Your guest host is Kelley Abbey. She is pretty.
Top seven boys: Broadway. I was kind of meh on the whole idea of a top seven boys’ performance because there didn’t seem to be any reasonable way to choreo a routine that would showcase all of them equally, so I figured they’d end up just doing a sort of bland bit that would showcase them all equally not-at-all, and I was unfortunately correct about this. I also nailed both Broadway selections for just going with the most predictable options (in this case, West Side Story for the boys). I love the Australian show for tinkering with format, but this is one of their failures.
Issi and Don: “funky street Latin.” This was probably the best Issi and Don have danced together so far: Issi finally had performance quality when not dancing in her genre and Don was dead on the beat throughout and not rushing. Both had a few weak bits – Issi mostly at the start, Don a bit after her – and the confidence was occasionally lacking (Jason’s comments about “finding Broadway versions of yourselves” was actually pretty brilliant) but on the whole this was danced reasonably well for something that’s about as far from being a formal genre as possible.
Jessica P. Ballroom and Heath: contemporary. Killed it, again – which is not surprising because these two have danced contemporary, jazz, one tango and now back to contemporary. I’d really like them to do anything else at this point, but I can’t say this wasn’t good.
Ivy and Robbie: paso doble. Okay, Robbie needs to have facial hair pretty much forever, because it ages him about five years. Actually, since he normally looks about fifteen, maybe ten years. Anyway, Jason Gilkison is brilliant, but even with Gilkison I was skeptical that a prop cape would fly. But it did, because he’s brilliant. This is Ivy’s second paso (I can’t remember the last time one dancer danced paso twice in a single season) and the improvement was massive; Robbie finally danced well enough to convince me that he’s not just a great soloist. That double développé was fucking insane. Fantastic work.
Carly and Kieran: contemporary. Other than Calry maybe overemoting a bit in a couple of sequences, there’s nothing to say other than: yes, another excellent contemporary performance. See, this is the problem with recapping this show: so much of it is just good and there’s nothing for me to say except banana monkey hamburgers and pretend that it is meaningful.
Jessie Contemporary and Matt: jazz. Clever concept with a ton of character and danced excellently by both of them. I’d really like to point out that Jessie’s leaping split into the catch by Matt was a total moment of trust on her part, which says a lot about this partnership. (I know that this is a very SYTYCD Judge thing to say, but I’m not saying it about a basic lift but instead about a pretty difficult stunt. I don’t think, as Bonnie did, that Jessie outshined Matt; she had the showier role but Matt danced just as well as she did.
Renee and Phillipe: Viennese waltz. This started out with such pleasant chemistry, and indeed the chemistry was ridiculously good throughout: the looks on Renee’s and especially Phillipe’s faces were so amazingly genuine. In terms of character quality this was probably the best waltz SYTYCD has seen since Mark and Courtney’s in season four of the US show. Unfortunately, the dancing was clunky and clumsy and just plain bad, which was a massive disappointment; if it had been on par with the chemistry this would have been an incredible tour de force.
Jess H. Hip-Hop and Nick: hip-hop. My love for Tiana Canterbury knows no bounds, and especially for choreographing 90s-style hip-hop, which any hip-hop dancer who’s tried it can tell you is insanely difficult, and there were a few stretches in this routine where Nick especially was just falling behind and even Jess was clearly struggling to keep up. This isn’t to say that the routine wasn’t fun and danced relatively well, but in a field this strong it’s unfortunately second-class.
Top seven girls: Broadway. I would like to put “Cell Block Tango” on my list of Music I Never Want To Hear On This Show Ever Fucking Again. That is all.
Probable bottom three: Issi and Don, Jess and Nick, Renee and Phillipe.
Should go home: Issi and Don.
Will go home: Jess and Nick.