If any show needed to have co-winners, it's So You Think You Can Dance. When most of the dances are partner dances, it just makes sense that there should be a male winner and a female winner. Which would make this week's final decision so much easier in regards to who should take the crown. But since there can only be one, I think it's going to be Jeanine Mason, with Brandon Bryant coming in second, Evan Kasprzak third and Kayla Radomski fourth.
Here's why. Jeanine is the came-out-of-nowhere underdog who was great all season but wasn't heavily pimped. More than the others in the finale, she seems to have grown the most on the show. Sound familiar? See Allen, Kris; Clarkson, Kelly; and Johnson, Sabra. She's got a great personality and she's beautiful in a non-threatening way. That's the kind of thing winners are made of. I said coming into the season that no girl was ever going to win this show again. Jeanine might be the one.
Brandon is also deserving of the crown. I think he is the best male partner dancer without a ballroom background (gotta put that clarification in there because Benji are Pasha still remain the best partner dancers ever). Everything Brandon has done this year has been first class all the way, especially his Latin ballroom (thank you, Janette!). For a contemporary dancer, it's remarkable that most of his top dances this year have been Latin dances - Argentine tango, Paso Doble, Cha Cha. Brandon kept every single partner he danced with this year safe from elimination that week. That's a great accomplishment.
I split my votes between Brandon and Jeanine tonight. I would be ecstatic if either won. I think they are both incredible.
Evan and Kayla are both very good dancers, but IMO, they're out of their league compared to Jeanine and Brandon. If they could merge themselves together, they'd win easily. Kayla's dance technique with Evan's personality and likability would be unbeatable. But on their own, neither has enough of the package to win. But I know Evan has a massive fanbase, and I wouldn't be surprised if he won. Jeanine and Brandon voters could be splitting the vote enough to allow Evan to sneak in.
As far as tonight's dances go, I'd rank them:
1. Jeanine/Brandon - Paso Doble ("Tetsujin" from The Matrix Revolutions soundtrack
Amazing and fierce. There was a great footwork sequence, a great death spiral (not sure what the technical term is) and an awesome ending.
2. Jeanine solo - Por Una Cabeza by The Tango Project
WOW. If you would put together a collection of the top 5 female solo dances ever on this show, she'd probably own all of them. This one was fantastic, and I love that she threw in a little ballroom influence into it as well. The control she had in those pirouettes was unbelievable. Adam Shankman telling her she didn't need the flower in her mouth was hilarious. "What the HEY-LL, girl?!"
3. Kayla/Brandon - Broadway, choreographed by Tyce Diorio ("Bye Bye Love" from All That Jazz)
Great lifts and some awesome tricks. As the judges have said to infinity, Kayla's lines are phenomenal. And she looked fierce. She seemed to end her turn too early when they were doing side-by-sides, but Brandon seems like he could go on forever.
4. Brandon solo - "Dies Irae" by Karl Jenkins
He's so athletic and powerful. Those turns into the splits at the end made me gasp. Was it frantic? Well, the music calls for it, so I guess.
5. Jeanine/Evan - Jazz, choreographed by Sonya Tayeh ("Heartbreaker" by MSTRKRFT ft. John Legend
Evan did way better than I anticipated. Jeanine was great as usual.
6. Brandon/Evan - Hip-Hop, choreographed by Laurie Ann Gibson ("Nasty" by Janet Jackson)
Brandon looked very convincing and looked like he belonged in that Janet Jackson video. He was getting a little krunk there. Evan, however, looked like he was doing West Side Story off-Broadway. He did come up with a great line, however, after Mary Murphy asked what was the nastiest thing he's ever done: "That's a toughie. The list is so long."
7. Group Dance - Pop, choreographed by Wade Robson ("Boys Boys Boys" by Lady Gaga)
It wasn't spectacular, but they all showed a lot of personality in it, which made it more memorable.
8. Jeanine/Kayla - Contemporary, choreographed by Mia Michaels ("The Four Sections: IV." Full Orchestra by Steve Reich)
HATED the music so much. It was so boring that I tuned out pretty quickly. I'm sure the dancing was good, but because the music was going nowhere fast, the dance lost its appeal and excitement. And why was Kayla front and center for most of the last half of that dance? The judges automatically go into overpraise mode just because it's a Mia dance. This will NOT be one of the ones people remember in the future. No way.
9. Kayla/Evan - Jive, choreographed by Tony Meredith & Melanie LaPatin ("T.R.O.U.B.L.E." by Travis Tritt)
WTF were they thinking putting Kayla in those cowboy boots?! It made her and the dance look so clunky. And what's with the Dancing with the Stars-style jive? Evan's kicks were more jive-like than last time, and Kayla looked less awkward with this dance than she did last week with her other fun dance (disco). But Kayla stealing the show on this dance? And the crowd chanting for Evan after this? WUT?!
10. Evan solo - "The Best Is Yet To Come" by Michael Buble
That was same ol', same ol' for me.
11. Kayla solo - "Sweet Dreams" by The Eurythmics
Picking the same music as Sabra and Neil's famous boardroom table dance was a mistake. It just made me want to see their dance and not hers. All of Kayla's solos have been boring and slightly cold. She is a phenomenal dancer, but she doesn't make me feel anything but apathy.