It’s our last week before the finals and our top six take the stage alongside the all stars for a final shot at making it. The only thing to note about the opening is that Melanie’s little solo dance was decidedly not contemporary (inspired by the shiny black leather pants perhaps?) and Tadd’s was ever more the comic route that he has been embracing during his regular solos.
This week’s guest judges are Christina Applegate and Lil C. (Christina Applegate apparently danced when she was three until she had a baby. She also thinks this is the best season thus far.) Mary is looking decidedly orange.
National Dance Day was this weekend. We get a quick clip of some exciting clips from around the world. (It might have to become International Dance Day–that would be kind of cool actually.)
Melanie is paired with Twitch for a Nappy Tabs routine about Little Red in the Hood. Twitch is the big bad wolf, surprised to find that Little Red has some swag. It’s a bit weird to watch because some of the moves she hits really well and others feel a little awkward. (So she will probably get a bunch of compliments.) That cool lift was well done though.
Lil C- That was a difficult routine (tough music and fast moves). It was shaky in the beginning but it ascended to buckness.
Christina- Melanie gives her hope every week. In this she was so evil.
Mary- Mary’s brother has never called her about a contestant until now to say Melanie has such charm. This was the first time she had something so hard-hitting.
Nigel- Melanie is a phenomenal dancer. There have been accusations that she hasn’t been given challenging styles but it is just that she’s just good at everything. See you in the finale.
Sasha and Kent get a Tyce Diorio routine about a couple who have hit a wall in their relationship. This piece is all about the emotion. Can Tyce pull it out in a way he has not been able to do in quite a while? Kent’s facial expressions might be stronger than they were during his season here. There’s a lot to be impressed with here and you can see how invested Tyce is, he’s teary-eyed (maybe the problem with so many of his routines is that he wasn’t doing things that are close to home). Mary and Christina are crying too.
Christina- There are many amazing technicians in the competition but Sasha can break her heart and that’s dance. So brilliant.
Mary- That was intoxicating. A superstar.
Nigel- Tyce at his creative best. And Sasha brilliantly draws us into the dance and has gone back to his favorite.
Lil C- (trying not to cry and losing his thoughts and ultimately unable to stop crying) He loves the way she dances and wishes he had worked with her this season. Ten notches past amazing.
Marko and Janette are paired for a pase doble choreographed by Dmitry Chaplin. Marko is a hunter and she is an animal rights activists. Did Janette always have such a strong accent? Am i remembering someone else? Not really feeling the passion and competition in the dance. The dancing is fine but this was one of Marko’s weaker moments for me.
Mary- This dance is so passionate and riveting. The style was spot on despite losing his footing at times.
Nigel- Left him sort of cold tonight. Wanted more passion.
Lil C- It was a pleasure to watch him perform because a lot of dancers just do the steps but Marko was so connected to the piece.
Christina- She knows nothing about the genre but she is a huge fan of Marko.
Ricky is the first solo of the night and I couldn’t help but think that he looked a bit more lanky than anything else. He is a good dancer but I wanted to be more impressed. Come on people, you’re fighting for the finale, time to really pull it out.
Tadd is paired with Ellenore for a Sonya Tayeh routine about a couple living during a conservative time when their first touch leads to lust-filled action. She wants to find the dirty side of Tadd. I don’t think Ellenore’s outfit covers enough for her time period. There’s a lot of cool moves in this, Tadd hanging onto the chandelier is particularly fun. (Cat is just dying for a go for herself.)
Nigel- It was…it was! I would have liked to see more dancing but it was very interesting. Too short.
Lil C- Sonya showcases a dancer’s fundamental abilities. He needed to make each move feel like it was lasting longer. Live in the moment more.
Christina- Christina loved it. She loves Tadd so much.
Mary- Tadd’s ability is extraordinary. He is still growing.
Caitlynn has the next solo. This is one of her better solos, it drew you in in a way most of the solos have not been doing.
Ricky and Jamie get a Dee Caspary routine about a couple where the guy becomes controlling in an attempt to keep his girlfriend from slipping away. The sticks feel like a bit of a silly prop for an otherwise pretty dance. (I do miss Allison though.) Ricky does not look awkward here.
Lil C- Dancing with a prop is hard, especially when it alters how you would normal dance.
Christina- Ricky is a beautiful dancer, but she’s noticed he doesn’t dance with the clearest intention, which would take him up to extraordinary.
Mary- All of that. And beautiful free-flowing movement.
Nigel- The routine was lovely. He wants him to dance lower though (he is tall Nigel, he can’t help that!) but he has beautiful lines.
Tadd‘s solo is another crazy laughfest of silliness. He’s good at this though I feel like he could add more diversity into his moves.
Sasha has the fourth solo of the night. I like how much attitude she brought to it. It really felt like she had a point of view rather than just your usual pretty performance.
Caitlynn and Pasha are paired for a Dmitry Chaplin samba. At this point there is very little chance of Caitlynn making the finale and this isn’t a routine that is going to help her. Not because she did a bad job of it but because this isn’t the sort of routine that will drive the audience to tears or be memorable for years to come. (That is the unfortunate thing about most of the ballroom/Latin numbers. It is just the style of dance they are.)
Christina- That looked really good and beautiful, not dorky like so many others.
Mary- That was better than the last samba. On fire. The only criticism was some of the funny faces but the body was dancing.
Nigel- Fabulous roles but watch the “sexy faces.”
Lil C- She danced it amazingly. But approach being sexy more subtly.
Marko has the last guys’ solo of the night. His routine is full of tricks that make it fun to watch.
Melanie has the final solo of the night and she pulls out one of the more interestingly bizarre numbers of the night. Easily the best solo of the season I think (even soiled by that silliness at the end). Most shocking is that she as figuring out her solo at the last minute backstage.
Sasha and Ricky are paired for a new dance style, called Whacking (remember Princess Lockaroo?). The choreographer is Kumari Suraj. It is a style that apparently requires a lot of control. It’s interesting though perhaps should have been brought in earlier in the season. The last move was pretty cool.
Mary- A great job though not as good as Princess Lockaroo. Sasha whacked a little better.
Nigel- He didn’t think the whacking was lacking. He liked the fun but Ricky should have relaxed more.
Lil C- He would have loved to see them enjoy it more.
Christina- They could have whacked it harder.
Melanie and Tadd are choreographed by Spencer Liff about a dancer falling in love with her choreographer and being heartbroken. Spencer like so many other choreographers makes sure to utilize Tadd’s natural athleticism. Melanie definitely did a better job here than in the hip hop routine and I think she outshined Tadd, which is not particularly surprising.
Nigel- Just a moment about the solo–it was the best on the show ever. She is a brilliant dancer on top of her incredible dancing. Tadd didn’t suck either.
Lil C- Melanie’s solo was so beefy and Tadd is growing.
Christina- Melanie has taken dance to a new level. Tadd has better technique than some ballet dancers.
Mary- Everyone has said it all.
Caitlynn and Marko are paired for a Sonyah Tayeh routine for the last performance of the night. Marko is an overbearing man and Caitlynn is trying to get away and find her own voice. No sexy here. And no niceness either. This routine is a much more successful Sonyah piece that showed Caitlynn off more than she has been in a while. I got her desperation more than I got Marko’s controllingness. The judges give it a standing ovation, the only one of the night.
Lil C- This routine was double hashtag buck.
Christina- Wow. Marko is a beast too, not just the women. That was Caitlynn’s moment.
Mary- I didn’t really care for it…are you kidding me! That was Caitlynn’s best number of the series.
Nigel- This routine proves why Sonyah is a world-class choreographer. Stunning. Caitlynn came of age tonight.
After that, who do you think will be joining Marko, Melanie, and Sasha in the finale?