Finally it's time for the partners! Cat Deeley's dress looks familiar... it seems like she has worn it before. It's really cute, though.
Who is going to be partnered up?
Before we find out, we meet the judges for the evening. Dan Karaty is joining Mary and Nigel for tonight's show. Mary has an amazing ability to speak with most of her teeth showing most of the time. It's a little disconcerting. She must spend so much money getting her teeth whitened that she wants to show them off all the time. Nigel refuses to choose favorites, but compliments Cat on looking beautiful and having dancer's legs. Cat admits that she doesn't have control over them like a dancer, and then leads into a retrospective on how the Top 20 got to the Top 20. It featured a lot of Mary screeching. I think I need an advil.
Rayven (contemporary ballet) & Jamie (West Coast Swing) - Hip Hop choreographed by Napoleon & Tabitha. I like them. Rayven had some goofy facial expressions, but it was in line with the dance. There was a bit where Jamie got his pants pulled down, and it was cute. There were some really neat moves. Can't wait to see what else they do. Nigel said that he likes the way that hip hop is heading, and I like it too. He also wonders if it is going to be a memorable routine at the end of the night. Mary makes me long for Paula, at least in the tone of her voice. Where is my advil? She calls this like Cotton Candy Hip Hop. I would agree. Dan says there was no funk and wasn't a huge fan.
Susie (latin) & Marquis (contemporary) - Smooth Waltz choreographed by Hunter Johnson. Susie's hair is way too blonde for her complextion or her eyebrows or something. It's distracting. Parts of the waltz were really pretty, but some of it just looked awkward. Susie had some things that were supposed to be smooth that looked kind of jerky to me. Some of the lifts looked a little forced, too. I'm not a huge fan of either one of them after that. Nigel said that it was very difficult choreography, but it didn't really allow the personality to get out. He thought that Marquis' lines were great, and Susie had excellent lines for coming from salsa. Mary said that it is hard to dance something so sedate as the smooth waltz, especially on the first night. She thought that they did a good job, and though they have room to grow, she was blown away with what they did. Dan also didn't see the problems that I saw. Maybe I was imagining it. I will admit that I am no expert on dance.
Kourtni (contemporary) & Matt (contemporary) - Jazz choreographed by Mandy Moore. Kourtni is 5'9", and Matt is 6'3", which is kind of crazy. They look really good togehter. The juxtaposition of Kourtni's blonde hair and Matt's dark hair is really cool. They are both really expressive on stage and I love the choreography. It was a wonderful routine, in my opinion. Nigel said that they were a fun team, though he needs more personality from Matt, and said he danced like he had a broomstick shoved up where the sun doesn't shine. Ouch. He said that Kourtni reminds him of Uma, and also Princess Dianna and Cameron Diaz. Mary loved them, but thought that the lift was weak and looked heavy. Then she cackled and called them sexy. She denies Kourtni a ticket to the Hot Tamale Train and cackled again. Dan said the choreography was good, but they played it safe and needed to attack it. Cat likes this couple because they are tall, like her, and she quipped "I feel almost normal sized!" I like her so much.
Chelsea Trail (contemporary) & Thayne (contemporary) - Cha cha choreographed by Tony Meredith and Melony. Their first lift did not look very smooth, but they seemed to get into it as they went along, and Thayne had some good facial expressions. Kind of like "Hey, look who I get to dance with." I'm less sold on Chelsea's facial expressions. The dance was ok. Nigel wanted to know how Thayne could contain "this creature" beside him, and congratulated him. He said that they are both at least standing on the platform of the hot tamale train, and Mary cackled, then gives them entrance to that coveted train. He commended Thayne on letting the focus be on Chelsea, and said that he did some great hip movements himself. Dan said that they owned the stage, but Thayne seemed secondary in this routine, which was he guessed ok. I guess I didn't get the sexy from Chelsea as much as they did. Don't know why.
Chelsea H. (Ballroom) & Mark (contemporary) - Mark is the guy who did the Bohemian Rhapsody, and I was blown away by him them. Tonight they are doing a Mia Michael's contemporary routine. Mia said it is like "what Tim Burton's wedding would be like." During rehearsals, Mia was really disappointed in Mark, and he dropped Chelsea once. Ouch. During the actual performance, it allseemed to come togehter. Chelsea was beautiful, and Mark was weird, and I think that's what Mia was going for. Their lifts looks effortless and gorgeous. Nigel said that it is great how Mia brought what they did into her choreography, and thought that they danced it beautifully. Mary thinks that Mark is super unique, and Chelsea is an innocent angel. Dan said he would like to take a trip inside Mia Michaels' head, and thinks that they had a good tour. I agree. Mia done well can be so lovely.
Kherrington (contemporary jazz) & Twitch (hip hop) - Broadway choreographed by Tyce Diorio (Too Darned Hot, which I love love love). Twitch dubs their couple Twitchington. Got a ring to it. The initial lift looked a but tough, but I think they got their groove on. There was a cool rolling move that I liked, and they seem to be a good couple. Nigel said they were in fact hot hot hot, and commended Twitch for doing so well with Broadway as a hip hop dancer. Mary says that the sprinklers are going to come on for the pair of them. I think the siren she is hearing is in fact just her own wailing whining voice. Dan says that Kherrington lights up the stage, and says that Twitch is not a traditional broadway dancer, and he doesn't care because he loved him.
Comfort (hip hop) & Chris (contemporary) - Jive choreographed by Tony Meredith and Melony. I loved their jive. It had a lot of personality and Comfort can shake her bootie like nobody's business. There was a really cool hand stand lift to a standing position and it was great. After the end of the dance, Comfort let everyone know that it is totally different for a tomboy like her to be dancing in "bra and panties and beads." I like her. Nigel said that he thought Chris got down more into the floor and got the feeling of the routine more, and thought he really let his personality come out. Nigel warned Comfort to learn how to dance in heels a little better, because she wasn't bending her knees enough. Comfort dislocated her shoulder the previous day, but they "click clicked" it back, and seems to be ok with it. Mary thought their personalities came out wonderfully. Dan thought it had all been said (positively) about Comfort, and thought that Chris did a good job, but they really need to work on their partnership and let it gel more. Good advice.
Katee (contemporary) & Joshua (hip hop) - Hip hop choreographed by Napoleon & Tabitha. They did a bit of acting in the beginning, and the routine is about a soldier heading off to war and leaving his girlfriend. The acting is good, and I actually got chills. Katee pops pretty well for being a contemporary dancer (in my untrained opinion). The very last move was neat - Joshua transfered his jacket to Katee. It was beautiful. Nigel called it really really good, and loved the choreography, and thought that they danced it wonderfully together. Mary thought it was nuanced and tremendous. Dan thought that they did wonderfully dancing in unison, and I agree.
Jessica (contemporary) & Will (contemporary) - Tango choreographed by Hunter Johnson. Will promised in rehearsal that they would be "performing their faces off." I still don't know what that means. I think it's a Paula phrase that has unfortunately caught on. I thought that they did a nice job, but it was not my favorite. The last lift was crazy and looked great. Nigel said Will was majestic, and Jessica was a little wobbly in the heels, but still absolutely wonderful. Mary tries again to seem serious, then yells about strength and passion and masculinity, in only the most positive yelling way. She calls them the couple to beat, and I disagree whole-heartedly. Dan says that they played their parts, connected with each other, and connected with the audience.
Courtney (contemporary) & Gev (B-boy) - Disco choreographed by Doriana Sanchez. I will refrain from making Borat jokes. I will refrain from making Borat jokes (Gev is from Kazakstan) Great. They are dancing to Boogie Wonderland, and I have had that song stuck in my head all day because my kids have been on a Happy Feet kick. Some of the lifts looked a little shaky, and he almost dropped her right at the end, but overall, not bad. Nigel was not a fan of their performance. He said there wasn't the right feel to it, and it looked like Disco Duck, and said it just looked messy. Mary said that Courtney had some good feeling, and thought that Gev was good. Dan said he enjoyed it, thought it could have been cleaner, and called it pretty good.
So, my bottom three couples are Susie & Marquis, Courtney & Gev, and Jessica & Will. I hope that Susie goes home, and I think Marquis can go with her, in my book.
My top three are Kourtni & Matt, Chelsea & Mark, and Katee & Joshua.
There will be a Wade Robson routine tomorrow, so that ought to be... cool. He's never boring, that's for sure.