UPDATE: I’VE ADDED MY REACTIONS TO THE RESULTS SHOW IN THE COMMENTS SECTION.
Welcome to the Top 12 Performance Show. Tonight’s guest judge is my favorite choreographer, Wade Robson. It will be interesting to hear his opinions. According to Cat, next week big changes are coming: all the couples are going to be split up. Tonight, we’ll hear what they think of each other.
Here’s a rundown of who danced what, how they did, and what the judges thought.
1. Sabra and Dominic – The Jive – “I Do the Jerk” by Ryan Shaw
- Sabra loves how hilarious and crazy Dominic is, and Dominic always trusts Sabra and loves her puffy, good-smelling hair. Sabra does get annoyed that he drops her a lot, and Dominic thinks she should trust him more. Ouch. It does look like Sabra’s been dropped on her head a few times by him.
- My Thoughts: It was a lot of fun and made me smile. Unlike some of the other couples, where one person overshadows the other, Sabra and Dominic are equally commanding of attention. They both get into character, have lots of energy, and look like they are having a blast. The only part that had me nervous was when Dominic had to lift Sabra up over his head (I’m sure because of all that talk about their trust issues). He didn’t drop her, but the movement looked a bit shaky. Other than that, it was a great start to the night.
The Judges’ Thoughts:
- Wade: “You know what’s amazing about you guys is that every week, no matter what it is, it’s just 100% commitment.” He agrees with me that they are always having fun yet also keep their focus, and emanate positive energy.
- Mary: “It was a great way to start the show tonight.” She did criticize their kicking technique, but declared them “terrific” anyway.
- Nigel: “You – with the possible exception of Benji and his cousin Heidi – are probably the best two partners I’ve ever seen work together.” He talked about Sabra’s aura and told Dominic that he’s living proof that Sacramento is still producing gold. (We can always count on Nigel for the cheesy lines.)
2. Jaimie and Hok – Broadway – “Mr Bojangles” from Fosse
- Jaimie likes the whole idea of Hok, and he likes her hair. Okay, he just compared her hair to a dog. And she chokes on his braids sometimes. I can understand him not liking that she’s taller than him when she wears heels. That bothers me, too. I think all the crush talk was just a rumor, even though he does cook her Italian food.
- My Thoughts: This was an understated performance, perhaps too understated. I was kind of bored. But I could see Jaimie and Hok’s characters coming through, with Hok limited as the old man and Jaimie free to leap and twirl as his spirit. I did like this performance better than most of theirs, mainly because it had them dancing separately most of the time (making the height issue a non-factor). This dance really suited Hok’s style. It was nice to see him doing some acrobatics.
The Judges’ Thoughts:
- Wade: He thinks Jaimie has come alive the last couple of weeks. He didn’t really notice her before that. He thinks she’s “an elegant dancer.” But to Hok he said, “If you hadn’t said in the package that you were an old man, I wouldn’t have got it.” He didn’t feel that either of them connected to the story, and they didn’t really draw him in.
- Mary: “Yeah, it’s not doin’ a lot for me either.” She had the same problem of not “getting” the characters. She did have some nice things to say to Jaimie about her being beautiful and elegant.
- Nigel: He says that Jaimie’s “lines are just beautiful.” He had less kind words for Hok: “I wanted so much more from Hok.” “It was a little bit of much ado about nothing from Hok.”
3. Sara and Pasha – Jazz – “Body Language” by Queen
- Sara loves that Pasha has the best partnering skills of the contestants, and he is impressed by her strength. She thinks that Pasha is “a little more of a girl” than she is, but he disagrees.
- My Thoughts: My first thought was, “Oh, my. Welcome to the ’80s.” Their outfits looked straight out of Olivia Newton-John’s “Let’s Get Physical” video. Yikes. They did make the suspenders work for them. Despite the strange costumes (which, I suppose, were quite appropriate for a Queen song), I really enjoyed their performance. This is an example of understated but engaging. Whereas Jaimie and Hok’s routine was boring, Sara and Pasha held my attention from beginning to end. All their movements were sharp, crisp, and yes, entertaining.
The Judges’ Thoughts:
- Wade: “I really liked that number. Mandy [Moore], I think that was sick.” He liked the 80s jazz thing and their lines. He is impressed by their versatility.
- Mary: The “movement and feel” are what stood out for her.
- Nigel: He’s concerned that it might have been too stylized to connect with the audience emotionally. And he said forget the 80s, it reminded him of a 1950s Beatnik routine. “I thought it was very interesting.”
4. Lauren and Neil – Contemporary – “Let the Drummer Kick” by Citizen Cope
- Lauren likes working with someone who’s very attractive and who she’s attracted to, and he thinks the same about her. She doesn’t like his jokes, and he doesn’t like that she doesn’t laugh at his jokes.
- My Thoughts: I am usually drawn into a Mia Michaels routine (with the exception of the one Shauna and Cedric did), and so I wasn’t surprised to be intrigued by this performance. It helped a lot that I couldn’t tell Lauren and Neil apart. They were near-perfect in staying in synch with each other during the various twists and turns of the routine. I’m not sure what the story was supposed to be, but it was definitely my favorite performance by this couple of the season. However, I’m not sure it meets the judges’ criteria of emotionally connecting with the audience. I didn’t feel any emotional response to it at all. I mainly just liked the choreography and its execution.
The Judges’ Thoughts:
- Wade: “You know I love a twisted mind, and Mia Michaels, right on.” He feels like Neil has come alive as of late and this was one of the first times he took him “extremely seriously.” “Musicality was wonderful in this.” “It was extremely well-executed.”
- Mary: She didn’t know what the story was about, but she liked it. She would have liked to see their eyes (instead of the goggles) to know what’s going on emotionally. “The degree of difficulty was extremely high,” and she thought they did “really good” but not great.
- Nigel: “I, too, didn’t fully understand it, but I don’t think you have to… I hope you find your welding equipment soon.” He feels it is “the most technically difficult routine we’ve seen tonight.” But, “because I didn’t understand it, I’m not sure I enjoyed it.”
5. Anya and Danny – Fox Trot – “It Had to Be You” by Brian Evans
- Danny likes Anya’s costumes that she uses to fight for her life (cheetah, lampshade, etc. – he was funny here), and Anya likes his good looks. Danny wishes Anya didn’t work him so hard in practice, and Anya thinks Danny has trouble paying attention.
- My Thoughts: This performance had me smiling, just like Sabra and Dominic’s did. It was sweet, they looked great, and I thought they showed some good personality, at least between each other. There were a couple of times that they looked out of synch, or like Anya might have missed a step, but they also hit some really fantastic moves. I guess I just didn’t know what I was looking at, though, because the judges had no complaints about their technique.
The Judges’ Thoughts:
- Wade: “Danny, this is a wonderful moment for me, but more importantly for you.” He was planning to complain that he had never been “moved by” him, etc., but… “you really surprised me tonight.” And to Anya, “It was just so classically beautiful.”
- Mary: “Well I know he was surprised, but it’s no surprise to ME!” “I have loved the two of these guys since the very beginning, and they didn’t let me down tonight.” She thinks theirs was the best number of the night, and “rewarded” them with one of her cackling screams.
- Nigel: “Without question the best fox trot that I’ve ever seen on this stage.” He agreed with Wade that Danny “came out of [himself] tonight.” More screaming from Mary.
6. Lacey and Kameron – Hip Hop – “Here I Come” by Fergie
- Kameron loves how Lacey has helped him out on partnering, and she likes his good looks, which makes it easy for her to get close to him. Kameron doesn’t like how Lacey’s weave sometimes gets smelly, and Lacey gets annoyed by his profuse sweating.
- My Thoughts: What to say about this dance that has a boy chasing a nasty girl? Well, Lacey is doing her best old school Britney Spears impression in a barely there Catholic school girl uniform. Kameron did get a chance for a solo, but it didn’t wow me. Yes, Lacey made a good “nasty girl,” but once again Kameron wasn’t given much to do except smirk and shrug his shoulders at her. I’m looking forward to seeing him paired with someone else next week. I also could have done without the cheesy pulling another girl out of the audience at the end.
The Judges’ Thoughts:
- Wade: “Kameron, you dance a bit heavy for me. You don’t seem light enough on your feet. It’s not snappy enough for me.” I can agree with that. He complained that Kameron “floated on top of the music” rather than “dancing inside the music.” I don’t always know what Wade is talking about when he brings up musicality and spirituality, but at least he’s coming up with a way to verbalize the problems (or at least lack of oomph) in Kameron’s performances. He told Lacey, “You’re always a great performer… ” He did express his worry for her about one thing: “Your performance level is always professional. I don’t know if it’s always personal.” Many fans would disagree with him there, but I’ve always thought that Lacey’s personality is a tad over the top in her routines. He used the words “contrived” and “one-dimensional” to describe her performance level. Ouch. But that probably earned her several thousand more votes right there. She’ll be safe this week. And in summary, “it was okay for me.”
- Mary: “Who would want to leave Lacey… she’s a star.” She agreed with Wade’s comments about Kameron’s dancing, but she feels like Lacey “is still right on point.”
- Nigel: He referred to Dan’s comment from a previous week that Kameron was a prop, and added that although Kameron was given the opportunity to not be a prop tonight (when Lacey sat down for a bit), he didn’t “bring it.” “If you’re going to do a solo in the middle of a routine, you have to do much more than that.” “You had a solo there to really sell yourself. I don’t feel as if you did.” I totally agree with Nigel on that one.
Ranking the Performances
- Sara and Pasha – They got into character really well in this unusual but engaging routine.
- Sabra and Dominic – They had the most genuine enthusiasm and energy tonight.
- Anya and Danny – This was the classiest performance of the night. Great costumes, too.
- Lauren and Neil – This was the most unusual performance of the night.
- Lacey and Kameron – This performance was too gimmicky for me.
- Jaimie and Hok – This was the least memorable performance of the night.
Predicting the Bottom Three Couples
- Jaimie and Hok
- Lauren and Neil
- Anya and Danny
Note: I think Lacey and Kameron deserve to be in the bottom three instead of Lauren and Neil or Anya and Danny, but their fan base will save them.
Who Will Be Sent Home:
- Jaimie (However, Anya will have to step up her solo to stick around. I hope she does.)
- Hok (I would have said Neil, but after tonight I feel like he proved he deserves to stick around longer than Hok, and it seems like the judges feel the same way after their criticisms of Hok.)
- Earlier today I posted my Pre Top-12 Show Thoughts. The only thing that surprised me tonight that made me change any of my opinions from that post was Lauren and Neil. I thought they did really well tonight. However, it does concern me that my favorite performance of theirs came during a routine in which I couldn’t even tell it was them performing. The rest of the couples either lived up to my previous expectations. Sara and Pasha are definitely my favorite couple now. I hope that their jazz number wasn’t too weird for America!
- Check back tomorrow night for my thoughts on the results show.
Other Related Posts
- SYTYCD: June 13, 2007
- SYTYCD: June 20, 2007
- SYTYCD: June 27, 2007
- “Dance” Takes a Holiday: Let’s Discuss
- SYTYCD: July 11, 2007