Congratulations to Gabby Douglas! Watching the amazing "flying squirrel" win Olympic gold in the women's all-around gymnastics competition yesterday was an incredible thrill—especially since Gabby, with her megawatt smile, is such an easy person to root for. (Congrats are also in order for teammate Aly Raisman, whose solid performance brought her this close to the bronze.)
But I'd like to pay tribute, for just a moment, to yesterday's silver medalist: Russian phenom Viktoria Komova. Why? Because in ballet terms—and let's be honest, I evaluate everything in ballet terms—she's gorgeous. Her hyper-extended legs, archy feet, and crazy flexibility make everything she does, from the uneven bars to the vault, look beautifully polished. There's also an inherent grace to the way she carries her upper body.
Though Viktoria's obviously had, like most gymnasts, lots of ballet training, looking like a ballerina wasn't exactly her first priority yesterday. (When you have to do a backflip on a 4-inch beam, sometimes grace goes by the wayside.) But her raw physical gifts are just so extraordinary that I want to slap pointe shoes on her and teach her Swan Lake.
For your bunhead pleasure, here are a bunch of photos of Komova at her most balletic. Enjoy!
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You voted last night, right? I hope so, because it was your last chance!
Last night, Season 10's Top 4 contestants—Amy, Fik-Shun, Jasmine and Aaron—duked it out dance-style for the title of America's [Latest] Favorite Dancer, a $100,000 prize and, what we think is the best part, a spot on the December cover of Dance Spirit.
These two...I can't get enough! (Photo courtesy FOX)
As always, the evening included plenty of highs (Gabby Douglas didn't have much to say as a guest judge, but she's the cutest ever and rocked that yellow dress!) and a few lows (the moment when tWitch and Fik-Shun's duet ended and I was sad because I wanted it to go on forever).
Here are my Top 5 Moments from last night's performance finale:
1. Aaron and Amy's jazz fusion routine. Ray Leeper, where did this choreo come from?! I adore Ray and I think he's one of the greatest men in the entire competition and convention industry. (Seriously, sweetest, most genuine guy ever, plus he's always so beautifully tan.) This was a total deviation from his usual jazzy stuff and it really worked on these two. Hot Amy killed it in that costume and is Aaron a dream partner or what?
2. Jasmine and Comfort's hip-hop routine. Fun fact: The entire DS staff watched last night's episode together. And we're a chatty bunch, so we sort of missed the intro to this routine and all the rehearsal footage. By the end, after watching All-Star/my hip-hop alter ego Comfort booty pop her way through this piece, we all looked at each other and asked, "Wait, who choreographed this?" We were psyched to see NappyTabs giving their piece a standing O from the audience. This routine was all about girl power and Jasmine worked it hard, keeping up with Comfort juuuuust fine.
3. tWit-shun/Fik-witch. Oh my godddddd. You're familiar with my love for tWitch by now. And then these two together? It was just so good. One of the DS editors said tWitch and Fik-Shun looked like Will and Jaden Smith up there, having the best time ever. Right? Right. This piece was the funnest.
4. Amy and All-Star Robert falling in contemporary love. Thank you for this, Stacey Tookey. I love Amy. I looooove Robert. I loved them together and enjoyed being taken into the happy-magical world they created onstage.
5. Mark Kanemura's back! Mark Kanemura's back! His choreography for his piece with Jenna a few weeks ago was possibly my favorite of the entire season. And while I actually didn't adore last night's piece for Jasmine and Amy quite as much, I do love that Mark is potentially becoming a regular choreographer on the show. I also love that he used Jasmine and Amy to "tell the age-old story of Siamese twins from the fierce jungles of Saturn." What? Doesn't matter. Mark, you are the quirkiest and we love you for it.
Bonus #6: No one was eliminated last night! It was just a fun, enjoyable show where everyone was safe and got to dance full-out. Though is it just me or are these dancers starting to look tired? Get them massages, stat, Nigel!
Fess up: Who got you to pick up the phone last night? Any predictions for next week? I've got mine, but I'll keep them a secret for now. OK fine, I won't: Looking at last night's performances as well as the entire season leading up to the performance finale, I think Amy and Fik-Shun are worthy of the America's Favorite Dancers title.
Agree? Disagree? Tell me in the comments!
The Olympics are winding down, which has me feeling a little blue. It's been an amazing, wild ride. How are we going to say goodbye to all the world-class athletes (Phelps! Bolt! GABBY DOUGLAS!) that we now basically think of as our best friends?
With a big, crazy, dance-packed closing ceremony, that's how. Were you a little underwhelmed by the dance (or lack thereof) in the opening ceremony? Fear not: Apparently Sunday night's show will include a giant ballet concert featuring 300 dancers, choreographed by golden boy Christopher Wheeldon. Everyone's been very hush-hush about the details, but an article published yesterday reveals that none other than Royal Ballet legend Darcey Bussell—DARCEY BUSSELL!—will come out of retirement to star in the performance.
So at least we have that to console us (and what a consolation!). But a word of caution to the NBC executives who decided to cut away from the beautiful Akram Khan piece during the opening ceremonies: If you don't televise this amazingness, you may just have a swarm of angry bunheads grand battement-ing your doors down come Monday morning. And bunheads are scrappy.