OMG, it's time to crown the So You Think You Can Dance winner of Season 8!
After last night's slightly disappointing conclusion, this evening certainly made up for it. And at the end of the show, one of the Top 4 — Marko Germar, Melanie Moore, Sasha Mallory or Tadd Gadduang — would be named America's Favorite Dancer.
Deeley Style Check: Little Red Vixen! Cat Deeley decided to go out with an über sexified bang, that's for sure. Her skin-tight, super short, apple-red dress was every teen boy's fantasy. Paired with sky-high heels and tousled hair, Cat looked like a Victoria's Secret Model out there, but with longer legs. Damn, woman!
At the (irrelevant) judges' table: Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, Lil' C, Robin Antin, Tyce Diorio, Sonya Tayeh, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson of Modern Family
The evening got off to a fired-up start with our Top 20 plus the All-Stars back on stage in a super energized, "fabulously weird" Sonya Tayeh jazz number. The judges then each took the opportunity to give some final words of advice to the final four — including a heartfelt apology from Nigel to the guys for last night's harsh there's-no-way-you're-winning comments — before we got the obligatory Season 8 journey montage.
Other montages included Nigel and Mary's season-long sexual tension, the bizarre scenarios the dancers portrayed, and the finalists' night out at the Glee 3D premiere.
Judges' Favorite Routines of the Season
Mary Murphy: Sasha Mallory and Kent Boyd in Tyce Diorio's "Fool of Me"
This might be our favorite of the season, too. Injury or not, Sasha was fierce as always and we almost enjoyed this piece more the second time around. Oh, who are we kidding, more like the nineteenth time around — you know we've rewatched it a ton of times!
Nigel Lythgoe: Melanie Moore and Marko Germar in Nappytabs' "I Got You"
Yay, this was one of our own picks for routines we wanted to see encored tonight! Seriously, can Melanie and Marko just make adorable babies already?
Robin Antin: Tadd Gadduang and Lauren Froderman in Mandy Moore's "Another One Bites the Dust"
Cool, this was yet another one that made our list, which we didn't really expect to see tonight. We loved it the first time, but tonight's rendition was so much better and not just because Tadd managed to keep his hat on the whole time!
Lil' C: Robert Taylor, Jr. and Miranda Maleski in Nappytabs' "Break Ya Neck"
Oh, yeah — we'd almost forgotten about this woodpecker dance. After reliving it, we gotta say it was probably the most successful of the hard-hitting hip hop routines of the year.
Cat Deeley (nice!): Top 8 in Tyce Diorio's "The Circus Sets Up"
It's about time Cat got to choose a routine for the finale! Nice pick, too. We also dug this eerie circus group number, which included some of our dancers swinging across the stage on vines. Good times.
Bonus Performance: U.K. Winner Matt Flynt, Nick Young, and Jess LeProtto in Christopher Scott's "Can't Buy Me Love"
Um.. this was freakin' awesome! Basically, the routine was three ridiculous tappers trying to outdo each other. Cat summed it up nicely: "Boys in suits and ties with happy feet..." Yep, we loved it. Nigel called it one of the most exciting tap routines he's ever seen — seriously.
Mary Murphy: Melanie Moore and Neil Haskell in Mandy Moore's "Total Eclipse of the Heart"
Shirtless Neil? Thank you, Mary! Melanie's daring leap across the stage into Neil's arms was just as thrilling tonight as the first time. This may be our top all-star pairing, aside from Sasha and tWitch.
Jesse Tyler Ferguson: Marko Germar and Allison Holker in Sonya Tayeh's "I Know It's Over"
This was probably the best Sonya piece of the season, somewhat out of her usual element. Incidentally, loving Sonya's poofy lime green dress this evening!
Tyce Diorio: Top 10 Girls in Sonya Tayeh's "Pop Drop & Roll"
This extraordinary number, on the other hand, has Sonya written all over it. Tyce rightfully called it "nasty" and "sick," and the beasts rocked it once again.
Lil' C: Ashley Rich and Chris Koehl in Spencer Liff's "Please, Mr. Jailer"
This one was an unexpected treat, since we actually almost picked it for our best of the night that week (but gave Sasha and Alexander the honor for Nappytabs' "Coming Home" instead). For us, this was Ashley and Chris's peak.
Nigel Lythgoe: Sasha Mallory and Stephen "tWitch" Boss in Christopher Scott's "Misty Blue"
Oh, yeah, here we go — most sizzlin' routine of the season by a long shot! How did they not save this one for last? If only breakfast could be this exciting every morning, we'd never skip the first meal of the day again.
Sonya Tayeh: Top 10 Guys in Christopher Scott's in "Velocity"
Interesting choice from Sonya, but we're glad she picked it. Truth be told, this wasn't on our favorites' list, but the second time around proved to be way more effective for us. Also, we were finally able to figure out that, yep, that's Alexander Fost who dyed his hair a shocking blonde. We kinda like it, actually.
Jesse Tyler Ferguson: Caitlynn Lawson and Pasha Kovalev in Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo's "Malajunta"
Wow, so far we got four out of five of the top routines we wanted to see encored tonight. Super sultry and incredibly genuine, this really is one of the best tangos SYTYCD has ever featured. Plus, who doesn't love a little dose of Pasha? Mmm.
Mary Murphy: Melanie Moore and Marko Germar in Travis Wall's "Turn To Stone"
We actually preferred this unforgettable performance minus the white body makeup. We're so glad we got to relive Melanie and Marko's magical debut again. In our opinions, this was the choreography highlight of the year, thanks to Travis Wall. Oh, and, why isn't Travis up at the judges' table? Boo.
Nigel Lythgoe: Melanie Moore and Sasha Mallory in Sonya Tayeh's "Game On"
How fitting that the final routine of the season was this powerful jazz piece featuring the two finalists. Once again, Sasha and Melanie blew us away with their insane strength. We also love the fact that Nigel addressed that pompous New York Times article that had professional dancers claiming that SYTYCD contestants couldn't stand up to New York pros and that there were no memorable routines this season. Load of crap, indeed!
The first person to find out that they are not America's Favorite Dancer was Tadd Gadduang. No surprises here. In third place, Marko Germar — which means, yes, for the first time in SYTYCD history, the top 2 are both women. Holler!
Honestly, we can't name one competition, whether SYTYCD, American Idol, Project Runway, Top Chef, whatever, where we were equally rooting so much for both finalists. Both Sasha and Melanie have given it their all this season and we can't think of two more deserving people for the title.
In the end, with an overwhelming 47 percent of the votes, frontrunner Melanie took the title! Not to toot our own horn, but we so called this from day one!
FYI, Sasha earned herself over 32 percent of the votes, which means the guys only scored 21 percent of the votes between them. Looks like Nigel was right ... this really was the year of the beasts!
Many congrats to all the finalists, and especially winner Melanie, for another fantastic season of So You Think You Can Dance!