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Welcome back, dance fans - we’ve made it to the finale! Rumor has it that two of our finalists almost didn’t make it, however, collapsing from dehydration and needing medical treatment after enduring the grueling pace of the last few weeks. So, what do the powers-that-be decide to do? Crank the final show back up to two hours and make every finalist perform with every other finalist, throwing in a few group numbers to exhaust these poor kids even further. Wonderful.

So, out Cat struts in gold lamé and hair that’s been flat-ironed to within an inch of it’s life, and introduces our final four: Joshua, Katee, Twitch and Courtney. Mandy Moore joins Nigel and Mary on the judge’s panel (where’s Lil’ C, dammit?) and this show gets on the road....

Courtney and Twitch
Hip Hop - Napoleon and Tabitha
Church by T-Pain

This routine’s theme is about a crazed girlfriend who goes searching for her man in the club. Courtney has no trouble getting into character, popping Twitch by “accident” in the face several times during practice. Cute, high-energy routine with a few good tricks such as Courtney running up Twitch’s front as he does a backbend and a Courtney spin right on top of Twitch’s head. The timing was off in a few places, but really - I can’t knock any of them for that tonight, they all look visibly exhausted.

After a shot of several audience members wearing Twitch non-glasses, judge Mandy starts off the commentary with how awesome she thought the routine was and how Courtney has a little “Jersey girl” in her. Way to start it out, she says. Mary says she felt the character from Courtney and called it a knockout, screaming in Nigel’s ear to make her point. A now half-deaf Nigel tells Twitch that he should be grateful he’s dancing with Courtney and not Mary. He screams back in Mary’s ear in retaliation, wondering aloud why the choreographers always seem to give Twitch the “crazy girlfriend” character to dance with.

Gotta have some filler, I suppose. Cat sits down for a chat with each of the dancers, and Courtney is up first. We learn that she’s from New York, has a boyfriend, her fave routine was that jazz number by Sonya, and she doesn’t think she’s the best dancer there. Hmm. Her final solo is done to They Weren’t There by Missy Higgins. Ooh, and we even get judge’s comments! Mandy started to tear up a bit, and both she and Mary think Courtney has grown a lot. Mary calls her an inspiration to young girls and Courtney begins crying. Aww. Nigel is delighted that she’s in the top four, admitting that nobody (Courtney included) thought she would make it this far. She’s a bundle of joy and energy, he says.

Katee and Joshua
Contemporary - Wade Robson
Slow Dancing In a Burning Room by John Mayer

Wade is happy to be back choreographing these two, having worked with them in the beginning. This routine’s theme is about a couple who are trying to get over a fight. It’s obvious how well these two get along by watching them practice - Katee even calls Joshua her “boo.” Here I thought nobody even said that anymore. The routine was beautifully done, very emotional and both Katee and Josh nailed the moves. It’s hard to say anything bad about these two - they’re that good. Joshua looks drained after the dance.

That was beautiful, says Mandy after telling Wade how much they missed him. It was very honest and beautiful (this is the word of the night, in case you were wondering) she says, but could have used a bit more work with legs and feet. Mary agrees, saying that they just love them when they’re together. Many remarkable things about that routine, says Nigel, telling Wade he’s one of the greatest choreographers he’s ever worked with. Nigel says Katee danced brilliantly, and Joshua is “uncontrollably controlled,” telling them they are two of the best dancers they’ve ever had on the show before. Can you tell who the favorites are?

Katee and Courtney
Broadway - Tyce Diorio
The Trolley Song by Rufus Wainwright

The girls dance with the girls for the first time ever, in a frilly girlie-girl routine complete with lacy parasols and frothy pastel dresses. It was....cute, I guess. A little too cutesy for my taste, and I thought the choreography was boring. Sorry, Tyce! The audience didn’t go wild with applause, either, so I don’t think I’m alone in thinking so. A throwaway routine. Really, these girls are capable of much more, and they should have been given something with more meat to it.

Mandy tosses about adjectives such as “cute” and “adorable,” if that gives you an idea of how the routine was. Who wouldn’t like seeing you two dance together, asks Mary. You both made it look effortless and you pulled it off beautifully, she says. Nigel thinks it’s lovely to see the girls dance with the girls (I bet he does), but digs at Courtney a bit for not following through with her moves as well as Katee does.

Time for Twitch’s interview with Cat, and he reveals that he grew up in Alabama. His name came in part from his constant dancing in inappropriate places, and he says he almost joined the military, not wanting to be part of the 9 to 5 crowd. Kherrington’s boot caught him off guard, and Twitch’s favorite routine was Jean-Marc’s Viennese Waltz that was inspired by his daughter. His final solo is done to It Was All In Your Mind by Wade Robson, a nice hip hop number ending with the ever-present IV Real sign. Mandy admits she always thought there was a special something about him, and Mary is thankfully rendered speechless (we need more of that!). Nigel says he was happy to see him in the bottom three so he could see one of his solos, calling him a great entertainer.

Twitch and Joshua
Trepak - Youri Nelzine
Trepak from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker Suite

Here’s a contrived little segment to settle the so-called “rivalry” between the two hip hoppers. Joshua danced so hard his shoes fell apart in practice, and the two trade trash talk, with Twitch calling Joshua a pansy. Yeah, I don’t think so. The routine was a fun one, with Twitch doing a lot of the floorwork and kneeling kicks so popular in this Russian dance, while Joshua leapt and spun with hang times that would make a pro basketballer envious. The entire audience, judges included, stand to clap for the two guys. Yep. The girls got screwed with that little fluff number of theirs.

Mandy says “no offense to the girls,” but there’s nothing like watching two guys doing crazy moves like that onstage. Twitch and Joshua do a little jump-off to see who can jump highest. Two tremendous entertainers, says Mary, and she screeches how happy she is that there are two hip hop dancers in the finale. Nigel expected them to be good at that routine, saying they’re both street dancers and that was Russian street dancing. He tells Joshua his elevation is awesome, and that this routine will be one that is talked about in future seasons.

Katee is up next for the Cat Chat, and she shares that she never thought she’d make it this far. Katee’s comment about not coming back for another audition is brought back up to haunt her yet again. Her favorite routine was the No Air dance she did with Joshua. Her last solo is a freestyle done to Hide and Seek by Imogen Heap. Mandy tells Katee to keep dancing and to stay in ballet to work on her knees and feet, while Mary tells her she’s tremendous, athletic and beautiful. Nigel loves the way she finishes her moves.

Katee and Twitch
Foxtrot - Tony and Melanie
Feeling Good by Michael Bublé

Twitch had to (jokingly) remove Joshua from Katee’s side in the practice room so he could work on the foxtrot with her. They both giggle it up as they practice, both of them unable to take each other’s “romantic faces” seriously. Katee finally gets the guy at the end of this nicely done, elegant routine. Katee looks gorgeous in her blue gown.

Mandy tells Twitch he’s handsome in his tux, and gives him props for pulling off the dead press lift near the end where he lifted Katee straight up. Cat asks Mary if she thinks Twitch looks like James Bond, leading Twitch to mimic Nigel’s “The name’s Bond. James Bond,” line in a decent enough imitation of his accent. Mary tells Twitch that the foxtrot is a gentleman’s dance, and he is definitely a gentleman. She goes on about how he’s grown over the season, and tells Katee “Bravo!” Nigel thinks Katee has done everything they’ve thrown at her very well, and tells Twitch that he’s spoiled the choreographers by being able to perform lifts like that so effortlessly.

Last interview of the night is Joshua, and he shares that he didn’t have a lot of money growing up. He chose dance over football and track, and his coaches hated him for it. Cat makes fun of him for being a crier even though he insists he’s not. His favorite routine was the samba he and Katee did, and he does his last solo to the tune of (Not Just) Knee Deep by Funkadelic, running off the stage to go dance in front of the judge’s table. Mandy tells him he has piles of charisma, and Mary says he’s been riding first class on the Hot Tamale Train all season - “You’ve got it all,” she screams. Nigel jokingly tells him not to take his shoes off again (someone needs Odor Eaters?) and makes another comment about Josh’s untrained self and how he’s set the bar higher for other dancers.

Courtney and Joshua
Jive - Jason Gilkinson
The Dirty Boogie by The Brian Setzer Orchestra

The sheer speed of the jive makes Courtney nervous, saying that the dance kicked their butts in practice. Joshua comments on the fact that if dancers can’t perform a trick, the choreographer usually takes it out. Not Jason. Court and Joshua do their best with the fast paced routine, nailing all the tricks and ending it on the floor, out of breath. Joshua is so tired afterwards he can’t even comment to Cat.

Holy moley, says Mandy - you were really moving those feet! She loved it, complimenting them on all their hard work. Mary says the jive is one of the hardest, fastest dances, and says she has to bow down to them for getting all the extra lifts and tricks that Jason added on to an already difficult dance. Nigel does some last minute choreographer butt-kissing, then tells the out-of-breath duo that he was disappointed in some of their moves, calling it tired and that it didn’t have the energy it should have. Well, duh. He says he knows they’re tired, but tough - that’s a dancers life.

And we end this dance marathon with a top four group dance choreographed by Mia “I’m on some good drugs” Michaels. It’s meant to celebrate their journeys and the fact that they’ve made it to the end. Sure, if you think spastically leaping about in kilts and plaid dresses is a way to celebrate. Done to Hallelujah by The Vitamin String Quartet, the shirtless guys and plaid-clad girls perform what has to be one of my least favorite Mia routines yet. I just didn’t get it. And I’m half Scottish. Oh well, it’s not the first time a Mia routine has gone whizzing above my head, never to be understood.

So, that’s it, everyone. Hopefully one of your favorites has made it to the final four. I personally think either Joshua or Katee has this in the bag, though I’ve been known to be wrong before. It’s been a good season, even without Russian eye candy. What did you think? Should they bring back the new dance styles (trepak, Bollywood) next season? Should Lil’ C be made a permanent judge? Should the judges stop with all the cheerleading and pimping and just make useful, critiquing comments?

Be sure to check out iguanachocolate’s recap of the final vote to see who won. It’s been fun (and exhausting) - hope to see you all back next season!