This week: a thankful lack of begging for Paula Abdul’s horrific presence!
Karen and Kevin: hustle. Kevin’s performance here was certainly better than his dreadful first week cha-cha, but not nearly so good as to merit his congratulations from the judges: it was strictly technically acceptable and nothing more. His performance quality was lacking for me: the slow introduction was creaky and for a good chunk of the fast part of the dance, he looked terrified of screwing up. Mary says “it was like Karen was leading” and I am all “like?” because, you know, she was leading for practically the entire thing and it was obvious. Maybe I am being harsh here because Kevin really was much better than he was in week one. But then again, in week one he totally blew.
Ashleigh and Jakob: jazz. And I see it’s time for episode seventeen of “Mandy Moore Imagines What Her Prom Would Have Been Like In Her Dreams.” Seriously, Frankie Goes To Hollywood? That’s approaching self-goddamned-parody. That having been said, my reactions are twofold: 1.) the choreo for this routine was dramatically inferior to Mia Michaels’ superb cane routine from season one, and 2.) Jakob danced the motherfuck out of Mandy Moore’s relatively average choreography. Ashleigh was perfectly okay, but Jakob’s performance was just off the goddamn charts here: his character and elevation were just astounding. Dude is a contender, yo.
Pauline and Peter: quickstep. The first bit of this was a bit brutal, but about halfway through, Pauline and Peter really actually started to get into a good groove and their footwork actually really started to approach it being a decent quickstep. Not a perfect one, but a good one, especially by SYTYCD standards. Mary and Nigel naturally had to discuss all the little errors the two of them made because at this point they are deeply invested in the idea that quickstep is the hardest possible dance to execute on this show (which it isn’t, not even close – just because they give blowjobs to every shitty disco and krump that hits the stage doesn’t mean that the discos and krumps on this show aren’t largely shit) so they have to pontificate at length about how the dancers missed six billion tiny things.
Kathryn and Legacy: Broadway. I was gritting my teeth and preparing for Tasty, but instead I get Andy Ferrisbueller or something like that. I will take it happily. All three of the judges dinged Kathryn for being too cutesy, which is pretty much on point: she reminded me rather eerily of Betty Boop, and Betty Boop is kind of terrifying. Legacy was strong in this, albeit occasionally a bit stonefaced. I don’t think the judges mild criticisms were enough to stop the vote-juggernaut these two are forming.
Channing and Viktor: contemporary. “So let’s take two contemporary dancers and give them a contemporary routine by the best contemporary choreographer we’ve got available.” Although this routine was predictably excellent tecnically (although I think Stacey Tookey has about drained the “two lovers have a tumultuous relationship and one leaves at the end” well at this point), my antipathy for the obvious loading of the dice here is pointed. I mean, when Russell got to dance hip-hop they at least stuck him with a goddamn tennis racquet. Nigel, surprisingly, says what I thought he wouldn’t – that these two dance very well in their own style, but mostly emotionlessly and/or coldly. Which is mostly accurate.
Ellenore and Ryan: hip-hop. Mostly a toned-down krump, really. In any case: this was bad. The choreo was not bad, although now we can be sure that L’il C is of the “do the damn moves” school of hip-hop choreo rather than the “let’s be nice to everybody and do whatever and call it hip-hop” school that Nabitha and Tapoleon represent all too often. The dancing was bad. I don’t really have anything else to say: both Ellenore and Ryan were off-beat (and off-beat in different ways), neither of them hit their moves particularly hard (although Ellenore was a bit less worse than Ryan), and although the personality was there, nothing else was.
Mollee and Nathan: salsa. Oh my god, they finally get Gustavo MOTHERFUCKING Vargas on the American show, and he gives up some really great choreo, and they feed him to the vortex of suck that is Nathan and Mollee. It is like a cruel, cruel joke. This was so bad that the judges had to actually admit that it was terrible and Mollee and Nathan were terrible (although they rallied to say that they were fan favorites so it’s okay to vote for them even though they sucked, America!). Mollee is perhaps the most oversold dancer in the history of the entire show. Yes, even more than Lauren in season three.
Noelle and Russell: afro-jazz. SEAN CHEESEMAN IN THE FUCKING HOUSE oh man Canada is invading your HOUSE America and if you are not nice we will BURN IT DOWN just like in 1812. (Ahem.) Sean Cheeseman’s choreo was awesome as per usual. Russell goddamn sold it. Noelle… was okay. Not great. She is a fairly generic dancer, to be honest, and she was offbeat a couple of times – not much, but just enough to be noticeable. Nigel continues pretending that he is Michelle Pfeiffer and that Russell is all of the kids in Dangerous Minds, because Nigel is a patronizing asshole.
Probable bottom three: Mollee and Nathan, Ellenore and Ryan, Channing and Viktor.
Should go home: Mollee and Viktor.
Will go home: Channing and Viktor.