It's funny, the judges basically declared exactly who I think should be in the top four tonight as their favorites. Psychic powers! Not really, just paying attention to the best dancers.
Joining Nigel and Mary on the judging panel tonight were Rob Marshall and Lady Gaga. Now I wasn't sure what sort of judge Gaga was going to be on a dancing show, but she actually had some good comments, with maybe some inadvertent choreographer disses thrown in too, ha. But hey, that's refreshing when all they usually do is lavish praise. Not that the choreographers don't deserve praise, they definitely do when they have to pull out so many routines in so little time and adjust depending on what dancers they get.
Okay enough rambling. Let's get on to the dancing! Tonight was finally what I (and others) had wanted - one dance with an all star and one dance with a fellow contestant. And we're off....
Sasha and Pasha - What's this? Sasha in a, gasp, dress?! Can it be? It's like they heard me wondering whether she would ever be in a dress! Let's just forget about that unfortunate headband thing because it's better that way. She and Pasha had a Jonathan Roberts quickstep. This dance is usually the kiss of death on this show, but it was a lot more spunky than we usually see. I think the choreographers have caught on that the ballroom numbers can't be too formal or they won't get votes. I did note that the final lift seemed kind of wonky, though.
Caitlynn and Ivan - I just want to take a moment and reflect on how awesome Ivan was in this Marty Kudelka choreographed hip hop piece. He was just so smooth, I loved him. But I'm supposed to be talking about Caitlynn, right? Caitlynn had some moves on her too, but I found my focus constantly shifting back to Ivan the whole time. If it weren't for another girl in the competition, I would say this was Caitlynn's final week, but I think she has one more week in her.
Jordan and Ade - Oh, speak of the devil! Yes, Jordan is the other girl I was talking about above. She and Ade had a Tyce Diorio jazz piece that the judges had a lot of praise for, but I just wasn't feeling it. I thought it was sort of boring and did not like the music choice at all. I was baffled by a lot of the music choices tonight, actually. I feel like the judges were sort of just making it up to Tyce after last week or the week before when they were sort of ragging on him. Whatever. Not good enough in my eyes.
Melanie and Neil - When I first turned on my TV to start the show, this piece was playing, and all I really heard was the music. I said to myself, "Mandy Moore!" and I was right. Lady is predictable with her '80s music stylings! I think we can all agree the best part of this dance was when Melanie ran across that floor and just jumped into his arms with complete abandon. Otherwise it felt very regular contemporary. Maybe that's just because I've seen so many of these types of routines on this show over the years. I'm becoming jaded?! Oh no. But as Rob said, there's something poetic about Melanie's movement, and that was not lost in this performance.
Ricky and Anya - These two had a Jason Gilkison jive number, and it was another one that I was having some serious music choice concerns over. So much love for Celine Dion on this show! Couldn't they have just gone with the original River Deep Mountain High? Two Tina Turners in one night would be too much maybe? In ANY event, the number did pick up the pace as it went on and became more interesting, but overall I don't know. The lifts felt really labored. And trust me, I'm not just repeating what Mary and Nigel said, it just so happens that I wrote both those things down before they said them. It's my psychic powers, you see. Why can't my psychic powers apply to things other than So You Think You Can Dance? The world may never know.
Jess and Lauren G. - I've got to confess, I barely even paid attention to this number. It was a NapTab hip hop piece that the judges again heaped a lot of praise on (except for Gaga, who wondered at the need for a prop!), and again I wasn't feeling it. Of course this may partly be because I am just not the biggest Jess fan. Gasp! I'm not a Jess fan! This has not been obvious at all! For real, though. All I really wrote was, "blah blah."
Tadd and Lauren F. - The case of the dropped hat. It was totally hilarious watching Tadd play around with an invisible hat once he lost his. I have some sympathy in the hat losing department, as that once happened to me on stage during a dance number. What's this? I used to dance? Um, a looooooong time ago, don't get too excited. But I did lose my hat and have to come back and get it afterward, which the audience applauded and made me turn bright red. Guess how old I was! ANYWAY. Sorry, narcissistic moment there. It's too bad, though, that the hat was dropped, because otherwise I really liked this Mandy Moore jazz piece (which featured another song from the '80s, no less!). Tadd just has a certain smoothness to him, an adaptability that is rare, it's great.
Marko and Allison - These two had a Sonya Tayeh contemporary piece that brought a lot of tears to the house. It was certainly beautiful, but I must admit, my eyes were drawn to Allison the whole time. There's something about her dancing that is just so magnetic. Nothing against Marko, but it's hard for anyone to outshine her when she's doing her thing. This piece had a lot of personal meaning for Marko, though, and that came through in his dancing as well.
Caitlynn and Tadd - In the first of the paired couples, Caitlynn and Tadd had a Jonathan Roberts foxtrot. My notes say something along the lines of it being perfectly serviceable but not a number that will get a lot of votes. The understated ballroom pieces are just hard to get truly excited about, even though that's not necessarily fair. But it just didn't quite have that extra something to make it very memorable.
Marko and Ricky - I think I might have just said only last week how I wanted to see Marko do a hip hop number, and lo! Lo and behold! Here he is with a NapTab one! And he was just as good at it as I thought he would be. Ricky was fine, but I didn't think he got as down and dirty with it as he could have. But then he's just so tall and lanky that it's hard for him to look down and dirty.
Jordan and Jess - Easily my least favorite dance of the evening. They had a rumba from Jason Gilkison, and while the choreography itself was perfectly fine, I felt absolutely no connection between the two of them. Jess was certainly trying, but Jordan only seemed to be concerned with looking out into the audience. Um, not when the dance is supposed to be about how you are too into him! Just saying. I can only hope that it lands them in the bottom tomorrow.
Sasha and Melanie - Oh yes. I said to myself at the beginning of the show, "what if it's Sasha and Melanie together? Unstoppable!" And I was not wrong, especially not when they were handed a Sonya Tayeh jazz number. Match made in heaven! It was just everything you wanted it to be, and the reaction to it all made me believe that Sonya and Gaga may be sort of soul mates. Definitely the routine of the night. I think these two ladies might be the top two come finale time!
My prediction for who's going home tomorrow: Jordan and Ricky. Joining them in the bottom will be Caitlynn and, I hope, Jess. If it's Tadd, I will weep. Not really, but I will be annoyed.
As a note to anyone who cares, I may not be able to post my usual wrap up on the results tomorrow night. My family is coming into town and I'm going to be busy busy!
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