So, first we go through a re-cap of the season – some of the silly try-outs, the judges’ harsh criticisms of certain contestants, Alex’s injury, all the tears, Adechicke’s becoming emotional over being able to dance a routine choreographed by Desmond Richardson, etc. etc.
Okay, first on, Kent and Lauren do a Bollywood routine by Nakul dev Mahajan. Well, that was really high energy and Kent definitely delivered on that, as well as really camping it up. That was a lot of fun. But what I felt was lacking was his styling. He didn’t pay much attention to his hands, to the shapes he was making and so it didn’t have that complete Bollywood look to me. And Lauren DID do all of that. At the end, he had perfect shaping with the hands. I just wish he’d have had that throughout. Also, those spins – both single-footed and on the knees – didn’t quite look that polished. Judges loved him though, had no criticisms whatsoever.
Next are Lauren and Twitch dancing a Tabitha Napoleon hip hop. Cute concept! They’re both politicians starting out behind podiums and then they come out from behind and have their little battle. As for the dancing, I thought he outshone her.
His movement was just so much more solid. Maybe it’s just that he had better choreography, because it wasn’t all side-by-side movement in sync. Like, he had some slides, some fast fancy footwork to that drum segment. She had a gymnastic flip sequence instead. Which was fine, but as far as hip hop goes, he was just the better mover.
Now, Robert and Mark do a Tyce Diorio jazz routine. I used to love Devo’s Whip It Wow, Robert really comes to life with jazz! I loved this – my favorite of the night. And this routine really makes me want him to win, for once. He outshone Mark. He just really had the funk down, really rocked it, and he really danced with so much more expansiveness – some of those jumps were huge. Even his steps, his side-to-side movement, his deep plies – his movement just had far more breadth than Mark. Mark did his typical weird thing, which worked with the Devo, but wow, I just thought Robert moved so well.
Now they have Cat interviewing the contestants before they do their solos. She asks Kent about his faces and he demonstrates a silly face for each emotion. His solo was pretty good, but now all I seem to be able to see is his faults. Like how he seemed almost to lose balance on his pirouettes, and how his form wasn’t always perfect – his feet didn’t appear to be perfectly pointed in his jump, and one leg seemed higher than the other. I don’t know, am I being hypercritical?
So that’s it for the all-star dancing. I think.
Now, onto Lauren and Robert dancing together in a Dee Caspary contemporary routine. That was nice. The routine as a whole was a bit too spastic to me; there were no slow moments, and I think there needed to be some here. Anyway, very good dancing. I like Robert better in jazz routines. He moves well in contemporary but his body just looks better doing jazz. He’s always going to look like he’s sticking his rump out in contemporary, for some reason. Nothing wrong with that. He can totally have a career on Broadway. Lauren danced beautifully. I love how much expression she can make with her body. I loved when he pulled her up from a pretty deep back arch, and came up so fluidly, like vertebra by vertebra and it was so smooth. I wish that would have been a bit slower so we could have been more stunned by her ability to move like that.
Now are Kent and Lauren dancing a Mandy Moore jazz routine. Hmmm. To be honest, the routine itself didn’t impress me much. The choreography wasn’t all that interesting, or, as Nigel is saying, challenging. They did fine with it though. It was cute and fun. It just wasn’t anything near earth-shattering as a dance. They did what was expected. Sometimes there’s just too much choreography on this show. Dance-makers are expected to come up with more and more dances in a short amount of time, and sometimes you’re just not inspired, you know?
Now is Robert’s interview / solo. Cat asks Robert what routines he liked and didn’t. He says the Travis Wall contemporary with Allison, about the sick mother, was his favorite; all the ballroom dances his least. And again, I find his solo very impressive. It’s kind of a modern with some slight b-boying elements thrown in, like some isolations. So not a lyrical modern. He’s not a lyrical dancer. I still can’t figure out exactly what his dance background is. But I like watching him dance jazz.
Next on are Kent and Allison (so I was wrong; the all-stars have returned) dancing a contemporary Staci Tookey routine. Wow, that was Kent’s best performance of the night, I thought. All of his former problems were gone. He had great form throughout – the jumps, the turns, the kicks, even on the floor when he had his back arched and he pulled up from that backbend from his middle. And he was emotionally so on in that piece. I really believed he was beleaguered by Allison’s character. He really took me with him into that character’s world.
Now is Lauren’s interview / solo. Her favorite routine was the prom dance with Kent. She says her friends and family are her support system here. They’re the ones who talked her into trying out in the first place. Okay, that solo made me really want her to win. It reminded me of her Aretha Franklin solo earlier, though it wasn’t danced to that same music. So much soul, she has! She is like a diva when she dances her solos.
Next is a Spencer Liff routine danced by Robert and Kathryn. Okay, I think that was my favorite of the night. I am really now wanting Robert to win this thing. The music is “Cool” from West Side Story, although it’s not the same characters. Robert is a business man trying not to give in the seductive businesswoman. Yes, Nigel, this music IS in the stage play, as well as the ballet. Thankfully Adam Shankman knows it’s in the stage play. Anyway, back to the dancing: Robert was awesome! He is such a Broadway jazz dancer. Every beat, everything was so on. I disagree with Mia that it was too fast and he didn’t have enough simmer. I loved it danced this way. His movement was so sharp, so sexy. Yet he made it clear how torn he was, and how he was trying not to give in to her. I thought it was perfect and it definitely simmered to me.
Finally, a ballroom routine! Lauren dances a Melanie LaPatin and Tony Meredith-choreographed cha cha with Pasha. I thought she did pretty well with that. I think when she just has fun with something it’s better than when she tries to be a “man-eater.” Pasha still outshone her, but I do think she looked pretty good. At parts it looked a bit hip hop-ish and at parts even kind of stripper-like, like something a pole dancer might do – with the butt bumps ‘n grinds. But it seemed to be the way it was choreographed, and the music wasn’t a typical cha cha, so those weren’t shortcomings. Mia tells her if she were still dancing, she’d want to dance like her, and Lauren looks a bit like she’ll faint.
And the last routine is Kent and Robert dancing the first “Molevos.” “Molevos,” we’re told, is a tango-style battle bar-fight. I didn’t catch the choreographers’ names – don’t know if they ever appeared on the screen. Well, that was fun, different. I can only imagine though how much better that would have looked like with real tango dancers, or trained ballroom dancers. I felt like they tried as hard as they could with it. But it looked too lyrical, too fluid, too jazzy to me. It wasn’t precise and sharp enough. Those gauchos, both wrapping their legs around each others and their own, the legwork in general – the precision just wasn’t there and those didn’t look right. And the height difference was difficult, particularly for Robert. When he had his hands on Kent’s shoulders, he was awkwardly bent over, and then his legwork looked unstable and a bit sloppy, like he was going to fall over. It wasn’t something he could help though, because Kent was so much smaller than he. Again, I think they did as well as they could.
Anyway, hmm, that was an okay finale. Definitely not one of the best, but it was okay. I would love for Lauren or Robert to win, but I think Kent is going to. But I’m often wrong, so who knows who it will be. Who do you guys want to win?