Your guest judges this week are Karen Kain OH MY YES and Dan Karaty, and any week where Karen Kain was not guest-judging Dan Karaty would be the highlight because he’s awesome, but, hey, Karen Kain.
Amanda and Edgar: hip-hop. A very strong opener. Edgar was of course predictably good because he’s just very good at everything, but in his genre he’s even better. However, Amanda was very nearly as good as he was – her pops were exactly right and her isolations were so good I would have figured her for a hip-hop dancer had I never seen her before. Probably the best hip-hop routine of the season so far.
Natalie and Denys: mambo. Arguably even better than the hip-hop. I would have liked to see Natalie maybe dance a little bit down into her hips just a little more, but this is at best a small complaint; she hit her footwork excellently and kept time with Denys, who of course nailed it, and this was far from being an easy routine. That first big lift was just so damn clean.
Charlene and Mackenzie: contemporary. The two most boring dancers left in the top ten dance a fairly by-the-numbers piece from Stacey Tookey, who is just not bringing it for me this season: there were some nice bits here and there (I liked that one pause en pointe that Charlene got about halfway through), but overall this felt as formulaic as many of her other pieces this season have. As for Charlene and Mackenzie, they danced this very well in a boring way.
Janick and Jeff: jazz/funk. Well, that was… awkward. Terrible idea for a prop (a whip, which the two of them were dancing them around like they were going to lose an eye), and Janick and Jeff were just stiff the whole way through for me. Judges were very nice about not saying that the choreography was bad, which it was. (Incidentally, I’m skipping discussing the solos for the sake of time, but I have to mention that I love Jeff a little bit for doing Ukrainian dance for his solo.)
Danielle and Sebastian: quickstep. Not the worst quickstep on this show, not by a long distance. In fact, I will go so far as to say that it was good. Not great, certainly not outstanding. But good, and the most entertaining and solid routine Pierre Allaire’s delivered in a while. The first time all season I have not at least slightly disliked Sebastian.
Should go home: Charlene and Mackenzie.
Will go home: Charlene and Edgar.