I was overwhelmed last night when I found out it was already time for each couple to perform two dances! More than that, I was disappointed that this is the last week that the couples as we know them will be together. 😦 This season is going by fast! I am going to miss Ashleigh/Jakob and Legacy/Kathryn most of all. But I think it’s safe to say that all four of them will make it into the top ten.
Ellenore & Ryan – Lindy Hop (Carla Heiney) – They looked like they were having fun, and so I had fun. But on some level, I still associate the lindy hop with weirdness. A few seasons ago wasn’t there a Lindy Hop contestant who got cut in Vegas who had an uncontrollable wink? This style is beaming with so many smiles and looks of surprise that it’s all a bit much.
Kathryn & Legacy – Jazz (Sonya Tayeh) – Oh my! We had to do a double take when Legacy crawled across the stage on his hands!!! He is crazy strong and coordinated. And this performance was all about him. Kathryn had some cute moments, but the choreography didn’t give her much more to do than give Legacy someone to play off of. He really shone in this one.
Karen & Victor – Argentine Tango (Tony Meredith & Melanie LaPatin) – They had better chemistry than I expected, but something about this dance was almost comical to me. It was just too serious. I have been sold on intense, serious tangos in past seasons, but it was like Victor and Karen were trying so hard to not crack a smile that they were about to bust! I was reminded of an old SNL parody of Calvin Klein’s Obsession ad, in which Jan Hooks is the spokesperson for Calvin Kleen disinfectant. What’s the connection? Well, everyone in the ad is uber-serious and dressed in high society clothes (as far as I can remember, anyway). So, you may have guessed that I am still not a fan of Karen or Victor.
Mollee & Nathan – Hip-Hop (Jamal Sims) – I was completely disinterested in this routine. Much of the blame for that falls on Jamal Sims. What was the purpose of bringing Alexander Graham Bell into hip hop? That was really a stretch.
Noelle & Russell – Samba (Tony Meredith & Melanie LaPatin) – I agree with Adam that these two were too nice during this performance. Too many smiles, not enough sexy. And why in the world did they make Russell wear that ridiculous v-top?! Noelle looked great, but I’m still just not picking up good vibes from her. Every week she lacks a connection with the audience.
Ashleigh & Jakob – Lyrical Jazz (Sonya Tayeh) – Oh, I just love them! I was amazed by their control and strength in the moments where they would hold a leg straight up in the air for what felt like forever, or where Jakob held Ashleigh and slowly lowered her from a hand stand position to the floor, while she meanwhile made it look easy to keep her legs in a diagonal position. I was also thrilled to see something different from Sonya. While I normally enjoy her herky jerky, spastic, weird routines, sometimes it feels like she’s relying on the same old tricks. So to see this light, flowing, beautiful dance was very refreshing. It was my favorite of the night.
Ellenore & Ryan – Broadway (Spencer Liff) – Ryan’s role as the temptation of fame came across as a poor man’s version of Kupono’s evil addiction persona from last season. Other than looking devious and rolling his arms and hands around, he didn’t have much to do but give Ellenore someone to play off of. But then, I hardly noticed him because she was so good! She was perfect as a stiff, doll-like character, controlled by puppet master Ryan. She has an unusual style that has shone through in the past few weeks. I hope that she can hang around past this week, because I’m afraid these two performances won’t be memorable to the voting audience to keep them out of the bottom three.
Kathryn & Legacy – Viennese Waltz (Jean Marc and France Généreux) – This performance was very pretty. While Legacy stood out in their first performance, this one was all about Kathryn (well, except for Legacy being shirtless – couldn’t help but notice that). But it was clear that Legacy was fully invested in the performance, since he brought tears to his own eyes when it was over. I like the passion and dedication he has to dance and to the show.
Karen & Victor – Hip-Hop (Laurie Ann Gibson) – I really don’t remember much about this dance. My glimpses of recollection include the thought that Karen’s hot pink and black outfit didn’t fit the routine, and that this performance in no way, shape, or form moved any mountains! It didn’t even move an ant hill! In fact, it may have done just the opposite and pushed Karen and Victor further down into the valley of elimination. (Cue ominous music now…) Laurie Ann Gibson needs to step up her game and quite overhyping her routines, or the audience will roll their eyes every time she appears in the choreographer rotation.
Mollee & Nathan – Can Can (Tyce Diorio) – And so the show welcomed another new dance. I couldn’t help but think of Moulin Rouge, although this cheery, bubbly can can couldn’t have been further from the manic, sensual can can of that movie. That being said, I actually liked it. I’m still not a fan of Mollee, and her performance was just as “little girl playing dress up” as ever, but I thought Nathan finally came out of the shell he’s been hiding in for weeks. He actually looked like he was throwing caution to the wind and giving his all to this rather girly dance. It was a bonus that Tyce threw in Nathan’s trademark pirouetting. So yes, this was better than last season’s awkward Russian folkdance, by a long shot.
Noelle & Russell – Contemporary (Tyce Diorio) – I really wanted to like this one. It started off so beautifully, everything from the music to the movements. But then Tyce had to go and throw in actual paint. How distracting was that. It would have worked better if they had literally painted each other from the beginning, but since they only reached for the paint and smeared it on each other once, it felt too gimmicky. The weird paint thing took away some of my enjoyment from the performance, but I still liked it, and thought it was better than their first dance of the night.
Ashleigh & Jakob – Cha-Cha (Jean Marc and France Généreux) – This wasn’t the best cha cha I’d ever seen on the show, but it was certainly fun to watch Ashleigh in her element. This was the first time that Jacob looked a little out of place, but that’s probably more because he was basking in the light of Ashleigh’s ballroom glory. One thing’s for sure: this couple will be safe this week. As usual, they had the best performances of the top 12.
My Favorite Performances
- Ashleigh and Jakob’s Lyrical Jazz
- Ellenore and Ryan’s Broadway
Predicting the Bottom Three – In previous weeks, my predictions have usually been 2 out of 3 correct. I wonder if I’ll finally be 3 for 3 this time.
- Karen and Victor
- Mollee and Nathan
- Russell and Noelle
Who Will Go Home? – Keeping in mind that the judges want to keep the most popular dancers around another week so they will be part of the top ten tour, the contestants who have drawn less attention are likely in the most danger tonight. If it were up to me, I’d send Mollee or Karen home over Noelle, but I think the judges are too in love with Mollee’s personality and Karen’s hips to send them home just yet. As for the guys, I’m a little nervous for Russell, but feel like it’s Victor’s time to go. Even if Ellenore and Ryan are in the bottom three, I think Ryan would be safe because the judges don’t want to break up the top ten draw of a married ballroom couple that are super cute.
What are your thoughts about this week’s episode?