Can you believe next week is already the finale? This summer has just flown by so quickly, it's crazy. As far as who will be in the finale come next week, I think three essentially clinched it tonight, whereas the last spot is a little less clear. Who are the three? Obvious. So obvious. Melanie, Sasha and Marko. I hope it's Tadd joining them and not Ricky, but one never knows with the votes.
Joining Nigel and Mary on the judging panel this week were Christina Applegate and Lil C. I wouldn't have necessarily ever expected Christina Applegate to be a great judge, but she had some great comments, I must say. Who would've thought all of the comedic actor guest judges would be so great? Not me, apparently!
On to the dancers! In the order of their solos...
Ricky - Ricky's solo was planned out well, and went in beat to the music, but I feel like we've seen just so many solos from him by now that it's hard to bring anything new to the table, and there wasn't anything new this time around either.
As for his partner dances... he was teamed up with all-star Jaimie for a Dee Caspary contemporary piece involving sticks. I wasn't paying attention to the intro package, and I must say I had no idea what the sticks were for when watching the actual dance itself. They seemed more like a prop for the sake of a prop, and while I can understand that it was a challenge for him, I don't know. There was some kind of emotional center lacking for me, and maybe that's because he was more worried about the prop than the intention behind the movement. He's a great dancer, but is he a great performer?
For his second dance of the night, he was paired up with Sasha for... whacking. What. This just sounds like a disaster, and honestly, it wasn't the best. After seeing the audition of Princess Lockeroo months ago, this number really just fell flat to me. It seemed really slow and didn't have as much arm stuff as I was expecting, and was just so... bubblegum.
Caitlynn - Oh Caitlynn. She really needs to do something to make her solos stand out more, because every time they just seem to be a lot of flailing about. I feel like that sort of reflects her young personality, though, so I guess it's sort of expected.
For her all-star dance, she was paired up with Pasha for a samba choreographed by Dmitry Chaplin, and though it was certainly serviceable, all I can say is that whenever I see Pasha doing a dance like that, I want to see him with Anya because they have such fire together and can both dance it so well. That lift spin thing at the end seemed super labored too. I'm not sure if it was actually supposed to be that slow or what.
I will say, however, that Caitlynn's shining moment on this entire show was her final number with Marko, a Sonya Tayeh jazz piece. I mean, I love Sonya, for one thing. And Sonya and Florence & the Machine music are just a match made in heaven. It's funny too, because I wrote "Best C's danced" in my notes, and that is what all of the judges then said! Yes, it was the best she's danced, but I don't think it's enough to beat out the other two ladies at all.
Tadd - Dude, how long can Tadd stay up on one hand like that? Crazytown. I'm not sure that Tadd presented anything new in his solo tonight, but there is just something so likeable about his performances that bring a smile to my face, so I could care less.
Tadd's first dance of the evening was with all-star Ellenore in a Sonya Tayeh jazz piece that will probably be dubbed the chandelier piece from now on. It was very cool, I thought. The judges weren't so sure about it, but I felt like I was watching something from Cirque du Soleil up in there. I will agree, however, that it seemed way too short. I wanted it to just keep going. The way he swung around and was able to time it all perfectly was great.
His second dance of the night was with Melanie in a Spencer Liff broadway piece. And can I say something about broadway? Whenever I hear that people are doing a broadway routine I straight up groan. I would say about 90% of the time I don't like them, but tonight? Tonight I did. I think it helped that there was a cool sort of Black Swan story going on. The judges really focused on Melanie in their comments, but I thought Tadd was doing just as well. Go Tadd!
Sasha - Sasha's solo left me wanting more, which can be taken one of two ways. I mean it in the positive way - that I just wanted to see more of her dancing, rather than I wanted to see her do more with it. She has a great musicality to her movement, and is always so centered emotionally in whatever she is doing. Well, except for maybe whacking, but I'm not there yet.
Her first partner dance of he night was with all-star Kent in a Tyce Diorio contemporary piece. And can we just all agree right now that Tyce should stick to contemporary choreography? It's always so much better than any of his other stuff. I really liked the use of the wall in this piece. It was all very passionate, and it came through in their movement. Sasha truly just shines when she is up there dancing, there's no other way to say it. There's something about her that is so engaging.
Except, maybe, in her final partner dance of the evening with Ricky. I mean, I already touched on this earlier, so I won't repeat myself, but this is the one time I didn't feel a connection to her at all. I don't entirely blame her for that. As the judges said, it seemed like they were focused more on getting it right than feelin' it.
Marko - I enjoyed Marko's jumping intro to his solo, and actually enjoyed it on the whole, but there wasn't necessarily anything that new about it that we haven't seen before. But hey, I still love Marko.
His first dance of the evening was with all-star Janette in a Dmitry Chaplin paso doble. First of all, I want that skirt she was wearing. I would be swishing around in that thing constantly, though, so it would probably be a bad idea. This type of dance can be sort of hit or miss, and I think they came up somewhere in the middle. We've seen better, but we've also seen worse. Honestly I hope there aren't too many ballroom style dances in the final performance show next week, because they always seem to be the least exciting.
For Marko's second dance, he had the Sonya Tayeh jazz piece with Caitlynn. I've already said I liked this dance, but now I'm wondering if it is going to be one of the most memorable of Sonya's pieces or not. You know I still remember The Garden from years ago with Mark and Courtney. I'm not sure it was quite to that caliber. But hey, they danced it really well. Man I am so critical sometimes!
Melanie - Wow. That solo was straight up AMAZING. By far one of the best solos I have ever seen performed on the show, period. And apparently she was just coming up with it on the fly before she had to go on! What! What in the world! That is usually a recipe for disaster! Wow.
Ahem. Okay. Melanie's first partner dance of the night, however, was with all-star tWitch in a NapTab hip hop piece. I would say that I liked the concept more than I actually liked the dance itself. That's not to say that I didn't like the dance. For the most part I thought she was hitting it pretty hard, but there were some instances where I wanted her to hit it even harder. This was the first time we've seen her do hip hop, though, so that was a nice change of pace. I was a bit distracted again by the music, though. I'm not sure songs which feature such strong lyrics are as appropriate for this show because it can often overpower the dance, like that Busta Rhymes one a couple weeks ago.
Melanie's second dance of the evening was the broadway number with Tadd. I don't really have much more to say than what I already said. Melanie's great. I think she could win the whole shebang, depending on how next week goes. You never can tell. But if it's not her or Sasha, I will be surprised.
Okay, phew! I think that's enough rambling from me. Who do you want to see as America's favorite dancer next week?
Previous Episode -- Next Episode