As usual, we begin with:
Kate: What is up with her this season? How tacky/old school was that dress?
Erica: Yeah, I didn’t much like it. Plus it was bunching in the back from her mic. Shouldn’t there be, like, a cottage industry of fashion designers making dresses specifically for reality show participants that can accommodate microphones without ruining lines?
K: That is a positive idea.
E: I liked her hair a lot.
K: Her hair was oooooo-kay, but I didn’t like dark lipstick on her.
E: I don’t know; I thought it was a nice change. She is awfully fair for it, though.
K: Speaking of dark lipstick, Er, I bought that Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm in Hibiscus and I love it.
E: That’s not dark at all.
Group Dance: Jazz?, The Here and After by Jun Miyake, choreographed by Tasty Oreo
K: Well the chair part was cool, because that involved actual dancing instead of scampering about the stage with odd expressions on their faces.
E: You know what? The dance was great and the dancers were great in it. They were all really together, even when the movements weren’t the same–it was like their hearts were beating in sync. And they held their weight somewhere around their chests and they looked great doing it. It was just so very catered to Amelia’s whole schtick and it annoyed me. Even though I like her.
K: Ha! I am slowly turning you against her. (Disagree with most of the rest of what you said, though.)
E: Wait, it was choreographed by Tasty Oreo? Wow. I usually hate his non-Broadway routines.
Tiffany & George: Hip-hop, Out of My Mind by B.O.B. featuring Nicki Minaj, choreographed by NappyTabs
K: Well I OBVIOUSLY love THIS! Holy Toledo Tiffany is fantastic at hip-hop, she seems even sharper than George (but how is that possible because he’s black and it’s hip-hop, right Nigel?).
E: Oy again. “We’re having a BABY so we thought we’d do a BABYSITTING routine because we are so ON THE EDGE and INVENTIVE.” Sorry. I know you like them. And yeah, Tiffany and George did a great job, especially Tiffany.
K: You are such a NappyTabs hater, this was fun and you know it. It actually reminds me of that thing Jeanine and Ade did with the boxes (Move If You Wanna), which coincidentally inspired the hip-hop routine I taught in my class.
Amber & Brandon: Jazz, Dr. Feelgood (Love is a Serious Business) by Aretha Franklin, choreographed by Ray Leeper
K: All right, now I see what you’re all saying about her legs and her lines. Pretty fantastic.
E: He’s a new choreographer, right? Or newish? I liked it.
K: But…it made me slightly uncomfortable, like Brandon made it TOO sexy with all those very slow body rolls. Come to think of it, I think that’s all he did in the dance really, so that’s boring.
E: Um…Brandon could do body rolls all day and not bore me. Sorry. But it was supposed to be hot and it was hot, so good job them.
K: I did not find it hot. Her hair makes me equally uncomfortable.
E: Yeah, I’m glad Brandon told us she’s a hairdresser because now all of her bizarre hair choices make sense.
K: Also, that was jazz? Wasn’t it more contemporary-ish?
E: Where is the line, I ask you? WHERE IS THE LINE?
Janelle & Dareian: Cha-cha, Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen, choreographed by Pasha (!)
K: A cha-cha to Call Me Maybe. Good grief.
E: Anya and Pasha’s year, Anya did a jive (presumably with Danny, but as good as Danny is, who’s looking at him when Anya’s dancing?) to Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend”. To this day I have a totally undeserved affection for that song, because of Anya’s dancing. Yes, Nigel, dancing is a powerful and amazing art form.
K: So I think she looked great because she’s a belly dancer and transferring that to ballroom can’t be TOO hard except for the partnering thing, but that is exactly where they fell short here. He looked too excited and missed a lot of connections. In ballroom it doesn’t matter how good one person looks, if the other is off the whole thing is wrong, wrong, wrong.
E: I actually didn’t think she looked that good. I expected better, precisely because of her belly dance background.
K: Well at least the judges agreed with me for once!
Lindsey & Cole: Contemporary, Wild Horses by Charlotte Martin, choreographed by Mandy Moore (but not that Mandy Moore)
K: I know we’re all saying “Thank goodness Mandy is back!” because this was beautiful. Cole is freakishly appropriate to play “hate”, no? I mean, he has such a fierce face.
E: I have to agree. You know, I make fun of the constant reality-show-ese on this show, but the truth is, the contestants do get better and better every year, because Cole and Lindsey are maybe my least favorite of the Top 16 (except for Janelle, maybe). I thought both of them got in sort of under the wire. I thought Witney was better than Lindsey and I thought Cole was in for the “not really a dancer!”-ness of him. But you know what? They are still freaking amazing.
K: My one complaint about this routine is not that it was a Rolling Stones cover because I really liked that, it’s that she had her hair down and I hate when people dance with their hair down and she was flipping it around so much we couldn’t see her face. Not that I needed to see her face, I just think that was a childish move and I don’t think it was direction that came from Mandy.
E: Well, I don’t know how much input the choreographers have over hair and make-up, but I do know Lindsey has none. And I get worried about the girls dancing with their hair all over the place. I find it so distracting when my hair is in my face and I’m usually not trying to, you know, stand with one foot on the floor and the other foot all the way up in the sky. But I really loved how Christina Applegate–I love her so much as a judge on this show–was like, “You spoke with the muscles in your body and that was enough”.
Amelia & Will: Jazz, You by The Creatures, choreographed by Mandy Moore
E: What, did Mandy Moore have to go somewhere later? They had to put both her numbers back to back?
K: It appears she put all her efforts into the contemporary routine and just kind of half-assed this one. It really wasn’t great choreography or a great song, so them dancing it well couldn’t have done much to save it.
E: I did like the dancing more than the judges did, though. I thought they were fun and upbeat and amusing, which is what the two of them do well.
K: Also, don’t get mad at me for saying this Er, but I think they were going for some sexy stuff here and Amelia is just not believable as sexy.
E: I, in fact, did not notice any attempts at sexiness, so you’re right, I guess she’s not.
K: But the size difference between Amelia and Will is fairly amusing.
Audrey & Matthew: Salsa, Cinco Salsa by Sverre Indris Joner/HBC/Kork, choreographed by Liz Lira
K: I definitely liked her Latin ballroom outfit better than Janelle’s.
K: Their little “what you should know about my partner” blurb in the beginning made me think they are not-so-secretly making out between rehearsals.
E: Maybe that’s distracting them and it’s why they kind of sucked.
K: Matthew Gosling was, like, barely moving at all until they split up, but I think he was too embarrassed to be wearing a bright red sparkly pantsuit to really enjoy his time up there, know what I’m saying?
E: It was quite an embarrassing suit.
Witney & Chehon: Contemporary, I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston, choreographed by Stacy Tookey
E: My first reaction was, “Oh, please don’t have Stacy Tookey and Mandy Moore in the same episode! I can’t tell them apart!”
K: There was passion exploding out of their fingertips before they even started moving; they were clearly very excited to do this routine.
E: As well they should have been.
K: He is truly my favorite dancer this season and possibly one of my favorite since I started watching the show. I mean, the man doesn’t make a false move ever. I had chills all over my body at that BOOM, LIFT, DOWN! moment, as I’m sure the rest of America did.
E: Yeah, I have nothing bad to say about this. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful work.
K: It was kind of a weird ending, though, no?
E: I thought it was perfect. Actually, I thought the ending to the Lindsey/Cole number was weirder, because Mandy said “If you’re just pure and love and blah blah blah, you can beat hate,” and then it didn’t look to me like love beat hate. But what do I know?
K: Agreed, I wasn’t sure who won that battle. But Chehon totes won in this, oy (in a good way)!
E: Oh, by the way, yes, it’s Witney, no “h”. Do you suppose that’s why she was in the bottom three last week? Because people texting in their votes didn’t know/remember that?
Cyrus & Eliana: Hip-hop, Toxic by District 78, choreographed by NappyTabs
K: This was pretty creepy and weird in the best possible way, I didn’t know NappyTabs had that in them!
E: I was disdainful of the premise–the guy who dances like a robot is going to be a robot and the ballerina is going to be a ballerina! Inventive!–but the dance was seriously awesome and they did a seriously awesome job with it.
K: Stop analyzing NappyTabs’ creative juices! This isn’t So You Think You Can Conceptualize! Anyway, she was very, very sharp at the hip-hop stuff, and this was obviously the perfect routine for him. She even did isolations!
E: There is nothing she can’t rock at. She’s my favorite.
K: The last 2 routines were the best of the night and possibly the season to date.
The “Professional Dancers” Routine, Solos & Eliminations
E: So, the Alvin Ailey thing–Nigel, did you like it because it was uber-masculine, or hate it because boys danced together in pairs?
K: Oh, I didn’t really like that at all. And as for the solos, I sort of hate solo dancing.
E: I usually can’t tell what’s going on in solos, although–and I say this with love and a little bit of “You are fiiiiine”–Brandon’s really sucked.
K: Which is why he went home. I guessed he and Amber would be the ones to go, and I was right. Woo.
E: How did we not talk more about how much I love Christina Applegate?
K: That just goes without saying.