What a final four! I love that Jasmine/Aaron and Amy/Fik-Shun -- two sets of original season 10 partners -- were the ones who lasted 'til now. Tonight's performance finale offered us two more mini-reunions, plus a partner switch, plus some more All-Star matchups, plus solos, plus some final guy/guy girl/girl routines! Are you kidding? Nigel's out of breath just sitting there!
"Ughhhhhhhhh," he sputtered following Amy and All-Star Robert's contemporary piece. "It takes your breath away." And speaking of intoxicating -- our old friend Paula Abdul was back as a guest judge, along with the Flying Squirrel a.k.a. Olympic gymnastics star Gabby Douglas. Hey, Paula!!! Hi, Gabby.
It's always such a keen choice, I think, to close out the show with the same-sex numbers. It's competitiveness at its most blatant, sure -- but in the positive spirit of the series, these dances are also "celebrations" of "journeys" and all that misty-eyed jazz. It's plain to see there's nothing but good vibes among this foursome.
Both guys and "gulls" would be perfectly deserving winners, right?
Aaron Turner and Amy Yakima -- jazz fusion by Ray Leeper
Music: "Primitive" by Richard Vission feat. Luciana
Aaron copped the right "really cool, clubby feel" and, as Paula said, is such a generous partner. But this dance was all about Amy, who shed the cutesy/innocent vibe she's been putting out all season. All her cuteness just got swallowed up by that reverse-skeleton nude bodysuit (black bones? spider limbs?) and replaced by a fierce, primitive monster lady with strength in her eyes and fur on her wrists. The various rhythmic changes kept this challenging, and a high-energy club dub was a good departure for both of them.
"The double attitude is amazing," remarked Paula, adding that Amy's center is absolutely ridiculous and that Aaron breathes air into all of the characters (balloon animals) that he portrays. True!
Jasmine Harper and Fik-Shun -- contemporary by Travis Wall
Music: "Spiegel Im Spiegel" by Angela Yoffe and Vadim Gluzman
Travis is smart. Giving these dancers an "be underwater" ultimatum was the perfect way to deal with Jasmine and Fik-Shun's height difference, as he is roughly the length of her legs. No one was working harder than the wind machine in this flowy masterpiece in which all of the dancers' moves came off as weightless and effortless. That high toe point of hers as the piano tinkled out the highest note? Heaven! (Literally, this song appears in the 2002 movie Heaven starring Cate Blanchett and Giovanni Ribisi. You will never guess where I got this information so I'll just tell you: MY DAD. What a nut! Here's the gorgeous scene.)
Everything that's so right about Jasmine and Fik-Shun -- her extensions, his exaggerated hunching -- just worked so beautifully along with the idea of them as lovers who are growing apart…underwater. And the delicate music made the concept not so outlandish but rather intriguing and exquisite. I could have watched hours of just this dance. Well, maybe one hour. Ten minutes, at least.
Mary (the lone standing-ovator on this one) thought Jasmine would eat Fik-Shun alive, like plankton, but no way. They were perfectly matched in the seascape Travis created. Had he or the judges never mentioned the height thing, it wouldn't even have been a consideration mid-dance.
NEXT: Tap that