Cat Deeley
August 05, 2009 AT 05:09 PM EDT

The countdown to the finale has begun!

This is where it gets really difficult! This week I sat down with all the contestants and conducted in-depth interviews…. When I say “in -depth,” they were funny and heartfelt and completely honest.

Although I did threaten all the dancers that I was going to employ tactics used by the Gestapo, that thumb screws were not out of the question, and that ” I hav vays of makin’ you toke“…. It’s so nice to actually just spend the time and sit down with them one to one.

Here’s the rundown:

Brandon is so so so excited this week. His mom is coming down to the show for the very first time; he’s so happy and can’t wait to see her.

The only problem is she may not be able to make the finale — due to her job! Quelle horreur! Nigel and I have discussed the problem at length, and we’ve decided we are going to initiate a two pronged attack, one or both of us are going to ring up her boss and enter into negotiations for her to have time off. If all else fails, we’ll beg!

Evan is still rationing out his grandma’s cookies, like some confectionery drug lord! We’re down to one bag now! But there’s just a week to go —  so no need to go cold-turkey just yet! Evan’s drama teacher also came down to the show this week, so there were lots of pictures and signs of encouragement. Jazz hands a- go-go!

If you saw the audition shows, you will undoubtedly remember Kayla‘s incredible performance, but you will also remember her grandmother and grandfather, who came to support her. When her grandfather cried tears of joy, I think the whole nation shed a tear with him! If Kayla wins the title of “America’s Favorite Dancer” and $250,000, she has promised to buy her grandfather a brand new, top of the range, velour tracksuit! Tony Soprano, eat your heart out!

And finally Jeanine … who we like to call Janice! (No idea why, but it’s somehow stuck!) I think it’s because she never stops talking, and when I say never, I mean never! She’s a little firecracker with copious amounts of energy.

At this point I want to wish all the dancers the very best of luck! Here’s to the Kodak! Here’s to the finale! Here’s to “America’s Favorite Dancer”!

More ‘SYTYCD’ coverage:

Predict the winners in our SYTYCD Prediction Challenge

Read our recap of Wednesday night’s performance show

Read our recap of Thursday night’s results show

From Cat Deeley on SYTYCD style

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