Oh! Poor Alex! This makes me intensely sad.
Lauren (w/ Pasha; Jean-Marc and France's cha cha): Wow. Lauren completely and totally channeled Anya. The blonde hair and the swishy piece of fabric they called a dress rather helped, as did the vaguely naughty age difference. I wish Pasha had been given a t-shirt or a shirt with sleeves. Or shirtless. Only ballroom dancers can (barely) pull off that sleeveless monstrosity. Fab work.
Jose (w/ Lauren; Mandy Moore's contemp): Yay! After a scary foray into modern music last week, Mandy has returned to her 80s roots with the greatest INXS song of all time. I was afeared for them, but it was actually quite watchable and bordering on really sexy. I love when untrained guys point their toes. It shoes such an admirable and spicy commitment to doing it justice.
Kent (w/ Comfort; Dave Scott's hiphip): Boring? The groove was missing, and without that it just dragged. Kent's freeze was nice but his b-boy moves were lame. Even though the unison was good with regard to their timing, the actual shapes they made were quite different. Only meh.
Adechike (w/ Courtney; Mandy Moore's jazz): Adechicke does swagger really well. I agreed with Nigel that he found a different groove this week. Mia can get so catty when folks disagree with her. Courtney's supposed sexiness was hampered by having to constantly balance on the bar stools. I was too afraid for her to really get into the character, and the dance seemed slow and hesitant because of that. Again, only meh.
Billy (w/ Katee; Spence Liff's Broadway): Katee!!!! She's still amazing, especially with regard to her partnering. She was the heart and soul of season four, and her presence on stage made Billy almost look like he cared who was dancing with him. The chorey suitable reined in his freakish bendy quality so that his partnering didn't look awkward. But it was still Broadway. To Cats.
Ashley (w/ Dom; Tab & Nap's hiphop): I hated the finale at the judges' table, mostly because the judges totally cheesed it up. Ashley was suave and sharp, although I could've done without the horrible pants. I watched her as much or more than I did Dom. Not a keeper by any means, but good work.
Robert (w/ Kathryn; Sean Cheesman's jazz): Was the movement within the boxes supposed to be in unison? I know it was blind but they totally hit different ends of the beats. Sean had mentioned in rehearsal that they were supposed to break out and be un-dolls. I never saw that happen in the dance. It didn't help that he dropped her in that flip either. I'm worried that the judges intense over-praise of Robert will come across as a dad standing up for his kid against a bunch of bullies. That will backfire with regard to votes, while their lambasting of Adechike will create sympathy votes for him. Sometimes they just don't know when to rein it in.
On a side note, the packages were super lame this week.
Adechike (Nakul's Bollywood): Nakul's assistant Mara totally showed up Adechike. Her shapes and sharpness said Bollywood, while I agree with Mia that Adechike's dance felt much more African. Compare his performance to a very similar situation with Russell last season, when he had to dance Bollywood with Nakul's assistant Alicia. He did the job he was given, and against another radically sharp partner. Adechike didn't do justice to what he was given.
Mia had no right to flog Adechike with Alex as her weapon on choice. Alex looked ready to melt into the carpet. Cat's comment about Jose was fantastic and very just, while Nigel's comeback about how their comments were meant to improve him were more in response to Cat and the audience, not to anything Adechike had said--coz he hadn't opened his mouth. Their overt praise of Robert and their dogging on Adechike will produce the opposite effect they wanted. I don't see how they'll be able to keep Robert if he's in the bottom three again. Three weeks in a row means he needs to go home, unfortunately.
But I'm thinking that Alex's injury will make the whole discussion moot. Poor guy.
Kent and Lauren (Travis's contemporary): How much do I love Travis? Can't count the ways. The matched floor sequence toward the beginning was beautiful, and the chorey contained beautiful pauses--not to flailing or frenetic this time. Just a great blend of emotion and lovely, creative lifts. Adam's comment about being embarrassed because of the realism was spot on, reminding me of Travis's very first routine for the show, Jeannine and Jason's stunner. (Do yourself a favor and watch it again!)
Robert and Ashley (Jean-Mach and France's quickstep): Great matched profiles in their steps, but their feet didn't lift off the ground much. It seemed tired. But his opening one-handed catch was fabulous. Not enough to save Robert.
Billy and Jose (Sean's afro-jazz): Whoa, holy moly--Billy's pliés. INSANE. This was the most esoteric dance of the night and it almost worked. I would've liked to see more power moves out of Jose. Billy was given (and took advantage of) many super-bendy opportunities, but Jose didn't match him with b-boy tricks of his own. He looked out of his element for the first time, which is odd because this should've been closer to his world.
My prediction: Robert, Ashley and Alex in the bottom three, with Alex too injured to continue. If not, Robert will go home. I like the guy, but something has always been missing.
That Mia Michaels monstrosity was terrible. Do we really need to put Billy in a dress and have him dance with Ade? That would've been Alex had he not been injured, which would've been worse. Mia certainly loves her bendy boys. And I wish Sting would quit messing with his old stuff and remixing them all the time, now with 155% more jazzy lack of melody.
I was pleased to learn which routines had been nominated for Emmys, including Stacey's Fear and Mia's Butt Dance and Addiction. All quality. I would've liked to see "At This Moment" or Sonya's piece for Ellenore and Jakob, both from season six, or the above routine from Travis. Even Jason Gilkison deserved some love for "Put Your Hands On Me," which was a stellar ballroom routine. Not every Emmy needs to go to contemp. Oh, and I'm surprised that after how sacred it became, Tyce's "This Woman's Work" didn't make the cut either. Obviously they only have so many slots. Stoopid Emmys.
-- Kent and Lauren 4-evah.
-- Jose = unflappable. About the most emotion we've seen was embarrassment when Billy teased him about All-Star Lauren's butt.
-- I'm not upset at all that Robert stays. I am upset that Ashley was in the bottom two. She had a great night!
-- Mia needs to take humble lessons before attempting another on-air apology. That was lame.
-- Anya + Pasha = love. One day I'll write a story for them.
-- Do the female guest performers get to choose which All Star feels her up. Each has chosen Mark so far. Wisdom.
-- Poor Alex. I haz a heartbroken sad.