So apparently Alex Wong is wounded and may have a torn ACL, which would kick him out of the competition and remove ninety percent of the reason for watching this terrible stupid season in the first place. Get better, Alex!
Lauren and All-Star Pasha: cha-cha. Lauren got a tonguebath from the judges, which – I’m not going to say that she didn’t dance it quite nicely, because she did, but what was fairly obvious is that her parts were relatively basic for cha-cha – a lot of hip swivels and pivots and not so much with the steps. Her performance was fine, but this was at best, oh, 43% of a full Kathryn conquering of ballroom from a contemporary perspective.
Not Legacy and All-Star Lauren: contemporary. Mandy Moore, having stepped outside her 80s box for one week, jumps right back in that fucking thing like a smack junkie in withdrawal. Jose was not completely terrible this week; I mostly refuse to complain about choreographers using B-boy abilities in their routines because if it fits the music then what’s the point? That having been said, he wasn’t so much better than he deserves to be on this show; he just doesn’t have a sense of how to make moves look good (which is something Legacy had, and Dominic, and Gev, and most of the breakers and hip-hoppers on this show really). Also, let’s be honest: Lauren did most of the actual dancing and Jose just did lifts and gropes for the most part. Nigel then says that it’s all right for the judges to give Jose a pass on sucking because Jose is adorable. Shut up, Nigel.
Aw Shucks and All-Star Comfort: hip-hop. Kent expresses panic at having to live up to Alex’s standard from last week, which is silly because he won’t and nobody will care. Kent was actually quite decent this week; I mean, it’s still whitebread hip-hop, but at least it’s reasonably good whitebread hip-hop. (Like, the dance equivalent of Dijonnaise or something.) Kent managed to only do his “lookit me” gawk at the audience three or four times, which is, I believe, a personal record.
Adechike and All-Star Courtney: jazz. Mia Michaels goes into full-on bitch mode critiquing Adechike, just moaning about absolutely everything after Adechike danced a perfectly decent routine (nothing brilliant, but perfectly decent), and after her completely undeserved slaggings of the likes of Brandon and Danny and (insert black male contemporary dancer here) you have to wonder if there’s a pattern. Mia, do not make me feel dirty for siding with Nigel. Mandy Moore continues to love her props even when they are bad ideas, as was the case here: that bar just got in the way of everything and made it harder for the dancers to connect.
Billy and All-Star Katee: Broadway. Motherfucking Cats? Ugh. But at least it’s Spencer Liff, who can do decent Broadway choreo, and although losing Allison sucks Katee is a more than adequate replacement (and, let’s be honest, probably better at the big-dance feel of Broadway than Allison, who works best in the small notes). This was perfectly good choreography danced quite well and Billy for the first time all season actually seems like a real contestant on this show rather than a consolation prize.
Ashley and All-Star Dominic: hip-hop. Well, Tabbynaps have made it clear that no routine can ever end near the judges’ table, because they will act like they are six. Ashley was genuinely quite decent in this, which hit that exact point between beaty jazz and actual hip-hop that’s Tabbynaps’ magic spot (whereas they’ve often strayed off the magic spot into overly lyrical territory); that split drop was fucking sick. Ashley’s booty pumps were, perhaps, a little less enthusiastic than they could have been, but mostly she was solid.
Robert and All-Star Kathryn: jazz. CHEESEMAN~! takes a page from SYTYCD Australia (which I still think did the “Ken and Barbie come to life and dance” idea better), but puts his own spin on it, which I quite enjoyed. The problem is that I enjoyed it mostly for Kathryn, as opposed to Robert, who’s been outdanced three weeks running and with no end in sight.
Adechike and substitute assistant person: Bollywood. Adechike gave it absolutely everything he had, which was more than I expected and honestly not bad despite missing some details. There have been many worse performances of Bollywood on this show than Adechike’s – for example, there was Not Legacy two weeks ago. Cat calls out the judges for being total hypocrites re: Not Legacy, which causes Nakul Dev Mahajan to stand up and applaud, and causes Mia to explain that the difference is that the judges wuv Not Legacy. Nigel starts blathering about “the journey” because he feels Adechike is not being sufficiently supplicative. Shut up, Nigel.
Aw Shucks and Lauren: contemporary. Kent and Lauren’s interplay is entertaining and reminds one of how good the old format is and how much this season’s format sucks. (Nigel: “Shut up! I like the new format!” Me: “That’s great. Seen your Neilsens lately? They’re the worst they’ve been since season one.”) Travis’ routine this time around was prom-themed (HEY TWEENS NEXT WEEK THERE WILL BE A “TWILIGHT” ROUTINE!) and seemed a lot like his Jason/Jeanine routine from season 5 minus the necklace. But that was a good routine, and this was a good routine, and Kent didn’t even gawk at the audience once! Then at the end they make out because if Alex is injured then Kent must win. Or Not Legacy.
Ashley and Robert: quickstep. Ashley was actually quite nice in this: good lines, hit her steps, looked comfortable. Robert looked terrified and moved like he was terrified; his form and carriage were bad, his turns were stiff and unimpressive. Bottom line: Ashley carried this to passability. Then Nigel and Mia explain that classical dance training should make Robert able to do the dance properly, which he has got and he didn’t, so shut up, Nigel and Mia.
Billy and Not Legacy: afro-jazz. Looking at the sequences where Billy and Jose had to do the same basic clutching jump just underscored that Jose shouldn’t be on the show. I know, I’m getting one-note here with Jose, but it’s really the only thing to say about him – “nice, but not good enough.” There were whole chunks here where he looked like a bad auditioner. Then, the judges actually say that Jose didn’t quite dance well, sort of! But he’s still very nice, and that’s the important thing.
Probable bottom three: Robert, Adechike, Alex.
Should go home: Robert.
Will go home: Adechike.