You’d have thought a biased New York bookie had plotted last night’s show: Three of the four finalists were from our fair city’s auditions, and the single contestant who wasn’t — Lacey — had the cards stacked against her. She had her solo, her interview, and her first two duets early on in the program, and then the producers topped off her dance card with a fatiguing Lindy Hop with Neil. So, you may call her ruthlessly self-absorbed. Or bizarrely hypersexual. (“Omigod. My head hit Danny’s goodies.”) Or Benji’s bratty sister. But, if nothing else, last night proved, that girl’s got stamina to spare.
When she broke out into an exuberant run around the studio after Danny and Sabra’s so-so cha-cha finale, her fellow competitors were left chasing after her in more ways than one. Danny may be the most technically accomplished. Neil may be the most improved. Sabra may be the most likable. But Lacey’s duets — including Wade Robson’s enchanting fox parable with Sabra and a poised Viennese Waltz with Danny — were only equaled by Mia Michael’s shameless symbolist standoff between Danny and Neil as two peacock princes.
Will Neil survive the curse that comes from wearing a striped pullover matching choreographer Tyce D’Orio's? Will YouTube reruns of Sabra’s head slamming into the floor generate enough sympathy votes for victory? Will Danny’s newfound blandness be more palatable to Middle America than his now sorely missed hauteur? Or will New Yorkers find themselves humiliatingly outdone by a girl from the West Coast? Tonight tells all. Frankly, we don’t really care — that’s the beauty of being a New Yorker. —Drew Pisarra