Kenny Ortega is your special guest judge, and he’s quite nice! Replacing nobody, however. Also, this week Billy is injured, which is three weeks straight with an injury. Some have suggested that the routines are getting too athletically intense in the pursuit of spectacle; at this point I am undecided, but noting that Alex tore his ACL after doing what essentially amounted to a throwaway double split jump is certainly evidence in favour.
Lauren and All-Star Twitch: hip-hop. This was very solid. To be sure, Twitch outdanced Lauren, but that’s more or less the problem with this entire format, isn’t it? At least Twitch didn’t outdance Lauren badly; she performed quite well – maybe lacking a bit of flavour in the first fifteen seconds or so, but after that she found her groove and stuck to it quite nicely.
Not Legacy and All-Star Allison: contemporary. You know what? This was genuinely quite decent. Not great, and certainly Allison outdanced Jose. But decent; Jose’s partnering was definitely the best he’s been all season, and his dancing, while still rudimentary, was fully realized and felt organic. So naturally, after weeks of him dancing weakly, the judges just shit all over him for not having technique and doing “pedestrian contemporary” when every single dancer on this show ever who is not named Alex Wong has had pieces tailored to their skill level in every given genre. Seriously, judges.
Robert and All-Star Lauren: jazz. Tasty’s jazz is so much better than his Broadway. I know I’ve said it before, but it’s never not true. This was perfectly good dancing in a sort of not-very-noteworthy way; not quite as sexy as perhaps the judges sold it, but it was good. Nobody will remember it in three weeks or so, but good.
Aw Shucks and All-Star Kathryn: jazz. I didn’t like this. Not for the quality of the dancing, which was fine; I didn’t like it because it felt like Sonya’s trashbag of every move she wasn’t able to fit into a routine, all stuffed together into a frenetic uptempo song. (And I like Janelle Monae.) Mia calls out Kent’s aw-shucks face, which should have happened weeks and weeks ago. Of course it doesn’t matter because Kent is most likely going to win now.
Adechike and All-Star Comfort: hip-hop. Adechike fucking murdered his role here. I think this was more lyrical than hip-hop, but whatever; this was just really good. Tabitha and Napoleon are really being consistently good this season after a couple of dreadful years; one suspects it’s because they actually get to work with actual hip-hop dancers.
Lauren and Robert: samba. A pretty solid performance, albeit not deserving of all the compliments it got; if either would have been paired with Pasha/Anya they would have looked less able, but the general level of talent didn’t create a disparity here. That having been said: Lauren was better than Robert, but only somewhat and not so much so that Robert wasn’t good. Perfectly acceptable dancing.
Not Legacy and Adechike: paso doble. An all-male paso is actually really apropos, and the general concept of the choreography worked for me (although I would have liked the “battle” portion of the choreo to be more extended than the pre-fight posing portion), but Jose was in his usual form, which is to say not good enough; just the opposite of fluid in his movement, so that “stiff” isn’t enough. Adechike was impressive.
Billy Substitute Twitch: stepping. Kent is the whitest person alive today. Kent is so white he makes Sarah Palin look like Oprah Winfrey. Kent is so white he shits marshmallows. Kent is so white when he’s in the Arctic polar bears can’t see him. Kent is so white that when he wears a red hat people mistake him for an ambulance. Kent is so white he sweats two percent milk. Kent is so white that he didn’t dance this very well at all. Kent is so white and he’s still probably going to win.
Bottom three should be: Billy, Jose, Kent.
Bottom three will be: Billy, Jose, Adechike.
Should go home: Jose.
Will go home: Jose.