Imagine a show mounted on turbo jets, zooming across the stage before we can blink. That was tonight's performance finals of "So You Think You Can Dance."
All season, this has been a great show with OK ratings. Suddenly, in its final week, Fox compacted it down to an hour. It did that so a loud Englishman could have an hour to cook; it made little sense.
So the show rushed from dance to dance. The final clips were especially unfair: All year, we saw each of the numbers by each dancer; this time, suddenly, we saw only one out of three -- and not always the best ones, either.
Still, this was fun. Here are my comments, with my predictions at the end. Please add yours:
1) The final count: Russell Ferguson wore a shirt one out of three times; Ryan Di Lello did one-and-a-half; Jakob Karr settled for one unbuttoned out of three. Ellenore Scott, Kathryn McCormick and Ashleigh Di Lello kept their shirts on throughout. Life isn't fair.
2) There's also an unfairness to the order of performance. This is more of a factor in two-hour shows, but voters seem to forget what came early. That has hurt Ryan, who has gone first (with terrific numbers) for three straight weeks. And it hurt Ellenore, who had her final performance of the night with 20 minutes left.
3) The biggest beneficiaries of the order? Russell and Kathryn went last and had a great Tabitha-and-Napoleon number to close with. They clinched their place as front-runners.
4) Drawing Tabitha and Napoleon can be a mixed blessing; some of their routines this year haven't shown off the dancers well. No problem here; a vibrant hip-hop number had some great moves.
5) The one number that hurt the dancers was given to Ryan and Ellenore. It was an odd piece of techno-dance -- neatly crafted, but not likely to propel people to vote for the dancers.
6) Others packed huge emotions. When Russell and Ellenore danced, they had fiercely powerful music and great visuals, starting with her gorgeous, black-on-red silhouette. And right after that, Kathryn and Jakob had the best piece of the night -- a stunning one choreographed by the Complexions duo.
7) Others had subtlety. Ashleigh was sweetly moving in her fox trot with Jakob and then in her gently emotional piece with her husband Ryan. Still, the latter (choreographed by Travis Wall) was understated; it may not have been enough to change votes.
8) I already miss Legacy Perez and Mollee Gray. I'm assuming they'll be back Wednesday, during the finale.
9) I went into the show convinced that either Russell or Jakob would win. Then everything went Kathryn's way -- three great numbers, getting waves of praise, getting to wrap up the night. Now I'm not as sure.
10) So here's my prediction: Russell wins, followed in order by Kathryn, Jakob, Ryan, Ellenore and Ashleigh. We'll see Wednesday.