Your guest judges this week are Lil C and Kristin Chenoweth, which makes me think they have the judge-choosing equivalent of a roulette wheel somewhere and it broke, but both of them are insightful and eloquent and make Nigel’s terrible jokes a little more bearable, and the prospect of seeing strong dancers eliminated in favour of Yet More Contemporary Dancers Who Have No Shot At Winning No Matter How Pimped They Are a little less bothersome. But only a little. Yes, I am bitter about last week’s eliminations.
Group dance: Broadway. This was terrible awkward choreography, one of the worst Broadway pieces Tasty has ever put together, and he has put together some goddamned doozies.
Sasha and Alexander: contemporary. Sasha straight-up murdered this for the second week in a row. Alexander continues to be the less-comfortable Robert for me, and again: that’s saying something. He was better than last week because he was in his comfort zone this week, but I don’t quite feel comfortable saying he looked great. I really liked Dee Caspary’s choreography here: it was contemplative and original and fresh on a show that’s often gotten stale in recent years.
Caitlyn and Mitchell: samba. Caitlyn’s costume was just a disaster here: she had good carriage and worked her body superbly, I think, but all the floofy stuff wiggling around her made it almost impossible to see her dancing. Mitchell did quite well for somebody who didn’t have a lot to do – seriously, go back and watch it again and see how much, well, standing he was doing – but what he actually got to do was excellent. I didn’t really like the routine that much (Jean Marc is capable of much better, unless it turned out that Mitchell really needed to stand around a whole lot), but I thought they did a good job with what they were given.
Miranda and Robert: Broadway. So that’s Tasty 1-for-2 then tonight, I guess, since this was… okay! Not great – I think Tyce diverged a little too much from his music (especially for a Broadway routine) and it got distracting. And I think it was pretty basic, for the most part. But it was okay. Robert and Miranda were both game and threw themselves into it, and it was okay. I am using the word “okay” a lot, which is probably condemning with faint praise, but whatever. I didn’t hate this. It was there. For Tasty doing Broadway, that is practically a victory.
Melanie and Marko: hip-hop. Marko and Melanie are exceptional actors in a way that most dancers on this show just aren’t, first off – they embodied their characters wholly. That having been said, although I thought this was excellent, I didn’t think it was excellent hip-hop. Excellent jazz-with-beats, definitely, but whatever, at this point when I see an honest-to-god hip-hop routine on SYTYCD it’s A) a novelty and B) most likely going to be bad since they fill seasons with winsome modern dancers who can barely hit a beat. But Melanie and Marko can clearly both hit beats (although it’s worth noting they don’t sync up perfectly; Marko hits his beats very crisply and Melanie is more fluid, so despite the fact that neither is dancing offbeat they appear a little bit askew). So basically I can’t wait until they actually get to dance a hip-hop routine!
Ashley and Chris: jazz. Sonya went outside her usual bag of tricks here, and that’s good to see. But this was so bland and lifeless. Ashley and Chris again dance out of sync and again just don’t have any snap to their movements (and Sonya’s routines need that sharp quality more often than not). Neither of them are going to win: hopefully they go this week.
Clarice and Jess: foxtrot. Jess is dead-on once again when they dance apart; when they’re together… not so much. He was a lot better this week than last, since he didn’t blow the lift and as the routine progressed he really seemed to get comfortable with it, but man, that first closed hold he was so stiff! Clarice is good as always in her sort-of-generic way.
Ryan and Ricky: contemporary. Ryan’s smile keeps sneaking onto her face and it’s so goddamned distracting, which is a shame because her movement was so excellent otherwise. Ricky was excellent. This was good, in the sort of personality-free way that all the routines this season seem to have – my god, the dancers this season are so bland, I have trouble imagining a top four that would get me excited to watch the season develop. Melanie, Marko, Tadd and Sasha, maybe? Maybe? Euuuurgh. It makes me think that Jess is popular only because people can remember that he has a schtick and he isn’t fucking up too much.
Jordan and Tadd: hip-hop. My god, this was appallingly bad choreo. Just… yeesh. Tadd was excellent throughout, and demonstrated what could be done with actual hip-hop dancing on this show before Tabbynaps decided it would be more fun to have him put on and take off shirts and bounce on a bed. Jordan: see aforementioned comment about dancers this season being so frigging bland.
Group dance: contemporary. This was fine, and that’s all I’ll bother saying about it, because, really – this show’s genericness is just depressing. The formula is clear: one Latin ballroom per week, one standard ballroom per week, and the rest is contemporary or jazz (hip-hop is virtually dead on the show at this point). Bland bland bland bland bland.
Probable bottom three: Ashley and Chris, Miranda and Robert, Ryan and Ricky.
Should go home: Ryan and Chris.
Will go home: Ashley and Chris.