We are treated to pictures of the judges when they were younger, which are pretty cute. Adam’s is definitely the best. That’s because the theme of the night is what the contestants were like when they were younger.
Our first performance of the evening is a hop hop routine choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon and performed by Ashleigh and Jakob. Ashleigh was an energetic child and her most memorable day was her last ballroom competition before she was too sick to dance for nearly six years. Jakob was heavy in his awkward years. The story is a couple in love where the woman discovers that the man cheated on her. They dance to the song “Watcha Say.” They do a good job and the routine is pretty good. Nigel loves it. Jakob is always challenged and always adds to the performance. Nigel is positive he will be int he top ten. He always thought Ashleigh would grow and ride on Jakob’s coattails to the top ten BUT she’s grown so much and contributed to the partnership. She was really good, superb. Mary tells Ashleigh she’s a star and drew her eyes to her. They both hit it. Adam doesn’t know what to say to Jakob, as sure a bet for top ten as there ever was. Adam says he was one of the people who didn’t believe in Ashleigh but thinks she is a contender all on her own.
Karen and Kevin get a Broadway routine. Karen grew up in Venezuala and was a very quiet, cooperative child. She learned to dance by watching. Kevin is the oldest of six. He started dancing at 17. Spencer Liff choreographs this routine about the woman cheering up her man. They’re surprised by the difficulty of the steps. Spencer thought the routine would be “a cake walk” but soon learned he was wrong. Kevin looks like a giant thanks to camera angle, short partner, and costume. Something about it felt really off, like the moves weren’t sharp enough and they were slightly off. Nigel congratulates Spencer for joining the choreography ranks. The style requires a lot of humor and personality. This is the first time Karen was asked to be cute instead of sexy and he didn’t enjoy her as much as usual. She didn’t bring the necessary humor. But she brought even more than Karen. (THAT’S WHAT IT WAS! THANK YOU NIGEL!) He’s disappointed. Mary agrees, it needed to be more. It was nice and safe but didn’t get into it. Karen was better than Kevin whose shoulders were too high it made him awkward. They didn’t really connect. Adam compliments the choreography and then says he’s impressed that Kevin got through it and Karen is better equipped to fare better.
Random thought- it would be interesting to think about Cat’s wording when she talks about each group to see if she has any preferences or has any effect on audience voting.
Noelle and Russel now. Russel was very outgoing but not a very good singer. Noelle was a wild child. They get another foxtrot with Eddie Simon. This time Noelle can actually do it. That really sucks…The dance is so slow it doesn’t quite match the music. Noelle looks kind of weird with her that way but cool cartwheel into a lift. Nigel says it’s only been a few weeks since he’s done a foxtrot but it’s a vast improvement. Better carriage and rise and fall. Russel is a star. Noelle is not content in his shadow and fights to be seen, successfully. Mary says practice makes perfect. Wow Russel. Gorgeous Noelle. Elegant. Smooth and correct footwork. Adam points out their joy and confidence.
Channing and Victor get a Tyce Diorio jazz routine. Channing was hyper and adventurous. Victor was a brat. This is about two blackbirds coming out to play. (Cue evil Tyce laugh.) It was so weirdly awesome, a remix of “Blackbird.” (Reminiscent of the Hummingbird and the Flower.) Victor got five stitches mid-accident. Nigel says this is the first time it looked like Channing really enjoyed. He enjoyed. He sometimes feels like she has no confidence but she let it go. Victor has grown beyond belief. He’s always been a high standard dancer and he isn’t growing as much as the others. REMEMBER IT’S A COMPETITION. Mary tells Tyce she loves it. Victor is consistently good but will have to dig deeper. Channing has always been strong but this was great to see her let it go. Adam says Channing is finding her way into the show and loosening up. If she keeps going like this she will do great. Victor needs to be better than great.
Katherine and Legacy get a Tony Meredith Passedoble. Katherine, who once was a blond, was very shy. Legacy was a rebel. About a man who sees his concubine after she thinks he might be gone. Well, you could see a few hand fumbles at one point but otherwise, it was probably the most entertaining passedoble I’ve seen on the show. (Adam points out that Legacy is hot.) Nigel says Katherine was anythign but juvenile this week, very mature and intense. Legacy is always practicing. He would be proud to see him in the top 10. Mary says Katherine was a vixen. And holy smokes. Legacy growing. Adam says Katherine killed it. Legacy, he remembers his lack of stamina, but he’s improved it so much. Many were doubtful about his place in the top 20 and now he’ll probably go top 10 because he is “crushing.”
Dizzy Feet Foundation time. The foundation has raised enough to give 9 students scholarships.
Ellenore and Ryan with a Travis Wall contemporary routine. Ellenore was sassy. Ryan’s grandparents were professional ballroom dancers. The theme is a reunited couple. And once again Travis Wall created an excellent routine. Nigel says there’s so much about luck this routine cemented their place for the next week. Ryan’s strength let’s it flow. The choreographers always say Ellenore is sharp. She transforms with her routine. She’s a brilliant all around dancer and performer and Ryan showed that style can’t hold things back. Ryan may be the best ballroom dancer to ever do contemporary. Mary agrees and stops to say she’s proud of Travis. Ellenore has star quality moments. Ryan’s timing, which normally takes weeks, was perfection. Magical. Like her grandmother says, they walked on tall cotton. Adam says SYTYCD just kicked in. He’s loved things throughout the season but there hasn’t been that “breath caught moment” since the first performance show. This was it. Ridiculous. He’s pretty sure Ryan and his wife will both be top 10.
Another sidenote, have you seen the new Gap Holiday Cheer ad? Seems appropriate for it to air here:
Molly and Nathan with pop jazz by Laurieann Gibson (yay!). Nathan was the youngest of three brothers. He was a brat. Molly was a diva. Laurieann screams a lot. (She has a new haircut.) To Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.” A couple of weird moments but otherwise really good. Definitely a step up from last week. Nigel says much better this week. Molly is one of the most committed dancers. She has the talent to be a great professional. Nathan is one of the most talented people Nigel’s ever met. He has to grow, he has the potential to be one of the show’s best dancers ever which is why he is so tough. Mature quickly. Mary says nice to have the dream team back. Intense. Molly was perfection. Nathan too. It didn’t give her chills but it was really good. Adam says he agrees but wants to talk about strategy. Unlike when he was little, Nathan will have to work for what he wants now. Sync was beautiful. In the future, hopefully they get and find more nuance and shadings into their chemistry so they aren’t just cute. Good they had strong, forceful Laurieann. Look at the people being praised and why and find those things. He wants them to go REALLY FAR. They are capable. He’s expecting a gasp moment.
And for once, I have no idea who I want in the bottom. Thoughts? They all think Karen and Kevin are in trouble but who will be the other two pairs?