It's the "final results show before the finale," Cat tells us. I have another name for it: "After Tonight, We'll Only Be 20 Percent Through This Week's SYTYCD Offerings." She also tells us that tonight they'll make the cruelest cuts of all, even though everyone knows that the first cut is the deepest.
And then…something magical happens, something I never dared hope would happen on this show. As the remaining dancers launch into the opening group routine, the names "Tom" and "Waits" appear on the screen. I rubbed my eyes, did a double-take, and went, "WHAAAAAA----?" I mean I literally did that, even if the comedic effect went unnoticed by the only other living creature in the room, one of my cats, asleep on the couch. Still: Tom Waits, the music. Has he been used in other seasons? If so, I want a burned DVD. The only way I could enjoy this more would be if Tom himself were playing, sitting on the side of the stage banging on an old calliope or something and croaking out this song ("2:19").
The routine can best be described as A Midsummer Night's Swamp Thriller. The dancers are dressed in tattered rags of various shades of moldy and mottled green. They fight their way out from under a net to start, as fog spills over the stage, and proceed to spend the next couple of minutes hopping and kicking and shaking like various undead creatures in search of fresh brains. The women jump on the men's backs and ride them for a while. Tongues get poked out. Do I even need to tell you this was Wade Robson's piece?
When the routine ends, the dancers crawl off the stage. I would have enjoyed watching Cat come out in the same sort of ensemble, but she's in a black dress that was the scene of a feather boa chest-explosion. Ten and a half million votes were cast last week. This is almost as many votes as were cast in Canada's last general election. I'm kinda hoping the finale can hit fifteen million, which would top Canadian democracy.
Debbie Allen is back on the table again, and Cat wants to know: what's up with Cedric, to whom you promised a scholarship? Debbie says Cedric is enrolled and has sponsors and housing, and they've been hanging out. Chillaxing. Then Cat asks about the show's "next guest," because in an amazing coincidence, Debbie knows him! This guy's name is Titus Fotso, whom Debbie calls "the gentle giant," and she discovered him when she was producing Amistad and he's amazing and blah blah blah. Cat says, "Well, he's here to perform tonight, would you like to see him?" Debbie says, "Wow! Yes!" like this is all a big surprise to her. Four men hammering African drums are set up on the back steps of the stage, and Titus comes down the stairs, shaking his body to the rhythms of the African Dance Music Ensemble . It's pretty amazing, and a nice demonstration of dance-as-culture that this show kind of lacks -- we could do with more of this and fewer routines with jazz hands. How about some North American First Nations dancing, for example? Maybe that's why I like the hip-hop on this show so much -- it seems more authentic to me, people like Hok and Sara learning moves on the street instead of the privileged kids learning how to flit about the stage like hummingbirds. Anyway.