Ricky Ubeda Takes It All — He’s America’s Favorite Dancer

Ricky Ubeda Wins Season 11 SYTYCD

Sigh. So You Think You Can Dance is over for the year. It is the only show that not only focuses on art and the artists, they let us masses in on the mystery of it. I have learned so much, not only from the show, but from my good New Hampshire friend Jo Ann, who has sort of been my mentor in some of the more complicated dance language, sending me clips of certain forms and steps whose names sound so exotic, but I had not a clue what they could possibly look like.

Mike and I are also learning more and more how to interpret the movements as the dancers tell a story with their bodies and expressions. We are learning why there is so much magic in some routines, not only from those doing the performing, but from just the right music, just the right costumes, just the right lighting, and just the right background. To learn these things and find a deeper appreciation for even slight nuances is so exciting that it’s the only show I set my inner clock for. Wouldn’t miss it. And we get so emotional around here over who goes and who stays. That is, sister Katie and I.

I loved the tutorials this year, too. Please, SYTYCD, don’t change that. And, please, come back for Season Twelve. I don’t care how the numbers look. There is a HUGE fan base out here. Children are learning about expression through art. It raises television to a level it has never been before. Real quality. Don’t go off the air.

The finale was great. Ricky Ubeda, the front-runner, was Season 11’s “America’s Favorite Dancer”. I look forward to seeing more from him. However, I was not prepared when they announced Zach as fourth place winner. I screamed NOOOOO! so loud it gave me indigestion. I was looking forward to seeing those two guys standing toe to toe at the finish line. Zach was the only one who could give Ricky a run for his money. Seeing him out of the running at the start made me even fear for Ricky. When it comes to the voting process, you just never know. And as far as awesome dancing is concerned, Tanisha should have been in the finale. She is quick, sharp, superb.

Loved seeing some of those good numbers again. Nigel’s pick, and in my opinion the best of them all, was the Travis Wall Contemporary, Dirty Diana, with Rudy and All-Star Allison. It was every bit as good as the first time. Bold. Breathtaking in its intensity and sheer physicality. Allison and Rudy WERE the dance. They got the first Standing O of the night. I held my breath as Cat Deeley and Nigel talked about Allison’s scheduling conflicts, as she has now joined Dancing With The Stars as part of their celebrity cast family. There are not enough glowing adjectives to describe Allison. DWTS is now going into its 19th season. Who would have thought.

The Travis Wall Contemporary with Casey and Jessica, chosen by Mary Murphy, was fantastic in its first execution. But this week’s encore did not have the fluidity, nor the edginess, of the first one. It is still a great routine, but the execution was slightly disappointing this time around.

Jessica picked another emotionally charged Travis Wall contemporary “When I Go” with All-Star Robert. I can never get enough of Robert. He is one awesome dancer, and he and Jessica looked great together in this routine.

America’s Pick of their favorite hip hop routine was one of my least favorites. It was the skeleton routine with Carly and Serge. Not bad, but certainly not top number stuff. Sorry, America. I went with Guest Judge Debbie Allen’s pick of Pharside and Phoenix’s routine about a magician bringing a doll to life. It was every bit as good as the first time and Valerie’s leg/split/lift was still jaw-dropping. I agreed with Adam Shankman that Ricky and Zach were awesome in that bustin’ out card routine to “The Antidote”. Again, this number was choreographed by Pharside and Phoenix. The first performance was only slightly better than the second one.

Guest Judge Tara’s hip hop pick was a Nappy/Tab routine I didn’t particularly care for the first time. All-Star Jasmine — a big girl — seemed to loom over Emelio — a little guy. These two went together like oil and water and the costumes were not pleasantly distracting.

Ricky’s pick was Sonya Tayeh’s routine “The Vow” His partner was Jessica Richens, and, once again, was faultless and beautiful.

I was pleasantly surprised by Guest Judge Jenna’s pic with Tanisha and Rudy. I either missed that one the first time around, or was distracted. Whatever. I didn’t remember it. But I sure loved seeing Tanisha again, and, of course, Rudy. My favorite routine for these two was Dave Scott’s hip hop — “The Kisser” — where Tanisha wowed the audience in her “cat woman” style outfit.

Zach’s pick, “Europe After The Rain”, was another favorite of mine and a beautiful routine by Sonya Tayeh. All-Star Amy Yakima was his partner.

The tap dancers Valerie and Zack, looked good once again in their stair-step routine. In this instance I thought Zach looked better in the first performance while Valerie looked better in the second. Go figure.

Moving on to guests and guest performances, I loved seeing Paula Abdul again and learning that she is on the Australian SYTYCD. Their winner was Michael Dameski, whose awesome solo performance had our eyes glued to that unparalleled athletic grace on-stage.

Add to that, the incredible, wipe-out performance of France’s “Les Twins”, and Enrique Eglesias, and we were treated to a great SYTYCD finale. Would have liked to hear Enrique solo, without the back-up bro, but still enjoyed him. It was peppy.

Looking forward to next year. Keep your fingers crossed.



6 thoughts on “Ricky Ubeda Takes It All — He’s America’s Favorite Dancer

  1. The minute the show opened with that brilliant Broadway number and Ricky (fake) blowing into the trumpet, I knew he was destined to be a dance sensation on Broadway and anywhere else he chose to hang his dancing shoes. I knew in my gut from his first audition that he was a take-no-prisoners dancer to be reckoned with. However, I still watched the finale with my heart in my mouth and tried not to chew it into tiny pieces.

    I, too, was very surprised that Zach came in fourth. I thought it would be Valerie. With Zach gone, I figured it would be either Ricky or Jessica to take the prize. Jessica is a gorgeous woman and a gorgeous dancer. If she’s willing to do ballroom, DWTS will be fools if they don’t snatch her up…IMMEDIATELY.

    I liked and disliked the same routines you mentioned, especially Zach-Amy “Europe After the Rain” and Ricky-Jessica “The Vow.” Michael Demeski from Australia was amazing.

    I was, of course, thrilled to the nines for Ricky, but couldn’t help thinking of his coach, whose name is, I think, James Smolley (sp?) a contestant from season five who now owns a dance studio. He must be over the moon at having his prize student win SYTYCD.

    Also, the DVR messing up my recording was actually a good thing because it meant I had to watch the finale on line, albeit a day late. I’ve told you how much I love my big hi-def computer monitor and use my computer to watch DVDs. The difference in resolution between it and the TV I use is startling. O_O I’m going to have to arrange a fatal accident for that TV so hubby will have to buy me a lovely, hi-def, flat screen TV. Any ideas?

    And last, but not least, thanks for the shout-out. I’ve always believed that the more you know about something, the more you will enjoy it. I’m so glad I could be helpful.

    DWTS begins again soon, but I’m not looking forward to it all that much. No season will ever compare to last season and the incredible Meryl and Maks pairing. *sobs*

    • Yes. Loved the opening routine and Ricky. The whole thing was so so professional. Yes, I too am looking forward to seeing some of these as All-Stars next year. I hope there is a next year. It would be a travesty if they get cancelled.

      I’m going to try DWTS this year just to see Allison. Boy, she impressed me. She is so quick and precise. I had to watch the routine several times just to catch up with her.:)

      As for the diabolical plot against your TV set . . . hmmm . . . I could let you borrow Dickens. He’s quite destructive and loves Hi-Def. I could put him in a Garfield box and ship him off. I would just make his destination New Hampshire instead of Abu Dhabi. When he gets there you might want to break out your chess set. Dickens loves playing chess, especially knocking over and removing the pieces from the board. He thinks he’s winning that way.

      I don’t think there will ever be a season to compare with last year with Maryl and Maksim. But, of course, will there ever be such a couple to actually fall in love? Oh, the passion between them. It was glorious.

      So glad you got to watch the show “in person”.

      • “I hope there is a next year. It would be a travesty if they get cancelled.”

        Is there any danger of that? I haven’t heard anything.

        Allison is the dancer who’s married to Twitch, isn’t she?

        Thanks for offering to loan me Dickens to carry out the slaying of my TV. I have five cats, but they’re at the point where they’re more interested in eating and nap time than anything else. Although I must say they’re good mousers. I’ll think of something…I usually do. *insert evil grin*

  2. I loved Len’s line about renaming DWTS “Dancing with the Stars of So You Think You Can Dance.” I didn’t realize so many from SYTYCD had ended up on DWTS. I hope, if they’re available, that Ricky, Zach and Jessica will be back next season as All-Stars.


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