Your guest judge this week is Toni Basil, apparently because the producers felt the need to re-inflict upon us the worst guest judge ever.
Karla and Jonathan: hip-hop. I’m generally a big fan of Dave Scott’s choreography and I think I would have liked this routine if it wasn’t danced for crap: Jonathan was absolutely terrible in this, dancing what is quite possibly the whitest hip-hop on SYTYCD pretty much ever. Karla was much better, but unfortunately I don’t think she lived up to the standard of “oh hi I am a member of a top-flight hip-hop crew incidentally.” Jonathan was so painfully bad in this he made Karla look bad.
Asuka and Vitolio: jazz. Mandy Moore continues her endless quest to choreograph every single song that played at her high school prom with a lifeless, floppy, slow bland number that was just utter dogshit. Worse, it was utter dogshit that wasn’t danced very well by Asuka: her extensions on her leaps were painful to watch. Vitolio was better. That is all I have to say about this piece, which was terrible and worse forgettably terrible.
Melissa and Ade: rumba. Man, Ade was just on form tonight: he partnered Melissa very well indeed, pulling off the oft-difficult rumba combination of being both sensual and damn manly at the same time. Melissa was solid, although her hands were definitely in the crabby-hand mold that can distract sometimes. They bobbled one move (that slow assisted spin into the wrap) a little bit, but other than that this was pretty strong. They should be safe.
Carla and Turk Janette and Brandon: hip-hop. Brandon danced the motherfucking shit out of this. Seriously, Brandon hasn’t danced in his style once yet so far and he’s just nailing everything they give him. Janette was solid as well; not on Brandon’s level, but definitely at least coming up to meet him towards the end. It’s kind of depressing that this is only the second watchable hip-hop routine of the season when we’ve had six of them so far, but if nothing else this was definitely a highlight of the entire season.
Kayla and Kupono: Viennese waltz. Jean-Marc Genereaux excels at creating waltzes where the actual waltzing can be disguised under a layer of lyrical movement, and this was no exception. During the rare moments in the routine where Kayla and Kupono actually had to, you know, waltz, they were exposed for the non-ballroomers they were. But the sweeping lifts and poses that Jean-Marc put in to hide their mediocre waltzing more or less covered their asses. Reminiscent of the Kherington/Twitch waltz from last season, albeit not as good – Twitch was much better at partnering than Kupono is and it showed tonight. Even so, watchable.
Randi and Evan: contemporary. Mia Michaels dialing it down? What is happening to the world? Maybe this is Mia reacting to all the other choreographers doing more complex routines. “If they will do complex then I will do simple! I am MIA MICHAELS dammit!” But yeah, her Randi’s Ass Dance was charming and clever and entertaining and memorable in ways that a lot of her routines last season weren’t, and Evan and Randi danced it very well. Back to basics Mia: me like. (Also, Nigel deciding that the routine was about “an old man and a beautiful girl” is all sorts of friggin’ creepy. Don’t project your pathetic inner fantasy life onto the dancers, Nigel. Or at least don’t tell us that you’re doing that.)
Caitlyn and Jason: paso doble. This was all kinds of bad. Jason’s posture was much weaker than Mary allowed for, and worse yet he wasn’t even forceful. When he opened his mouth for those supposedly dramatic silent screams, he looked like somebody had stepped on his foot. Caitlyn was clumsy and totally lacking character and about as sultry as Betty White in a chador. Mary Murphy felt the need to reference their Bollywood routine again to explain how good they really were. Dear Mary: the Bollywood was only moderately good at best, and also it was two weeks ago. Get the fuck over it already. We do not need Bollywood to become the new Broadway.
Jeanine and Philipchbeeb: Broadway. Oh shit I said “Broadway” and then Tasty Oreo appeared! HE IS LIKE CANDYMAN! But now that I’ve said that I will retract my usual dislike of Tasty Oreo’s Broadway, because this routine was not his usual “How To Rip Off Bob Fosse In Thirty Seconds” junk but actually a pretty decent Gene Kelly homage. I think Philipchbeeb was poorly done by the introduction piece, because that “oh shit” jump (and it was definitely an “oh shit” jump) gets a little less impressive when you take out the surprise value and just make it about whether or not he can do it. Philipchbeeb also danced this far more acceptably than the judges gave him credit for doing; certainly he wasn’t as fluid as the jazzy style demands, but he adapted to this much better than anybody except Brandon and Jeanette did to hip-hop so far. Jeanine was excellent and I have no complaints, other than to point out that she did not look like “Betty Grable” but rather Bettie Page.
Bottom three predictions: Karla and Jonathan, Asuka and Vitolio, Caitlyn and Jason.
Should go home: Caitlyn and Jonathan.
Will go home: Karla and Jonathan.