I think Cat got her dress from the set of Gold Finger tonight. It's a good look.
Tonight's the 99th show, with Mia Michaels and Ellen Degeneres joining Mary and Nigel on the panel of judges. Ellen is hilarious. I love her. Can we keep her and boot Mary (who recycled her English Muffin joke) please?
Yippee!! Group number is choreographed by Travis Wall!! They have LED lighs on them, and it's set to Let it Rock, which is a cool song. The girls have LED tutus which look to be made from plexiglass. It is a very cool dance and everyone got their chance to do something in their own style. I think they were wearing Jordi Laforge visors. Let's keep Travis, please!!! (And I still love Ellen - "By the way, I can do that.")
I cannot wait until tomorrow night! Go Ramalama!
Evan & Janette (Jazz, choreographed by Sonya. Song: Move, by CSS) They match up well height wise, so that is cool. The routine is based on wanting the other person to shut up, and they did it very well, I think. It takes a good dancer to get Sonya's choreography, and I didn't see Evan's happy go lucky style in there at all. I loved it. Cat said they were like two tightly coiled springs. I'd agree with that. Nigel said he's finally getting more from Evan (yay! I agree) and dripped praise on Janette. Ellen can do that, by the way, and loved her pre-show wine, and also thought that they were amazing. Mary also loved how Evan got out of his normal realm of dance. She wanted some more hitting at the end. Nigel tried to get into the spirit of the dance and get Mary to shut up. It didn't happen, and she called him an English muffin again, then told him to sit on Brie. Um. Ok. Mia thought that Evan made a step, emotionally and character-wise, and she wants to chew on his cheeks, but because he's so cute, he'll never be the hard hitting, twisted dancer that something like Sonya requires. She flat out told Janette she's her favorite this season. Wow.
Kayla's solo: Her hair is back again. Good move. Her solo didn't speak to me much, though. She's still adorable, but I like her better in choreography someone else gives her.
Brandon & Jeanine (Waltz, choreographed by Hunter Johnson. Song: Let it Be, by Hayley Westenra) I thought it was kind of lovely, but seemed to lack a sense of flow in parts. I didn't see much of the rise and fall I am used to in Waltz, and some of the lifts seemed disjointed. Nigel called it an extremely tough routine, and thought the music was too slow, and he didn't see the power he wanted from it. I would agree. Ellen disagrees with Nigel, and thought they were fantastic (with a possible Twila Tharp in line for the potty joke). Mary said it is possibly the slowest Waltz they've ever done on the show, and anyone would have a hard time with that tempo. She called their work respectable, but agreed with me that the lines could have been stronger. Mia said that perhaps Brandon shouldn't have been dreaming of birds and bunnies (a joke he made about rehearsals). She wanted to be brought to someplace magical, but said it was full of hiccups and stuck moments. Exactly. I love them both, but not so much in this.
Jason's solo: He's really growing on me. He also used more of the front of the stage. Good.
Ade & Melissa (Cha cha, choreographed by Tony & Melanie. Song: Yeah, by Chino Espinoza Y Los Duenos) Reunited! Yay for hippy shakes! I want to know if this song came first, or the hip hop song? I enjoyed the dance quite a lot, and I love Melissa. Nigel called it pretty good, with lots of things to show off with. He urged Melissa not to turn out too much, because it keeps the hips from shimmying. He also told her that she pursed her lips and pulled faces trying to be sexy, and she doesn't need to do that. I agree. Ellen asked if they are carpenters, because they nailed it. Go Ellen. Mary thought the execution of the material was right on, but wanted Ade to drop his hip weight into the floor, to drop his bum, because it was all up high. She wanted the cha cha to be more grounded. Melissa's footwork went from too turned out to too turned in, so it was a little teeny bit below what she expected. Mia thinks it was Ade's worst performance of the season, and she wanted him to be down and dirty. She thinks that Melissa did an excellent job, especially coming from being a ballerina.
Janette's solo: Why did she bring out the Celine Dion? Boring for a salsa dancer! She ended up looking like all of the contemporary girls on the show. I didn't like that at all.
Jason & Kayla (Broadway, choreographed by Tyce Diorio. Song: Mr. Monotony, by Kim Kriswell). It's a very jazzy number, and I love the way they couple together. It was kind of slow, though. I really liked parts of it. Nigel called Jason's toes and feet perfect. He again applauded Kayla's lines. He thought it was one of the best routines of the evening to show off personal talents. Ellen likes her seats, and called them both good nailers. Mary loves Tyce and thought that the two of them were bouncing off of each other, in a good way. She got a train whistle instead in ADDITION to her screaming. I wish she had kept with just the whistle. Mia says it's scary when she seems like the only sane one on the panel. She loves the fusion of bluesy styles. She wants Jason to work on his upper body, and feels like Kayla should sing and act because she could take Broadway by storm, and predicted lots of Tonys in her future if she chooses to go that direction. She thinks Kayla is the epitome of a girl. And that's a good thing.
Ade's solo: He managed to bring some hip hop into his solo, which also included lots of contemporary and leaping, and I liked it a lot.
Janette & Evan (Rhumba, choreographed by Tony & Melanie. Song: Heartless, by Kris Allen) Great song (I love Kris Allen!). I think they did a pretty good job. The Rhumba is not my favorite dance, because it is so slow. Nigel said that he loved the choreography, but isn't sure it will get votes. He thought that Janette had it down pat, but thinks that Evan didn't have any passion in his face, because of his "heavy eyelids," and said it was lacking a bit for him. Ellen admits that she knows nothing about the dance, but she loves Evan's face and eyes (I agree) and loves how unique he is. Thank you for that, Ellen. I agree. She loves Janette, too, and thinks she's amazing. Mary thought Evan did a very good job, and was there for Janette in all the difficult connections. She loved the thread the needle lift they did (it was very cool), and then called Janette "Little Miss Fire & Spice & Flavor." Mia agreed with Ellen, and said that not everyone has to be a sexpot, and loves what Evan brings to the stage, and thinks he did the sexy with a Zoolander face. And she still loves Janette.
Melissa's solo: She had some super big 80's hair, but I still love her.
Jeanine & Brandon (Pop Jazz, choreographed by Lori Ann Gibson. Song: Battlefield, by Jordon Sparks) I don't love this song, but they are doing a better job at this choreography. This was emotional and believable. I liked it. So did Nigel. This is what he wanted to see in the Top 8. I think this style really suits Jeanine. Nigel gave thanks for the show finally stepping it up tonight. Ellen is happy to see Nigel happy, and says they made it appealing to join some kind of armed forces, though the uniforms wouldn't provide much protection and they might get scraped up a bit. Mary screeched and I muted. Is it just me, or does she have Tanning Goggle Face? It's distracting. Mia thinks that they danced in a place that was more than dance.
Evan's solo: He managed to get a lot of moves and personality into his solo, and there was a very cool flip in there. It was oh so Evan, and I loved it. He's adorable.
Jeanine's Solo: She is so unique in the way she moves, and she seems really connected to her music. I dig it.
Ade & Melissa (Contemporary, choreographed by Tyce Diorio. Song: This Woman's Work by Maxwell) The dance is about a woman who has breast cancer. Wow. Deep. Ade lifted Melissa like she was as light as a feather, and she gave him the power to do so. I got chills a couple times. See, this was a strong piece of work. Beautifully done. Nigel was near tears. I mean, right near tears. He wondered about where choreographers get the strength to do dances like that. He predicts another Emmy nomination for Tyce for this piece, and he can't think of a better couple to have danced it than these two. I agree. Ellen feels privileged to see this dance in person, and says it is the most beautiful thing she's ever seen. Mary is really crying. She called Ade a gentle giant, and applauded Melissa's trust in him. Mia was also crying and called it an important piece of work. Half the audience was in tears. She loved the strength that Melissa gave to Ade and the strength he gave to her, and said Melissa is an angel.
Brandon's Solo: His solo fit more with the music this week, and he did some tumbling.
Kayla & Jason (Hip Hop, choreographed by Shane Sparks. Song: They're Everywhere, by Izza Kizza) She looks kind of Anime in her zombified school girl costume. Jason is like the Zombie king, and I liked it. Nigel loved Shane's routine, and thought it brought something extra to the hip hop this season. Ellen told them if they keep dancing like that, they'll have their own talk show someday. Mary thinks her little puppy dog was bit by something with rabies, and loved the dance. She gave them some screeches. Mia told Shane this was her favorite routine he's ever done on the show, and called it disturbingly hot.
Melissa & Ade's second dance and Kayla & Jason's second dance, Evan & Janette's first dance, and Jeanine & Brandon's second dance were my favorites. I think that the best solos were Evan and Jeanine, and the worst were Janette (Celine? What?) and Kayla. I have no idea who is going to be going home, because they are all so strong.
What do you think? Did you enjoy Ellen as much as I did?