Your guest judge is Jason Gilkison, who is of course just as good as the other three.
Ivy and Gaz: hip-hop. A Superman-themed hip-hop routine? It is like they choreographed this just for me! And Gaz is, it turns out, a dead fucking ringer for Clark Kent, and Ivy’s reasonable as Lois. This was really great up until just after the lift, and then they kind of lost a bit of pace (I agree with Matt that they slipped ahead of the beat), but on the whole I’m going to give it a thumbs up because it genuinely was a cute routine, and because it had Superman flava, and the performance quality that Gaz kind of lacked last week was here in full force.
Issi and Don: foxtrot. Issi’s hurting ribs were pretty evident in some of the moves (that arabesque on the bench, for example) and Matt’s right in that Don’s tendency to rush through his moves is starting to become more evident, but he was still much better than Issi – she just felt clunky in a lot of places for me and this is the second week where I just wasn’t feeling any connection to her character at all. She’s not as bad as, say, Mollee was by any stretch, but she’s got a lot of the same flaws writ small, and I think her fear over the injury isn’t doing her any favours.
Jessica P. Ballroom and Heath: contemporary. Pretty standard “love falls apart” storyline here, but damn, what dancing. Heath is genuinely excellent at partnering, which I simply didn’t expect out of him at all; I don’t notice the lack of pointing in his feet at all but then again I don’t really look for that sort of thing. Jessica was very, very good. I want to see these two work outside of technical-training dance now to see what happens; I am optimistic.
Jessie H. Contemporary and Matt: jazz. Project Moda are one of my favorite things about the Australian show because nobody else choreographing for any show anywhere is as consistently hilarious as they are, and because unlike a lot of jazz choreographers they stick to what jazz dance should be, which is “mix of absolutely everything” rather than “ballet with a beat.” This is the second week Jessie and Matt have absolutely nailed their choreo, at least in my eyes; maybe a few points where the unison movement was a hair off, but only a few and only by a hair, and the ridiculous stunts Matt assisted Jessie into were just stunning – that backward somersault lift near the end was fucking insane.
Mikhaela and Robbie: boogaloo. Boogaloo! Haven’t seen that since season one. And… yeah, there’s a reason, because it’s not that audience-friendly: it lacks big moves and it’s hard to do. (Compare to house, prevalent on the Canadian show, which is hard to do but has plenty of big moves.) Robbie looked terrified through the entire thing and frankly didn’t dance this well; his pops were better than Mikhaela’s were but on the other hand Mikhaela at least looked comfortable doing the moves, even if her pops were mediocre. Jason Gilkison blames their problems on lack of chemistry, which seems like it is not necessarily the entire problem but definitely contributing.
Grace and Nick: contemporary. And right off the bat it’s a Very Special Routine about a couple that loses their baby Inspired By Real People and the dancers say things like “we have to do this routine justice,” which always irks me. But on the merits of the routine itself I don’t really have any complaints; it was danced very strongly and the choreo, while not especially original, was completely serviceable. I thought both Grace and Nick were miles ahead of where they were last week. This was very good, and both are frankly better off without the partners they lost last week.
Carly and Kieran: Broadway. I’m at a loss to find enough ways to compliment- this: just a great goddamn routine, clever choreo and danced just about perfectly. Kieran’s ability to bring out his character – last week it could possibly be described as heavy-handed, but then it was a heavy routine. This was light and, yes, “frothy,” and he was understated without being boring. Carly was very strong as well. Easily the surprises of the competition so far.
Renee and Phillipe: paso doble. Terrible music. I mean, the idea of a paso to “Bohemian Rhapsody” isn’t a bad one, but because of all the really blatant music edits and skips I just kept having these “wait, they skipped a line” moments which distracted me and pulled me out of the dance. Jason Coleman summed up my feelings on the routine itself by saying that the intensity needed for a paso was present for the first third of it, missing for the second and then showed up again for the last third. Not nearly so good as last week for these two.
Jess S. Hip-Hop and Doug: contemporary. I had the over/under on “Fireflies” by Owl City getting used in a routine at week two, because if there’s a song that screams out “YOU CAN USE ME FOR ANY FORM OF DANCE” it’s that one, and here we are. This, unfortunately, did not justify using it; it was choreo that managed to be both complex and trite all at once, with so many lifts that the dancing itself was more or less missing. I thought Doug did better on the lifts than Jason Coleman gave him credit for doing, but not so well that I was especially impressed. Jess was only okay.
Probable bottom three: Mikhaela and Robbie, Jess S. and Doug, Jessie H. and Matt.
Should go home: Jess S. and Robbie.
Will go home: Jess S. and Robbie.