Before anything even happens on this episode, there was this sequence where each contestant draws their All-Star and each All-Star then tells them the style they’ll be dancing, and everybody pretends to be surprised when everybody except Kathryn (who can of course dance anything) explains they’ll be dancing, amazingly, in the preferred style of that All-Star! This is the opposite of shocking.
Your judges are Adam, Mia, and Nigel, and Nigel really hits new lows tonight, be forewarned.
Cristina and All-Star Pasha: paso doble. JEAN-MARC (andhispartnerthelovelyFrance) REPRESENT. Pasha calls it a “Pasha-nate paso doble” because he is, beneath the leading man looks, a giant nerd. Cristina started off a little shaky (she nearly didn’t stick that first flying leap) but then found her footing and killed it. Pasha is Pasha, duh. This was good.
Adechike and All-Star Allison: contemporary. Mandy Moore reacts to criticism that she only ever choreographs to Eighties songs by switching it up and choreographing to a recent cover of an Eighties song! Anyhow. Last week, Adechike got to dance with the best all-around dancer who’s ever been on this show (Kathryn) in his style. This week, he got to dance with one of its best female contemporary dancers, again in his style. Last week, he was perhaps a bit cool and disconnected. This week, he was… again perhaps a little bit cool and disconnected. Strictly a B performance, perfectly enjoyable on its own merit, but nothing anybdy will remember six months from now, and this is supposed to be his strong suit and he’s dancing with the very best.
Alex and All-Star Lauren: Broadway. Out of all the Tasty Oreo Broadway numbers I have disliked, I believe I disliked this one most intensely: warmed-over third-rate Fosse imitation that was just fucking simplistic and actively annoying. Nigel suggests that Alex might not have heard of Bob Fosse, because Nigel is a stupid patronizing asshole, and because he can’t criticize EMMY AWARD WINNING Tasty for coming up with a bad routine and instead has to give Alex shit. Shut up, Nigel.
Ashley and All-Star Mark: jazz. I’m pretty sure Nigel must secretly dislike Travis Wall, because this is the first time I’ve ever seen anybody call out a choreographer on this show for using contemporary movements in a jazz routine. (God knows they don’t complain when they use contemporary in hip-hop.) The routine itself was perfectly okay and danced very nicely by both Ashley and Mark; I still think Travis is often too unformed as a choreographer, a little too prone to imitate his heroes/teachers rather than do his own work, but he’s growing and that’s not nothing. Nigel then complains that his core audience of teenaged girls are mostly voting for the pretty boys now that he’s using a voting format that lets them divide by gender, because Nigel is a dumbass.
Billy and All-Star Comfort: krump. Monumental failure on Billy’s part: after the first, oh, fifteen seconds of the routine he just completely lost his groove and danced it softly and smoothly, and spent the rest of the routine being outdanced by Comfort. (Of course, this format means that the eventual winner will likely be the person who is outdanced least.) Nigel congratulates Billy for trying hard because the people he likes get points just for showing up; Mia and Adam are honest and say it was shit, albeit nicely.
Robert and All-Star Anya: Argentine tango. JEAN MARC! Using “Libertango” by Bond, which already got used back in season 2 for Allison and Ivan’s tango, but whatever. You know how back in his heyday people would say Ric Flair could carry a broom to a three-star match? Well, when it comes to ballroom partnering, Anya is Ric Flair squared; she’s just that good. Robert was passable – clearly nervous, but didn’t bobble – and Anya made him look brilliant; but he was not brilliant.
Melinda and Ade: contemporary. Stacey Tookey continues the ongoing CANADIAN INVASION of the American show. (Maybe she can hit Tasty Oreo with a steel chair. Man, I am on a wrestling references kick this week for some reason.) This was a very nice routine danced quite capably by Melinda and Ade (who, I think, is probably the least distinguished of the All-Stars – not that he is not good, because of course he is, but… yeah). Nigel pretends that tap dance is easy, which is mindboggling because Nigel is a tapper and he should not say stupid shit like that.
Not Legacy and Kathryn: Bollywood. Well, on the one hand it’s always nice to see Kathryn totally fucking destroy a new genre. On the other hand, Nigel makes a World Cup reference (shut up, Nigel) rather than point out the obvious, which is that Not Legacy was very, very bad in this, embarrassingly bad, and that he’s really just not even in the league of the other competitive dancers let alone the All-Stars. Don’t get me wrong: Not Legacy seems like a nice enough guy and his work ethic is, I am certain, ridiculous. But he is not good enough and no amount of judge comments about how he’s a shining star of happiness is going to change that.
Lauren and All-Star Dominic: lyrical hip-hop. How do you distinguish lyrical hip-hop from just about all the hip-hop on this show, anyway? That having been said, this was actually pretty good – better than most of the Tabbynaps lyrical routines – and Lauren and Dominic both sold it really well. I quite liked this. It wasn’t quite an A-level routine, but it was very close.
Kent and All-Star Courtney: jazz. Oh god, Kent trying to be sexy is actively fucking painful to watch; he just comes across as tentative, prissy, virginal even. (I am also sick of the golly aw-shucks schtick.) Courtney stands up for him during the judging, and then kindly doesn’t answer Nigel’s gross question about “would you eat him alive.” Tasty’s jazz is, as always, much more tolerable than his Broadway. Nigel then compliments Tasty for choreoing jazz dance that is “actually” jazz, and you get to see Travis muttering something in the background that I am pretty sure is “fuck off, Nigel,” forever making him one of my favorite human beings.
Should be the bottom three: Kent, Jose, Billy.
Will be the bottom three: Ashley, Melinda, Jose.
Should go home: Jose.
Will go home: Melinda.