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Tonight the fifth season of So You Think You Can Dance came to a conclusion as the two-hour finale aired live from the Kodak theater. After numerous repeat performances and plenty of build up, the four finalists were narrowed down to two before a winner was crowned.
We were treated to a number of the judges' favorite performances while we waited for the results. All of the finalists returned to participate. This included Melissa and Ade performing Tyce Diorio’s “This Woman’s Work” breast-cancer themed dance, which got a standing ovation from breast-cancer survivor Christina Applegate, who was in the audience. We also got a Fame plug, as Kherington Payne (season 4 contestant and one of the stars of Fame) surprised the finalists by letting them in to an early screening of the film.
During the lengthy finale, Cat announced that Kayla was the voters fourth choice. Evan was next to be eliminated. While Kayla's a fantastic dancer, I think she lacked some of the charm that Jeanine had in terms of her responses to the judges criticisms. Kayla always came off as a bit too polite and polished to me, which might have been interpreted as her not having enough personality by the voters. Whether or not that’s the case, I do think that was part of her undoing in the competition because she really is a fantastic dancer. Evan, on the other hand, was all personality and his charm on stage definitely compensated for what he lacked as a dancer. This is not to say that Evan was by any means, a poor dancer but given that his skills lay predominantly in the Broadway-field, it was more of a challenge for him to measure up to some of the other dancers in the competition.
It came down to Brandon and Jeanine and again, and I have to say that I think personality might have given Jeanine the edge she needed to win. Both she and Brandon are fantastic dancers, however I found myself wanting Jeanine to win out over Brandon because I felt like she put more of herself in front of the camera than we saw from Brandon. I always got the impression that he held back in his interviews and that he downplayed his awareness of his skill, perhaps aiming for modesty. Jeanine always seemed much more candid and expressive in interviews and when responding to the judges praise or criticisms and in competitions like these, that goes a long way.
As the finale wrapped up, Cat announced that Jeanine Mason is this season’s winner of So You Think You Can Dance. While I believe it was much deserved, I doubt anyone will be forgetting Brandon, Kayla or Evan anytime soon.