February 17, 2010
The shock of last week’s final of So You Think You Can Dance was a standing ovation for Robbie - but it was nothing to do with winning the contest. The shock was that the Stockport Spider had been forced out of the competition by injury - how gutting that must have been for him, after all his hard work. And gutting for me, because of all four dancers,
he was the one, as a dancing school principal, I thought deserved the prize.
What a shock for the choreographers and producers too - having to jettison routines for two couples at the last minute and produce completely different ones, including those suitable for two guys or two girls. Not to mention the three remaining finalists, who no longer had the one partner with whom they had worked up good chemistry to dance with - suddenly they were on their own.
All three finalists - Lizzie, Tommy and Charlie - were absolutely excellent, so it was always going to be a close call. But it did look as though it might all have been over after Lizzie and Tommy’s opening dance, if Arlene was to be believed. “Lizzie, you were dancer, actress, goddess and star!” she said about their jazz routine, which Nigel called “Absolutely Fabulous”. Lizzie and Charlie were also praised for the Chicago routine they did next, though Catherine Zeta Jones and Renee Zellweger they were not - this routine was a little lacking in pizazz for me.
Actually, it really was all over when Charlie and Tommy gave an Argentine tango their all - it seemed to convince the judges that the 19-year-old could dance like a mature woman. It didn’t hurt her that the next two routines - Lizzie’s samba with inspid Alistair, Tommy and Mark’s hip-hop routine - were surprisingly so-so. When Charlie returned to dazzle in a routine with Drew, Arlene declared: “You are an inspiration for every little girl who wants to dance.”
So perhaps it is no surprise that Charlie won the people’s vote, and as Britain’s favourite dancer will be taken to the USA by Nigel to be showcased to the Americans. Did she deserve it? For my money, Tommy was the real virtuoso of the three remaining finalists - he came from a street background, but adapted so well to moves completely unknown to him before - and left both girls, proficient as they both clearly are, in the shade. But it should still have been Robbie’s night.