Your judges are the usual band of idiots. Ashley is injured this week, because everybody who deserves to win this show gets an injury this season, apparently. Possibly Nigel is wandering out backstage with a hammer taking out anybody who can keep Not Legacy from winning due to his wonderful personality or Kent because the girls love him.
Lauren and All-Star Mark: “cultural.” Which is their new catchphrase for “traditional cultural dance styles too small to merit their own category,” apparently. This week, it’s Tahitian dance (I don’t think the specific style was mentioned, but I’m pretty sure it was ‘o’tea). This is difficult for me to critique because what the hell do I know about the technique involved, but Lauren seemed to be doing well enough and Mark was, well, Mark – I’m pretty sure he can sell any dance on the planet so long as it isn’t two-step. The long and short of it is that I was greatly entertained, and that’s as specific as I can get here.
Adechike and All-Star Anya: salsa. Dear everybody on SYTCYD: the fastest salsa in the show’s history is Benji/Heidi from season two and nothing else even compares. This was… not terrible, as salsas on this show go. Mia actually rightly pointed out that Adechike’s basic was a little underemphasized (getting those hip swivels to be instinctive takes quite a lot of practice; I know whereof I speak), and I’d add that he overcommitted to some of the tricks, dancing through them too fully rather than getting that hint of resistance that Latin styles need so much. And the big stunts came across as clumsy rather than awesome. There have been worse salsas, and Adechike definitely had the personality for the routine, but… eh.
Not Legacy and All-Star Courtney: Broadway. This was arguably the worst Jose has danced all season, simply because in every other routine he’s been at least able to project his winning personality into his character and thus seem appealing; when called upon to actually act, he froze into this horrific pain-rictus, which made his bad dancing all the more glaring. Judges actually say, straight up, that he was bad, as hell freezes over.
Robert and All-Star Allison: contemporary. That was really lovely, and probably the best piece Travis has yet choreographed, and frankly a great leap forward for him as a choreographer. I get annoyed when the most applauded routines are inevitably Very Special routines, but this deserved the plaudits because it was genuinely just about perfect and the ending choreo with the paired feet was a very smart piece of work. Easily the best Robert has danced all season; the only thing I can say critically is that even at his best, Allison is still visibly better than him, which is the problem with the whole All-Star concept but we’ve already discussed that ad nauseam.
Billy and All-Star Anya (again): jive. Billy started out really nice here (and isn’t it great to see Louis van Amstel choreo again, I might add), with terrific snaps on his kicks, but after a little bit he stumbled a bit and got a bit clunkier. Not terrible by any means, but after such a promising start the rest just fell flat because that opening was so good and the rest just decent-ish. Still, probably the best partnering Billy has done all season. Anya maintains her perfect record this season of blowing every partner away.
Aw Shucks and All-Star Neil: Broadway. This was a reasonable bit of Broadway from Tasty, if only because he found a different element of Fosse to relentlessly Xerox. Kent danced well enough, but he wasn’t in Neil’s league, and Neil is something of a proto-Kent in that he surpassed dancers of greater skill based largely on winning personality and a few big tricks in his season. Neil is a better dancer now than he was but he’s still arguably the least skilled of the All-Stars; that Kent can’t dance at his level tells me that Kent probably isn’t good enough to win the whole thing, popularity with tweens or no.
Lauren and Billy: jazz. This was charming and fun, the first Mandy Moore routine in a very long time I’ve actively liked (as opposed to tolerated). Both Billy and Lauren danced it very well, and again Billy actually engaged his partner rather than just doing a Billy solo to different music with somebody else on stage. Billy is stepping up his game precisely when he really needs to do it, which bodes well for him. Lauren is just plain good.
Not Legacy and All-Star Dominic: B-boying. This was so greatly dissappointing, because regulars will know that I think the show gives street dancing pretty constant short shrift and all too frequently treats it as a sideshow, so I wanted a really great performance, and Jose was so clearly not in Dominic’s league: moves not as sharp, power not as impressive, behind the beat for good chunks of the routine. I should stop calling him Not Legacy and just go to Not Good Enough, because that’s simply what he is. Of course, the judges eat it up with a spoon because he’s such a sweetypie and isn’t breaking fascinating and etc.
Adechike and Aw Shucks: contemporary. Okay, Adechike busting on Kent having a crush on Lauren was fucking hilarious. The choreo was conceptually interesting and both danced it well. This was a perfectly good bit of dancing and I have nothing else really to say about it.
Robert and Substitute All-Star Kathryn: disco. Probably the best Dorianna Sanchez routine since season three’s with Sara and Neil; the lifts were better integrated than most of her routines by far. Robert danced quite well. Kathryn, as usual, was brilliant, and presumably was picked as a last-minute substitute because Kathryn can do anything. “Okay, we need somebody to dance a polka through a hail of bullets on twelve hours’ notice.” “Eh, just get Kathryn.”
Bottom three should be: Jose, Billy, Adechike.
Bottom three will be: Billy, Adechike, Ashley.
Should go home: Adechike.
Will go home: Adechike (if Ashley’s injury proves not a big thing) or Ashley (if it is).