Your guest judges tonight are Mary Murphy and Rex Harrington, who is Mary’s gay best friend who lives in Canada.
Lauren and Rodrigo: hip-hop. I love that Luther knows that a good hip-hop routine doesn’t have to have a storyline, and I really liked his choreo here. Rodrigo was predictably excellent here, just straight-up killing it for ninety seconds solid. Not a step wrong for him. Lauren was much better than I expected she would be: there were a few moments where she wasn’t hitting it at all and was just going through the motions and looking a bit awkward, but there were more where she was dancing perfectly good hip-hop. Given that Lauren and Rodrigo have superb chemistry together, a few flubs on Lauren’s part were easily ignored, though. Strong opener.
Lindsay and Christian: contemporary. Blake explains that his routine is about how nice it is to touch people, which is barely an explanation of what it’s about and that suits me just fine. Lindsay was very good in this, as should surprise nobody. This was a seriously forklifty routine for Christian, what with the approximately 5000 lifts he had to perform, but he did them quite nicely – my only complaint, actually, is that one point he had to take a few steps away and then turn and his hips just fell into a Latin promenade-and-swing-around, which looked absolutely ridiculous (in context, it made him look like he was doing a hip-cock “look at my ass!” moment – especially given his dramatic expression at the time) and took me out of the routine for a second. But other than that, this was good.
Denitsa and JP: jive. While I’m glad to see
Tiny Hugh Jackman Danny back to choreo, this felt lacklustre, and I feel like some of the blame has to JP on this: the entire thing felt about 3/4 speed, just a hair too sluggish to be really enjoyable. His extensions on his kicks weren’t terribly impressive either. Denitsa tried her best, but… yeah. Not enthralling. Not terrible, mind you, not actively bad or anything. Just… not riveting. It was an average dance on a show that’s at present wildly above average.
Carlena and Boneless: dancehall. Okay, here’s the thing: by any objective standard, Carlena did a standout job on this routine: she hit every move just about perfectly and flowed with the dance as she should have done, and brought her personality to it as well. But the problem is that she was dancing with Boneless, and Boneless was so fucking good in this routine that he actually made Carlena look a little less good just because he was working well above her already extremely high level. In other words, this was amazing. (Hearing Mary imitate Tre’s Caribbean patois was less amazing.)
Teya and Kevin: Viennese waltz. Sadly, this was not even remotely close to good. I was really rooting for Teya and Kevin to nail this, but Teya in particular just had no technique whatsoever: at times it appeared as though she was actually stumbling through her moves rather than dancing at all and at least once I was certain that she was about to fall down. Kevin at least had a little rise and fall, but only a little bit, and he didn’t execute the lifts anywhere near sufficiently. The judges call this “not bad,” which in SYTYCD Canada judgespeak means “this was atrocious.” Just terrible.
Geisha and Francois: hip-hop. I liked Tucker Barkley’s choreo a lot more than I liked his choreo last week, but I didn’t like the dancing as much as the judges did. I thought Geisha was good – not great, as she started off softer than I would like, but good overall – and Francois was borderline acceptable at best, the absolute minimum of what a competent hip-hop performance should be – I particularly think he sacrificed a lot of technique to match the routine’s speed. However, the judges gave him more props than they gave Geisha, which is just sort of wrong. Then Rex Harrington exclaims that he is using so much hip-hop jargon that he will become black by the end of the night, which – no, Rex Harrington. Just no.
Yuliya and Adam: samba. Gustavo MOTHERFUCKING Vargas explains that this is a Brazilian samba, which apparently means that he can blend capoeira moves into it as he sees fit, which protects Adam a lot because Adam’s actual samba was only passable at best – but he was quite good at capoeira-style flipping and leaping, and the choreo blended that in with Yuliya’s insane hipwork extremely smoothly, and Adam and Yuliya were much better at partnering each other this week than last week when they were a bit stiffer. Which is to say: I don’t know if this was especially good, but I know that I enjoyed it.
Melissa and Shane: contemporary. A really astounding bit of work from Sabrina Matthews here, who is really impressing me so far this season. Yes, granted, it was a Very Special Dance (about contracting HIV), and some of the lifts didn’t really make sense to me (if Melissa is supporting Shane, why is he lifting her?), but generally my response to that was “so what” because the dancing was really just excellent and powerful on multiple levels here by both Melissa and Shane. This was just very, very good, and there is not much more to say than that.
Shelaina and Matt: hustle. Although I’m always happy to see hustle on SYTYCD, this didn’t especially thrill me: the lifts were big and epic, and I can’t fault the dancers on that score, but the floorwork just left me wanting more commitment: it felt tentative, lacking confidence, and the quick reverses didn’t snap as they should have done. This was disappointing. Not outright bad, but… mediocre, let’s say, or bland.
Jordan and Joey: jazz. The plot of this Sean Cheeseman routine is “girl doesn’t want guy to kiss her,” which given that Joey seems very doubtful to be interested in the ladies is a bit ludicrous, but Jordan and Joey do their best to go over-the-top with Jordan making ridiculous pouty faces and Joey… kinda looking like a goldfish? But, that aside, the movement here was insane, just what-the-hell choreo, every move done absolutely perfectly. An excellent ending routine to the show.
Probable bottom three: Shelaina and Matt, Teya and Kevin, Geisha and Francois.
Should go home: Teya and Kevin.
Will go home: Teya and Kevin.