From hip hoppin’ tennis players to Van Gogh “Starry Night” rejects, this week’s episode had a little bit of everything. Read on for my quick thoughts about how the contestants did.
- Russell and Noelle – Hip Hop (Jamal Sims) – This routine was unfortunate – in my opinion not a good introduction to this new choreographer. I just don’t think that preppy tennis players and hip hop mix well. The choreography, as well as the performance, was very cheesy and underwhelming. I don’t think Noelle will be around much longer if she doesn’t step up her game.
- Jakob and Ashleigh – Viennese Waltz (Tony and Melanie) – This piece was described as a couple sharing their first dance on their wedding day. It was one of my favorites. I’m usually bored during waltzes, so it’s a credit to their showmanship that I was entranced. They were believable as a couple in love, and could have been Cinderella and Prince Charming come to life, with as smoothly and effortlessly as they were gliding across the stage together.
- Victor and Bianca – Broadway (Tyce Diorio) – I wasn’t moved by the spirit of this performance. In fact, I got up and started waving my arms around and jumping around like them, to make the point that it wasn’t a particularly difficult or interesting routine. I don’t have anything against a gospel church revival meeting dance – it was just too loud and busy, without enough actual substance.
- Mollee and Nathan – Bollywood (Nakul Dev Mahajan) – This piece was about a prince about to go to war, and his princess is unhappy about it. Mollee and Nathan looked great in their colorful costumes, and they seemed to have good technique as well. This one fell somewhere between great and awful, but closer to the good side of the night.
- Phillip and Channing – Samba (Tony and Melanie) – Put this one in the books as the most awkward performance of the season, and perhaps of the entire series! It was painful to watch as they struggled from one lift to the next, and I’m pretty sure they completely botched up the ending, resulting in Channing falling on her head. I think the problem was that Phillip isn’t a very good partner, combined with the fact that Channing is very tall and pretty solid for someone like Phillip to be lifting over his head. I hope that she and Victor will be better partners – we’ll find out next week.
- Kevin and Karen – Hip Hop (Tabitha and Napoleon) – This saucy routine was about a mechanic and a hot girl checking each other out in an auto shop. This is two weeks in a row that this couple has performed the raciest routine, so now I find myself labeling them the PG-13 dancers. Cover the kids’ eyes when these two are on stage! I’d like to see them do a more toned down routine, because the “Push It” one and this mechanic one were too over the top for me to take seriously.
- Kathryn and Legacy – Contemporary (Stacey Tookey) – They did a great job with this routine about a woman struggling with fear. It was one of my favorites of the night, and I agree with the judges that Legacy is doing a fantastic job outside of his style! Who knew that this would be one of the power couples? I am surprised that Kathryn is one of my favorite girls, but she’s certainly earned it.
- Peter and Pauline – Wade Robson (what style is this? jazz?) – This bizarre routine about two rejected people from Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” coming back to torment him didn’t really work for me. I expect more from a Wade Robson routine, and Peter and Pauline didn’t deliver. The busy background was partly to blame (I could hardly even see the two of them with everything else going on on stage), but mostly I felt like they were focusing more on the choreography than on being fully invested performers.
- Ellenore and Ryan – Argentine Tango (Miriam and Leonardo) – I really enjoyed this one, and gained new respect for Ellenore, when she remained so composed while her dress was caught in her heel. Of course Ryan was terrific since this was a ballroom style, and Ellenore looked very professional, too. They both carried themselves so well, were totally in tune with one another, and managed to also captivate the audience. They are another power couple this season!
The Bottom Four (Once again, due to World Series coverage, the judges chose the bottom four instead of letting America vote)
- Phillip – eliminated
- Bianca – eliminated
This bototm four seemed right to me. There are several outstanding contestants, but these four aren’t living up to the high standard being set by dancers like Jakob, Ashleigh, Ryan, Ellenore, Legacy, Kathryn, etc. And I wasn’t surprised that the judges sent home two tappers, Bianca and Phillip. Tapping isn’t as dynamic a solo as some of the other styles, and those two didn’t shine in other styles. I wish them both well, particularly Phillip, with all the craziness he’s been dealing with lately. When I heard that his father had died and he’d just attended the funeral, I thought it was unfortunate that he had been eliminated this week. Then again, this is a competition, not a sympathy vote show. It may be best for him to have time to deal with his father’s death and to spend time with his family.
My Favorite Routines
- Legacy and Kathryn’s “Fear” contemporary
- Jakob and Ashley’s Viennese waltz
- Ryan and Ellenore’s Argentine tango
Who were your favorites this week?