I'm going to write this as if I haven't been MIA for about two months. Hi, all!

Top 3 Guys (Sonja jazz): This piece was very strong and funky. I think particularly with this season, the dancers are demonstrating how to become professionals. It's like the choreography lays on top of them. I found myself watching all three of them together, rather than one dancer in particular. But the fact that this didn't "wow" me just proves that any choreography can start to look similar, or else I'm just fickle and demand constant novelty.

Nigel was right, however, when he said that this year has come down to the choreography. None of the dancers are standout personalities or superstars, and the uniformity of their talent has meant that staying or going depends entirely on the luck of the draw re: choreographers and their routines. I suppose that's more along the lines of the professional world, where choreography often determines the success of the dance, but it's an odd thing to see happen on this show. What, no Benji? No Nico? No controversy? Nope.

That said, Jeanine received the loudest cheers when she stepped forward to do her opening credits solo.

Jeanine & Ade (Louis van Amstel samba): I still can't figure out whether Ade deserves to be as far along as he is. His partnering skills are not without serious flaw. And as Lil'C mentioned later with regard to his hip-hop, he doesn't adapt well to various styles. Thus his ability to lead Jeanine through the samba was severely lacking. She could not get the hip rhythm, either, so it kept turning into a salsa or cha-cha. She shook a tail feather quite well, but I was bored.

Melissa & Evan (Tasty Oreo Broadway): Meh? I'm not generally a fan of the Broadway style, so that was part of the problem. But together, I can't imagine a couple with less potential for sizzling chemistry, and Melissa doesn't strike me as particularly comedic. So there was nothing left. I used to be so excited for them both as contestants, but now they just leave me yawning. Poor guys.

Kayla & Brandon (Stacey Tookey contemp): Score! I love Stacey Tookey. I sat there watching for the first half of this routine thinking, "Nope, not working for me. I feel nothing." And then something about halfway through struck me just the right way and I was sucked in. For not caring for either of their personalities very much, I sure have saved a lot of routines by Kayla and Brandon. Their moves are effortless and clean, which puts the spotlight firmly on the story they're telling. Excellent work.

A note about solos: there seemed to be a great deal of flailing this week. I'm thinking of Kayla and Ade in particular. So by the time Brandon's solo made everyone stand up and cheer, I was a bit tired of all the contemporary acrobatics. Jeanine's solos always impressed me; I think it's the combination of her sharp, precise movements and more graceful extensions. And I did like Melissa's ballet solo to Nina Simone. How cool is that? She did a couple of funky things with her pointe shoes that I'd never seen before. That's all I ask for, people--something I haven't seen before!

Melissa & Ade (Tabitha & Napoleon hip-hop): I know it's the name of their clothing line, but I can't refer to Tabitha and Napoleon as "Nappy Tabs." It makes me think of British diaper fasteners. Anyway, I hate props. I'm always concerned they're going to screw up, so I don't give the dancing enough attention. Jeanine's sharpness, again, was great to see, and she pops her boobs like a krump pro. But in the end the routine felt gimmicky.

Nigel's crack about his wife's divorce attorney was hilarious and inappropriate. You know Bonnie watches the show from Australia! I still love Lil'C. And where is Dan Karaty hiding?? Is he high on Dutch weed and pole dancers?

Melissa & Evan (Simon van Amstel quickstep): I like that Simon didn't make this quickstep boring, throwing in a little jive and Charleston. It's a quickstep designed to get votes--but it won't, because they didn't do it justice. I think Evan needs more experience and/or strength to pull off the quickness required by some of these faster old-fashioned styles. And speaking of strength, I give Melissa about 80% of the credit for that final death spin lifty thing. He barely got her off the ground. Had she been any less physically fit, unable to keep her body taut, she would've smacked hard.

Kayla & Brandon (Doriana Sanchez disco): Is Doriana trying to kill her disco contestants? OMG. This was insane! You might as well put them in the top two because they were the only people performing last night who looked capable of winning. I loved Nigel's freak out and Cat's admonishment, "Take your tablets, Nigel, take your tablets!!" Being that they're both British allows Cat to use more Brit vocab on the show. She knows at lease one person will know that "tablets" means "pills."

Top 3 Ladies (Sonja jazz): Nigel's crack about Jeanine's boobs was once again rather crass, but who wasn't thinking it? She was at a disadvantage having to dance with that extra worry of "Will I pop out of my lacings???" I liked the boys' routine better, or maybe because they seemed so similar, I liked it better because I saw it first.

Anyway, it's a tossup who's going home. Melissa? I think she had worse routines and Jeanine did, but only by a smudge. Or maybe she didn't. It's really too close to call. All I know is that at this point in the season, Kayla and Brandon are the only two who need to go through.

Oh, my friend Josie and I were looking at tickets to see the show in Milwaukee. With Ticketmaster fees, they'd be upwards of $64!! So we won't be going.

Is there anyone left out there to let me know what you thought? *crickets*

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