It all comes down to this.

After more than two months of competition and the elimination of 16 dancers, only four remain to dance in the So You Think You Can Dance season 8 finale. Marko Germar, Melanie Moore, Sasha Mallory and Tadd Gadduang all have a shot at the title of America’s Favorite Dancer. And tonight’s dances will help decide which contestant will win.

Who will it be? We’ll have a better idea after we see what they’ve got to show us tonight.

Click here to see our pre-finale predictions.

Who are the guests this week? As has been the case for the past several weeks, we’ll have both guest judges and All-Stars on the show.

This week’s guests at the judging table are both returning faces from last season on So You Think You Can Dance: Kenny Ortega, a successful director and choreographer (who will soon be either loved or reviled for his plans to remake Dirty Dancing) and Katie Holmes (the tabloid goddess who apparently has some sort of dance experience at some point in her life).

There will also be four All-Stars. Mark Kanemura (from season 4), Joshua Allen (from season 4), Lauren Froderman (from season 7) and Robert Roldan (from season 7) will be on hand to help the current season’s finalists to dancing glory.

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So let’s get to it!
They get an awful lot of prizes if they win. You would have thought So You Think You Can Dance would have mentioned all that more than just this once. But you’d be wrong.

I think Nigel got a haircut.

Awww… Melanie and Mark are together again.

Marko and Melanie
They’ve got disco (!) with Doriana Sanchez

It’s certainly a fast dance. Is it possible for a man to dance disco without wearing a white pants suit? I doubt it. This is pretty fun, although I find myself facing my standard disco problem: I don’t know what I’m looking for. Is it great or is it just OK? No clue. There are a lot of crazy lifts and spins though. Marko pointed with the wrong finger at the end there…

Nigel: “It was, I thought, a little bit of a struggle.” “I really hope I’m going to see you both do better in your future routines.”
Mary: “I adore the two of you, but I have to be honest… It really needs to pop it up another level.”
Kenny: “You guys looked like you just jumped out of the screen of Saturday Night Fever.”
Katie: “You guys are just so strong and beautiful.” “I believe the story that you’re telling.”

Sasha and Mark Kanemura
They have a contemporary dance from Sonya Tayeh.

This is one of those jerky, emotional dances that the judges love but I have trouble connecting to. Fortunately, it speeds up a bit after a minute. The dance is definitely good, although I can’t say that I actually like it. And I’m not sure what, other than sheer aggression, is the theme of the dance. Sonya Tayeh said that the dance was an ode to Sasha, and it does kind of look like someone just took their theories about the dancer and set them to music.

Nigel: “You realize you’ve just beat up Lady Gaga’s principal dancer?” “You’ve just thrown down the gauntlet to the other dancers tonight.”
Mary: “I have to say, woo-hoo!!!” “Two people could not look better than the two of you up there.”
Kenny: “I know there’s a little art imitating life up there tonight.” “To me, it was like Sasha Warrior Princess.”
Katie: “That is quite powerful.” “I love everything about this.”

Tadd and Joshua Allen
They have hip hop with Lil C.

Hip hop should be a good one for Tadd. Especially this kind of hip hop. The two dancers have admirable synchronicity going on there. They are, however, lacking in a lot of the tricks that make the average voter want to choose this dance. Honestly, this is the kind of really good dance that might easily get lost in the shuffle. Even though they are totally doing some impossible-looking things there.

Nigel: “In truth, it was a bit down-and-dirty on the knees.” “I did find it a little too sweet.”
Mary: “Did you do enough to produce a hard-hitting, solid-style hip-hop number? Yes, you did.” “You have just delivered everything tonight. Congratulations.”
Kenny: “I thought tonight, the pairing was perfect and I thought you played off of each other’s energy perfectly.”
Katie: “I thought your hustling was terrific.”

Melanie and Robert Roldan
They have a Stacey Tookey contemporary routine.

Ah, unrequited love. What would choreographers do without it? And hey! The pretty is back! Granted, I’m not entirely sure who’s love is unrequited and who’s not doing any requiting. But it’s pretty and danced well. All emotional too. Melanie is also doing what Tadd couldn’t — making herself the one you have to watch in the dance. Nice comeback from the disco!

Nigel: “Beautifully danced — I perfectly liked that assisted lift.” “I think that Sasha threw down the gauntlet. You just picked it up and slapped her with it.”
Mary: “Something special happens when you dance. The room gets really quiet… You have that captivating capability to draw people in…” “You’re in a class of your own.”
Kenny: “Melanie, I would push myself to the front of the line to have a chance to work with you, my darling.”
Katie: “Every movement makes sense. I believe every story.”

Ahhh… Cat Deeley is now working as an agent for the dancers. Wait, are we supposed to believe that the dancers are randomly choosing their All-Star dances? It’s hard to believe after Sasha and Melanie pulled contemporary and Tadd pulled hip hop. If Marko gets jazz, then I refuse to believe it’s random at all.

Sasha and Marko
They have Broadway this time, choreographed by Spencer Liff.

Spencer likes to tell his stories ahead of time. Must be the Broadway influence. They like having words. This is so not what happens when I go to restaurants. But I kind of wish it did. Sasha might just be dominating this dance. Not that Marko isn’t doing well. He just doesn’t have the same level of stage presence. Cool moves from both of them. And both are totally believable in their “roles.”

Nigel: “Didn’t knock me out, I’m afraid.” “I think you make a better warrior princess than a vamp, Sasha.” “I would have liked to have seen a little more character throughout.”
Mary: “I think you guys both pulled it off.” “Marko… At first I didn’t realize that it was really you…” “I thought you guys were tremendous. You absolutely pulled it off.”
Kenny: “Wow. Fun. Great fun.” “I do not believe that there is anything you cannot do.”
Katie: “Sasha… I admire you and you are just stunning. Marko, you are incredible.”

Nigel is in a bad mood tonight.

Oh hey, Melanie is soloing right now! They didn’t give much lead-in to that. It’s all sad tonight.

This is followed by Marko’s solo. It’s a very athletic solo. He doesn’t stay vertical throughout much of it.

Sasha and Tadd
They have a Mark Ballas-choreographed cha-cha.

Sasha looks like she might kill Tadd at some point in this dance. That or have sex with him. I can’t say that I would ever identify this as a cha-cha, but it’s pretty darn cool. If there’s a flaw, it’s that Sasha is out-dancing Tadd, both because of her skills and because the choreography seems to emphasize her. Tadd may be keeping up, but it’s Sasha’s dance.

Nigel: “Marko… You just couldn’t, apparently, cope with this style at all.” “Sasha, this isn’t good for you either.”
Mary: “You have to deal with whatever’s been given to you… This did not work tonight.” “Lot of big problems right now in this number.”
Kenny: “I think this was too ambitious for tonight.”
Katie: “I just want to say thank you to you both, because you’re both strong dancers.”

Hmmm… To quote the best dance movie ever, “I thought that was good.”

Marko and Lauren Froderman
They have a dance from Tessandra Chavez.

Is this music? The moves are interesting, even if the music is weird. There’s a lot of hurting on the stage now. Somebody might be dying, there’s so much hurting. It’s all very beautiful though. It’s like choreographers have an admiration for masochists, the way they make pain into a lovely thing we want to watch. This dance has some moments that don’t quite connect, but I’m not going to blame the dancers for that.

Nigel: “I think, just then Marko, you’ve joined in the finale tonight. Because that was a fabulous performance.”
Mary: “You just thrust greatness upon yourself, Marko. You just can’t help it.” “It was just so beautiful. Your honest communication in the dance…”
Kenny: “Marko, you swept me away, you took me to another place and time.”
Katie: “You created so many pictures that were just stunning.”

Tadd solo now! Of course he starts dangling off the stage. And then proceeds to spend much of the rest of the dance on his hands. Or back. Watch out audience!

Tadd and Melanie
Ray Leeper has choreographed this one.

Woo-hoo! Stripping! And shoe-throwing! Although that means that Melanie needs to dance one-shoed for half the dance. I have to say that I do believe the fight that’s going on in this dance. Nice Tadd and Melanie aren’t here for this. And Tadd is in his underwear. Of course he is. I’m totally giggling now.

Nigel: “That just brought my evening to life!” “Can’t you cover yourself up, young man?” “Melanie… You had a character well before you started dancing.” “Tadd, you totally redeemed yourself on that routine.”
Mary: “Well Tadd, you brought sexy back for sure! I’m not sure about those socks right now.” “Holy smokes, girl. When we ask you to strut, that’s exactly what you give us!”
Kenny: “Before Melanie even started, she already had me gripped to the stage.” “I thought the story was adorable.”
Katie: “It was just such a breath of fresh air.” “At the end of this number, you had to pull his pants off and make it work…”

Finally, we get a Sasha solo. There’s a lot of almost-falling in this solo. I wish I could fall that pretty. But that’s why Sasha’s an excellent dancer.

Sasha and Melanie
Stacey Tookey has choreographed a dance about repressed housewives. Repressed? These two?

Of course there are picket fences involved. I’m not really buying the repressed part, but the breaking free is definitely in evidence. You know the emotions are working at least a little bit, because I’m sitting her getting angry that they can’t get out from between those two stupid little fences.

Nigel: “You would grace any dance company in this country.”
Mary: “It’s just so beautiful to watch the two of you dance together. I enjoyed the piece — every single second of it.”
Kenny: “It made me feel helpless… It also made me curious.” “It was a beautiful piece, beautifully executed.”
Katie: “I love your outfits!”

And the last dance of the night is…

Marko and Tadd
They’ve got a gumboot-stepping routine (OK…) from Chuck Moldanado.

They’ve got pickaxes! Will that convince the judges to give them the win? The dance is actually pretty cool. The two guys aren’t exactly in sync the way I would expect them to be. And it looks like Tadd might be out-performing Marko in this one. It is closer to Tadd’s natural style after all. Fun but not the best.

Nigel: “I think it was a little difficult — we weren’t together tonight.” “I thought a girl would win… and I haven’t changed my mind tonight.”
Mary: “That was absolute solid gold for me. I loved the concept!”
Kenny: “Congratulations to you all and good luck tomorrow night.”
Katie: “You guys are great. Ummm… I love everything you’ve done in the competition.” 

Nigel can be kind of mean at times, can’t he?

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That’s it for the dancing? Did you like what you saw in the season 8 finals? Who do you think danced the best? Who is likely to win? Let us know your comments and opinions below!

(Images courtesy of FOX)

Laurel Brown

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Laurel grew up in Mamaroneck, NY, Grosse Pointe, MI and Bellevue WA. She then went on to live in places like Boston, Tucson, Houston, Wales, Tanzania, Prince Edward Island and New York City before heading back to Seattle. Ever since early childhood, when she became addicted to The Muppet Show, Laurel has watched far too much TV. Current favorites include ChuckModern FamilySupernaturalMad Men and Community. Laurel received a BA in Astrophysics (yes, that is possible) from Colgate University and a PhD in Middle Eastern Studies and History of Science from Columbia University before she realized that television is much better than studying.