America's Favorite Dancer
Before I get to that, can I just say that Donyelle's speech totally made me cry? I was not, of course, the only one, both Mia and Mary had tears running down their face, and I think even Nigel was sincerely touched. As annoyed as I was that Donyelle stayed in the competition longer than some more talented dancers (Allison!!), it didn't keep me from being really touched by how much the experience meant to her.
And aside from seeing some of my favorite routines again, that was one of the highlights of the season finale of So You Think You Can Dance: how sincerely the dancers were in being grateful for the whole experience. Heidi's farewell speech didn't make me cry, but it did remind me (though I didn't need a reminder) why I always loved her. I really believe she was sincere when she said she wasn't there to win, but to learn to be a better dancer! Obviously winning would have been nice, but she appreciated the whole experience. The thing that really really endeared her to me was her choice of encore, the contemporary routine with Travis choreographed by Mia. Now this was a routine, as the show reminded us, that brought Heidi repeatedly to tears in rehearsal because she just couldn't move the way Mia wanted her to. And Mia was the one judge who was repeatedly harsh with Heidi, pointing out her limitations as a dancer. But in spite of how hard that routine was for her, Heidi chose it as her favorite, and performed it again because it pushed her more than anything else. It was so corny and awesome! And Travis did the same thing, choosing a ballroom routine (his kryptonite throughout the show), the paso doble with Heidi, as his favorite. It was slightly less corny though, because he got nothing but praise for that routine, so, not quite as daring, but still beautiful.
I also loved that the judges got to call for their favorite routines (or at least the routines that they wanted to see again - I have a feeling that some of that was producer driven, but whatever, it was nice.)
As for the actual dancing, I can't tell you how excited I was to see the Wade Robson group routine again - the one to Ramalama Bang Bang where they all looked like the zombies of Victorian chimney sweeps - because that routine was one of the bighlights of the whole season for me. It was just so beautiful and interesting and fantastically choreographed. (But what was with Benji's complete crazy eyes that he seemed to hold forever as Kat was taking them from that routine into break? They scared me!)
I was also happy to see Benji and Heidi's mambo. That routine was so hot and perfectly executed. It only skeeved me out a little bit to remember that they were cousins.
I could go on and on (and if you've read this far you probably think I have) so I'll wrap it up by saying that I'm completely happy with Benji being voted America's Favorite Dancer (TM). He was entertaining and talented, and I hope we see him again. I have no fear that Travis will have a phenomenal career. Mia will definitely hire him after the tour if he lets her.
Oh, one last thing, having Slain Demon (as my college roommates and I used to call her) end the show really brought me down from my dancing high. Please don't do that again next season. Talk about anti-climax.