Travis Wall is the gift that keeps on giving. Not only was he a great contestant, he's turned out to also be an amazing choreographer, AND a superb guest judge! That's right, Travis was one of the two guest judges tonight, the other of which was Carmen Electra, who had minimal things to say. But Travis had great comments and tips for nearly everyone, and that is the kind of judging that I think actually helps the kids on the show. More of that, please!
First I'm going to touch on the two group numbers of the evening - the boys and the girls. While I enjoyed both, I have to say that I looooved the guy number, choreographed by Justin Giles. Where has this Justin Giles dude been? His other routine actually made me not hate a couple I have hated from the beginning tonight too! What!
But now let's get to the couples, in chronological order:
Melanie and Marko - Truly the couple to beat, as everyone and their mother has already stated. Tonight these two had a jazz number choreographed by Ray Leeper (who was also responsible for the girls' group number, btw). What these two get so right every week is that, aside from their technically great dancing, of which there is little doubt, they imbue everything with passion. And that, my friends, is especially important on this show. This one made me really want to see them do a crazy Sonya Tayeh routine, but I fear they have already grabbed jazz out of the hat too many times. Indeed, it seems a little fishy that other couples have had ballroom twice already, and these two have had styles in their wheelhouse. Hmm. Hat, schmat.
Sasha and Alexander - These two had a decidedly off night in their hip hop piece choreographed by Shaun Evanisto. Alexander was too clean in his moves, to me. And I just did not believe them at all. Part of it was the music, I thought, but then maybe it just was them not quite selling it. I really sincerely hope these two get in the bottom three couples this week. I know that sounds terrible, but here's the thing: Sasha is great. There is no doubt about that. But Alexander has been missing something this entire time for me. I feel like he doesn't really want it, and honestly, I wouldn't be upset to see him go at all. May be his time, just saying.
Jordan and Tadd - I'm a little worried these two might get in the bottom three this week just because they had a less showy piece in their waltz choreographed by Toni Redpath. Because it was good, but it wasn't amazing, you know? And part of that is just the style of the dance. It's hard to get super fired up over a waltz, no matter how apparently scandalous it was in the 1800s, according to Mary. I will say that Tadd amazes me every week. He never looks like he's out of his style. Go Tadd!
Clarice and Jess - This is the aforementioned couple that Justin Giles actually helped me not to hate this week with a contemporary number. Though I'm still not sure I agree with the judges in their proclamations that they really had chemistry this time. Ehhhh, not buying that really. But they got handed some great choreography, so they probably get a pass again. I'm not sure they deserve a pass, but they seem to have gained a lot of fans since their first week in the bottom three, so what do I know?
Ashley and Chris - Oh boy. These poor kids. They got handed a very tough salsa by Liz Lira that they just didn't pull off. The lifts seemed really labored to me, no matter how much the judges complimented Chris on getting them done. Getting them done and doing them well are two different things. There was a distinct lack of fire in what should be a very fiery dance. Not helping matters were their outfits! That blue dress just did not work with Ashley's complexion, it totally washed her out. Whereas Chris' white suit was too too white. I would have a complete mouth drop moment if these two weren't in the bottom three tomorrow.
Ryan and Ricky - R&R had a quirky jazz number choreographed by Chucky Klapow. What a name! Normally this type of routine would totally be my bag, but, as we know, I am not a big Ryan fan. It doesn't help that she flaunts her relationship with Mia Michaels in her intro package, but whatever. What was interesting about this was that it didn't have a lot of partner work where they were dancing together, but rather a lot of synchronized moves while they were apart, which they definitely nailed. Also, David Bowie. You can rarely go wrong.
Caitlynn and Mitchell - Everyone declared this their favorite routine of the night, and I might have to agree. There was something so effortless to it, which is amazing considering the amount of jumping lifts they were doing. She was just flying through the air, really displayed trust in Mitchell. And it was choreographed by Mandy Moore! My only qualm - Celine Dion? I automatically groan. In any event, they danced this beautifully.
Who should be in the bottom three come tomorrow: Sasha & Alexander, Ashley & Chris, ?? I'm not sure about the third couple! Could be a surprise or it could be that Jordan and Tadd get mixed in there because they had a less showy dance.
Who do you think should be in the bottom?
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