Last night was a fine fine night of dancing on So You Think You Can Dance. it made me glad I wasn't a judge, and it made me think the All-Stars might get nervous that *they'd* be eliminated tonight, instead of the dancetestants!
We were treated to one routine with an All-Star and one solo from each dancer, but mostly we were treated to Neil Patrick Harris, yes, @ActuallyNPH himself!!! He readily admitted he wasn't a dance expert (and he's really not) but unlike with the other suspect guest judges, I just didn't care. Yes, I'm biased, I don't care: I loves me some NPH!
So let's dig in, shall we?
Routine #1. Marko and all-star Chelsie danced a Jason Gilkisson Samba routine to "Cinema Italiano" from the movie version of Nine
If you follow my Dancing with the Stars recaps, you know that Chelsie (from Season 4) is my girl-crush. Her legs, feet and ankles are always exquisite. Her speed and energy are electric. And some other guy was dancing too. I know, I know, it's a little unfair, but in addition to only having eyes for Chelsie, Marko didn't do the greatest job ever. He sometimes didn't seem to be hitting his marks exactly right. The one thing he did do right was the partnering. Despite some bumps and falls in rehearsal, it all looked smooth as silk in performance. And I will say that Marko captured the style, if not always the rhythm.
Marko's solo to Gavin DeGraw: He's very light and floats from move to move. So, even when he's leaping and spinning and jumping like the rest of them, there's something that stands apart about the way he does it.
Bottom line: I think he's safe, but without Melanie on his team, he will need to step it up.
Routine #2. Jordan and all-star Brandon danced a Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson contemporary routine to Jessie J's "Who You Are"
I was not in love with this. For one thing: I am getting tired of her big side kick, changing it up by sometimes doing a developee and sometimes a battement isn't quite enough for me. I'm seeing the same pose a little too often, and it has gotten old. During the routine there were times when it seemed like they were supposed to be in synch, but they weren't quite. So I had issues.
Jordan's solo to "Tonight" by Lykke Li: After a kick-heavy routine, her solo was less developee-oriented than usual, a little more subtle and nuanced, which meant I liked it more than usual too.
Bottom line: Jordan and Tadd were in the bottom a few times: Was it because people didn't connect with her or him? I'm going to guess her, which means I 'm going to guess she's at risk.
Routine #3. Tadd and all-star Comfort danced a Chuck Maldonado Hip-hop routine to a Chris Brown tune
Oh blurg. Seemed weirdly out of synch the whole time, and just wasn't that interesting. I liked Comfort just fine when she was on the show, but I think she's only an all-star because she's been one of the few female hip-hop dancers to make it to the finals. I just don't think she's all that. But then again: Neither was this routine.
Tadd's solo to a Robin Thicke tune. He is very strong. He certainly not only stayed up in his handstand position, but changed the nature and angles of positions frequently enough to make this solo both impressive and interesting. One of his better solos.
Bottom line: Well, like I said about with Jordan: Jordan and Tadd were in the bottom a few times As much as I think it may have been about her, not him, I'm going to hedge my bets and say that his repeat visits to the Bottom, plus the unimpressive hip hop choreography hand he was dealt this week may have landed him in the bottom.
Routine #4. Mitchell and all-star Melody danced a Tyce Diorio Broadway routine to "Take Off With Us" from All that jazz
The best thing about this routine was that Mitchell said "bougie" on national TV. I completely and totally agreed with NPH that the routine was sort of disjointed. it just didn't hang together, and it certainly didn't soar. When it comes to the actual dancing, I didn't think Mitchell's feet had the requisite Broadway sharpness. It was a big "meh", and he won't be helped by the fact that any viewers (including me) won't know Melody at all.
Mitchell's solo to a smooth John Legend tune: I was distracted by his diaper. That is all.
Bottom line: Meh routine and wearing a diaper. That has top be a recipe for the Bottom Three, don't you think?
Routine #5. Caitlynn and all-star Pasha danced a Miriam and Leonardo Tango routine to a Malajunta tune
I haven't been a Caitlynn fan, particularly, but this routine was pretty great...I really bought her as having done this before. Sharp, clean, elegant, intense. I really really liked it...one of the best routines of the night.
Caitlynn's solo to a Florence + the Machine tune: Flingy hair-whipping like it was a Willow Smith video audition and off balance outcomes every time she spun and leapt. A pretty poor solo, which brought me down from the Caitlynn high her Tango got me on.
Bottom line: Will a sucky solo outweigh a tremendous tango? Hmm. It's right on the cusp.
Routine #6. Sasha and all-star Twitch danced a Christopher Scott Hip-hop to Dorothy Moore's cover of "Misty Blue"
When the routine started I thought I was going to be as distracted by her big purple bow, as I was by Mitchell's diaper. Luckily she tore it off early on. This was really good, and really impressive. Seriously, that one move (NPH mentioned it too, I think) where she did a flip onto her feet from lying on her back, but just stayed in the backbend position? Dayum. Her core strength to do that, and with such stillness and control, was incredible. And, oh BTW, the routine was HOT.
Courtesy of FOX
Sasha's solo to a Duffy tune: This was interesting, as per usual, but she could stand to stand. In other words: Feel free, at this point in the competition, to get up off the ground more, Sasha.
Bottom line: Oh, I'm guessing safe.
Routine #7. Jess and all-star Kathryn danced a Stacey Tookey Contemporary routine to Christina Perri's "The Lonely"
The routine was a little precious for me as a piece, although they were both lovely in it. I just didn't really get the whole "she can't see him right in front of her" and then at the end "their eyes meet...." Whatevs.
Jess's solo: His solo was fantastic. Let me tell you the reasons why: He has great control of his body and his moves, and in particular is perfectly-centered when he spins. But he's not just technique; he has great musicality. He choreographs to the music, and his style matches the music. He's definitely one of my favorites.
Bottom line: I'm definitely hoping he'll be safe, but I think he might be an acquired taste.
Routine #8. Melanie and Pasha danced a Jason Gilkisson Viennese Waltz to Tina Arena's cover of "Everybody Hurts"
I'm not sure I really got the story of this one. If he was the one needing her to be his rock, then it didn't make so much sense for him also to be the strong one lifting her around so much. That being said, it was quite lovely. I just didn't really get it or see what the pre-routine clip was promising.
Melanie's solo to an Angus & Julia Stone cover of "You're the One That I Want" from Grease (!): This solo was a bit low key. She executed some interesting moves, and given how much I complain about flinging and flailing, I liked that this solo lacked that.
Bottom line: I think she is both a fan and judge favorite, so she's safe, I'm sure.
Routine #9. Rickey and all-star Allison danced a Tyce Jazz routine to the totally awesome "Precious Things" by Tori Amos
Love this song and love Allison. Which was kind of a bummer for Rickey. I spent the entire routine watching her and marveling again at her intense emotionalism and how she pulls that out whenever she dances. It's not actually that new a concept...the evil guy holding back the anguished woman. I think we've seen that theme in routines about addiction, about disease, about grief. This one being keyed off her nightmares during sleep gave it a slightly different take and was interesting, but without her I think the number would have totally fallen flat. And some other guy was dancing too.
Rickey's solo to an Cassidy Haley tune: Meh. More leaping. More turning. Nothing new or unusual about the leaping and turning. I'm just not seeing the light on Rickey, sorry guys.
Bottom line: Because he was totally overshadowed, I think he might be at risk.
Routine #9. Clarice and all-star Robert danced a Nakul Bollywood routine to a Khatta Meetha tune
Impressive. Fast. Powerful. Could save Clarice's bacon. It lacked some of the more intricate and fun hand moves that you sometimes see in Bollywood, but it was better than the last couple of Bollywood routines we've seen.
Clarice's solo to a Crookers tune: At least she had some funky, angular action going on, so it wasn't just smooth and legato movement. But she's still not one of my favorites. And it's not at all because she makes me think about Hannibal Lechter. "What were the lambs doing, Clarice?"
Bottom line: Because he was totally overshadowed, I think he might be at risk.
Bottom Line for the Bottom Three:
It was a good night of dance. The only obvious candidate was Mitchell, who had a boring routine and a boring solo. But he's still a good dancer.
So, I'm going to guess:
But it feels like a toss-up.
What did you think??
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