Wow, hip hopper Phillip got a lot of applause during the opening solos. Did you guys notice that too?
Guest judge tonight is hip hop choreographer Lil C.
We get to know the dancers more. Evan says his partner Randi has a dog who she treats as a human, talking to him on the phone, etc. Brandi says Evan is an amateur mechanic who built his own car. They’re doing Jive this week, Louis van Amstel choreographing. So, wait, is this a “fun” routine you guys?! How many times did they say that word! It WAS fun. That leap frog he did over her! Those continuous pivot turns (those are hard, they’re hard to do without looking stiff and awkward since you’re so close to your partner but are trying to look free), the jive kicks, that fun lift at the end. They were really having fun out there. And she has a great Latin body. They didn’t really look like a polished pro Latin couple, but, they still did damn good, especially considering they are a Broadway and contemporary dancer. Nigel and Mary are disappointed; I disagree with them.
Ade says Melissa has a sister who’s married to her brother’s something or rather — complicated, slightly incestuous-sounding family situation; Melissa tries to pronounce Ade’s full African name — four words long, the first about 12 letters. He pronounces it in full, then says, see, that’s why I go by Ade. They’re dancing a contemporary routine by Sonya. Well, that was interesting choreographically — it was kind of sexually aggressive, a bit robotic, impish as Cat Deeley said. It had a lot of intricate lifts, a lot of angular movement. What I actually liked about it was how differently they did on some of the side by side moves. There was one point where they both did a simultaneous jump, unconnected, and another where they lay down on their backs and lifted their legs in the air, making interesting shapes, and on both his feet were flexed and hers pointed. I just thought that was so interesting — his movements were more African-looking and hers ballet. It was really a beautiful distinction, I thought.
Caitlin says Jason has an obsession with Michael Jackson, and we see videos of him as a child doing Moonwalks — adorable! Jason says Caitlin does baby voices and has a scream like nails on a chalkboard. They have a hip hop routine
choreographed by Shane Sparks, whom the audience goes wild over — did you guys notice that?! Wow, that is not the type of routine normally I’d like, but they really sold it to me! And that is what great dancers do. Is Lil C completely off his nut??? Jason — wow. Those side steps, just like Michael Jackson — so can see the influence. And his movement all around — he was like rubber. I just loved him. He outshone her, but then, when he stopped like a robot and she had her solo — she really nailed it. She’s a good dancer; he has more charisma when they’re together though. I’m completely floored by the judges’ criticisms — I loved them. Funny, the judges are criticizing them for being different from one another, and I just said that’s what intrigued me about the prior routine.
Brandon revealed Jeanette had bad teeth when she was young; Jeanette says Brandon has never worked out a day in his life, and he happily admits he has no idea what a bench press, etc. is. With the size of those arms! I don’t believe it. They’re dancing a disco routine choreographed by Doriana Sanchez. Yay, disco Sorry, I’m a total sucker for disco I loved it! Gorgeous overhead lifts, super-hard one-handed lift coming out of a floor trick, and especially her straddle-splits one over his head, the super-charged crazy fast dancing, great rhythm for both of them, awesome gymnastic tumbling pass for him. I loved it. And I loved his white sleeveless John Travolta suit. I’m cracking up over Mary. “Girl you gotta work on that flexibility … NOOOOTTT! And Brandon, you really need to work on your strength …. NOOOOOTTT.” My favorite dance tonight, no competition.
Asuka says Vitolio is obsessed with motorcycles, he admits he wants to be a rock star; Vitolio says Asuka can make spit bubbles and she demonstrates. Louis van Amstel choreographs a waltz for them. She’s agog over working with him having been a fan of his for a long time — okay, now I like her Very lovely. I love how they acted it, how she ended with her arm outstretched to the camera, with longing. Beautiful floor sweep, great partnering throughout, even in closed position — they really had a connection. He’s very interesting because he’s not a natural ballroom dancer, but he worked very hard at the posture, at the rise and fall rhythm, at getting all the lines right, and there was one part where he did some port de bras — a swirling of the arms — and it was just beautiful, liquidy, like water, like a wave. He really blew me away.
Kayla says Max is a house dad, cooking dinner for all his roomates — he calls himself a “housewife” — cute ; Kayla, he says, likes to text a lot. She admits she can text about 100 words per minute. Brian Friedman choreographs them a punk jazz routine. And punk it definitely was. Hmmm, I really didn’t like it, I’m sorry to say. I thought that lift and the trick where he pulled her, her one toe tracing the floor, were the best parts of it — really done well. But the rest of it – -the actual movement, it just wasn’t there for me. He was supposed to be a kind of “genie” character, seducing her with some of those Bollywoodish, low-to-the-floor moves, and they didn’t really work that well for me. The leg lines weren’t all there for her, particularly during some of those jumps. I don’t know, the judges are going nuts with praise. I don’t get it.
Jonathan says Karla is a bad-ass hip hop dancer, though she competes in contemporary, and is a member of a hip hop group; Karla says Jonathan loves to sing but isn’t so good at it. He demonstrates with the national anthem. He can hit a high note, but yeah, he can’t really carry it. Stacey Tookey (her first time choreographing on the show) gives them a contemporary routine. Aw. Passionate, romantic routine with a sweet ending. She was beautiful, acted it really well, had gorgeous lines. Either with feet flexed or pointed — she just made every line perfectly, and with such power and grace. And the lifts were perfect — he was very strong, even though Salsa dancers don’t often do lifts — at least not like that; they’ll do the fast, throw her over your head in a somersault kind, but not this slow-moving adagio kind where he’s got her in the air for a while and has to make it look graceful. He really amazed me — I didn’t expect that kind of strength, those kind of lines, from a Salsa dancer.
Phillip’s a supernerd, Jeanine says, collecting reptiles, etc.; he says Jeanine’s favorite companion is a teddy bear named Spanky. She says she likes him (Spanky, that is) because he doesn’t judge her. They’re doing a tango choreographed by Tony Meredith. Oooh, look, it’s American Smooth Champion J.T. Thomas helping Tony! Well, great choreography (full disclosure: I am a friend of Tony Meredith). Yeah, I agree with Mary — they did pull off all the tricks, all the footwork without any major mishaps (like what happened in rehearsal — her kicking him in the crotch — which seems to happen more in ballroom than other kinds of dances, like ballet, for some reason…), but the technique wasn’t there. Mary and Lil C think it’s not there only for Phillip, but I thought it wasn’t there for either. Her butt was sticking out a lot — not because it’s big, but because she wasn’t in proper position; it was like she was backing away from him (which I’m all too familiar with), not in proper hold. The ganchos looked sloppy to me too.
Ashley jokes (kind of) that Kupono has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (and then we see him obsessing over the arrangement of clothes in his closet and the exact positioning of a soap dish on the sink); he says she uses storytelling to break the ice. They’re dancing a hip hop by Shane Sparks. I thought that was pretty good, though I agree with Mary that it wasn’t memorable or great. It was more in sync than the previous hip hop; their movements each looked very much the same as the other (which shows why exact synchronicity is not all it’s made out to be). It just wasn’t that powerful. She had some nice leg lines, especially on the floor. It just overall, wasn’t enough. I have no idea what Lil C said in critique but it sounded smart!
Will be interesting to see who goes tonight. I have no idea.