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Dancing with the StarsSo You Think You Can DanceMajor milestones on both dance shows this week. For Dancing with the Stars it’s the end of season 9 as the top three do everything they can for the mirror ball trophy is awarded. On So You Think You Can Dance this week reveals the top 10 dancers.

DWTS, Season 9 Week 10, The Finals: The final performance show was one of the strongest, most entertaining finals this show has seen. Each couple did three dances–one of their choice, a “megamix” group dance (which included Viennese Waltz, Samba and Jive danced in unison by the three) and their freestyle. In the final show the dancers re-did one dance for a final set of judges scores. With the freestyles I was thrilled to see that each couple embraced the idea of freestyle, trying to really wow the audience with what they’d picked up during the show without getting too gimmicky or over the top. Here’s a look at the finalists dances:

  • Kelly: I was rooting for her going into the final. Her transformation over the 10 weeks into a confident dancer has been fantastic to watch. Sadly the finale was a little clunky for her. Argentine Tango: Kelly and Louis started strong with this complicated and sophisticated routine. Yes, there were a couple of glitches but really minor and she nailed the character so well. Mexgamix: Her Viennese Waltz was delightful but moving into the Samba there was a clothing malfunction that was hard to recover from and she seemed out of sync after that. Freestyle: First off, what an awesome outfit! Through it all, she smiled and look like she was having a great time even though she lost the steps occasionally. Redo Viennese Waltz: This was awesome the first time and was even more polished and beautiful this time. Even with the mis-steps on Monday night, she was a top choice for winner in my book because she’s been an absolute delight and grew so much as a dancer.
    Kelly & Louis dance freestyle
  • Mya: Paso Doble: “We Will Rock You” felt like a very difficult song to do this to because of its beat, but she pulled off a solid number. I would’ve liked to have seen more in hold though. Clearly the judges weren’t bothered since she scored a 30. Megamix: I admit I didn’t watch what she was doing very much. It was hard to focus on all three and I ended up watching Kelly more. The judges gave a 30, so it must have been good. Freestyle: Dimitry should’ve listened to her when she said she wanted to take more risk. It was fun and energetic but quite safe and had too much repetition in the content. Redo Jive: I’m surprised she didn’t re-do something more recent that had yielded a 30. This was very good though to see again.
  • Donny: Cha Cha: Well the judges loved it, but I felt like it was out of sync becuase Donny and Kym never seemed quite on the same move to me. Megamix: I had a hard time keeping track of Donny. With the long camera shots on this, my eye kept going to the women’s sparkly outfits. I don’t think I liked this format very much, it was hard to watch and judge. Freestyle: Boy did he nail this. He got the 30 from the judges for a very entertaining and well done dance. Kym did a great job constructing a memorable freestyle. Redo Tango: He got a well deserved 30 here for perfecting an already great number.

Donny & Kym with their Mirror Ball Trophies

Congrats to Donny on the win! He was very deserving having grown so much every week (not as much as Kelly, but he definitely worked hard and kept improving). I am glad Mya didn’t win because I didn’t feel she pushed hard enough in this final week.

The final results show was good. I loved Donny singing for Louie and Chelsie. Aaron redoing The Muppet Show number was great. Seeing a lot of the stars do some new dances, like Melissa and Mark, was better than seeing simple redos of numbers from earlier in the season. A very satisfying end to season nine!

SYTYCD, Season 6 Top 12: What an amazing night! Across the board the dances were solid. It’s going to be difficult to see any of the dancers leave. The judges are not going to have an easy choice this week. Here’s a quick breakdown of the dances (everyone had two this week):

  • Ryan & Ellenore: Lindy Hop: What a great way to start the show with so much energy. They certainly nailed this one. Broadway: They found the right character for this and Ellenore in particular had some crazy good moves, like going from her leg up in the air and flat and then coming down to the stage flat. I didn’t like some of the choreography here though with some of its Fosse-light moves.
  • Legacy & Kathryn: Jazz: Absolutely stunning. Sonya crafted a beautiful piece that let Legacy show off his B-boy skills, while still pushing him. Viennese Waltz: I didn’t care that Legacy had some mis-steps here, this was a gorgeous number. The concept of Kathryn teaching him the number along the way was excellent. This was my favorite number of the night.
  • Victor & Karen: Tango: Spectacular! This was sharp, crisp and intense. It was great to see their chemistry so strong in their first week together. Too bad they weren’t a couple longer. Hip Hop: This was merely okay. I enjoyed it, but compared to the others it was on the weaker side becuase nothing really stood out in it.
  • Nathan & Mollee: Hip Hop: Go Nathan! He really embraced this number and danced it with confidence and bigness. Mollee on the other hand dance a small and was more tentative in her movement rather than really hitting it. Can Can: This was a fun number and again Nathan shined with some great kicks and a really amazing turn where he was going full speed and then wound down slowly. Mollee was better here but still didn’t shine as bright as Nathan.
  • Russell & Noelle: Samba: Well done. Noelle took command of the stage here and Russell kept up well. The Samba rolls were great, although I agree with Nigel that the forward move was less impressive than the back. Contemporary: Fantastic! Both dancers embraced Tyce’s great piece of choreography and delivered another magical piece for the night. Russell continues to amaze (just like Legacy does) dancing in styles that are so far removed from his own.
  • Jakob & Ashleigh: Lyrical Jazz: This is the first piece from these two that I wasn’t gaga over. I think it comes down to the music choice becuase when I watched more of it at the end of the show where they were recapping, I liked what I saw. The movements were stunning, but something was just a off for me and I blame the music choice. Cha Cha: This was the perfect end to the show. High energy and fun. It was nice to see Jakob as the one out of his element as Ashleigh got to perform in her style. I’m sad to see this couple break up next week.

The two people I’d send home after all this fabulousness would be Victor and Mollee. Mollee didn’t shine enough against Nathan this week, especially in the hip hop number. Victor, while great in the tango, didn’t quite hit all the right notes in the hip hop. Since two have to go, these are my picks.

Results update: So I got it half right with Victor going home. Who knew Karen would completely blow her solo! I didn’t agree with the judges on their comments to Mollee . I felt her solo was too full of tricks and gimmacks–more desperate than fighting for her life. On the guy side, the solos were all good.  I was suprised they told Ryan he needed better solos. Poor Nathan, he looked like he’d been kicked in the head after he was told Victor was leaving. Hopefully he’ll use that to just get better.