Your guest judges are Rex Harrington and Stacey Tookey, who looks like Olivia Newton John circa 1982 tonight. Jean-Marc helpfully explains that the judges eliminate the bottommost dancers in terms of votes, except when they don’t. CLEARED UP. Except that they eliminated Julia and Jera over Kirsten and Jesse, so never mind, it still doesn’t make sense.
Claudia and Edgar: mambo. A very strong opening number by Gustavo MOTHERFUCKING Vargas; Claudia was exactly on point, as you would expect given her background. Edgar was very strong, maybe not as near-perfect as the judges might have one expect (he came across as a bit hyper at a couple of moments, which goes against the suave undercurrent of control a good mambo requires), but certainly a very strong outing from a non-ballroomer in this format. Great start. Jean-Marc puts on oven mitts because they were hot. Shut up, Jean-Marc.
Natalie and McKenzie: contemporary. As contemporary dances go, this was one of them. Nothing wrong with it, but nothing I’ll remember in two months’ time. McKenzie is the most boring human being alive. Technically accomplished like crazy, yes, but still the most boring human being alive.
Amanda and Denys: house. You might think Denys is in fact the most boring human being alive, but he is so naturally boring that he goes right around the tail end again and winds up being interesting. This was… further evidence of the diminishing returns for house on this show? The first with Lisa and Vincent in season 1 is a classic routine, the second with Tara-Jean and Vincent was decent, and this was… okay, I guess. Clearly difficult, with more floorwork than either of Sho-Tyme’s previous house routines, but not as entertaining as either of the previous ones. But Amanda and Denys were perfectly decent in it. Jean-Marc drags out a deed to a “house” because now he is the Carrot Top of SYTYCD judges.
Charmaine and Jeff: jazz. CHEESEMAN~! delivers the goods with a clever routine that I quite liked, and Charmaine and Jeff danced it excellently with one exception, which was that for both their big lifts, the ending was a bit clumsy. Only a bit, though, so this is more of a quibble than a complaint. These two have really recovered quite nicely from a terrible week one.
Janick and Shavar: contemporary. Mandy Moore goes to the table yet again. Get a new schtick, Mandy Moore. Anyway. This was okay and totally forgettable except for Shavar’s lines, which were… not great, really. I thought his performance was a bit stiff as well, but he’s performed better in jazz prior to this so I’m not sure what went wrong here. He wasn’t bad; he was the very lowest end of decent, performing as you would expect him to perform and not surpassing that. Janick was fine.
Danielle and Quirky Sebastian: hip-hop. You can see where this was going to be a good Luther routine and you can see how many levels of bad it was instead. Danielle would have been on the low end of tolerable if she was dancing with a partner who could take some of the spotlight off her, but unfortunately she had to be the showcase side of the partnership because Sebastian was just awful in this, like godawful terrible bad. The worst bit (other than the judges falling over themselves to suggest that Danielle and Sebastian brought “their own style” to it) is that they’re so popular that they have good odds to make it through to next week.
Kirsten and Jesse: rumba. Judges severely tonguebathed this, and if the entire thing had been like the first twenty seconds I would probably be there with them, but unfortunately the routine continued after that first twenty seconds and the rest of it was weak sauce; lifts I can only describe as tentative and shaky and visible nerves on the part of the performers as a result. The judges really, really love Jesse, for reasons I don’t understand because he has consistently failed to impress.
Orangina and Jonathan: “new disco.” Oh lord please somebody make this supposedly new genre stop: SYTYCD Australia did it two years ago, except they were honest enough to just call it jazz with some disco moves. Jonathan and Kloe both danced it well enough, I guess: weak transitions into the stunts, but I’m not sure how much that was them and how much that was Melissa Williams’ ever-mediocre choreography.
Probable bottom three: Kirsten and Jesse, Danielle and Sebastian, Kloe and Jonathan.
Should go home: Kloe and Jesse.
Will go home: Kirsten and Jesse.