Well, the b!tch is back! Dan is taking yet another jet-setting trip around the world and will be checking in via wireless to make sure I don’t drop the ball as we count down towards finding out just WHO are America’s favorite dancers. Step by step we’re losing the girls and boys in tandem as we cringe at some of the more painful dances and jump to our feet for the rare beauties. Thus far I have no problem saying that to me it’s been the choreographers more than the dancers themselves who have been causing the kids to lose their spots on the mains stage. So, as we watch tonight’s performances and await the final axe and see who goes home, let’s judge like the mean girls we are and see if our faves continue to impress!

We are reminded that 4 dancers will be going home tonight due to the show’s hiatus which means a ton of pressure for the kids to do well so they avoid the judges’ picks to leave us once America’s lowest voted upon are revealed. Oh, by the way, I’m being facetious. We ALL know that Skeletor himself has already decided who’s to leave tonight based upon census numbers from his marketing team who warns him which kids are the biggest draws for advertisers and viewers alike. Sorry to be so cynical, but that’s how this game is played my loyal readers. America might get to narrow it down (and I’m not sure I even believe that aspect of the show) but it’s the big bad skeletal wolf who we all know makes the final decision. OH! And we’re JUST getting Mia Michaels routines tonight? Old pieces redone?? This night has the making to be somethin’ special or a total freaking disaster! Let’s get to the show and enjoy the dancers’ talents while we can.

Opening Number

Song: “Hanging On” – Active Child
Choreographer: Mia Michaels

First off, Cat: you look ridiculous. Like a third grader pieced together your tragic pink outfit with some hot glue and a prayer the only thing worse than your dress is the Mighty Aphrodite-esque french braid thing you have streaking your brow. To the dance! I’m dying immediately at the sight of the see through bone, hoop dress and then BAM we throw in some Hellraiser-esque gym ropes that attach to the long-haired beauties as they whip about the stage. I’m sorry, is EVERY pair making out for this one? Mia has gone all out with immensely elaborate costuming, gymnastic tricks and dozens up red roses as he pushes the limits in this first brill balls piece.

Cyrus & Eliana

Original Performers: Katee & Twitch
Song: “Mercy” by Duffy
Choreographer: Mia Michaels

I looooooved the original performance of this one. Katee and Twitch were next to godliness with their debut of this number and I’m really worried for less-than dancer Cyrus particularly as he ain’t no Twitch, to say the least about Eliana matching up to the brilliant if reluctant Katee. While I was originally excited about the prospect of all Mia Michaels tonight I’m now seeing the downfall to this as these kids do NOT equal the first gang’s attempt. Maybe I’ve got too high of expectations as the two of them certainly put their all into it but it just.didn’t.work.for.me. Nigel confronted this issue right away and basically said “anyone who takes on a cult favourite piece is gonna have a TUFF time.” The judges agreed with me save for the not-cute-at-all guest Brit judges (Michael Nunn and Billy Trevitt? Ballet something-or-others) who completely lost me after they claimed this dance was powerful and amazing. OH! But who WAS cute was the hunk with the cropped hair next to Mia? Yes please!!

George & Tiffany

Original Performers: Katee & Joshua
Song: “Hometown Glory” by Adele
Choreographer: Mia Michaels

I thankfully don’t remember this dance as well as I do the door routine so going into this puppy I have to admit I’m more open-minded FO SHO! First off, I do not have Tiffany as one of my faves I have to admit it. Further, George is a bit of a skinny bitch for me so the “hot vote” is out, it’s all down to skill. And, thankfully, they have it in spades tonight. The song seemed shorter than most to me- anyone? But, what we did see was strong and hard hitting. The spins and lifts were flawless (not just my word- Mary agrees!), and they looked completely into it which is so damn vital in an MnM performance! The judges were all over it as well and I was happy to see so early in the night that maybe just maybe all the compared-against pieces aren’t going to pale and bore us to annoyance. These two put their all into this work and while they will likely never be my top picks, I do think America is gonna call in for them tonight for sure.

Will & Amelia

Original Performers: Evan & Randi
Song: “Koop” by Koop Island Blues
Choreographer: Mia Michaels

The butt dance? I’m clearly not on the blog’s enough to understand what the kids are calling the songs these days. That said, once the music starts I’m transported back to the original three years ago and have vague memories of the instrumental parts but NONE of the dance itself!! Maybe it’s just me but this one does NOT jump out as much as the door routine for example. However, I’m alone in this as PERVO Nigel declares that he’s had “Randi’s butt on [his] mind for years”. Just.Disgusting. Poor girl sitting at home likely with her husband or family as this old man wags his tongue at her memory. It perfectly encapsulates why we hate him. The dance itself was meh. Just meh. The British judges once again claim ignorance not knowing what the original looked like (god is that line getting boring) and praise the dancers without seemingly any added insight from their years of experience as ballet folk. God, how bad is it when we miss dumb celebrity judges? Just give me Debbie Allen or Adam Shankman any day! Amelia doesn’t pull off her awkward thing enough tonight and while chunkster Will attempts to leap his way to success gets inevitably pulled down by the weight of his partner. Hell, they should have reversed the roles and used HIS huge butt as the main attraction- now THAT would have got some votes!

Dareian & Janelle

Original Performers: Twitch & Kherington
Song: “Dreaming With a Broken Heart” by John Mayer
Choreographer: Mia Michaels

Okay, I love me some Janelle, but I do not need her to talk about her “rocky relationship” that pseudo ended three days ago. I’m not sure that would serve to do anything but alienate the likely 80% female voting base who will probably see her as a bitch who dumped her guy the moment she started to get famous. It isn’t fair, but that’s how perception works Kristen Stewart Janelle. That said, I loved the bed dance when last we saw it so am excited to see how these lithe kids bring it alive. More sexual than their original counterparts, I’m pretty happy with what we get. The dance itself is not a hard one but it is pretty and dramatic- what’s more important for votes I wonder? The crowd is VERY subdued by the end of the piece and Mia can’t even muster a smile and I’m hoping it’s due to the story behind it for the blond lez and not the performances of these two kids. Oh my god, these Brits KILL me. Once again they remind us they have NO fuckin’ clue what they’re talking about as they declare they’ve done NO prep work coming into this episode to view past pieces, they call Twitch “titch” or something like that and they can’t even learn the dancers’ names calling them “you there” and “the gentleman”. The real judges properly call out the lack of skill needed to perform this song and rip Janelle apart for her huge hair… I’m sorry, is that REALLY her fault? I can’t imagine the kids are given ANY control over their styling and I think blame needs to be put where it deserves to go so that the kids don’t suffer come voting time for issues unrelated to them!

Matthew & Audrey

Original Performers: Neil & Lacey
Song: “Time” by Billy Porter
Choreographer: Mia Michaels

Oh God.. really? This piece was extremely unique and beautiful the first time as it was birthed from the sad loss of Mia’s father. It has no challenging movement or demanding skill set requirement and honestly should have remained untouched from Neil and Lacey’s performance so many years ago. That said, it’s Mia’s piece and she can do whatever the hell she wants with it and she obviously wanted to repeat it today. This review is gonna be short as there’s nothing really to critique: they caught the flowers well and stayed in the moment. The judging was more about Mia’s father than it was the dancing and it’s obvious this work was a memory piece more than anything original. Still, Mary and the Brit called out Matthew for not being wholeheartedly into it and that must SLAY him considering how emotional this dance is for everyone watching. Also, Nigel, really? Questioning about the facts of this dance to the kids? A little harsh: this isn’t a history exam dude.

Chehon & Witney

Original Performers: Travis & Heidi
Song: “Calling You” by Celine Dion
Choreographer: Mia Michaels

The Emmy-award winning dance that has been titled the “best dance” ever on the show by many? Wooooof that’s a lot to expect from these kids to match up against. While I loves me some Witney, Chehon is so odd to me and looks like a baby giraffe with too many muscles. Mia claims she’s giving this one a “face lift” and while I don’t know the original well enough to spot the differences, I don’t think it really matters because it can’t match. It’s as if Taylor Swift took on a Celine Dion piece: she might do a great job but it will NEVER compare. The dancers are not SUPER challenged by this piece as it’s more beauty than skill so that helps these two “actors” do well with their performances, and the judges back them up quite well. Nigel goes weird once again with his history review of Mia’s past love life (huh? a late in life lesbian? okay….) and we’re left to wonder what the point of tonight is! Is this a “best of” episode? Is this a tribute to Mia? Is it still a dancing competition? I’m SO struggling to understand the choices this show is making this year in huge structural change and see alterations as more making it up as they go along than purposeful.

Cole & Lindsay

Original Performers: Kupono & Kayla
Song: “Name” by Artist
Choreographer: Mia Michaels

Cole is mos def my man this season. He was odd at first but the second you see his solo’s and incredibly unique style you’re entranced… and this piece was no difference. He’s maniacal in this work as a deranged looking robotic vampire and he steals the show- literally, I’d argue the whole show tonight. Lindsay has a LOT to live up to as ballroom girl #2 against Kayla from the original but thankfully she pairs to his craziness with her own terror and they looked great out there. The strongest and most interesting kids of the evening they get a TON of praise from the judges and it’s well deserved. Nigel- I’m loathed to say this- is DEAD on in saying they songs were NOT made for these kids but the pairs from years ago and as such they won’t match as well this time around as they would for the dancers they were created around. Again, these two blew us and the judges away with the depth of the piece and where these two took it to. My pick for dance of the night and not a surprise they ended the show with it. “Random order” my ass.

ELIMINATION TIME!! We find out tonight who makes the ever-important Top Ten as these are the kids who get the big bucks and tour for the following year. Cat is quick to let us know who’s safe and who isn’t so I’m going to be just as succinct. We find out the three lowest guys are: George, Matt and Dareian; the three lowest girls are: Amelia, Janelle and Lindsay. I am NOT hugely surprised by these results especially the first two of each gender. Dareian blew chunks tonight so I have no faith he’s staying much longer and I’m assuming after that final amazing work from Lindsay that she’ll be getting the one save but let’s see… Nigel surprises me and has ALL of them dance (fun!) for their lives.

Amelia does an amazing job as she typically does with her solos. Say what you will about the weirdo, she has an other-wordly grace to her. Janelle is such a dark horse favourite of mine and while I appreciate she wants to depend on her belly dancing style, it just will NEVER compete with the trained skill of the other dancers’ routines. I think sticking to her strength cost her any chance she had tonight. While I’ve declared Lindsay as safe due to tonight’s paired work the problem is that ballroom dancers do NOT do well at solos for the most part and have a toooough time matching. Linds works her pink butt off but will it be enough? For the boys, George is all limbs and jumps tonight and has as strong final showing though to me his shorts looked like diapers… jsut sayin’. Dareian absolutely bends himself to every angle he’s got as he knows he’s the least likely coming off tonight’s MnM pieces. I hate his open shirt/suspender thing as he looks like a dirty hooker beggin’ for change. Then there’s the cutie of the show Matthew who picks a Damien Rice which ALWAYS wins my heart. I have a feeling that the marketing troupe picked this kid to go to the end a LONG time ago and that he’ll be the one getting the save tonight. His dance wasn’t much better if possibly a little weaker than the other two but I’m still confident he’ll stay in.

Well here we go… after some ranting by Nigel about how amazing the choices HE’S made for HIS show are we find out that LINDSAY IS SAVED!! Amelia and Janelle were never going to win so not a huge loss but it was great to see such unique girls make it as far as they did. The boys get brought centre stage and as they give each boy his props I start getting nervous and BAM! GEORGE IS SAVED!! Colour me wrong folks! I thought the hottie would take it but they gave it to the better solo tonight and I’m secretly a bit happy about it! Wait, now who am I gonna stare at??

Tune in next week to see the Top Ten take the stage! Sound off below everyone!!