Your guest judges are Luther, Blake and Mary Murphy, who I assume is now present for the rest of the season with the American show over (oh goody).
Lindsay and Christian: salsa. Lindsay and Christian have already demonstrated that they are an insanely capable pairing when it comes to salsa, and this was basically their week one routine except with more intricate floorwork and Lindsay improved in skill. The choreo at a few points dragged a bit – the big stunts felt very standy-still rather than fluidly incorporated into the routine – but this is a relatively minor complaint and certainly nothing that can really be attributed to the dancers.
Melissa and Adam: contemporary. This is one of those routines I can really respect but not especially like – amazingly physical work from these two, and simply watching it was exhausting because it was so energetic and powerful. But I didn’t especially care for the choreography, just because it felt very frenetic and hyperactive. This is a matter of taste; I can’t fault Melissa and Adam, especially when they nailed the crazy difficult choreo that I didn’t particularly like.
Denitsa and Matt: hip-hop. Mehhhhh. Good choreo from Situation, but the performance wasn’t quite there; Denitsa’s actually at that “passable” level where a good partner would disguise her weakness in the style, but Matt just isn’t; a bit behind the beat at points and just trying to compensate for lack of technique by overperforming every single move. Also, hip-hop choreographers for this show need to learn that putting a tutting section into their routine is the exact opposite of helping dancers through the routine, because nothing exposes a weak hip-hop dancer like a tutting section: you can’t just throw on a sneer and try to act street and fake your way through tutting. It just doesn’t work. Matt remains the sole dancer in the competition where I continue to wonder how he’s survived over others.
Yuliya and Shane: jive. Reasonably good. Shane actually impressed me more than Yuliya in this, for the value of “performing past what was expected” – Shane did some very good work here, and he honestly had more performance quality than Yuliya for me (although Yuliya’s technique was, of course, obviously better). Yuliya’s very… internal, I suppose, in that her dancing always feels a bit subdued to me.
Geisha and Joey: afro-jazz. This was good enough. Sean Cheeseman hasn’t put together an afrojazz of this quality in a while. Geisha was far more into it than Joey was; Joey is technically brilliant, of course, but the performance was merely okay from him tonight, I felt – a very strong opening, but then he just trailed downwards dialing it down and dialing it down and getting milder and milder, whereas Geisha had the technique and much better performance quality.
Jordan and Francois: contemporary. Very good: Francois partnered Jordan perfectly and was a very good forklift, and Jordan’s control is just insane. That having been said: I am so, so tired of contemporary routines on this show that are A) “a tribute to love”, B) “a couple find one another,” C) “somebody cheats on somebody else,” D) “a relationship ends.” FIND SOME NEW FUCKING PLOTLINES. Please.
Probable bottom three: Denitsa and Matt, Yuliya and Shane, Geisha and Joey.
Should go home: Yuliya and Matt.
Will go home:: Yuliya and Matt.