Cat went for an updo this week. Not bad. She also went for a simpler black dress, good choice. I actually thought she looked rather cute, and that simple dress really highlighted her waist. This week marks the first week of double work - each pair learning and performing TWO dances per episode. I think next week, when they're down to the top 10 is when they switch up the partners. The guest judge this week was Tyce Diorio. To tell you the truth, I'm not a huge fan of his anymore. I think he's actually one of the meaner judges when he doesn't like people at auditions, so I was interested to see how he'd be since this was his first time on the panel on the show.
Melissa & Ade
Choreographer: Doriana Sanchez
Song: "Move On Up" by Destination
I thought if Ade could get it, he would look the part! And, he totally did, I loved his sparkly outfit. I think it's so fun to watch the disco routines! They're just plain entertaining. I thought Ade danced it a little more believably than Melissa. the split lift was pretty incredible. As was the back hold spin thing. Nigel liked it, Mary liked it, Tyce thought it was "friggin' great."
Kayla & Kupono
Choreographer: Mia Michaels
Song: "Gravity" by Sara Bareilles
I think Mia is an absolutely AMAZING choreographer. She helped me GET contemporary, and has brought me to tears more than once. When she said the theme was addiction, I had really high hopes for the routine. And I could tell that Kupono was REALLY getting in the character and thinking about the meaning behind the routine. It was absolutely beautiful. The look on his face at that part where he sort of rubbed his face up her leg? Just perfect. The way she was almost floppy at parts, like he was really controlling her? Gorgeous. The look on Kayla's face near the end when he was pushing her arm down? It was so amazing. It's funny to think that when I first started watching this show, I really didn't get the contemporary routines, and now I think Mia Michael is an absolute genius. She moves me to tears, she did it again tonight. Not only that, but the costuming and make-up for this routine was amazing. This may be my favorite performance by Kupono. He absolutely was powerful and just... the whole thing was breathtaking.
Caitlin & Jason
Choreographer: Tony Meredith & Melanie Lapatin
Song: "Minnie the Moocher" by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Well, Caitlin got her sparkly costume all right! She looked so pretty with her hair done up like that. It was fun to see a more jazzy, sexy foxtrot. I just wasn't sure though. To me, they looked a little stiff, like they were a tad unsure, but that lift drop was amazing. All the lifts were. It just didn't look as easy as I would have liked. The judges liked it, but this could be one that was a little over people's heads. Tyce did say that they could have 'glided' more, and in some way I think that's what I was seeing maybe.
Jeanine & Phillip
Style: Kalinka - Russian Folk
Choreographer: Youri Nelzine & Lilia Babenko
Song: "Kalinka" by Barynya
Interesting. I like Russian dancing, so I was really looking forward to seeing what they'd do with it on the show! I love when they are bringing in new styles and cultures through the dancing, adding Bollywood and Russian Folk? So wonderful! It was so quick from the moment it started! Then it was just playful. When Phillip got down in the squat and did the kicks? That was pretty impressive. I thought they did great! I got what Nigel said about not asking them to do enough, but I thought that the other parts of the routine overtook the slower part. I thought they did a great job with what they were given, and that's about all we can ask for. Like Tyce said, it's about how they take it on and how they execute what they were given.
Randi & Evan
Style: Hip Hop
Choreographer: Tabitha & Napoleon Dumo
Song: "Halo" by Beyonce
Seeing Randi and Evan do hip hop should be... interesting. I was skeptical. They just don't seem very hip hop. Then the song started - "Halo" by Beyonce? Ugh. I don't like it. I think Beyonce should stick to the fast songs, they're always better. I have a hard time with 'slow' and 'smooth' hip hop routines, I just don't like them as much. I didn't hate it. I thought they played the characters well. I didn't feel like they were in sync like they should have been. It's true what Nigel said - that Tabitha & Napoleon didn't ask them to be street or hard core, which is good because I can't imagine what that would have looked like. The judges seemed to think it was pretty good, Tyce said Evan needed to "find more" but thought Randi did a good job. I'm interested to see their 2nd routine.
Jeanette & Brandon
Style: Argentine Tango
Choreographer: Miriam Larici & Leonardo Barrionuevo
Song: "Libertango" from Forever Tango (original Broadway cast album)
Sex. Sexy. Watching rehearsal, I hoped they could find it. I think Jeanette can do sexy well, but Brandon is sort of goofy in my head, so I hoped they'd find the right passion for this dance. I love Brandon, but this dance made Jeanette really shine! Her footwork looked beautiful. Her legs were great, especially during the lifts. Nigel gave them a standing ovation! He said it was "as close to perfection as I've seen on this stage, ever" for a ballroom routine. What the hell Tyce and orange juice?! That was hilarious!
Melissa & Ade
Choreographer: Ron Montez
Song: "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" by Mary J Blige
I always like when they switch up the partners, to see who works well together and who doesn't that we haven't seen yet. Melissa seems a natural at this type of routine, so I'm excited to see this one. Interesting choice of songs. I just love Melissa's face when she dances. This dance just made me smile! They really do have GREAT chemistry. I agreed with Mary that Ade needed a little more strength in his actual dancing for this one, but Melissa was so good you also didn't notice that much. Then Mary told Nigel "pipe down, English muffin!" and I thought that was pretty freakin' funny. Then Cat called Tyce a "Brooklyn brownie" and that was completely hilarious too.
Kupono & Karla
Choreographer: Joey Dowling
Song: "The Dance At The Gym" from West Side Story (The New Broadway Cast)
Nice to see Joey back again! When she said the routine is love at first sight, I felt like Kayla should be able to pull it off really well. I couldn't wait to see it. I loved her dress! It was so cute. I thought it was a little weird that she wasn't wearing shoes. All in all I thought they did a good job, but it wasn't as much as I'd hoped. I just expected more. I agreed with Nigel that there was a tenseness missing.
Jason & Caitlin
Style: Lyrical Jazz
Choreographer: Mandy Moore
Song: "Show Me Heaven" by Maria McKee
Jazz. Well, Jason with his shirt off is sure to get some votes, right? Ha. They made it look absolutely effortless. They looked huge, long, extended and beautiful. Shut up, get your mind out of the gutter, I'm talking about DANCING. It was really smooth and flowing. I agreed with Mary though, it wasn't magic. It was good, it was beautiful, but it wasn't magically captivating.
Jeanine & Phillip
Choreographer: Tony Meredith & Melanie Lapatin
Song: "Stuff Like That There" by Bette Midler
I liked the concept, so let's see if they pull it off. I thought they were great! It was really fun and entertaining. The lift at the end was pretty impressive too. I was happy to see such a good dance as their last dance as a couple before getting split. Nigel said that Phillip was better than ever out of his own style. Jeanine wasn't one of my favorites at the beginning, but I am really liking her these days! I agreed with Mary, she's got to be here next week. Tyce said "I say call 1-888-Fan-Friggin-Tastic." I am not even kidding.
Evan & Randi
Choreographer: Pasha Kovalev & Anya Garnis
Song: "Ritmo De Bom Bom" by Jubaba
Rehearsals looked interesting. Pasha & Anya just looked so good doing the dance, it was hard to imagine Randi & Evan looking like that. I sort of hated her costume a little bit. My husband said "They're not really interacting with each other", so I guess that means there wasn't that great of chemistry. I thought it looked a little amateur. they were good, but it definitely didn't look effortless, or like they were naturals at it. It was also so out of character seeming for them as a couple. Their chemistry was so much better doing Jive that it was obvious that it was missing here.
Jeanette & Brandon
Choreographer: Wade Robson
Song: "Ruby Blue" by Roisin Murphy
I am a big Wade Robson fan, so whenever I hear he's doing a routine I'm excited. Like Brandon said, Wade brings a story to the routine, and I like that a lot. I liked it! I thought Brandon outshined Jeanette at this one. My husband thought Jeanette was a little too fluid and he fit the routine a little better. I feel like they each got the spotlight in one of their routines this evening, which is good for voting. I think this couple will be most disadvantaged by splitting up because they are SO adaptable. On the other hand, maybe they will have an advantage because they're so good they'll bring the other dancers to their level. I agreed with Mary, from the beginning it was great, their dancing on the stairs was just so good and hard hitting it fit. Tyce called it "technical excellence."
Predictions for bottom 3: Jason & Caitlin, Randi & Evan and Melissa & Ade
I'll be doing the elimination recap separately this week since I haven't seen the elimination episode yet - I'm staying off any other recaps until I see it! By process of elimination, I'm hoping to see Caitlin & Evan leave. I like both of them, but I don't think either is going to win and I thought they had the least to offer this week. I think this is the last week the judges do the elimination too, when it's top 10 I think it switches to being completely based on audience votes. So, we'll see!