Your hosts are Nigel, Mia Michaels and Adam. No Mary Murphy! Now if they can get rid of Nigel
Billy and All-Star Lauren: Broadway. Kicking off the season with Tasty Oreo Broadway is always a touch worrisome. Billy hits his moves well enough (and has an Early DiCaprio sorta-goatee), but they are big and slow and boring. I don’t have the hate-on for Lauren that many fans of this show do, but this was generic and Lauren is not the sort of person who is especially distinctive as a dancer, and that didn’t help. Nigel applauds the slow, dull choreo because it let Billy do big stretches (which is of course so appropriate for “Footloose”) and makes a Karate Kid reference. Shut up, Nigel.
Cristina and All-Star Mark: jazz. A pretty good Sonya piece, and Mark is fantastic, but the problem here was that Mark was so good and the choreo so attuned to him particularly that Cristina seemed almost like an afterthought for large chunks of the routine, which I suspect will not be the first time this happens to a contestant this season. Cristina was not bad by any means, though.
Jose and All-Star Comfort: hip-hop. The B-boying Jose was called upon to do was a lot less organic than the b-boying Legacy did last season, which is unfortunate because it threw his strictly average hip-hop portions into sharp relief, especially when dancing next to Comfort. Not bad, but definitely not anywhere near strong, and this is the closest Jose is going to get to “his own style” all season. Tack on the fact that Jose’s group dance last week was probably the weakest of the night and I don’t like his odds.
Adechike and All-Star Kathryn: jazz. Oh, Travis Wall does like his props. I thought the routine was decent; I thought Adechike’s performance of it was quite strong and held my attention, which when dancing with Kathryn is especially impressive; I certainly liked this better than anything All-Star Jason did in his season, for example, just because his moves were so clean. Of course, this means that the judges hated him, because they can actually judge contemporary on its merits and talk about performance quality, whereas when they judge hip-hop it’s all “you were so fierce because you were a werewolf!” Adam says that since this is the top 11, that they’ve skipped the learning period that you normally get with a top 20 – ignoring the fact that since they’re only eliminating one contestant a week this is actually earlier than the top 20 starts, so to speak.
Melinda and All-Star Pasha: jive. A much better than average routine from Tony-N-Melanie. Melinda’s retractions were very sharp and she has a good dance-face, which I think is the most important thing for a week one jive, because if the retractions are good and you look like you’re having fun, the rest of the flaws (and her legs were definitely a bit askew) are minimized. Nigel complains and makes a World Cup reference. Shut up, Nigel.
Alex and All-Star Allison: contemporary. Well, that was a pretty much flawless thing right there.
Alexie and All-Star Twitch: hip-hop. Sometimes I complain that Tabbynaps routines devolve into mediocre jazz routines with a few beats. This is one of those times. I then die of shock when Nigel actually explains how Alexie, in this dance, is dancing hip-hop badly. We must at this point wonder who Alexie pissed off to have Nigel actually point out how she was not hitting beats. I mean, fuck, Evan got away with dancing bad jazz instead of hip-hop.
Non-All-Star Lauren and All-Star Ade: jazz. I see Mandy Moore and I know it’s going to be an Eighties song, but seriously, “Oh Yeah” by Yello? Can Mandy Moore get any more Eighties than “Oh Yeah”? I think not. But the choreo was extremely clever and the physicality of it was pleasant to watch. Nigel again complains that the non-all-star has no chemistry with her all-star partner, which WHAT THE FUCK NIGEL. You went and changed your show’s format specifically in a way to ensure as little partner chemistry as humanly possible, so do not complain when that actually happens.
Kent and All-Star Anya: cha cha. Wait, Anya got eliminated at top 12. That’s “All-Star” now? Anyway, once again a better routine than I usually expect from Tony-N-Melanie, which is unfortunate because Kent was a bit on the stiff side and clearly being led by Anya for three-quarters of the routine. (This is going to happen every week Anya dances, incidentally. She’s going to blow away every single dancer she dances with and make them look weak in comparison, even when, such as in Kent’s case, they actually were relatively competent.) It doesn’t matter, though, because Kent is like a giant teddy bear and will not get voted off anytime soon. Nigel makes a cougar joke which is so fucking creepy I do not think I can really do it justice by mocking it.
Ashley and All-Star Neil: jazz. Someday I’ll figure out why Tasty Oreo’s jazz pieces are so much dramatically better than his Broadway pieces. It’s like there’s some little switch inside him that controls the flow of lame. This was quite nice and that’s all I have to say about that.
Robert and All-Star Courtney: afro-jazz. CHEESEMAN~! (Yes, Sean Cheeseman gets the DVDVR tilde.) This was excellent, and probably the only performance all evening where the non-All-Star definitely outdanced their All-star partner. (Alex and Allison were on an equally high level of awesome so they don’t count.) At this point the judges have been all “this All-Star season is so awesome” like forty billion times now and SHUT UP JUDGES.
Bottom three: Alexie, Adechike, Lauren.
Should go home: Alexie.
Will go home: Alexie.