So You Think You Can Dance Season 8: Top 4 and Finale Podcast

Summary

For the finale of So You Think You Can Dance season 8 we give you a super-sized podcast with 15 more minutes of content. We were happy with Melanie’s win and were pleasantly surprised that the top two dancers this season were both women, which has not happened before on this program. The performance episode was not up to the high standards of past seasons which was disappointing for us, but there were some highlights such as Marko and Lauren F.’s wonderful contemporary piece by Tessandra Chavez and the captivating performance by Melanie and Sasha in the second Stacey Tookey routine of the night.

The results show reminded us of many of the great routines from the season, although we were surprised by how the judges picks seemed to place less emphasis on everyone except for Melanie, Marko and Sasha (even Tadd only had one non-group routine repeated). This portion of the show has historically served as a warm-up for the forthcoming tour and features many of the routines that are expected to show up. But here we had many routines that involved all-stars, none of which will likely be on the tour. It was unexpected for the judges picks to lack variety.

We conclude the podcast with a discussion of the show’s production and the effect it’s having on the pacing and the way we get to know the dancers. We pinpoint that the approach towards the show changed in season 6, when they moved to the live show format. At this point the packages became shorter and contained more schtick and the judges comments started having less substance due to the time constraints of a live program. We also discuss the choreographers and that some of them tailor their work to their selected dancers and that others do not and whether this is a fair way of doing things. Finally, we discuss the variety of dancers in the top 20 in later seasons versus the early seasons and the effect this seems to have on the type of choreography we see each week.

We want to thank everyone that has tuned into our podcasts during the course of the season! We’ve enjoyed doing this and its been a learning experience for us! We’re planning to do podcasts for season 9 of So You Think You Can Dance, so check back with us in May 2012. We’re going to continue doing our Big Brother podcasts and will be adding The X-Factor to our weekly discussions when it premieres on September 21st. We are also adding a Week in Review podcast in the fall for all the other shows we watch during that time. So if any of that sounds interesting to you, then keep coming back to Reflections on Pop Entertainment and check out our updates. If you’re only interested in our So You Think You Can Dance material, we’ll see you again next summer!

Please let us know your thoughts by dropping us a comment on Pure So You Think You Can Dance after listening.

Episode Length: 44:53

Time Stamps
0:00 – Introduction: Congrats to Melanie! Guest judges: Katie Holmes and Kenny Ortega and the choice to have celebrity judges
2:37 – Melanie and Marko’s disco
4:15 – Sasha and Mark’s jazz
5:44 – Tadd and Joshua’s hip-hop
7:10 – Melanie and Robert’s contemporary
8:29 – Sasha and Marko’s broadway
10:46 – Sasha and Tadd’s chacha
12:57 – Marko and Lauren F.’s contemporary
14:36 – Tadd and Melanie’s jazz
16:01 – Melanie and Sasha’s contemporary
18:27 – Marko and Tadd’s gumboot stepping
20:28 – The order of the placing: 2 girls in the top
22:22 – Results show: The new top 20 routine and tap routine
24:28 –  Results show: The judges picks were stacked towards Melanie, Sasha and Marko and didn’t seem to be a retrospective of the season
28:58 – Post-season discussion: The direction of production and how it affects the show – pacing in live shows vs recorded shows, an increasing focus on the judging panel, choreographers tailoring their work to the dancers, variety in the dancers in the Top 20 (stacked towards contemporary/jazz now), variety in routine genres (less ballroom now, more contemporary/jazz)
42:34 – Wrap-up: What are your thoughts on our post-season discussion? What we’re going to be doing in future podcasts (Big Brother, The X-Factor, Week in Review)


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