So You Think You Can Dance
season 14 ended on a triumphant note when Lex Ishimoto was named "America's Favorite Dancer." This season, the contestants were all amazing, which meant that there was no clear frontrunner for the title.
So did Lex deserve to win So You Think You Can Dance season 14? Absolutely, and here is why.
An Experiment in Chemistry
All-Star Gaby and Lex had wonderful chemistry all season. They kicked off the season with a delightful and dreamy Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers inspired tap routine that garnered them their first standing ovation of the season. Except for their Argentine Tango, which was a bit rough and not very steamy, Lex and Gaby slayed every time that they stepped on the stage. Gaby made a wise decision in taking Lex with her as her So You Think You Can Dance partner.
Where is Lex's Personality?
I confess that I was a bit worried early on in the season when the judges criticized Lex's lack of personality in his performances. When Lex and Gaby partnered for a Warren Carlyle Broadway routine about a man trying to convince a woman to have dinner with him, Lex's personality really popped. Once he felt comfortable, Lex continued to unleash his personality and emotions in all his performances.
Lex's acting skills raised his humorous Broadway performance with Koine to a new high. The laugh out loud piece about a couple bonding over their love of pizza would have failed miserably without Lex's acting chops and facial expressions. Lex's piece with Travis Wall, which featured Lex as Travis' inner demons, showed Lex as a dark and menacing presence. Lex's performance with Travis gave me chills.
Lots of Kissing
When Mia Michaels discussed the contemporary routine that she choreographed for Lex and Taylor, a secret came to light: the couple is in a relationship. I may be a hopeful romantic, but I love a good romance (but not a fake showmance). This duo is in love, and it shows. Taylor and Lex didn't even have to employ their acting talents for all the kissing in this routine. Did their romance win more votes for Lex? It certainly could have.
Versatility is Key
Lex is the most versatile contestant on this season of So You Think You Can Dance. This 19-year-old from Irvine, California, is a contemporary dancer who can tap, do head spins and perform unbelievable leaps. Lex showed his vulnerability with his Mia Michaels routine about the heady experience of love. In his hip-hop routines with Kiki and with Gaby, Lex showed a ton of swag, and I sometimes had to remind myself that hip-hop wasn't his specialty. He displayed his comedic side in his Broadway routine with Koine. In Spencer Liff's classical jazz piece, Lex and Taylor portrayed birds. The duo nailed every movement, and Lex stole the spotlight from his girlfriend.
Growing by Leaps
Lex and Gaby's Argentine Tango was the only performance of Lex's that wasn't a home run, and it wasn't even a terrible performance. From there, Lex continued to improve every week in both his technical ability and his performance skills. He excelled at nearly every style of dance, and it was easy to forget that Lex was a competitor, not an All-Star.
In the end, Lex deserved to be the winner of So You Think You Can Dance season 14 because of his versatility, performance quality and his fantastic technique.
What do you think about Lex winning? Were the judges too hard on Lex about showing his personality? Is he the most technically gifted dancer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.