About three years ago, I took the subway to Madison Square Garden, where a cat show was hosting an adoption event. I hurried in the front door of the venue, and immediately found myself surrounded by adorable, squeeze-worthy kittens. Big kittens, little kittens, frisky kittens, loving kittens — how on Earth could I possibly decide which one to support and take home with me? Couldn’t I have them all? (Because, of course, my goal as a girl in New York is to transform myself into the ultimate cliché.)
Picking out a kitten for myself that day was one of the hardest decisions I ever made — until I tried to choose a favorite from last night’s So You Think You Can Dance. Seriously, guys. Throughout the two-hour show, we saw powerful dancers, subtle dancers, flexible dancers, dancers who just made us laugh. Tell me, fellow SYTYCD lovers, how can we possibly decide which one to back for the entire season?
Because, really, can we name one other season in which most of the finalists shined during the very first episode? Yes, I’ll concede that some contestants last night had a hard time keeping up with the likes of, say, season seven frontrunners Alex and Billy, but that’s like saying Olympic swimmers have a hard time keeping up with Michael Phelps. They’re all world-class, but there’s only one Michael Phelps.
And there’s only one Alex freaking Wong, who managed to nab a standing ovation during (and I have to use italics once again) the very first episode. Going into his Sonya-choreographed number with Allison, I actually wanted to hate it. Because, honestly, I find ”Hallelujah” to be both the most manipulative song ever used in reality show history. Like those Sarah McLachlan ASPCA ads, it’s impossible for audiences not to feel something hearing the tune. Yet Alex and Allison could have danced their salvation number to LFO’s ”Summer Girls,” and it still would have had the same heart-breaking effect on the panel — and not because Rich Cronin rhymes ”speaking” with ”Alex P. Keaton.” No, Alex channeled all the passion he was holding back over the past few weeks into this one number, making his perfect développés secondary to his awe-inspiring dedication to the meaning behind the routine. Dude even got teary at the end of the number! I won’t agree with Mia’s assertion that the dance was ”the best…piece of work danced on the So You Think You Can Dance stage anywhere in the world up to date” — I still feel ”The Bench” deserves that honor, though it’s nice to see Mia being humble, eh? — but it was surely the best piece of work we’ve seen on the So You Think You Can Dance stage since season two.
NEXT: Kent’s dance of joy