Love is in the air in So You Think You Can Dance 14×14
For the first time this season, So You Think You Can Dance fans were able to enjoy a solid two hours of dance without fear of elimination. No one went home this week. Instead, Kiki, Taylor, Koine, and Lex all took turns pairing off with each other – each pairing had fantastic chemistry, but some duos shone brighter than others. Before we ask our So You Think You Can Dance roundtablers their thoughts on the various pairings, we need to discuss a slightly different sort of pairing addressed in the penultimate episode.
Taylor and Lex are an item. In fact, they have been this entire time. Talk about a plot twist. While many die-hard So You Think You Can Dance fans will tell you they knew this all along, just as many were surprised and delighted by the news. Although Taylor and Lex have not been shy about their relationship (which started before auditions) on social media, it hasn’t been addressed on the show. Not until Mia Michaels asked the pair if they’d ever been in love. They answered in the affirmative, and went on to explain that they were, in fact, currently in love – with each other. But there is much more to discuss from this episode, let’s dive right in.
So, here to share their final thoughts before the finale, is our So You Think You Can Dance roundtable.
Austin (@theaustinmayor) – Dancer, choreographer, and teacher
Janine (@J9DH) – Mom of 2 and fan of talent shows like So You Think You Can Dance and American Idol
Terry (@rockinchick66) – Asset Manager by day, Wife, Kitty Mama and So You Think You Can Dance super fan by night!
Tracy (@tjohn68) – Dance fan, TV fan, Superhero fan
Brandon (@indigo_15) – Writer, dance enthusiast, lover of pop culture. Supporter of imaginations running wild.
1. Which two made the best pairing?
Austin (@theaustinmayor): I mean, I gotta go with Lex and Taylor cause they are a couple in real life! That helps so much with chemistry because they have it outside of dance as well! They are both very technical and compliment each other very well too! All I gotta say is, dance couple goals!!!
Janine (@J9DH): Before we get to the pairings, I have to mention that incredible Top 4 “Elements” routine!! Brilliant choreography by Travis Wall and Chris Scott!! I got the chills watching it!! Each dancer was able to excel in their own style in a way that looked collaborative. Kiki was HOT, Koine was fierce yet grounded, Taylor was graceful and Lex was powerful and wild!! Ok now for the pairings. I was laughing while at the same time in awe of Lex and Koine’s Broadway routine. Lex was the most expressive he has been the entire season! Plus that was some very challenging choreography that they made look easy. It was so much fun! No doubt for me Lex and Koine made the best contestant pairing.
Brandon (@indigo_15): There were so many incredible pairings tonight, but for me, it has to be Lex and Taylor’s Mia Michaels contemporary piece. Not surprisingly, their chemistry was off the charts, and they lived and breathed every moment of that routine as they told a story that mirrors their own through movement. It was absolutely breathtaking.
Tracy (@tjohn68): I have to say, that Taylor and Lex’s Mia Michaels routine was kind of perfection. Their romantic connection clearly came through in the dance and it was just beautiful. But a close second for me was Koine and Kiki. The joy at the beginning, to the disintegration at the end was really emotional! They really brought the character to that dance.
Terry (@rockinchick66): I’m sure the popular choice will be Lex and Taylor but I’m going with Koine and Kiki! that contemporary number choreographed by Travis Wall was everything!
2. Boys or girls, who slayed their same-sex routine more?
Austin: Gotta give it to the girls! I actually didn’t care for the boys hip hop number. Usually, I really enjoy Luther’s choreo, but tonight’s seemed kinda easy. The girls number on the other hand started slow and then it progressively got harder and faster and both of them killed it! Girls win this week.
Janine: Oh, this one is tough, because each pairing was awkward in its own way. Koine and Taylor looked like David and Goliath. Taylor’s legs are so much longer than Koine’s I was shocked they were in sync as much as they were. Kiki is not great at Hip Hop and doesn’t “get down” which made it awkward watching him with Lex who is strong at Hip Hop. I guess I have to give a slight edge to the ladies since they were both able to pull off their choreography well.
Brandon: I went back and forth on this so many times, because I loved both same-sex routines, and watched both of them several times. In the end, it came down to personal preference, which tipped the scale in favor of Lex and Kiki’s Luther Brown hip-hop number. Both guys channeled their inner Missy Elliott and more than delivered on Luther’s quirky choreography. Lex blew my mind (yet again), and Kiki’s growth in hip-hop is nothing short of staggering.
Tracy: That Mandy Moore joint was so hard! I got to give it to the girls. They brought the sexy, the confidence, the sophistication. It was so good!
Terry: Ummm hello! Girl power! Although I loved Luther Brown’s routine for Lex and Kiki the girls slayed their Mandy Moore Jazz number!
3. Which throwback dance did you love most?
Austin: Tie between Kione and Marko’s, and Taylor and Roberts. Kione and Marko’s I love because it’s African jazz and what Sean Cheesman creates is a masterpiece. The music is so quirky too! Taylor and Robert’s hit me in the feels tonight. It didn’t impact me last time but the second time i watched it really made a difference.
Janine: LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Koine and Marko’s throwback dance! Koine pairs well with everyone because she is such a strong performer and very versatile dancer, but there is something special about her pairing with Marko. The “Speaking in Tongues” music combined with the fabulous costumes, incredibly challenging and unique choreography and over the top performance made this my WOW routine of the night. Chills throughout!! I agree with Mary Murphy, I want to watch this over and over again (and already have!).
Brandon: My first thought was Taylor and Robert’s Travis Wall routine, which left me breathless all over again, but Lex and Gaby’s tap routine was pure magic and joy the first time around, and it still makes me grin from ear to ear several weeks later. Not only is it one of my favorite pieces from the entire season, it’s my favorite tap piece that’s ever been done on the show. Lex’s personality shines from the opening note to the end pose. I wish I could watch it on a loop forever.
Tracy: Robert and Taylor. I felt like she has grown leaps and bounds this season and the emotional investment the second time around was, somehow, even stronger than the first time. The connection was deeper. It was just stunning.
Terry: Kiki and Jenna’s contemporary number was fantastic. I forgot how good it was and they performed it even better than the first time. However, I am a sucker for a good tap routine so I loved Lex and Gaby’s tap number! I could watch that over and over again!
4. Are you surprised by Taylor and Lex’s announcement?
Austin: I actually creeped both of their Instagrams, so I knew they were a couple before tonight. So no, it wasn’t a surprise.
Janine:I was surprised! I didn’t know they were dating and am surprised they were brave enough to make it official on live TV in front of a live audience and millions of viewers! Best of luck to them!
Brandon: No, I wasn’t surprised. They previously mentioned on the show that they are a couple, and a quick look at their social media profiles, particularly their Instagrams, tells you everything you need to know. At this point, I’m actually surprised that there are still viewers who were in the dark regarding their relationship.
Tracy: No, I heard about it earlier in the season after watching some after show interviews. They were very candid about the fact that the relationship preceded auditioning for So You Think. What I am surprised about, however, is the producers’ restraint in playing that card until the final live episode. We all know how they love a story, and that was kind of a big one to be sitting on all season. But it was kind of a perfect reveal with that Mia Michaels return. The perfect cherry on top of the season for both of them.
Terry: I was almost as shocked as Mia Michaels was! I’m so happy for them!
5. If you were to pick one dance from the entire season (danced by anyone) to be performed in the finale, which would it be?
Austin: Oh my goodness that’s a tough one…I’d have to go with the group of Koine, Taylor, Kiki, and Mark to Still I Rise. That’s such an impactful song and it really resonated when I watched it. It features 3 of the top 4, so that alone tells you it’s a strong dance. All of the different kinds of lifts really made the dance unique as well too!
Janine: This is such a hard question!! My favorite dancer this season is Dassy Lee, so I would love to see one of her dances. The dream dance “Breathe” or “Bring Back the Funk” dance, both with Fik-shun, were my favorites from Dassy.
Brandon: This is so tough, because there are so many dances I’d like to see again, but I went with Logan and Allison’s jive, choreographed by Sasha Farber and Emma Slater. They danced it so well, and it helped solidify Logan as one of my favorites this season. The fast and furious choreography, cheeky story, and 1950s-style hair and costumes, made it so memorable for me, and a number I would love to see again.
Tracy: The Rise routine choreographed by Sean Cheeseman. That one touched me so much, I still get emotional thinking about it. I would love to see it again.
Terry: Oooooh! This is a really tough one! The number that really stands out for me is Kiki and Jenna’s Jazz number choreographed by Ray Leeper! If this is not performed during the finale I will be shocked!
6. How much effect do you think the all-stars have on their contestant’s success? In other words, if everyone had a different all-star, would So You Think You Can Dance still have the same top 4?
Austin: I think it has some effect in the sense of chemistry and dance style. If both the all-star and contestant are contemporary, they will look great dancing together and will have immediate chemistry. If the all-star is contemporary and the contestant is hip hop, they will have a harder time finding the chemistry and will need to be pushed outside their comfort zone to look good dancing together. That’s why Kaylee and Cyrus didn’t look overly great dancing together. I don’t think this would be the same top 4 if they had different all-stars.
Janine: I think the pairings make a huge difference in who makes it to the Top 4. There must be strong chemistry between the contestant and All Star, and there needs to be a visually appealing match in terms of size and style of dance. Marko would have a hard time pairing with Taylor because she is too tall for him, but he is perfectly paired with Koine. Robert is perfectly paired with Taylor since they are both tall, but it would be a little more awkward for him to be paired with Koine. I think the final 4 all had perfect pairings for them.
Brandon: I think the All-Star has a huge impact on their contestant’s success. While some of this year’s contestants (like Lex, Taylor, and Koine) probably could have found at least some success with most of the All-Stars, I think they still wound up with the one that matches them best. I doubt Kiki would have gotten as far into the competition as he has without Jenna, and I feel the same way about Logan & Allison and Mark & Comfort.
Tracy: I think it’s instrumental. The All-Stars come in with their own Fanbase. For example, I was already predisposed to like Taylor and Logan because I adore Robert and Alison. Plus, they have the wisdom and strength from their own careers to pass on the contest it. I mean, look at how some of them dance now versus how they danced when they were back on the show. In addition, I think their advice and support are invaluable to a contestant. More so than in previous seasons when contestants were paired up, and they were all going through the journey together. If they were all switched up, would they still be in their same positions? I don’t know. It’s obviously a gut instinct thing on the part of the contestant if they had multiple All-Stars to choose from initially, and then on the part of the All-Star when selecting who to take to the live shows. To be honest, I personally don’t see the pairings working any other way if they were mixed up. There’s chemistry that develops, and friendship, and emotional support, and that’s so important. I also have to give a shout out here to both group dances! Nappytabs and Keone and Mari brought the choreo and everyone slayed!
Terry: I do think the all-stars have an effect on the contestant’s success. For example, I love Cyrus but I think if Kaylee had a different pro she may have gone further. Also, the connection between the top 4 all-stars and their contestants is off the chain this season which, I think, has a huge effect on the outcome!
7. Last chance. Final prediction. Who is going to be crowned America’s Favorite Dancer next week?
Austin: I think Lex will win it, but Kiki will be right behind him in votes. Kiki is a ladies man, and the ladies vote! But Lex is too amazing a dancer not to win it I think.
Janine: I think Lex will be crowned America’s favorite dancer! He is the most fun to watch out of the final 4. I think Koine is a stronger overall performer than Lex is, and she has nailed every single style so I am hoping she makes Top 2 with Lex.
Brandon: All four dancers seem to have large and dedicated fanbases, all of whom are voting like crazy as we speak, but I still think it’s going to be Lex in the end. Now, as far as who will be standing next to him in the final two, that feels like more of a toss-up.
Tracy: I’m honestly not sure. A few weeks ago, I would have said hands-down it was going to be Lex, but there have been some last minute surges in the last couple weeks, that make it difficult for me to say for sure. But if we’re going to go with my favorite of the final four, I’m hoping for Taylor to win. I feel like her growth as an artist has been amazing. But also, Koine has been rock solid all season long. And Kiki, again has just been hitting it out of the park as well. And Lex is just his own incredible creation. This truly has been the best top four we’ve ever seen. In fact, I think probably the best top six.
Terry: Although I adore Koine and would love it if she wins I really think Lex Ishimoto is going to win this season. He has been one of my faves since day one and he has proven again and again that he can dance any style well. His solos have also been consistently jaw dropping. Seriously though, this season has been so fantastic that it’s really anyone’s to win!
Final Verdict: It’s almost goodbye, but let’s enjoy the time we have left with the best So You Think You Can Dance season yet
This season has flown by, soaring higher than Lex Ishimoto’s leaps. But all good things must come to an end. Unfortunately, season fourteen’s end is near. In less than a week, we will be saying goodbye to our beloved dancers, but not before crowning one “America’s Favorite.”
It’s been widely agreed that season fourteen has been one of the best ever. After years of aimless floating, So You Think You Can Dance regained it’s footing this year. The dancers were fantastic, the format entertaining, and the judges delightful. Vanessa Hudgens brought a much-needed balance to the more technically literate Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy, giving the audience a more relatable entry point on the judges’ panel.
All in all, bravo, So You Think You Can Dance, this year’s finale will be a must-see event.
The SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE SEASON FINALE airs next MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 25th at 8/7C on FOX.
I try to say goodbye and I choke, try to walk away and I stumbleIf your world feels a little crumbly, never fear. There’s more SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE to come! Keep it right here for coverage of the finale, including live tweets and our extra special finale roundtable, where we will check in and see if any of our participants guessed the outcome early on.