So last week’s elimination caused some drama, as Tatiana has gone on eTalk and a bunch of other media outlets bitching about her elimination bein unfair. Now, I thought Tatiana’s elimination was wrong – Melanie B. had a horrifically bad solo and Tatiana a good one, and that should count. But, rewatching Tatiana’s capoeira routine with Austin, she just blew a number of moves (most notably a headstand roll that was below-amateur quality, but there were others) and the routine mostly got by because A) her character was very strong and B) Austin was a housafire. So her elimination wasn’t unjustified; just arguable. And really, given that even making top 20 can be a career boost for a dancer, Tatiana needs to shut up before she ruins whatever boost this can give her.
Anyway. This week our guest judge is Mary Murphy. Oh lord. Please let her be sane Mary who sometimes shows up in Canada.
Melanie M. and Cody: krump. Cody’s personal hip-hop style actually isn’t that much unlike krump in his movements (although he works much more gently), so although he wasn’t bad he wasn’t great, given that he didn’t hit it hard enough; I expected more. Melanie, on the other hand, ripped it all off and left it on the floor bleeding because she is awesome sauce. Mary Murphy Annoying Factor: 0.
Tara-Jean and Everett: salsa. It’s pretty obvious that these two like each other as partners, which is good. They bobbled some of the bigger stunts (Everett’s stepover was especially clumsy, and Tara-Jean was shaky in the beginning), but made up for it with strong, flirty chemistry and enthuiastic performance on the easier parts. For second week, perfectly respectable. Mary Murphy Annoying Factor: 3 (“hot tamale train” and mild scream).
Kim and Emanuel: theatre. I like Sean Cheeseman routines generally and this was not an exception: he can really throw in good physical comedy when he wants to. With the exception of the last big spinning lift (which felt a bit awkward; the scoop up was very rough), the big tricks were all done perfectly, and Kim and Emanuel both embodied their characters really well. The Sandhu haters won’t like it, but this was a good routine. Mary Murphy Annoying Factor: 0.
Amy and Vincent: contemporary. Very good. But very weird. (Blake is sometimes weird.) Vincent started out a bit stiff but got into it quickly enough; Amy was great throughout. Not much else to say: this was very, very strong. Mary Murphy Annoying Factor: 0. Maybe they gave her sedatives beforehand. Jean-Marc, however, gets weepy for the first time tonight, which – no, Jean-Marc.
Jayme-Rae and Daniel: dancehall. Hot DAMN. Easily the best routine of the entire season so far: dirty and stank and sexy. This was goddamned great, the first serious contender from this season for the best routines lists. Both of them hit every move perfectly; with the exception of the lift, which seemed a bit forced into the routine, there was not a move out of place choreography-wise. Mary Murphy is being so reasonable that I may have to retire the Annoying Factor before it even got started. Jean-Marc, however, compensates for Mary’s lack of annoyance by doing the “hey Canada (insert style) COME ON” as well as his second attempt of the night to get his horrible “VID” catchphrase over. It will never be over, Jean-Marc.
Corynne and Anthony: paso doble. Hey, Francis and Natalli are assisting in the practice! Awesome. (You know, for all the “Melissa is so old” crap from the last American season, one feels the need to point out that Natalli is A) older and B) better.) And… well, you want to say that the blown move defines this routine, but even before the collapse, I’d have trouble calling this anything better than average no matter what the judges say: Anthony wasn’t fierce and Corynne wasn’t sultry, and that just got worse once they fell on their ass. Yeah, they finished, but not well.
Jenna-Lynn and Nicolas: hip-hop. Mary actually earns props from me for pointing out that B-boys aren’t hip-hop dancers per se despite the shared culture. Nicolas’ work in this mostly belied that; he occasionally wasn’t clean, but made up for it by committing to the steps. Jenna-Lynn was mediocre. Jean-Marc wants us to COME ON! COME ON! COME ON!
Natalie and Danny: jazz. Natalie impressed the fuck out of me with this one: her commitment to the piece was full-on and her performance quality inspired. Danny has danced twice now and I can barely remember either time; this time around he was your standard forklift and not even a very interesting forklift, and I don’t see him making top 10 unless he pulls a Kameron on Natalie’s popularity.
Melanie B. and Austin: smooth waltz. The choreography was awfully frenetic for a smooth waltz; Melanie in particular was not good; her technique was just not there and everything she did was tentative. (Boy, a ballroom dancer who’s afraid of lifts. I sure am glad she stuck around.) Austin’s rise and fall was serviceable for someone not trained in ballroom; not glorious, but perfectly solid. Melanie needs to go; this is the second time she’s gotten ballroom, which is supposed to be her specialty, and not been any damn good at it.
Probable bottom three: Corynne and Anthony, Jenna-Lynn and Nicolas, Melanie and Austin.
Should go home: Melanie and Anthony.
Will go home: Melanie and Anthony.