Fun seeing Pasha and Anya again, huh!
Janette is really becoming my favorite dancer. I love her because I don’t think there’s really anything she can’t do (except maybe a ballet routine on pointe, assuming she’s never had training in that, and I don’t think she has). She doesn’t seem to have any real training — she’s just Cuban, just born with dance in her blood and is working her butt off and excelling at every blasted thing that gets tossed in her way. I always like rooting for the underdog 🙂 And we haven’t had a female ballroom winner on the show yet, right? It’s time, it’s time!
Okay, so I obviously loved both of Janette and Brandon’s routines — that kickass Argentine Tango (were those lightening fast, razor sharp kicks and flicks and hooks and gauchos not to die for? Not to mention her gorgeous lines in all the lifts and poses and just the power and passion of it all); and that killer Wade Robson Jazz dance (I love how both were very loose and rubbery but still had very solid form; it was very Rich Man’s Frug and now I see what we missed last week with Evan and Randi’s performance).
My other favorite couple is Melissa and Ade. That disco! Can Ade move or what?
He had a bit more rhythm than she (and he looked straight out of the 70s!) but her lines in the lifts were spectacular and she has such beautiful balletic form. Their waltz (choreographed by Ron Montez, from PBS’s America’s Ballroom Challenge — his first time on this show I think?) was breathtaking. I thought she was more stunning than he, but he was concentrating on supporting her well during the lifts, which is what he should be doing of course. The man is the frame anyway in ballroom. I’ve loved this couple together — they each seem to compensate for the other’s weakness and make the other look good. It will be interesting to see how they fare with new partners, beginning next week.
Oh and I love how Nigel mentioned that ABT will be performing Romeo and Juliet in L.A. next week!
I also loved Jason and Caitlin. Their mobster-esque foxtrot by Melanie LaPatin and Tony Meredith was a lot of fun, and very well executed. Her kicks are gorgeous — she gets such height on them – and the lifts were really lovely. Funny thing, when she leaned back into him, her back toward him, while doing the developpes (slow lift of the leg, first with bent knee, then straightening), it looked a little bit awkward. Not the leg lift but his support of her. It’s funny because I had that in one of my routines too and it always looked and felt awkward, even though it didn’t seem that hard. I guess I’m not the only one! And their lyrical Jazz routine by Mandy Moore was to die for. I loved how sweet and playful it was at the beginning, with the light little touches and caresses, and then how it turned so romantic with the kiss at the end. Beautiful leg lines for her, especially when they were on the floor. And the lifts were really effortless-looking, a testament to his strength. I also loved the costumes — he shirtless and in jeans, and she in the sweet baby-doll nightgown / dress.
I thought Evan and Randi’s Tabitha and Napoleon hip hip went very well. I’m not a huge fan of these choreographers — I’m just not that into hip hop — but this was very passionate and loving. I could feel a panoply of emotions — hope, happiness, trepidation (her character has just found out she’s pregnant; he is the boyfriend) both through the movement itself and their performance. They didn’t do so well with Pasha and Anya’s Samba, though, as the judges pointed out. I think for me it was more that having Pasha and Anya choreograph it just reminded me of how excellent they are at this dance. Plus, I was just at the Manhattan Dancesport Championships watching all the top Latin dancers like Yulia Zagoruychenko and Riccardo Cocchi. Just in comparison, Evan and Randi were so not there. It didn’t have the hip action, the pelvic contractions, the flash and dazzle, the sexy charm. I thought neither partner did well though, not just Evan, whom the judges seemed to pick on.
As for Kayla and Kupono: I do think he’s a good actor, but I also think she really outdances him. Their Mia Michaels addiction routine was good — he portrayed addiction as a character quite nicely and she acted her part as victim quite well. I loved how she’d try to reach for the sky and he’d stop her, cut her off, pull her back down. I liked how shaky she was (I mean intentionally so). I thought his telling the audience during practice that the role was hard for him because he’s had family members and friends destroyed by addiction, then crying, was a rather obvious attempt to gain our sympathy. I’m looking at my notes and I honestly can’t really remember their Broadway routine. I guess it wasn’t very memorable for me. I have written down that his acting was good but that he looked turned in a lot (foot-wise, I mean) and it looked like he was losing balance at several points. I have written that she looked good and had her usual great lines. Nigel said it wasn’t tough and dangerous enough, like Jerome Robbins-esque Jazz should be.I know some people really like Kupono, but I’m sorry, I have yet to see it! I might still eventually…
Phillip and Jeanine’s Russian folk routine was lacking something though I’m not entirely sure what. His deep knee-bent walks were excellent (those are not easy) and those turns on the floor were very good. I generally agree with Nigel, who said something was missing and reminded us how great Twitch and Joshua were at their Russian routine last season. But Phillip and Jeanine made up with their Jive. In this dance, Phillip was the best I’ve ever seen him. Honestly. Nigel said it was the best dance for him outside of his own style, and I disagree. I think it was the best dance for him period, within his own style too. Those jive kicks are hard and he did them perfectly, like a real Latin dancer. I couldn’t believe it. The judges went wild over her as well, but I was so blown away by him I couldn’t concentrate on her!
So, tomorrow night we’ll find out who will be in the coveted top 10 — those who will be going on tour. I feel like if Evan and Randi are in the bottom three (and half of the couples are going to be in the bottom three tomorrow night), Evan might get the boot. The judges don’t seem to like him much any more. I have no idea what girl will be going home though. I hope it’s not Melissa… We shall see.