I know this season has a buttload of contemporary dancers (nine girls and seven guys out of 22), and this is something I have complained about previously when discussing SYTCYD. On the bright side, though, Canadian dancers crosstrain more than average. So there is that, at least.
Kirsten and Jera: contemporary. This was a perfectly decent opener for the season, entirely pleasant and entirely unmemorable. Honestly, I am striving to remember anything at all about it now. I know they danced and I remember quite liking their lines. That will have to do. I’m not even sure if it was first. I think it was first.
Claudia and Yonni: salsa. TonyNMelanie make their return to SYTYCDCA with a truly blah piece of salsa choreo, all the more unforgivable because Yonni and Claudia are both Latin ballroom dancers; the tricks could have been far more fluid and I’m one hundred percent sure that Yonni and Claudia could have nailed it as easily as they nailed this piece of ugly choreo.
Amanda and Denys: tango. Amanda’s legs are insane and they go on forever. It’s almost inhuman. She wobbled a bit early on in this – clearly not that experienced at dancing in heels – but recovered nicely immediately after and was rock-solid throughout the rest of the routine. Denys was ridiculously good, as you would expect him to be with this right in his wheelhouse.
Kloe and Jonathan: hip-hop. Kloe was very, very rigid through this entire (quite decent) routine by Sho-Tyme. No flow at all. Jonathan was better; his lower body got into the groove quite well, but his upper body was a bit too loosey-goosey and he wasn’t hitting his releases on the arm movements nearly as hard as he could have done. Still, since the routine was pretty step-centric he still came off quite well.
Charmaine and Jeff: jive. And that’s what happens when you blow a big move and can’t recover from it. Charmaine made an effort, at least; Jeff just collapsed and didn’t find himself until the end of the dance. In fairness, having an uptempo jive married to a “soldier has to abandon his girlfriend to go off to war” storyline is kind of weird to begin with, but they really didn’t come up to par at all.
Danielle and Sebastian: Bollywood. This seemed like a really, really simple routine – just all sorts of basic – and everybody knows choreographers will dumb down routines when dancers can’t handle the steps involved, but how much was involved here? Sebastian calls himself “quirky” about seven thousand times and then the judges all call him “quirky” and then Leah Miller calls him “quirky” and I never want to hear the word ever again, because Sebastian seems like a decent person other than this one really annoying affectation.
Janick and Shavar: afrojazz. Very solid work here as CHEESEMAN~! brings the goods, as he is wont to do. When Janick and Shavar were dancing in unison or on their own, they were just excellent; the only stumbles came on the lifts, where Shavar looked a bit tentative bringing Janick up and the pauses were noticeable. Still, better that he execute them well and a bit offbeat than badly, I suppose.
Julia and Jesse: “new disco.” Once again Melissa Williams tries to invent a new genre and once again it’s just jazz dance with a few imported moves (in this case, disco) and once again her choreography is thoroughly disappointing; we’re now in three years of her choreographing for the show and I can’t think of one piece of hers that’s been more than tolerable. Julia owned her performance, though; she has stage presence to spare. Jesse… not so much, not yet.
Natalie and McKenzie: Viennese waltz. This was very nice. I’m not going to go further than “very nice,” but it was definitely that thing. McKenzie’s rise and fall could be a little more pronounced, and their backs could have been firmer in closed position, but on the whole this was perfectly acceptable dancing.
Bree and Edgar: hip-hop. Ah, yes, Canadian hip-hop, where we can grind it hardcore on stage. Edgar absolutely killed this, every single bit of it. Bree was fully committed, and although she doesn’t have Edgar’s hip-hop technique she definitely made up for it with sheer effort. Jean-Marc busts out the “V.I.D.” catchphrase which nobody in the entire universe likes. Stop it, Jean-Marc.
Shelaina Special Substitute Tara-Jean and Hani: jazz. Shelaina tragically broke her foot and, barring some sort of voodoo miracle, is gone tomorrow night without even getting to perform, which probably means they’ll pull a Billy Bell for her next year and let her try to make top 20 again. Tara-Jean is even better than she was last year, which is the way of things. Hani was very good and should be safe.
Probable bottom three: Charmaine and Jeff, Danielle and Sebastian, Julia and Jesse.
Should go home: Shelaina and Jeff.
Will go home: Shelaina and Jeff.