiffany. It’s not a surprise when she does. She is America’s favorite dancer.

Then? The guys. Their histories are reviewed. Everyone knows Cyrus is going to best Chehon. But … that’s not quite the way it went down. Needless to say, my jaw was on the floor when Cat announced Chehon as America’s favorite dancer. You see … he wasn’t the favorite. He was the best dancer of the two … not the favorite. Cyrus was the favorite, by a long shot. I will continue to maintain that position regardless of the final outcome.

I was disappointed and sad Cyrus got the short shrift. It would have been better for SYTYCD had he won …

I was disappointed and sad Cyrus got the short shrift. It would have been better for SYTYCD had he won — if you think about it, Chehon is too predictable a winner. I know … that sounds a little strange when I’ve stated he was the better of the two guys. But Cyrus was the contestant who improved the most, who adapted to the various styles the most. He was the more likeable of the two, the one who awed us the most. Chehon, while he might have been technically dead on much of the time, didn’t “stretch” … didn’t apply himself as much in my eyes.

On the other hand, Cyrus grew massively within his craft.

Congratulations to both the winners of season 9 — Eliana Girard and Chehon Wespi-Tschopp — and all the Top 10 contestants. You did what I knew you would do once again: You entertained me and further enmeshed me into styles of dance I didn’t think I would appreciate. (And in the end you gave me a jaw-dropping moment, too.) Always a pleasure.

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Photo Credit: FOX

5 Comments on “So You Think You Can Dance – Not quite the finale I was expecting

  1. Michael, you ignorant slut… :D I completely disagree with you on this. Especially the contention that Cyrus somehow got the short shrift. I would argue just the opposite, that Cyrus has been getting a pass the entire season. Week after week we would see the judges go after one of the dancers. Usually one that had actually performed better than Cyrus. But then when they got to him it was most likely some awe-shucks, isn’t it great that you are growing, instead of any sort of honest critique. In reality, he just wasn’t very good in a lot of the styles, and you could see that the choreographers were working around his inability time and again. He was in over his head.

    He is amazing at what he does, and if this was a competition based on being great at one thing then he should have been in contention. But as it is a competition that encompasses all the different styles, I think he fell short.

  2. Amen! While I love Cyrus’s spirit and his animating, he never really got any true criticism for his dancing outside of his style. It’s like the judges knew that if they had to be truthful it would be one unhappy criticism after another for every dance that’s not animating, and what would be nice about that? Even Eliana admitted, when she was asked by a reporter, that the choreography had been dumbed down (reporter’s words) for Cyrus. If you look at the group dances, specially the ones during the finale, while all the other guys were leaping, flying, twisitng, or just dancing in general, he would be there on the side crouching or doing some animating. Short shrift, he definitely did not get. Cyrus got a freaking pass for the entire season.

    • As a dancer myself who is capable of moving through pretty much any dance form, I must say that Cyrus’s unique gift is something I am NOT able to do, nor was anyone else in the show. Yes, Eliana was limited in using her ballet skills being paired with Cyrus, but at least they were both able to do some moves; simple, basic ballet moves that most other professional dance forms utilize. However, their choreography had to be dumbed down for her as well since she would never in a million years be able to do what Cyrus can do, I don’t care how hard she tried and worked. Heck, their choreographers don’t even have the skill to teach it. She will never be able to do what he can do, but with thorough training and experience, Cyrus would be able to learn classical ballet. Ballet is a dance form that is learned through constant exercise, repetition, mental strength, a determination to work through the PAIN. It’s muscle conditioning, balance, and hard-core desire. It is moving through tight shapes. It’s just like body building; anyone can have muscles if your work hard at weight lifting over a period of time, consistantly. Since the professional dance industry wants to lay down ballet as the foundation for all dance forms (it does not have to be, it can be removed leaving the other dance forms pure), its much easier for trained ballet dancers to move through other PROFESSIONAL, TRAINED dance forms. It’s jazz dance with ballet foundation, modern with ballet foundation, post-modern with ballet foundation, even hip-hop sitting on some ballet structure in the professional world. I am in a jazz dance class now taught by an AMAZING mover, trained with Katherine Dunham and is just naturally gifted, GIFTED. He travels all around the world dancing still, choreographing and giving seminars, Krenly Guzman. He not to long ago performed in Beijing I want to say, somewhere in Asia. Anyway I’m in his class with some heavily trained ballet dancers and other trained dancers, even seasoned choreographers. When I tell you that most of the trained dancers, mainly the ballet dancers, are having a tough time moving through his sequences since he is eliminating ballet basics from it and replacing it with a core African, fluid way of moving, I am dumbing down the true extent. Fluidity is non-existent with them; its as if they have 2 left feet. Its awful. Anyway, I can go on and on in this conversation. It would be interesting to dissect this whole thing with Cyrus or just compare and contrast the gifted, non-trained with the trained. At least 90% of the working professionally trained dancers, in any genre, are not gifted. Its generally hard, hard work for all them since they are not gifted. A gifted person must exercise his gift and allow it to develop, but not nearly in the way non-gifted dancers must; it’s amazingly and incredibly easy for them, like not working at all compared to the non-gifted. I always did and will always remember Cyrus, but until I searched here to find out who won this season, I forgot the two winners even existed since I stopped watching it. It got boring, and I forgot about the show until now. Other than Cyrus and that amazing Asian mover, there really wasn’t anyone gifted and exciting to watch.

      • Wow, Doranda … !!!

        I’m very excited to read a comment like this … thanks for posting it!

        Nice to hear from the other side of the fence what it’s like to be a dancer and have to go through the ropes.

        I believe Cyrus did get the pillow treatment when it came to some of his routines … but there were some in there – his contemporary stint really put him in the spotlight – that challenged him as if there was no tomorrow. Had he done a contemporary dance early on in the season without the benefit of a little seasoning, I believe he would have floundered. It’s only by repetition and the work he had to commit to I believe scored lots of points in his favor.

  3. I was surprised as well that Cyrus didn’t win, because it is the search for America’s favorite dancer, as you mentioned (and as Nigel seemed to have forgotten last week when he said he wasn’t voting for Cyrus — which I was sure would get him even more sympathy votes). But, yeah, it is a pain to sit through two hours of stuff we’ve already seen, however the Dragon House piece was terrific, and Christopher Scott’s piece where they froze in place while the camera did a 360 around them and then the dance continued was amazing. Those two pieces were worth sitting through the rest of the stuff. But with two winners, they should have broken them up and had the girl crowned halfway through the show and then the guy at the end. But I guess they’re afraid people will tune out if the first winner isn’t too their liking.