And now Cat's at an empty judges table, introducing Mia Michaels' Chorus Line piece featuring the top eight dancers. And if you put two and two together, Cat's "very special guests" comment together with the empty judges' chairs, the sudden appearance of the judges in the routine is not surprising, but it was awfully sweet, and they all seem to enjoy themselves immensely. Whatever else you can say about the judges, they're experts in their field with an overwhelming love for their art form, and frankly, we should get to see them join in a little more often than the occasional cameo.
And after the commercial break, Jeanine and Brandon are centre stage, holding hands, the other dancers gathered on the side.
We watch a montage of the journey the two of them have made through the competition (thank God we ignore the Mia Michaels vs. Brandon bullshit this time around).
Cat asks Nigel if he wants to say anything. "They justly deserve to be there," he says, and eschews the corny "everyone's a winner" sentiment because that would detract from the actual winner. He says he's delighted with the result, and wants Cat to get on with it and tell everyone.
"America's favorite dancer is ... Jeanine," says Cat. Her face crumples. She and Brandon hug. Cat asks if she ever thought in a million years she'd be here right now. Jeanine's crying and laughing and talks about the amazing people she's met and then jokingly thanks the Academy (what with her being in the Kodak theatre). Then she sweetly thanks her mom for pushing her and says she loves her. Cat asks what she'll remember most. "Right now, that's one," says Jeanine, and then "these kids over here," she says, pointing to the other dancers, and then Travis's dance, and then Cat. "I'm only four?" says Cat, in mock outrage. "I could have said someone else's name on this card!"
Cat thanks everyone, the audience, the judges, everyone who voted, and orders up another round of applause. Man, I don't know how you fix this, but the runner-up really gets hosed in terms of their sendoff, don't they? Brandon's holding some flowers on the side, but he doesn't get to hug Cat and reminisce like numbers twenty through three (and one).
Credits roll over the mass hugging on stage as the judges join the dancers. Watch those hands, Nigel!
Thanks, everyone, and we'll see you next season. Which is to say, next month. For crying out loud! I know we all love dance, but shouldn't they let Jeanine be America's Favorite Dancer for more than just, you know, a month?