AMERICA! ARE YOU READY? Last night was the Live to Dance finale! Did you watch it live? I didn't! I drank a lot of wine at a fancy restaurant instead! Luckily DVRs enable us to watch any television event on our own time, particularly after midnight and after several glasses of Sangiovese. And, honestly, would Paula Abdul want it any other way?
Was last night a doozy! So much drama! So much dancing! Well, it really wasn't all that exciting, but the producers certainly tried to make us think there would be! "This is the biggest dance show prize in television history!" host Andrew Günsberg shouted! I guess that is true; So You Think You Can Dance only awards $250,000 to its winner, and Paula's reality-show baby is giving away half-million dollar prize. Ya burnt, So You Think You Can Dance!
The six finalists—White Tree Fine Art, Twitch, Kendall Glover, D'Angelo and Amanda, Dance Town Chaos, and The Vibe—danced together for the very first time! It was also the last time, but no one bothered to stress that fact because everyone was too overwhelmed by the fact there were at least a hundred people on stage. And they were wearing really bad clothes, which is what I focused most of my attention on. Why would the dude from Twitch want to wear metallic American Apparel leggings? Why did they match the White Tree Fine Art girl's outfit? And why were the dudes in Dance Town Chaos encircling poor Kendall Glover in a way in which it's impossible to describe without using the word "rapey"?
At least I wasn't the only one so blown away by the madness on stage. There's always Paula, whose slightly incoherent ramblings seem to express exactly that the poor audience is thinking. "This is the first week that working with all sixty bazillion of you wasn't like a competition," she said. "The parents have manufactured the beautiful, beautiful people here." Thanks, parents! Where would we be without the parents slaving away in the dancer factory manufacturing these beautiful humans whose only purpose in life is to provide America with high-concept, hip-hop and ballet-infused dance routines? (Well, I suppose there'd be one less dance competition to sit through.)
After Paula's done talking, Andrew Günsberg announces the top three acts. It's a shocker! We've got White Tree Fine Art, D'Angelo and Amanda, and Kendall Glover! I was rather shocked that giant dance troupes Twitch, Dance Town Chaos, and The Vibe were immediately out of the running, and the results could mean either of the following: America hates giant groups of people jumping around a stage in slight unison, or the producers realized that handing out a ton of money to twenty people would require a lot more paperwork than they were willing to complete.
Once the top three were announced, it was time to look back at why we (all of the Americans) loved these people so much. D'Angelo and Amanda perform a fun little salsa number—at least I assume it's a salsa number. If I have learned anything from this show, it is that assuming that the couple of Hispanic kids are always performing a salsa is probably a little racist. But they are adorable, which is the most important part, and, per usual, Paula agrees with me! "You two are extraordinary," she gushes. "I wish Mattel would manufacture you into bobbleheads and put you on a shelf right now." Hey now, Paula, stop stealing jobs from the parents and giving them to big businesses! This show is for Americans!
Next up we had White Tree Fine Art doing what they do best: Performing ballet to a cover of "Hallelujah." At first I thought it was a clip from their first performance as it was the same song and the same choreography, but then I realized once Andrew started talking to them about being finalists that I was not hallucinating some glitch in the space-time continuum. Before I could get too angry, Paula started talking again. "You taught me I can have more strength than I already have," she said, possibly alluding that the duo's skills helped her beat bigger demons.
Finally, Kendall Glover cartwheeled out from the wings with her trademark mohawk and a tutu that looked like it was made from frayed pipe cleaners. She flipped and pranced along like a magical sprite to Katy Perry's "Firework." Do I ever feel like a plastic bag? No, but I definitely felt like I had huffed paint from one after little Kendall's routine was over. Again, the experts were impressed, and Paula continued to make outlandish remarks peppered with her personal brand of crazy: "You're every girl's best friend, you're every parent's dream daughter, and you're every choreographer's brilliant shining star."
At the end of the show, Andrew revealed that White Tree Fine Art was the third-place act, letting me rest assured that the small percentage of Americans who watched this show are not easily tricked by a Leonard Cohen cover. After a commercial break, Andrew said, "In a couple of minutes, one of these two people will win half a million dollars," and it made me both angry that he wouldn't just say it already and a little sad that I wouldn't be able to hear the cast of this show awkwardly make grammatical mistakes while addressing groups of dancers as single people.
Finally, after a silence as light as a feather, D'Angelo and Amanda became AMERICA'S GREATEST DANCERS. The crowd went wild, and the Heavens opened up and the hand of God (who is American) came down and touched his (God is a man) hands down upon the precious D'Angelo and Amanda. Experts Travis Payne and Kimberly Wyatt sprouted wings and ascended into the sky, their lives fully complete after finding their true purpose on this earth. "Tonight we proved that America really does live to dance!" Andrew shouted before running out of the theater to catch a cab to the airport, making a quick escape back to Australia. Finally, Paula tearfully shouts, "I've never worked this hard on such a beautiful project," and the bulky halo above her head shone brightly, filling the auditorium with a warm, comforting light. All of America sighed a breath of relief that this arduous search for the act who would best represent us through dance had finally ended.