Finally, it's a voting week. Cat's got that stupid science fiction looking comb back hair do, and her dress is looking mighty reptilian. Is she harkening to V (which is on opposite, and I am missing because of this show)?
Season 5 dancers are in the audience, off their tour, with 9 shows left. Good to see them. The judges pimped the Dizzy Feet Charity. Apparently, Mary is going to be doing the samba with Dmitry. I wish this thing was going to be televised... oh, well.
Karen & Kevin (Hustle, choreographed by Maria Torres, Come to Me, by France Jodi) Karen and her booted-dancer husband decided to get a divorce shortly after Vegas. Kevin has performed in London, Italy, and the Great Wall of China. The dance is based on her trying to get him to dance with her, and he's ignoring her. In rehearsals, he found that a hard thing to do. Karen's dress looked like she tied a very shimmery table cloth around her waist. Kevin looked a little awkward in his movements. He did well, and he had a really admirable leap, but it didn't look natural in character. Karen had some wonderful drop and spins, and she is just magnetic. They had a really cool lift at the end, but the light went off on them and it ended in shadow. Adam thought they made it work for them. He thought that Kevin owned it. Hmm. I didn't see it. He also told Karen that she performed with a lot of restraint and quiet fire. Mary called it a Sadie Hawkins hustle, but did call Kevin a little on legwork and awkward body positions going into lifts. They both stay on the hot tamale train for her. Nigel wondered if Kevin's friends are watching, and said that they must be shocked at his skills. Nigel is delighted with Kevin. He did call Kevin out on looking terrified during death drops, worried that he was going to drop Karen, visibly. He loved how much Karen puts on top of the choreography. I'd agree with that.
Ashleigh & Jakob (Jazz, choreographed by Mandy Moore, Relax, by Frankie Goes to Hollywood) Ashleigh studied political science and history in college and is a book nerd. Jakob has been a good friend of Jeanine from last season since childhood. Mandy has included a cane in the dance, as a third character in the dance. I instanly loved the beginning of the dance, and I love their styling. Jakob had some overtones of Mark in his movements and I loved it. Ashleigh impressed me more than I expected her to. I really enjoyed it and could see watching it again. Fun dance, great characters. Adam raved about how Ashleigh belongs on the show, and loves their partnership. There was a minor cane malfunction, and they covered it super well. He called it mature, studied, and fiery. He loved how the choreographers keep finding ways to make Jakob jump, and is unsure if Jakob has bones. Mary said they are phenomenal. She shrieked her love for them. Nigel gave a shout out to Mandy Moore, and said it was right up there with her Table Routine with Sabra & Neal. That is one of my favorite routines ever, and I would have to agree. He also loved how well they did their character work. Great dance.
Pauline & Peter (Quickstep, choreographed by JT & Tomas (new choreographers), Hey Baby, Shake those Hula Hips, by the Big Kahuna etc.) Peter volunteers at a place called Spin, helping with talent shows for special needs people. Pauline eats constantly. I thought that they did a pretty good job with the fancy footwork, and Pauline made a really cute hula dancer. The lift sequence at the end was fantastic. Adam thanked the new choreographers for an adorable routine, and thought that the use of character helped gloss over some of the possible technical misteps, and thought that they performed the hell out of it. Mary expects a trainwreck naturally when it comes to the Quickstep, and didn't see it. She applauded their joy and charisma, but did think that they were a bit clunky in the footwork, instead of glidey. She did not think that Pauline had good close hold, but still thought that they did an amazing performance. Nigel mentioned some technical problems and said he didn't so much care, because it was a wonderful performance with wonderful personality. He appreciated the quickstep with a story to it. So did I.
Kathryn & Legacy (Broadway, choreographed by Andy Blankenbueler, I Wanna Be Like You from Swingin' Fireballs) Kathryn loves to help people and has been on mission trips in Costa Rica. Legacy loves soccer and had scholarships to school for soccer. Kathryn has really expressive eyes and she's fun to watch. Legacy isn't so bad, either. It was a fun dance. Adam thought it was an adorable routine. He wasn't sure what Kathryn's character was supposed to be, because she played it really cute. He wanted her to be a man-eating tiger. He then called Legacy Legs, and I'm not sure I am comfortable with that nickname for a nickname. He loves how Legacy pulled off the dance, but wants him to watch some of Gene Kelly's hands. Mary told them Broadway is about Chemistry, Character, and Choreography, but worries that they missed some Chemistry. She did think that Legacy is growing in leaps and bounds and thinks that Kathryn got a little lost in his shadow. She then did some screeching at Cat. Nigel found himself a little disappointed in Kathryn and worried that she was dancing a little childishly. He did love watching Legacy grow into each style.
Channing & Victor (Contemporary, choreographed by Stacey Tookey, Be Be Your Love, by Rachel Yamagata) Victor used to be a Goth Rock boy. He grew out of it. Channing used to race lawnmowers. That's kind of cool. She won a trip to Disney from it. Cool. The routine is based on a toxic relationship. I love the song they are dancing to. Love it. They seemed to struggle a little in the beginning, but I think around the middle they got into it and I loved the movements. They were lacking some chemistry, but it was still pretty good. Adam thought that the new partnership reinvigorated both of them, and thought it brought out some softness and sensitivity in Channing. Mary agrees that it's a great partnership and thinks they did a tremendous job. It didn't quite touch her soul, and I would agree, but loves to see Channing, a beautiful, strong woman. Nigel said that they had to be good in their own style, and he thought technically they were wonderful, but emotionally, it didn't grab him.
Elenore & Ryan (Hip Hop, choreographed by Lil C, Kist Boiz Anthem by Tha J-Squad) Elenore is a combo of 6 ethnicities. Very cool. Ryan wants to be a superhero in an action movie and loves extreme sports. The begining was really weird and I didn't like it much. Once they got into the meat of the routine, I liked it a lot. I think that Elenore did a better job than Ryan did, though. He was not tight and sharp enough. He looked like a big ol' poser. Adam thought that they looked like the Bobsy Twins coming in, but thought that Ryan was the most changed performer of the night, but thought that the fashion choice of wearing white to rob a bank was not wise. He admitted that the dance was not great, but it was a yeoman's job. Mary was impressed, but thought that they got sluggish along the way. She said that she can't stand up and scream about it, and I can't say I'm upset about that. Nigel thought that they were not good at all and was distinctly lacking in swagger. He really didn't think that either of them suited the style well, and that Elenore is too sweet for it, and said it wasn't there in any way, shape, or form for him.
Mollee & Nathan (Salsa, choreographed by Gustavo Vargas (another new choreographer), Quimbara by Celia Cruz ) Mollee is deaf in her left ear and has been since she was a kid and her balance was messed up by her hearing aid, so she goes without. Nathan is an avid jetskier. Mollee is determined to bring the sexy. I think mostly she brought the hair flipping. Nathan brought some suave, though. I think that technically, she was pretty good (though there was a problem getting into a couple of the spins/lifts), but I don't know if I buy her as sexy... Adam thought it was a bad luck of the draw, and thought the routine exposed all of their weaknesses. Their usage of the floor was not good, the spins were not good, and he also picked up the hand placement issues going into spins and lifts. Mary said it wasn't so much sexified as French Fried. Their side by side work was not synchronous, and they really missed the feel and the style. She didn't think that Nathan was nearly suave enough, and thought that Mollee didn't settle at all. Then she called them a dream team. Huh. Nigel thought they they really exposed the weaknesses.
Noelle & Russell (Afrojazz, Shawn Cheeseman, Frog Dance by Mickey Hart & Planet Drum) Noelle has three sisters and a brother, and her brother had a stroke when he was younger and only has use of one hand. Russell is an artist. In the dance, he is a frog and her spirit guide, and she is an African Princess. And it has to be super fast. I was really digging the dance. Noelle's outfit was kind of Lelu Dallas from Fifth Element. There was a super cool part where he lifted her into a flip and then flipped over her himself. It was fun and strong, I thought. Adam loved the new choreographer and thought it was a really smart number, with a big amount of joy, character, and story. He loved how relentless the dance was, and how much they committed to the characters. I could tell that Mary liked it, and so I muted her and have no idea what she said. I just can't handle her voice tonight. I muted through it, but Russell at least got on the hot tamale train. Nigel told Russell he is a star of this season, and loved how he got into character. Nigel is glad to have seen Noelle do this dance.
I thought that Ashleigh & Jakob were my favorites, and I also liked Peter & Pauline's Quickstep, and Noelle & Russell's dance was awesome. I was highly disappointed in Mollee & Nathan, Elenore & Ryan, and Channing & Victor... we'll see.
What do you think?