"SYTYCD" Season 12 Recap: The Top Four Perform

Oh my lanta, "So You Think You Can Dance" gave us sooooo much dancetabulousness last night! We saw every possible permutation of the Top Four, and each finalist paired off with an All-Star for an additional duet, AND there were solos. It was just my kind of episode: Everyone danced a buttload, and nobody went home. Yay! Plus: Cat Deeley, who looked so adorable in her flowery frock, IS PREGNANT! So the "SYTYCD" corner of my heart (and it is a sizable corner) is full of rainbows and unicorns at the moment.

Here are my top five highlights from the final competitive episode (!!) of the season:

1) Phillip Chbeeb gave a us a beautiful routine that looked...strangely familiar. When I heard Chbeeb would be choreographing for Virgil and Gaby, my first thought was, YUP: This is gonna be good, especially given Chbeeb's work on that gorgeous lyrical-meets-hip-hop video "Slip" a couple months back. Then the rehearsal footage started rolling, and I realized...oh. This actually is "Slip." And I wasn't sure how to feel about that. On the one hand, it's a fantastic piece of choreography; I'm happy it reached an even wider audience last night. On the other, I wish the "SYT" team had replicated more of the camerawork from the original, which was a big part of what made it so magical, and I really wish they'd given a shout-out to the lovely Renee Kester, who was credited as co-choreographer on the video. That said, Virgil and Gaby were perfectly suited to the piece's slinky-then-sharp stylings—I can see why Chbeeb wanted to set it on them.

(photo via Fox)

2) Gaby and Hailee made me ugly cry. You know what's funny? I'm not sure their contemporary routine, by team captain Travis Wall, was even my favorite Travis work of the season. (That'd probably be this amazingness.) Sure, it had all of TWall's signature goodness—beautifully interconnected phrases, innovative gender-neutral partnering, a strong sense of musicality. What really sold it, though, was how tender Hailee and Gaby were with each other. These ladies have been on a long and crazy journey together, and they do care for each other deeply— it was so undeniably honest. The moment at the end, when Hailee kissed Gaby gently on the forehead? Reader, I lost it.

(photo via Fox)

3) ALL-STAR JOSHUA DID CARTWHEELS WITH VIRGIL ATTACHED TO HIS PERSON. Pivoting 180 degrees from my Travis-induced sobfest: Pharside and Phoenix, WHO ARE YOU? Who chooses "Let's Go," a Trick Daddy (!) anthem from 2004 (!!), and turns it into the most insanely raw, amped-up piece of the night (the season? the decade??)? The acrobatics alone—which took full advantage of the Virgil–Joshua size differential (see: those cartwheels)—were enough to make this one legendary.

(photo via Fox)

4) Jaja and All-Star Cyrus had the animation-off we've been waiting for all season. Thank you, Christopher Scott, for giving us a callback to Cyrus and tWitch's mind-blowing battle from Season 9. This iteration got weirder. Jaja was a robot stuck in some sort of Austin Powers-y cryogenic freezer chamber? And then the slightly less robot-y Cyrus un-froze her, only to get pummeled, slo-mo animation-style? Because Jaja hated him for letting her out? It was so strange, and so great, and really I just loved seeing these two dancers doing what they do best. Bless.

(photo via Fox)

5) Zack came back! As soon as Gaby made the Top 10, I started praying for the return of Mr. Everhart as an All-Star. (Frankly, I'd been praying for that even earlier, but a Top 10 tapper made my prayers even more fervent.) Last night, my wish was finally granted—in the most spectacular fashion possible. Anthony Morigerato's number honoring the great tap masters was old-school tap at its finest, perfectly showcasing Gaby and Zack's skills. I especially loved the Fred Astaire-esque elegance of their upper bodies. And those box props were a brilliant idea: They not only introduced a whole new level (literally) of trickiness, but also let Morigerato pay homage to classic tabletop tap numbers like the Nicholas Brothers' "Stormy Weather" (which you should go watch immediately). BONUS: The routine prompted Paula Abdul to use the word "paradiddle." So, my life is complete.

(photo via Fox)

No eliminations to report here, yay, but NEXT WEEK IS IT, Y'ALL: We'll finally find out who'll be our December cover star! (And, you know, the winner of the title and the money and the spot in Janet Jackson's Vegas show.) Don't you dare miss it.

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