Yay, no injuries tonight!!!
Toni Reopath (is that how her name was spelled?) is a guest judge. Ballroom dancer. I haven’t heard of her but I’m thrilled there’s finally a ballroom judge in the house!
First Kent dances Cha Cha with Anya in a Jean Marc routine. Well, I thought that was very good for someone who isn’t trained in that style. I didn’t think it was anywhere near perfect. It looked way too jazzy, which is how contemporary dancers always look dancing Latin to me. Too loose-kneed, too fluid, and not enough sharpness. I agree with Toni saying it was better and he was more grounded. Very true. He was better but it still wasn’t all there. Haha, I love what he says in response to Mia’s face critique: “I’m sorry, I’m trying not to do anything with my face; it just feels good to express myself and I forget.” (I mean, not word for word but in sum.)
Next Robert dances a Stacey Tookey contemporary with Kathryn. Wow, what a beautiful song (slowed down version of Heaven is a Place on Earth) and gorgeous routine! One of the best contemporary routines I think I’ve seen on the show.
I love how original some of the lifts were. That was a dangerous one where she kind of did a somersault over his shoulder. Lots of risk-taking both in terms of the dancing and the emotions here. Honestly, I couldn’t take my eyes off of her; she completely mesmerized me. I really felt she was having a breakdown with him going off to war. Maybe that part is more actable for the woman, the one being left. I think he was good; I think he did very well. But it’s the same old same old with me – he just doesn’t blow me away the way other contemporary dancers have. I like what Mia says here – let the emotions be the catalyst for the movement. Maybe that’s what wasn’t quite at the highest level here for me. She did that; he didn’t. He moved very well, but he didn’t do that.
I really love watching Jose’s solos and if he gets kicked off that’s really what I’m going to miss about him. He always does something new too. I liked those traveling kind of crab-looking walks where he was flipping himself over this way and that as he moved sideways. I don’t know much about b-boying but he seems very original to me.
Next are Adechicke and Courtney doing a Tyce Diorio Jazz routine. That was interesting – it was like big band Cuban music that I would expect a kind of old-style Mambo Kings-era Salsa to be danced to; the dance didn’t seem to go. It looked like part modern, part jazz, a little African even. And it seemed like they were dancing different styles, the two of them. I actually liked his style better. The part I loved the best was when he was inching toward her with those lose pelvic back and forth moves. You know what I’m talking about? I loved that! And I loved how at certain points he looked like he was doing movement from Alvin Ailey choreography, especially when he’d put one foot back and pose there. It was total Alvin Ailey. Very good for him!
Next is Lauren’s solo. Whoa, another excellent solo from her! She’s one of my favorites to win this. The way she’d go fast then slow way down to draw out the beat, the words, perfect for that Aretha Franklin blues. I know she’s white but she danced that like Aretha Franklin sang it! And how she’d rise on her toes so slowly – that’s gotta be painful to do that so slowly. Wow, I’m really stunned.
Now are Jose and Comfort dancing hip hop. Aw, I loved this routine! Loved the slowish hip hop danced to bluesy Otis Redding. Very original. I loved Comfort. Her movement was really so much sharper than his, even from those little bounces with her foot at points. He was really sweet! I really like him. But yeah, his movement just wasn’t sharp like hers. Very loose hips and loved that rolling of the pelvis back and forth and back and forth. I loved how he came toward her. It was like he was trying to be all full of swagger at the beginning and then just gave it up and walked toward her sans swagger and started to be all romantic and glassy-eyed. I really do like him personality-wise. I don’t think he’s generally a tremendous dancer though, outside of his own solos.
Now Billy’s solo. Hmm. Well, it seemed like he was trying to do a slightly different style – like something more hip hop-like with the staccato movement, the isolations of the different body parts. I know he started his dance career with hip hop so maybe he felt comfortable going back to that. But it didn’t seem to suit him. I liked it when he did his usual battemants and developpes and the barrel turn:) Nigel had said last time he did a solo that we already know he can do developpes so he needs to stop doing them all the time. Maybe he was trying to show Nigel he was obeying him. But that’s what he does best, so why shouldn’t he use his solo for those?
Now is Kent’s solo. Is it blues night or what?! Cute solo. I have a feeling cute isn’t what he was going for but that’s the word that comes to mind most after watching that. He really did give it a lot of energy, he really did try to go beyond cute. Not sure he did but he gets A for effort.
Next Lauren and Allison dance a Tyce Diorio Broadway routine set to the Damn Yankees score. I’m not sure I was in love with the routine – it seems like whenever a choreographer does two routines a night, s/he concentrates on one and the other is lacking. I agree with Adam that Lauren is dancing like a star already. It was like watching two stars. Lauren did all those moves with such pizzazz and such perfection. I agree with the judges, nothing to critique.
Now onto Robert’s solo, which I really really liked. He really can be very good. I don’t know why I’m so critical of him all the time. Fabulously informative reader Jonathan has told me that he has seen Robert dance with Rasta Thomas’s Bad Boys. I had no idea he’d danced with them. I never saw him but it’s making sense now, given his style. This show — all the contemporary dancers are somehow related to Denise Wall, I swear So when is Rasta going to be on?????
Billy dances a contemporary Stacey Tookey routine with Ade. Wow, I found that really powerful. Billy’s performance almost made me cry, he was so good at bringing that poor junkie to life and making him believable and so so so sympathetic. How happy am I that the white guy was the poor druggie in need of help and the black guy was the high-powered businessman Both of them were amazing, but I really couldn’t take my eyes off of Billy. So much emotion, so real and so heartfelt. I can’t say how much I felt for his character. His dancing was splendid perfection but who cares! That wasn’t even the point of it. That rivaled Alex’s first routine of the season. I agree with Adam – that was art. And I love love love how Mia says win or lose this competition, he’s going to be a very respected artist in this industry and that’s so much bigger!
Now Adechicke’s solo. Okay he has definitely studied Lester Horton technique because everything he is doing is looking very Alvin Ailey. Which I love!
Now it’s on to the contestants partnering each other.
First one: Jose and Kent in a Broadway routine by Spenser Liff (have to check the spelling on that). Kent was pretty good in that. I could really see him in a Broadway musical like this. Very Gene Kelly. Great acrobatics and great acting it. It did really kind of remind me of Fancy Free. Jose again was good, but just not great. His movement just didn’t have that dancerly quality about it, as before in styles outside of his own, but he did keep up and he tried hard and that’s what everyone is loving about him. I hope he has a future in dance with his style because I would really love to see him perform on a stage. Maybe there needs to be a break dancing / hip hop show on tour for excellent dancers like this.
Next are Adechicke and Lauren in a Jean Marc foxtrot. Well, this was supposed to be a rather jazzy foxtrot (danced to Fever) and I think she brought that out more. She had a lot more spark and sizzle than he did and she had much more movement in her body, especially her upper body, especially her shoulders. He was too upright, which would be proper for standard ballroom but not this American-style, loosened-up jazzy foxtrot. He danced it as a standard; she as an American style. So it looked unbalanced. I thought he did a great job partnering though – you could tell she really trusted him on those lifts, really throwing herself into them and taking a lot of risk. It’s all-important to be able to trust your partner so kudos to him for that. Anyway, in ballroom the guy is supposed to be the frame, to let the woman shine.
And finally a Bollywood routine by Robert and Billy. That was a lot of fun. Robert really shone in this. It’s so funny the things I’m finding myself liking him in. I really really loved him in this. He was just so on with the styling, those hands were perfect, the kicks, the feet, the body rolls. And the attitude. So there! I never thought he would do Bollywood well. The jazz from last week and the Bollywood from this week are my favorites of his performances. Billy was fine; he didn’t quite seem as precise and as full-out as Robert. Weird that I’m saying this because I usually feel the opposite about them.
Anyway, tomorrow there will be two eliminated. I’m thinking Jose (though I’ll be sorry to see him go!) and I don’t know who else. It might be Billy. I dunno…
Yaaaa, Kat, none of us should have thanked the heavens for a week without injuries! Kat ends the show saying Lauren’s now with the medics!!!