Last night, the Top Four dancers on this season of So You Think You Can Dance danced their hearts out. As always, some performances were better than others, but only one performance involved a dancer dancing her eyes out. Watch as tappers Valerie and Zack perform a contemporary routine all about how love can truly bring you to your senses.
To really give you some perspective on this routine, here's what happened in the rehearsal segment prior:
- Absolutely no mention of Valerie's character being blind. Not even an inkling.
- There is, however, Zack saying that his character in this routine is always "guiding" Valerie's. Alright, that's kind of a big clue.
- Choreographer Tyce Diorio also explains that "[Zack] is in love with her, even though there is an obstacle in the way." Could that "obstacle" be her blindness and/or her cane? Neither is a part of the rehearsal segment, so it's hard to tell.
- According to Valerie, this will be "a performance nothing like America has seen yet." OK, that's just a little insensitive, Val.
And then the actual routine happened.
Suffice it to say, there is something special about pulling a "Surprise! She's blind!" on national TV. It's the type of thing that really does deserve at least a little attention. Two dancers who are in the running for the title of America's Favorite Dancer just reenacted the film At First Sight, after all.
(A concept that became even more amazing in retrospect when Nigel later revealed—after another Valerie routine—that Mira Sorvino was in the audience. No sign of Val Kilmer, though.)
So You Think You Can Dance can be very aware at times, but it can also be so earnest that it's blind to any sort of self-awareness. That's actually part of what makes the show so endearing. The rehearsal segment editing was clearly intentional, but the the story and the routine itself are honestly rather beautiful. The acting from Zack and Valerie (especially Valerie) really sells the story alongside the dancing, and by the end of it, you can completely forget about the pre-taped deception.
Until Mira Sorvino shows up, that is.
[Images and video via Fox]