Cat looks snazzy tonight in a Chinese-looking red frock, with Veronica Lake hair, and it seems that the first cuts are going to be judge's choice. No results show this week. Is that how it normally is?
Brandon joins the crew tonight, and the tappers certainly make the intro montage ... different.
I am pleased to see Adam as a permanent judge. I do hope that the 4th chair gets some use, even if it isn't Paula. I like Lil C! Nigel said that they would also welcome Paula as a choreographer.
Not only has Billy Bell gotten ill (was it the Swine Flu????) and dropped out, Noelle has gone for an MRI on her knee after a terrible accident. Her choreographer, Melanie is standing in for her tonight, and if Noelle can come back next week, she'll get another chance. If not, she will be out.
Channing & Phillip (Jive, choreographed by Jason Gilkinson, Rockin' Robin by The Jackson 5) She grew up a tomboy, and Phillip is a poet. His taping made his footwork much better than a lot of jives I've seen. The lifts looked a little labored, so I think he'll have to work on his upper body strength. Their costumes were super sweet, though, and Channing held her own with the footwork. I liked it overall. Just wanted a bit more from the lifts. Adam thinks they are a very classy pairing. He thought that Channing was lovely, but needed something. He also noticed the effort that went into the lifts. Mary said it was not bad, but wants more. She thought the legs could have been sharper, and thought that Channing came on towards the end, but Phillip lost his steam. Nigel thought that the hydraulics of the knees used in tap helped Phillip. He warned Channing that she needs to get her weight more over her toes, and he wanted more chemistry.
Ashleigh & Jakob (Broadway, choreographed by Tyce Diorio, Hit me with a Hot Note (And Watch me Bounce), from Sophistocated Ladies) What a flip from Jakob just to start the thing out! I like Ashleigh's dress, and Jakob did some pretty good lifts. Tyce gave him plenty of moments to fly. Ashleigh doesn't connect with me as much as I want her to, but I really love Jakob. Adam thought that the choreography was incredibly smart, and thinks that Jakob spreads the gospel of dance. He warned Ashley that she doesn't always finish her lines. Mary thought Ashleigh was phenomenal, and screeched about Jakob's perfection. Nigel admitted that Ashleigh was a surprise to get into the Top 20, but has proven why she belongs, and he called Jakob one of the most gifted dancers on the show. He also threw out some love for the absent Billy Bell (hope he gets well soon and can come back next year!)
Ariana & Peter (Hip Hop, choreographed by Tabitha & Napoleon, Black & Gold by Sam Sparro) Ariana is a farm girl, and Peter is an Italian from Philadelphia. They are emotionless androids, but there are sparks when they get near each other. This is a neat version of Black & Gold. I like it a lot and kind of want it. They danced it well. I was impressed with how they hit it. Peter did a slide on his head, which was cool. I liked the dance a lot. Cat made a Johnny Five joke that will be lost on the youth. Adam thought they danced a little too differently and wanted more action and reaction. He compared himself to Lil C and had some big words. Mary thought the beginning and the end were good, but thought the middle was sloppy. Nigel didn't think it ever worked. Ow. He thought that Peter did better than Ariana.
Noelle (well, Melanie) & Russell (Foxtrot, by Tony Meradith and Melanie Lapatin, Vagabond Shoes by Vic Damone) I just adore Russell. Everything about him impresses me. I'm actually glad to be able to focus on just him for this dance. He had chemistry with Melanie - I would have liked to see what he had with Noelle. I think it was a great dance. Team Russell!!! Adam thinks that Russell defies expectations, and thinks he lived the character, in an untested partnership, and called it effortless and beautiful. Mary thought he was wonderful, but his weave needed to be tighter. She called it "steppy." I'll take her word for it. Nigel thinks that Russell is a poster child for why dance is so important for kids to experience. He admitted that the rise and fall wasn't good, but his lines were good, and can't imagine Fred Astaire crumping, so props for Russell!
Bianca & Victor (Contemporary, choreographed by Travis Wall *yay*, Wasted Time by Mi'chelle long name I can't spell) He is supposed to be blatantly ignoring her, and she wants him all the same. It was really neat. I loved one segment where she held onto his legs and did rolls while he walked away, and there was an incredible lift where she lowered herself slowly backwards... Wow. Travis does it again. Love his choreography. And they sold it. Adam gave the love to Travis. He warned Bianca that her shoulders are too high up, but he called Victor a revelation. Mary cackled her love. She thought they had awesome chemistry. Nigel thought that they are the most connected partners so far, and he could see their growth and loved their confidence.
Karen & Kevin (Cha cha, choreographed by Tony Meredith & Melanie, Push It, from Glee *squeeee*) She is a proud latina, and he is a model. She is wonderful. He looked a little disconnected. He did a decent enough job, but I wanted more. I really enjoyed Karen, though. Adam gave Karen a "Yikes," and admitted it was hard to keep his eyes off her, even though "that's not really my thing." I love it. He got booed for mentioning that the unwinding pretzel was slow and awkward. Karen is the first person on Mary's loud hot tamale train, but Kevin didn't make it there. Nigel thought Kevin danced it well, but thought that Karen was a vision.
Ellenore & Ryan (Contemporary Jazz, choreographed by Sonya Tayeh, Arcadia by Apparat). Ryan likes to bench press his wife, and Ellenore has been dancing since before she was born. They are two angelic creatures - he's domineering, and she is more angelic. The routine is neat and oh so Sonya. Ryan's strength came in handy. Adam said that these two became the two most exciting dancers on the show. He wanted a little more abandon, but thought it was beautiful and gave them a bravo. Mary thought their chemistry was crazy, and loved to see them stay in character the whole time. Nigel thinks that Sonya always brings something unique, and was impressed with Ryan.
Pauline & Brandon (Smooth Waltz, choreographed by Jason Gilkinson, You Light Up My Life, by Whitney Houston) Pauline loves photography, and Brandon is shocked to be in the Top 20. Poor them, getting waltz for the first week. Not usually a crowd pleaser... I thought that Pauline was very tight in her shoulders in the beginning especially. There was a very nice lift in there, though. Brandon did pretty well for jumping in late. He had a very nice leap. They had good chemistry, but it wasn't my favorite. Adam was amazed at Brandon coming in a day and a half ago, and loved some of Pauline's expressions. Mary thinks that the two of them are the cutest ever. Mary thought that the character was good, but the dance wasn't the best. Nigel said he was going to critique it without favoritism because of the difficulties. He thought that it was a bit of prom dance, and thought that Pauline could have opened up more in her lines.
Kathryn & Legacy (Hip Hop, choreographed by Dave Scott, On & On by Missy Elliot) The piece is about cavemen hearing hip hop for the first time, and not understanding why their bodies are moving. It's supposed to be humorous. It started with her picking nits out of his hair. Funny. She impressed me, actually. The choreography was fun, and Kathryn got to finish it by elbowing Legacy in the face and dragging him off. Adam took some of Nigel's work of sucking up to the choreographer. He loved the chemistry between the two of them, and thinks it's a good partnership. Mary screamed Yabba Dabba Do, and said that Pebbles and Bam Bam were busting a move in the cave tonight. She screamed some more. Again, my ears are bleeding. Nigel thought that the musicality was amazing, and called it the hip hop version of quest for fire.
Mollee & Nathan (Disco, choreographed by Doriana Sanchez, Turn the Beat Around by Gloria Estafan) I like Nathan a lot more than Mollee just starting off, but she did some really cool moves - one lift over his head was amazing. She's cute, but I want more from her. The disco balls were making me dizzy. There was an awkward jump where her crotch ended up right in his face, but then it dropped into a really super spin with her legs around his neck. Adam thinks they are an adorable couple, and thinks that their energy is infectious. He said even the really sexy lifts didn't seem dirty, because they are so sweet. He isn't a fan of disco much, but loved this routine. Mary thought they really pulled it off, and with great charisma. Nigel thinks that anyone who doesn't like disco has got to be crazy, and thinks that they bring the fun to the competition.
The judges want to see solos from Ariana, Brandon, Pauline, and Russell. Russell????!!! What????? They promise to take everything under consideration - all the dancing up until now.
Ariana's solo showed joy and leaps and I think it was pretty good.
Russell's solo was awesom. He spun around four times, I think, in a tight flying spin. He rocks. If they kick him off, I just might cry.
Pauline's solo seemed to be a whole lot of spinning around. I wasn't sold on it. I don't know about these two girls.
Brandon's solo was to a John Mayer song. Really? It was boring and showed me nothing unique.
The decision for the girl was unanimous. He reminded the girls that to get into the Top 20, they already proved that they were amazing dancers. They like Pauline's charisma but want more passion from her work. Ariana's going home. She was good, but could have been more charismatic.
Now for the guys. They were also unanimous. They urged Russell to keep dancing and keep learning other styles. They booted Brandon (which I agree with). They said they didn't originally put him in the Top 20 because they thought he needed some more time to grow, and Nigel says he is personally going to talk to the people in charge at Fox etc. to see if they can make an exception for him and let him come back next year. I hope so. He's got potential, but was definitely the weakest this week. Certainly Russell didn't deserve to go home in his stead. I think that they just wanted to see Russell's rockin' solo.
Do you think the right people went home?