Round 2 of the semi-finals. Even the opening credits reinforce the Paula obsession. Only she and not the other judges appears. Does that bother them? I don’t understand how more people freak out when seeing Paula than seem to have freaked out when seeing Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez on American Idol last night. Personally I’d be more excited about the latter. Also, anyone even notice how incredibly short Paula is? Okay, she’s 5″2′ which is the same height as me, but when standing next to the others it just makes her look teeny even with her heels.
The two acts that received the most votes last week were Jittin Genius and D’angelo and Amanda. I’m voting for the kids. And America…agreed! They were apparently the clear winners which I agree with. D’Angelo was so excited he drops to his knees and pumps his fists which is only made cuter by how little he is.
Six more acts for this weeks, once again mentored by Paula.
Up first is Jalen, the nine year old b-boy who has had a lot of changes since auditioning because his tooth fell out. This is an instance where I’m not sure that Paula was the best judge to be mentoring him. What does she know about breaking? And what tricks can she teach him? That being said, he actually is much stronger this time around with a lot more speed and more flow. The best act in America? Probably not. But when he’s old enough for So You Think You Can Dance in seven years (if the show is still around) I hope he tries out. This kid is so cute. Paula was very proud of his dedication and hard work and his performance. She thinks he’s really nineteen. Gold star for nailing it. Travis tells him it was really really good for coming back with new moves. He’s a joy to watch and pretty awesome. If he comes back, his new challenge is to add more dance steps to the tricks. Two gold stars. Last but not least our former Pussycat Girl (is it former? do they still exist?) gives him a third gold.
Dance in Flight, a group i have no recollection of, is up second. They’re on the old side and they point out how unusual it is to be doing the acrobatic elements they do at their age but it doesn’t seem to hold them back. Here it seems like Paula would have more to help with. The opening of the routine starts slow and stiff and the woman’s haircut only emphasizes her oldness. Which isn’t to say they don’t have some great lifts. I think the woman is a little shaky and has a hard time. Her movements looks slightly too old. They were good but without question I would pick Jalen over them. Travis liked their audition better. He thought some lifts were sluggish and they lost their luster. They need more. He gives them a red star and the audience boos. Kimberly is conflicted because Kate needs to stretch more but she admires their love of dance. So she gives them a gold star. Paula finds them a dream to work with and their technique is beautiful but especially with Kate it was hard to nail the sharper moves. They had a little tumble at the end but she gives them a second gold star anyway. No surprise there. But it’s doubtful that the judges will be putting them through to the next round.
The group Twitch is third and we learn that they’ve all had crushes on Anthony, the only guy of the group but he is dating one of the girls so they end up together in the dance too. This is actually a group I really like because there is something fun and quirky about them. I don’t find Anthony to be the best dancer ever (he wouldn’t hold a candle to most of the SYTYCD contestants) but he’s good enough for this stage. Their performance receives an applause from all three of the judges. Paula loved their openness and willingness during practice. Tonight was beautiful. Gold star. Travis thinks it was hot. Amazing. They raised the bar. Gold. Kimberly loves their ability to tell a story with the technique to back it up. But most of all each one of them performs to the best of their ability. Gold.
Du-Shaunt Stegall, a hip hop dancer is next. He’s a good dancer but his performance was just good. Kimberly thinks he didn’t hold it through the whole performance. Red star. Paula says he needs to be a student of all styles of dance. Also a red star. (What, Paula has a red star button? I was beginning to wonder.) Travis says he pointed out that he has to increase his repertoire of steps. He also gets a red star.
Next is Dax and Sarah. Dax has been injured all week so his performance level is questioned even before he gets on stage. What exactly is his injury? Herniated discs. This couple is super cute, but whether their dancing is up to par with the best in America. I’m not sure. The moment the song speeds up they seem to be all over the place and the entire routine is something of a single note which is probably due to his injury and thus inability to do any particularly exciting tricks. It almost looks like they’re tapping without tapping shoes. (It feels like a Jittin’ Genius redo almost.) Paula gives them a gold star for pushing through their injury. Travis is glad the music picked up but he found it boring. Agreed! Red. (Paula tells him it isn’t easy, as though he didn’t just say he knew what it was like to be an injured dancer.) Kimberly thought they stayed true to the heart of the lindey hop and gives a gold star too.
Finally, White Tree Fine Art. I like this group though I didn’t love this performance as I loved their battle piece two weeks. The ribbon thing didn’t work for me (and not just because I wish it wasn’t a jarring red color). Despite these complaints, they were still very good, even earning a standing ovation from Kimberly. They have inspired her and brought little girl dreams to life. Gold. Travis likes their lines and imagery but he can’t get as excited as he wants to about them. Maybe he just doesn’t like ballet. He gives them a red. The audience cheers for him to change his vote. Paula says she can’t believe they ever didn’t make it straight through to the semifinals and gives them a gold star.
Time for the experts to choose. I imagine Twitch will go through and America will vote for White Tree Fine Art.
The decision is not unanimous but they end up putting White Tree Fine Art through, which is a surprise. In which case, my guess is Twitch is voted through.