This is it, dance fans! Cat greets us in a yellow gauzy dress with many peekaboo bits, and yet not an inch of her squishes through the holes. If she weren't so delightful, I would hate her. (She's being slightly punished with a giant floral neck bow that looks like a tumor.) Anyway, she says that tonight we'll learn who had the lowest votes and is going home, and then asks, "Ameriker, what did you do?" So the cuts are decided just on votes tonight? Is this really the only night that's happened? At least that gives the possibility of an upset, I guess.
The opening group dance is really interesting, and I can't guess who the choreographer is. All six dancers are clad in simple white clothing, and they're dancing around a giant red rose the size of a sapling. The movement has elements of Sonya, but not as violent overall, and hints of Tyce, but with more angularity, so I'm stumped. The dancers keep moving from partner to partner, so I think everyone dances with everyone else at some point, and the camera keeps catching their smiles, as though they're romping in a garden. I found it rather charming, I must say. So who did it?
Don't know yet, as we must meet our judges--no Christina Applegate at the table tonight, but C is back, as well as Nigel and Mary, of course. Cat takes a moment to clarify the voting situation with Nigel, who points out that they cannot select a bottom four without thus revealing who the top two are. (Grudgingly, I must acknowledge that he's right.) So tonight the girl and boy with the lowest votes will be leaving the competition. Interesting...so if Ricky pulls out another voting upset, Tadd could go home against the judges' wishes! Well, at this point he's gone as far as he can, I think. Anyway, Cat goes on to tell us that we'll have special guest Pia Toscano, who was a mid-season bootee on Idol (I don't have to tell you that, faithful readers!), as well as a performance from the Bad Boys of Dance. She still hasn't told us who choreographed that number, has she?
No time for wondering, because we launch right into Sasha's solo, which I think is pretty great. It's elegant and musical without being flowy--tons of right angles, beats, floor work and great energy. She's dancing to a very staccato string piece over a driving bass beat. Not only does she look good, but the solo is genuinely interesting, which they aren't always. Judges are giving a standing O, but no comments.
And poof! On to Caitlynn's solo, danced to Natasha Bedingfield's "Touch." I think the music choice alone indicates the difference between Caitlynn and Sasha. Caitlynn's just so white-bread. She's Wet Seal and Forever 21, while Sasha's a thrift shop in the Village. Her solo, accordingly, is a bunch of elegant but disconnected leaps and spins, as always.
On to Melanie, who begins lying on the stage with her legs in the air. She's dancing to a Sia song, "My Love." (Sia did that "Breathe Me" song that they used on "Grey's Anatomy" and then was everywhere.) Melanie's clad in gauzy black and is acting the hell out of her solo--where Sasha is almost sculptural in her dancing, Melanie is theatrical. Works for both of them.
We're back, but I'm skipping the National Dance Day videos. We don't care, show. They're all bad. Ooh, except the one with a SeaWorld trainer dancing with her sea lion buddy! OK, show, one point for Gryffindor.
Time for the guys' solos, beginning with Tadd. Cat starts introducing him, but then interrupts herself, perhaps checking to see if he's set. The camera cuts to him, and it turns out he's crouched on the floor below the stage, so we kind of blew his entrance. Sorry, dude. He's hopping on and off the edge of the stage, and playing with the front row, ending with this insane one-armed...plank? handstand? I don't even know what you call it. But I kind of wonder if most of the audience is bummed that he didn't do anything on the stage itself.
Whoosh, and we're right on to Marko, with a more traditional entrance. He's very classic contemporary, lots of bending and stretching and swaying. He always seems lovely, and is clearly enjoying himself, but that wasn't super-impressive. The judges stay in their seats, at any rate.
Last one! I bet Ricky brings it. He's dancing to a song called "Requiem for a Tower." It sounds familiar, like it's been in a movie...or could we have heard it on this show? Anyway, his lines are great, he does some dramatic stuff. It's not as musical as Sasha's, but better than the other two guys, and he ends with a double flip that lands not on his feet, but seated. That looked both perfectly landed and like it would hurt.
When we return, Kent and Lauren are standing onstage, swaying in each other's arms as high school kids have done at dances since time immemorial. (Or at least the '50s.) Sure enough, they're re-enacting the dance they did in their own season, "Collide," about prom night. They're charming as always, but I feel like Kent has lost charisma since his own season. He ends the dance by going in for the kiss, and dang! It's a steamy one. Our boy's grown up...or maybe not--he dissolves into a giddy grin right after.
At last, it's time for results! The girls are up first, and Cat starts with Sasha. In revisiting last night's show, we are finally treated to a chyron to describe the Whacking. Turns out it's spelled Waacking, which I failed to guess last night. We get another look at her wall piece, too, and how she made everybody cry. Then Cat moves on to Caitlynn, and after my flailing attempt at salsa tonight in Zumba class, I have new respect for her ability to move her hips. Melanie also did well last night, though "Swag" is probably her weakest category. (Also, not enamored of Nicky Minaj's line "like a dungeon dragon." You don't keep dragons in a dungeon, Nicki!) Cat is going to tell us the first girl into the finale, though emphasizes that it doesn't mean this girl had the most votes. And it's...Melanie! She's goofily relieved and sweet. Her grandma in the audience is psyched.
We're back, but we're going to torture Sasha and Caitlynn a bit, I guess, because we're moving on to the guys. Cat calls them onstage and they enter in a conga line. She scolds gently, "Whose idea was the comedy conga? Was it Tadd's?" Of course it was. So she starts with him, and we revisit his chandelier dance first. In what is perhaps a harbinger of results to come, the clipped judges' comments we hear include Nigel being baffled by the dance, and C telling Tadd that he was just going through the motions. Not very friendly, show! The responses for his "Chorus Line" number are much better. On to Marko, who danced the paso doble and a jazz number. He still reminds me of Yul Brynner in the first number. And Ricky? I'll give you Lil' C's full description tonight: "What a magically magnificent puppeteer of physically rhythmic artistry you are." Man, if I had a nickel for every time someone had said that to me....
Time for our first boy in the finale! It's gotta be Marko, yes? There's no suspense if he's left in the last two. And sure enough, he's through. No surprise, but certainly no complaint either. He's undone, and staggers down to Melanie, who's dancing for joy.
We're making the others wait some more, because we still haven't heard from Pia Toscana or the Bad Boys of Dance! And we only have twenty minutes left! First up, the Bad Boys of Dance. I will Google this troupe, because I don't know who they are. Here we go. They seem to be ballet-trained, but are dancing to music from Tron...and confusingly, there's a girl in the group. (I'm finding her very distracting, actually.) So do we know any of these guys? I don't recognize any show alums. It's clear that they're all quite talented, but this feels a little heartless to me. Too..aerobic, perhaps? Also, having gone to their site, I'm kind of offended that the female counterpart to the Bad Boys is apparently the "Pretty Girls of Dance." Ugh, Rasta Thomas, that is lame.
Off they trot, and Sasha and Caitlynn come back onstage. I don't think either of them expects Caitlynn to stay. Nigel starts in on a complimentary speech that manages to criticize Caitlynn a bit (she dances "from her head," and overthinks things sometimes, where Melanie dances from her heart and Sasha from her soul--um, thanks for the help, Nige). Cat doesn't belabor the point any further, and there's barely a pause after her opening the card--Sasha's through.
Tadd and Ricky have to wait a little longer, because at long last, it's time for Pia to sing! She opens up and I can't understand a word she's saying. She got a great stylist, though! Angry Stylist must have forgotten about her after she left Idol. However, the song is generic pop that sounds like a Nicole Scherzinger castoff. (Actually, Pia kind of looks like a Nicole Scherzinger castoff.) You get the idea. I'm fast forwarding.
On to the important stuff! Who's staying--Ricky or Tadd? This is pretty much the only toss-up of the night, and I think it could go either way, with Tadd having a slight edge. And Tadd makes it through! I have to imagine it was close, though. Heh--Tadd comes offstage and starts wrestling with Marko like an excited puppy. Boys are so weird. Ricky gets a nice sendoff, and his montage ends with that great flip in his dance with Anya, where she tosses him over her shoulders.
He's joined by Caitlynn, and the two of them are teary, but happy and composed. The finalist dancers run up onstage and are sobbing worse than the losers, which I always think is sweet. Good run, you two. See you on the tour.