So, Tyce Diorio guest judges tonight, in addition to the regular three. But the judges’ opinions no longer matter this week; it’s all up to the voting public.
First on is a Tyce Diorio Broadway number to Guys and Dolls involving all four finalists. I thought this was pretty fun though it didn’t really blow me away. Lauren stood out the most to me; she had really beautiful form throughout and danced with a lot of spark, as usual. Kent’s backflips were a trip. The other two were fine.
First on competitions-wise is Lauren dancing an Argentine tango with Pasha. I thought this was really beautiful. More beautiful and romantic than steamy, but I loved it. I thought her leg lines were gorgeous, I loved how she danced on her toes, on releve, throughout, I love how almost balletic it looked. I love balletic-looking Argentine tangos. I think it’s the most ballet-like of the ballroom dances, and I feel like she understood that and drew that out, via her contemporary training. I totally agree with what Tyce said, about how the silences here were golden and she really drew those out. Mia tells her she just became a woman and she laughs. Mia then says she’d just become a woman until she giggled. Don’t the judges say so and so has become a man / woman every week? I think she was laughing because of that. Imo.
Next is Adechicke dancing African jazz with Lauren.
I thought he did really well with this. He looked very nearly like a genuine African dancer! And I love how fluid he looked, with his arms just like water, flowing so fast they were almost a blur. I think Nigel is right that his back is very straight, not quite flexible enough. But he’s a contemporary dancer and that’s how contemporary dancers are trained. Gosh the judges are being pretty hard on him. Mia Michaels said she didn’t like it at all because it was so far from what she’s expect from him. Okay, he didn’t look quite like Alvin Ailey’s Antonio Douthit (my favorite dancer in that company, who seems to be able to dance balletic modern and African with equal ease) but he looked really really good for someone who’s not quite at the Alvin Ailey level (as, come on, no one is on the show).
Aw, Jonathan Roberts is choreographing! Love it! So now are Robert and Anya dancing a Viennese Waltz. “You screw up, you’re screwed,” says Jonathan. Ha ha! So true – one wrong step and you and your partner are both going down! That was really lovely. I think he did pretty well with it. His movement was good, his rise and fall good, he really glided over that floor. And he had a nice romantic touch as a partner. He wasn’t just in it for himself, but really cared her – about lifting her right, making it all about her. Which is how ballroom is supposed to be! To be sure, he still did have that contemporary look rather than classic ballroom – which is impossible to explain but people who see a lot of ballroom I’m sure understand – but what can you expect? He did very very well for it not being the style he’s trained in.
Next is Kent doing a disco with Courtney. Courtney is the disco queen! But honestly this was one of the most boring Doriana Sanchez discos I’ve seen on the show. And I love her. I think she might have lightened it up for him because there were a couple of lifts but not her usual number, as Nigel recognizes. And that last one with him spinning around with her wrapped around his shoulders, looked rather sloppy and actually kind of frightening. That’s not easy, especially if you’re not that strong on top. The first lift was pretty good though. And his solo dancing was excellent – that multiple pirouette – really good form and really polished. You can tell he has solid training. But this dance just wasn’t all there for me.
Next Lauren dances jazz with Ade. Wow, that was really acrobatic. And showed her flexibility. I thought she really sizzled. She really got all of those lines right – that one lift that Nigel pointed out with the upside-down splits and the flexed feet. She made really excellent shapes. I agree with Tyce that she could have been a little more ferocious. She was supposed to be a black widow and I didn’t completely see that. And the sexual chemistry was a bit lacking, as Mia said. But I still thought it was very good. Ooh, I so hope she makes it to the finals.
Oh cool, Adechicke gets to dance to choreography by his hero Desmond Richardson, and his Complexions partner Dwight Rhoden. He dances a contemporary routine with Kathryn. This was a lot of fun. Fast, fun, American-y, full of romance. Very Jon Bon Jovi-like. Kathryn rocked as well. The judges are being really cool. He does have a way to go even though he does have serious potential. In thinking of how Desmond would have done that, it just fell short for me. Desmond just has insane precision, absolutely perfect lines. Adechicke’s lines were not quite as there. But of course how can you compare someone at Adechicke’s level to someone who’s at the height of both his physicality and artistry like Desmond? You just can’t. It takes a lot of time, and real dance maturity, to develop that. So he needs to keep working, keep trying, keep growing. I really want to root for him! Especially after he got so emotional about being able to take training from his idol, about being from Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, a rough neighborhood where being a male dancer is not taken so well.
Now Robert dances a hip hop with Dominic. Well, I really enjoyed watching Dominic in this. I felt like Robert did everything properly, he got all the movement down, he didn’t miss a beat. But Dominic just so out-performed him. Dominic had the swagger, the bravado, the weightiness, he just had the whole hip hop package. I just thought Robert looked too contemporary, which is what he does of course…. These are the reasons I don’t really like this show, you guys. I feel like I’m saying everyone did fine for it not being their style. It’s only so much fun to watch people try to dance outside of their style. It was fun watching Alex but Alex was just on a different level. I don’t know if I’ll watch this show after this season. I’m sorry, it’s just depressing to me. Maybe it’s just this season, because I’m really enjoying watching the returning all-stars.
And finally, Kent and Neil do a Travis Wall contemporary piece, which should make all the young girls who are fans of both — all three actually – go wild. Aw, another sweet routine from Travis Wall, about a younger boy’s trying to get over his being stabbed in the back by the older boy. Kent acted this perfectly – it really actually left me with an emptiness in my stomach. And his dancing was very good as well. As was Neil’s. Great when he threw Kent, and wow, Kent landed, and didn’t injure himself. That was stunning. To me, Neil has more beautiful lines, but that’s kind of a body thing, and really a subjective opinion as well. Kent did very well and because he has such strong technique and he really brought the story to life with his acting, Neil didn’t end up outshining him.
My favorite overall is Lauren. I like Kent as well. I’m really surprised that Lauren was in the bottom three last week, and if she doesn’t make the finals, I’m going to be very, very bummed.