Group Routine: Contemporary, choreo by Mandy Moore
“Everybody Hurts” by Jasmine Thompson
Erica: I love this cover.
Kate: This song will never not be My So-Called Life.
Erica: Very pretty choreo. I prefer to open shows with a more flashy, high-energy number, but this was very pretty and I thought they, as a group, have never looked better.
Kate: Yea they usually start energetic and end with something like this, and mostly for just Team Stage this season, but lovely. Just lovely.
Cat Deeley’s Ensemble
Erica: Oh good, more modest prints. You better show up next week in something freaking spectacular, Cat. I remember one time you dressed like Grace Kelly and you looked amazing.
Kate: I hate dresses with that awkward pre-hem around the butt, flattering on NO ONE. Her hair is either way too long or she put in way unnecessary extensions.
Erica: I’m excited that they’re partnering with each other as well as the All-Stars. I wish they’d do that more. Instead of solos, for instance.
Kate: Preaching to the Anti-Solos Choir.
Gaby (street) & Marko (season 8): Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper
“Emergency” by Icona Pop
Erica: So I’ll be honest, I was super into the steampunk costumes. Because I’m a nerd.
Kate: I do not understand this “steampunk” or why it is in our lives at all. But this was a fun dance.
Erica: She really looked like she was having a good time with the routine. Which she should; it was a fun routine. She gave a great performance as well as a very good dance.
Kate: She was a teeny-tiny bit sloppier than usual, but she has such a good stage presence that she’s still really fun to watch.
“Rock the Bells” by LL Cool J
Kate: Just nothing special, sorry.
Erica: Fine. If I were a judge, I’d tell him to be careful not to let his cutesy character stuff to get in the way of his steps, but I’m not a judge. I’m not even a voter.
Kate: Well, we both should be voting with all this commentary we do.
JaJa (street) & Alex (season 7 & 10): Contemporary, choreo by Tessandra Chavez
“Youth” by Daughter
Erica: Oh, good. An issue. A tissue issue. A Notebook-inspired JaJa-has-Alzheimer’s-and-Alex-is-her-husband issue.
Kate: I was fast-forwarding all the pre-dance packages so I didn’t know that was actually the theme, and as soon as it started I was like, oh, she’s Rachel McAdams.
Erica: Look, I’m not going to lie, I got choked up. This was heart-breaking. And they did an amazing job with a good routine that was only marred by some over-literal moments.
Kate: As was the movie. Yes, this was great, I really think JaJa has learned the most and come the farthest and will probably win.
Erica: Do you think Jim and Alex will dance together?
Kate: Only if this damn show started giving the people what they want again!
“Elastic Heart” by Sia
Erica: I’m a huge Hailee fan, but this didn’t feel quite right to me. She seemed a little off.
Kate: Oh I liked it, as much as I can like a solo. But maybe it was just the song.
Megz (street) & Joshua (season 4): Hip-Hop, choreo by Christopher Scott
“Freedom” by Pharrell Williams
Erica: I think she’s a little done. I mean, last week, we were saying we think we’re done with her, but now I think she’s done.
Kate: She’s way done, and I wasn’t even that impressed with Joshua here and he was a winner!
Erica: I’m not saying she danced badly. She didn’t. And I liked the choreo. But there was something about her that just looked like she was ready to GTFO.
Kate: It was overall quite boring.
Erica: Jason DeRulo reveals that they only get 7 hours with the choreographer, and Nigel looks like maybe he’s going to kill Jason DeRulo. And then he goes on about how dance comes from the “streets”. And then gets elevated. Or some nonsense. And then he gets insulted when Cat teases him. Weirdo.
Kate: I fast-forwarded all of his comments because I JUST CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!
“It’s Your Thing” by Christian McBride feat. Dee Dee Bridgewater
Kate: Way crazy makeup. Tap tap tap tap tap.
Erica: She’s having a good time tonight.
Jim (stage) & Anya (season 3): Samba, choreo by Dmitry Chaplin
“Chillando Goma” by Fulanito
Erica: Oooh, it’s Anya!
Kate: What a freakin’ smoke show.
Erica: I thought Jim was very believable. I guess he found dancing with Anya inspirational. As one ought to.
Kate: Yea, I hated that the judges dissed him so hard on this one — yes he looked a little unnatural in some areas with the shimmying and the shaking, but he did an AMAZING job. I really love watching him.
“Laundry” by eDiT
Erica: Okay, so I liked this animator solo more than I’ve liked her krumping solos.
Kate: Me too.
Virgil (street) & Melanie (season 8): Contemporary, choreo by Justin Giles
“All Is Now Harmed” by Ben Howard
Kate: Yay Melanie!
Erica: More issues. More tissues. This time sad, survivor-guilt stricken solo and wife. Great.
Kate: They do military themes too much on this show. Let’s focus on the dancing.
Erica: I’ve got to be honest, I didn’t look at him once during this performance. Melanie is just so good.
Kate: She is so graceful — like, she’s a small person, but she’s not wafer-thin, she’s CUT, but she’s so light on her feet. I missed her. Let’s get a season going with all the past winners! A Super-All-Star Season!
“Ra” by Nathan Lanier
Erica: Seriously, I want to watch nothing but this all the time.
Kate: RIGHT? He is so good! I have a sinking feeling he is not going to win, though… 😦
Hailee (stage) & ROBERT ❤ (season 7): Jazz, choreo by RJ Durell & Nick Florez
“Haunted” by Beyonce
Erica: I thought she looked very well-matched with Robert. Which is definitely a compliment.
Kate: I mean, who wouldn’t? Can we just talk about him for 5 seconds? He’s so super-good at partnering it’s ridiculous. He’s not just a beautiful dancer in and of himself, he is always so connected and in sync with whomever he is dancing with. I love him so much.
Erica: I have yet to be really impressed with anything these choreographers have done on this show, though.
Kate: But this was great. V jealous of Hailee and would have had the same reaction to dancing with him as her, if not more so.
“Let It Go” by James Bay
Erica: This is a different solo from her and I like it. But she has a definite “leave it on the floor” quality tonight that I think means she’s done.
Jim (stage) & Gaby (stage): Broadway, choreo by Josh Bergasse
“Fever” by Michael Bublé
Erica: I love this song. I mean, I love this song when it’s sung by Peggy Lee. Michael Bublé is okay, I guess.
Kate: I like all of his covers, actually.
Erica: I feel like these two are spectacular in this number. They’re different dancers but they’re complimenting each other well and they look like they’re having a ball. And the judges totally disagree with me.
Kate: I KNOW, WTF JUDGES? They hate on Jim so much. No they didn’t look attracted to each other because THEY’RE NOT, but this was incredible! So well danced, and I think he even took some of their ballroom advice and applied it here where he could. Stop hating on Jim!
Hailee (stage) & Megz (street): Contemporary, choreo by Stacey Tookey
“Sarajevo” by Max Richter & Sara Leonard
Erica: More feeeeeeelings! Kate, I love you. (The piece is about sisters being separated forever.)
Kate: I know, but why? We didn’t get a full explanation. (Love you too.)
Erica: I thought this was a really interesting piece. I’m not sure I knew Stacey Tookey had something this unusual in her.
Kate: I think they danced very well together, but Hailee is exceptionally more talented.
Erica: Nigel apparently invented Megz as a dancer.
Virgil (street) & JaJa (street): Hip-Hop, choreo by Pharside & Phoenix
“If You Crump Stand Up” by EdiT
Erica: Gimmicky. Again. JaJa as Alice and Virgil as a Cheshire cat figure. P&P are always so gimmicky.
Kate: But why couldn’t they just say Alice in Wonderland? They literally described it but didn’t say the name, even the outfits were exact — copyright/trademark issue??? SO weird.
Erica: She’s better than him, I think. I did not love this routine, though. My problem with P&P’s choreo is not so much that it’s gimmicky. I like gimmicks. It’s that, without those gimmicks, I’m not sure there’s a there there, you know?
Kate: No, the music made it seem so slow and stop-and-go and they did not fill the stop holes with anything so it was very stunted. I blame the choreographers way more than the dancers for this one.
Erica: Nigel ties this to Paula Abdul’s Opposites Attract video. Because Virgil is a cat. Also, Nigel is bringing hip-hop into acceptability in a society that has resisted it. He has a powerful imagination.
Kate: Who care’s about Paula’s videos, though?
Erica: Our top 4 are JaJa, Gaby, Virgil and Hailee. I’ve got to say, I’m a little surprised Hailee won over Jim. I think she is surprised, too. Damn, Jim. I will watch you do anything. And you got to dance with Anya tonight, so that’s still a win, right? Also, Hailee, I still think you are fabulous.
Kate: I’m not surprised because Hailee is more in line with the “America’s favorite dancer” thing. Jim is just as talented as Chehon and should have been in the finale, but I don’t think people other than you and I really connected with him. I’m sad for him, but I hope he still goes far in dance and makes zillions of dollars.