You've seen how the dancers performed and what the judges had to say. Now, what did the talent behind So You Think You Can Dance really think about their final performance show? After the show's taping this week, I chatted with judges Adam Shankman, Mary Murphy, and Nigel Lythgoe and all of the final four. What were the highlights and lowlights of the night for them? Read on!
- Nigel finally thinks there are some stars. "I think tonight was the first time that Kayla's personality really shone," he said. "Maybe it was those 3,000 people out there cheering and everything. She really sort of came out of herself, and she needed to. I think Jeanine's solo brought her up on a par with Brandon tonight. I think Brandon started it last week with probably the best solo we've had this season — outstanding. So I was asking for them to step up and I think certainly Brandon did, Jeanine did, and I believe Kayla did."
- Notice a name missing from that list? "Evan, for me, I thought was slightly overwhelmed tonight," Lythgoe said. "I've seen him do his solo better than he did it tonight."
- Of course, Mary's always thought Brandon was a star. "When we saw him audition — to this day, for me, in all five seasons, that was one of the strongest solos I have ever seen," she said. "Obviously everybody knows how much it affected me and brought me to tears without any backstory going on whatsoever. It was the pure dance, the dynamics of it, the energy of it. His talent just could not be denied."
- Half of the final four were a surprise to Adam. "In Vegas, I just didn't really notice Jeanine that much," he said. "Evan, we always knew was going to be a great asset to the show, but we never saw coming his overwhelming popularity. And the 'pinch-cheek factor,' you know what I mean, has really played in his favor."
- Nigel still misses Janette. "I thought Janette was certainly a little star," he said. "I thought whatever we threw at Janette she coped with — and a great personality as well."
- But that doesn't mean the other girls didn't earn their spots. "Watching how Kayla and Jeanine handle themselves, they justly deserved being part of the finale," he said. "And I think they were the two strongest girls, the both of them, that I've seen in a finale to date."
But what did the dancers think? To hear about their highlights — and check out video of what they had to say — just read more.
- Jeanine wanted her solo to show a different side. "I chose to do the tango solo because I'm a Latina myself and I love Latin music. I think it's very strong and powerful, and I think contemporary is always considered just this slow and lyrical-esque feel and it doesn't have to be that," she said. "So I brought a little bit of Spanish fire tonight — and I'm glad I did."
- Kayla and Brandon loved their duet. "I thought that our Broadway was a showstopper," Brandon said. Kayla had similar praise: "It was perfect for the finale."
- Sonya Tayeh got Evan to branch out. "I really enjoyed Sonya's piece," he said. "It pushed me to a new place in terms of dancing."
There's lots more from those four — including how it felt to dance in the huge Kodak Theatre — in the videos below. Enjoy!