L’il C: s’rprisingly d’cent j’dge.
Courtney and Joshua: hip hop and rumba. The hip-hop was solid (Dave Scott! Finally a good hip-hop choreographer who doesn’t have to blend in lyrical form! About goddamned time); a charming mini-plotline, entertainingly danced. The judges more or less got it right: Joshua nailed it and Courtney didn’t but was entertaining enough that her weaker form didn’t harm the piece. The rumba was Perfectly Acceptable Top Ten Dancing; not as sultry as Courtney’s previous rumba with Gev by half, but more complex and with better tricks. Solid work all around from both.
Courtney’s solo: Extremely good, almost surprisingly so.
Joshua’s solo: Slightly underwhelming; the same big tricks he’s pulled every time we’ve seen him do a solo (the spinning leap kick, the backflip, the pec-pop), and just not as exciting and well-thought-out a routine as Twitch or Gev’s (the ones to compare him against). It won’t hurt Joshua because he is deservedly popular, but… yeah.
Kherington and Mark: country two-step and jazz. I strongly think that if Mark was still paired with Chelsie he would have ripped the two-step; he was actually holding his own throughout the piece quite well, but Kherington didn’t give him much to work with, missing several connects (only one of which the judges bothered to really point out, because it was so glaringly obvious). The jazz piece was boring, but the judges got it completely wrong: it was boring because it was a boring-ass routine, long and dull and with nothing really interesting in it, and there just isn’t a lot Mark or Kherington could do about that no matter how well they danced it (which they did quite decently). This new symptom of it’s-never-the-choreographer’s-fault is really annoying. (Granted, given that scuttlebutt is that Wade Robson is refusing to choreo for the show now after Nigel trashed his “two foxes” routine in last season’s finale, but the problem to Nigel being undiplomatic is not to go hard in the other direction.)
Kherington’s solo: Bland.
Mark’s solo: Entertainingly quirky and enjoyable, but lacked a big stunty bit to make the crowd go “oooooh.” Problematic for him.
Katee and Will: Broadway and pas de deux. God, if this show could be any harder in the tank for Will I’m not sure how they’d manage it. First off, they pair him with Katee (easily the best of the female dancers). Secondly, their first routine is Broadway, which is like a free pass on this show: just dial the ham up to eleven and a half, do whatever relatively basic steps are assigned to you (they’re almost never particularly complex routines), and get a tonguebath from the judges. (Which is what they did and what they got, for a routine that was frankly boring as shit.) Finally, they get a pas de deux choreo’d by Desmond frigging Richardson, which is a huge coup for the show. (I am secure enough in my sexuality to enjoy modern dance. Shut up.) Yes, that last definitely had a high difficulty factor, but there was very little chance he’d screw it up if partnered with Katee. CONCLUSION: Show in tank for Debbie Allen’s boy.
Katee’s solo: I remember thinking it was good when I watched it, but ten minutes later I could not say one thing about it.
Will’s solo: Okayish, but nowhere near as good as his fantastic solo from last week’s elimination show (seriously, that solo was insane). This one was merely solid.
Comfort and Twitch: waltz and hip-hop. Twitch was pretty weak in the waltz, which doesn’t exactly square with his earlier, quite good waltz with Kherington, and I think I’m chalking that one up to a likely partner switch halfway through the week when Jessica was pulled out for medical reasons and he had to start fresh with Comfort. Comfort was also very bad in the waltz, big shock there. The waltz was easily the worst routine of the entire night. However, the hip-hop routine? Wasn’t just the best of the night, but also probably the best hip-hop routine this show has seen since Allison and Ivan killed it late in season two. (On par with that one and juuust behind Destini and Jamile’s superlative hip-hop in season one.) Seriously, just fantastic on every possible level, and unique and original. Dave Scott rules.
Comfort’s solo: The same as every other solo she’s done: wondering why she’s supposedly the best female hip-hop dancer on this show ever if she never dances a good solo.
Twitch’s solo: Very strong with several fun, unique tricks; not quite as good as his “conductor” solo from last week (which was simply brilliant), but very close.
Chelsie and Gev: contemporary and jive. The contemporary was a fun, neat little piece from Sonya Tayeh (who, I think, likes to work spaz-outs into her routines regularly, although that is based on very little evidence), and both of them did a really good job with it (Gev just seems to be really, really strong at partnering well). The jive was insanely difficult – Jean-Marc Genereux just seemed to say “okay, fuck it” this week and gave them a seriously professional-level jive, faster than any jive or swing routine I’ve ever seen on this show. That they even managed to finish it is an accomplishment; that they did it with style and elan an amazement. Gev was straining a bit but managed to mostly cover it, Chelsie rocked the house. Great work, and between the two routines I think Gev saved himself from the probable elimination.
Chelsie’s solo: A very, very boring ballroom solo. I know ballroom solos are tricky because, hey, partner dancing transferred to solo form, not easy. But come on – this was just tedious.
Gev’s solo: Easily the best of the night: an imaginative break routine with a couple of killer tricks (including his “remove the shirt midspin” one).
GOING HOME: Mark for the boys (he picked the wrong week to have a bad night) and Comfort for the girls (although there is an outside chance of Kherington going instead).