Man, this season just FLEW by, didn't it? Thank God we've got another waiting for us in September. But for now, we've got a season finale to get ready for on Wednesday and Thursday. I haven't heard which of this season's best routines are going to be reprised on Thursday, but after catching my sister up on the season over the weekend (we've got two Jeanine fanatics in the family now), I started mentally making my list of the routines I'd like to see again.
So here are my Top 10 routines of the season, along with my two favorite group routines (for as maligned as the season has been at times, the group dances have been pretty phenomenal).
TOP 10 DANCES OF SEASON 5
10. Janette and Ade: Hip-Hop
Top 10, Napoleon and Tabitha
This one's here as much for being one of the season's few shining hip-hop moments as it is for Debbie Allen's insanely quotable critique afterwards. A pimp with a comb? Stay away from her daughter, honey!
9. Brandon and Janette: Hip-Hop
Top 16, Dave Scott
All hopes for hip-hop this season seemed lost until world-beaters Brandon and Janette took up this hip-hop ode to "rockers" (you know, fishnets, devil horns, that sort of thing).
8. Brandon and Janette: Disco
Top 18, Doriana Sanchez
I've liked disco a grand total of once on this show (Neil and Sara's teal explosion from Season 3). But this routine -- once again, Brandon and Janette making everything look easy -- was so goddamn fast, felt like letting out a Debbie Allen "WHOOOOO, child!" myself.
7. Melissa and Ade: Rumba
Top 16, Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin
They kind of got eclipsed a bit in the late-season Jeanine/Kayla/Brandon charge, but Melissa and Ade were my unquestioned highlights of the early part of the season. Especially this rumba, which was positively scorching and featured Melissa doing that amazing full-extension leg...spin...thing. Whatever, it rocked.
6. Brandon and Janette: Cha-Cha
Top 14, Jean-Marc Genereaux
Great ballroom choreography from Jean-Marc here, and once again note-perfect, sexy work from Brandon and Janette. I'm not sure what it says -- about me, this season, or these two dancers -- that I was able to resist falling head over heels for them despite how many stellar routines they had in the first several weeks. But regardless, I'll give them their props here.
5. Kayla and Jason: Hip-Hop
Top 8, Shane Sparks
Okay, so even in a season that was quite weak on hip-hop, the genre has three routines in my Top 10, so it's not all bad. This one was the best, with Jason showing marked improvement from his first, disastrous encounter with Shane. And Kayla remained freakish in her ability to do everything right. Plus: zombies.
4. Brandon and Janette: Jazz
Top 12, Wade Robson
Just so much fun, and so Wade in all the best ways. It was like watching a really clever, colorful French cartoon. One of the good ones, not the weird, boring ones. And this was the dance where Janette first truly popped, for me.
3. Jeanine and Brandon: Pop-Jazz
Top 8, Laurie-Ann Gibson
God. Okay, first of all, I had no idea until my sisters told me so that Laurie Ann is a well-known lunatic from Making the Band. I just know that she's my favorite new choreographer and I hope the show brings her back soon. A-GA-GA-GA! Anyway, this is one of those routines that lives or dies on the strength and presence of the dancers, so lucky it was powerhouse Brandon and MAH GIRL Jeanine.
2. Jeanine and Jason: Contemporary
Top 10, Travis Wall
Half of my love for this was on Travis's behalf, because he is my favorite and I love him. Half is for finally realizing that Jason was capable of something amazing given the right chemistry with a partner (which he and Jeanine had in spades). And half was for MAH GIRL finally delivering a routine that lived up to my outsized love for her. That's right, three halves. It's that good.
1. Kayla and Kupono: Contemporary
Top 12, Mia Michaels
Still brings tears to my eyes, probably mostly because I know this ended up being my darling Kupono's only shining moment -- and everybody tends to slight his accomplishments in favor of Kayla's anyway. Not that she doesn't deserve it; she evoked the most exquisite pain. But this was a true team effort -- it had to be given the great precision necessary here. So many small movements from Kayla, each one countered by Kupono with the creepiest lack of effort. Completely mesmerizing.
+1 Top 12 Group Dance ("Seven Nation Army" Nap/Tab)
First of all, great choice of song. Second of all, I am such a sucker for this Rhythm Nation 2814 stuff, and Napoleon and Tabitha delivered.
+1 Top 5 girls Bollywood (Top 10)
Even stipulating that Randi was clearly the weakest of the five, I was so blown away by this group of girls. Best Top 5 girls ever? I can't really argue with that. Certainly not after watching this insanely fun, lively, exhausting routine.