Sorry I’m late, had to go to a publishing event last night, then get something out early this morning.

My favorites so far are Mark (because he’s so original, although I don’t know how he’s going to be able to keep his unique style throughout; Mia really seems to have geared her Tim Burton-ish choreography this week specifically for him), Katee, Will, and Marquis. Marquis has beautiful lines and gorgeous extensions, but he doesn’t seem to have the greatest balance and I’m always a bit worried he’s throwing himself into a kick too hard and is going to topple over.

Viewing the program for the second time now, I liked Rayven and Jaime’s routine, on first, and think they both did really well with Hip Hop for a ballerina and a West Coast Swing dancer. I agree with Nigel that the choreography was not interesting enough movement-wise to be memorable (though the story was cute, the pulling-down-the-pants thing was funny), but that’s not the dancers’ faults.

On the other hand, I LOVED Tabitha and Napolean’s second piece of the night, danced by Katee and Joshua. It was my favorite of the night. I don’t care whether Katee was doing rib slides or popping at the beginning (Nigel’s criticism); her movement conveyed the sorrow she felt on his leaving for the war. What great movement language — not just the big things like falls to the ground or lifts, but every subtle twitch, every bend of the leg or reach of the arm conveyed such emotion, added a necessary element to the story. That’s what dance is about, to me.

My second favorite of the night was Susie and Marquis’s Waltz. Breathtaking! But Nigel, yes, we noticed the second lift problem! We’re not blind! First lift was gorgeous though. Lovely fish dive! You can tell Marquis has ballet background, which translates very well into Standard Ballroom where you need an elegant carriage, a straight upper body, and good lyrical quality. Susie really surprised me. Her Salsa is fun but not tremendously precise, which is fine since Salsa is a social dance and doesn’t require precision and clarity. But her Waltz was another story entirely. She had wonderful control and beautiful lines. So far a couple of my favorite dancers.

Are Tony and Melanie not the sexiest choreographers?! How hot was that Cha Cha! My third favorite of the night. The dancers — Chelsea and Thayne, really came through, especially Thayne. I couldn’t believe he’s a contemporary dancer; he looked like the quintessential Latin ballroom man. He has the perfect body — small, compact, allowing for great speed. Perfect hip movement. I think he should consider changing dance styles.

I didn’t like the Jive as well; I think the dancers were a little less sophisticated. Both Comfort and Chris (what a great partnership name!) have great personalities but I felt, especially in the case of Comfort, that she doesn’t yet have the versatility necessary to do well in styles other than Hip Hop, though her Hip Hop rocks.

I thought Kourtni and Matt were okay. Matt looked like a cat burglar snooping around in that jazz routine, and he’s got great David Hallberg feet. He’s so tall and thin he seemed a bit wiry. But I think if he works on that, on being more solid and controlled, he could be really good. Couldn’t disagree more with Nigel’s you’ve got a pole up your butt criticism. I thought exactly the opposite!

Mia’s routine was interesting. At first I thought it started out way too clownish and silly but then I realized it’s telling a story, kind of developing a relationship throughout time, starting with the awkwardness of youth growing into a more mature romance. I’ve already talked about Mark. I thought Chelsie was good, but I couldn’t see her lines very well in that dress. Great costuming though — she looked, like Mary said, like a little powder puff, which went with the theme.

I wasn’t in love with the choreography for Twitch and Kherrington (there were places in the music where they could have done a fast fun Charleston, but instead he had them just kind of standing in place wiggling their hips a bit. And the rest of it was kind of all over the place.) But I thought the dancers did well, gave it an understated jazzy twist.

I wasn’t anywhere near in love with Hunter’s Tango as I was his Waltz. Except for that gorgeous ending lift with her legs wrapped around his neck and her body reaching to the ground. Will was astounding; just like Marquis, but his kicks were swifter. Great carriage, perfect ballroom posture. I liked Jessica less well. I thought she smiled too much for a tango and her movement wasn’t quite as sharp as his; she looked a bit unbalanced at points, likely because she’s not used to those blasted stilettos.

I loved the disco at the end. I thought Courtney particularly did well, and I realized I’ve seen her before — in “Gotta Dance” — the movie; she was a New Jersey Nets. That was a very hard routine, very fast-paced with lots of lifts and I thought the judges were really unfair with their comments.

What did you all think?


  1. Katee and Joshua’s emotion during the war piece captured the attention and hearts of our whole household. We even rewound it and watched it a second time. (Love the DVR). The choreography was great, and the performance was very powerful. It’s possible I teared up, but I don’t remember.

    Second place, for me was tied between Twitchington’s Broadway performance (they really carried it well, but I do think you’re right that the choreography could have been turned up a notch) and Chelsea and Thayne performing the cha cha. I would have liked to have seen a bit more quality footwork – but great footwork is a personal turn-on of mine. (Why Argentine Tango and Balboa are my favorite dances.)

    The Jive was one of the better Jive’s I’ve seen on the show, but as a social swing dancer I often cringe at the sight of most any Jive. This choreography was pretty fun, though – and I did find their kicks a bit clunky.

    The “Cotton Candy” hip-hop did nothing for me, and neither did the disco. I agree 100% with your review of the Waltz number. Mia’s choreography was pretty good, but it wasn’t her best work. She does spin a wonderful tale, though.

    Mary Murphy has become a bit too much for me, though. Her critiques never seem full of enough content to be of any real value and her voice and screams make me edgy. I have to watch with my finger over the mute button when it’s her turn.

    Overall, I think we’re in for some great talent this year. It just gets better and better each season.

  2. I, too, totally noticed the biffed lift and when Nigel said the audience at large probably didn’t notice it, I think the coke I was drinking came out my nose a little — because that was a ROUGH five seconds there while they were trying to negotiate it!

    Comfort is my girl right now — on personality alone. She cracks me up.

  3. I did get tears in my eyes during Katee and Joshua’s routine! I thought they emoted very well and they were in sync practically the whole time. I thought the first hip hop with Rayven and Jaime was too cutesy and like Nigel said, not memorable.

    So far, I’m rooting for Mark, too. I’m interested in seeing what else he can do though.

  4. I loved tthe Mia Michael’s routine for Mark and Chelsie. Best of all, Pasha Kovalev and Anya Garnis were assisting during the rehearsal footage – quite suprising given MIa’s usual disdain for ballroom dancers.

  5. This is clearly the best group of dancers they have ever had on SYTYCD. It is going to be a brutal competition. Even the first two dancers that the audience and judges sent home were really very good.

  6. I agree with Bob. They ‘ve got some really good, dynamic dancers this season. I don’t dislike any of them, which is usually not the case with this show. My fave personaltiy so far belongs to Thayne followed by Chelsea T; they just seem so happy, grounded and positive. I do, however, think that William might be a bit too arrogant and be getting too much attention by the judges as Debbie Allen’s protegee. They just need to tone that down some. Yeah, Matt has great feet and form, and he certainly doesn’t have a stick up his ….! I loved the two Latin numbers, plus both those couples bring a lot of spice to the show. I hated to see anyone go home. This is going to be a brutal competition, but on the bright side, these dancers are getting some amazing publicity.

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