Let me just start by saying that I hate the way they set up these first two eliminations so the judges exclusively decide who leaves the competition. I can’t wait for next week when the actual voting begins so that we can feel like it’s really “America’s favourite dancer”.
That said, two more things to get out of the way. First, Dan will be covering for me next week and the week after while I’m in Dublin & Amsterdam. Second, I apologize for getting the review up so late- I had to download the show due to a work event that caused me to miss it live (and I don’t have my PVR since I’m in Salt Lake City right now.
With that out of the way, we started the show with Nigel letting us know that Brandon (who was cut last week) will be able to compete again next season, which I think was the right/fair thing to do
Annoyingly they’ve decided to identify the best and worst things about their respective partners. I hate that shit, so I’m going to bypass any comments on it.
Noelle Marsh & Russell Ferguson – Hip Hop
Noelle & Ruseell start us off for the night with Hip Hop (Move Shake Drop Remix – DJ Laz, Flo Rida & Casely). To be honest, I don’t really enjoy routines with props that have to be carried around because it gets awkward and detracts from the dancing. Noelle seemed to jack up what I think was supposed to be an ariel and turned out more like she was playing leap frog, but Russell was on his game. I didn’t love the routine though, and the dancing didn’t do much for me either.
Ashleigh Di Lello & Jakob Karr – Viennese Waltz
Next on stage were Ashleigh and Jakob dancing a Viennese Waltz (At Last – Etta James) where they are supposed to be a newly married couple. I loved that Jakob said “…marrying a married woman is… interesting” because we really know he meant “marrying a woman in general would be… interesting” ha ha, but I love him all the more for it. I think he’s so cute and for me, the best technical dancer of the season at this point. Anyway, back to the actual dance. Normally I wouldn’t be very excited about this, but I actually love a good Waltz (of any kind) when someone who can pull it off is doing it. Ashleigh, though a Latin dancer, has the skill set necessary to nail the routine and Jakob is just so freaking talented, he couldn’t screw this up if he wanted to. The routine was beautiful. Could it have been better… of course, but I really enjoyed it. They’re definitely safe tonight.
Bianca Revels & Victor Smalley – Broadway
Bianca & Victor are third to perform with a Tyce Diorio Broadway routine (Maybe God Is Tryin’ To Tell You Something – The Color Purple soundtrack). This routine sucked. I hated the choreography and didn’t think either Bianca or Victor performed it well. It looked like a community talent show. Boourns- next please!
Mollee Gray & Nathan Trasoras – Bollywood
The next routine is Bollywood with Mollee & Nathan (Azeem O Shaan Shahensha – Jodhaa Akbar soundtrack). Mollee, seriously, stop acting like you’re 12 years old. I don’t know why the judges were so in love with this routine, it was just okay for me. Lay off the booze judges.
Channing Cooke & Phillip Attmore – Samba
Channing & Phillip next hit the stage dancing Samba (Maracatu Funk – The Samba Squad). I’ll admit I didn’t hold out much hope for this routine and I wasn’t really surprised. Channing was definitely better than Phillip, but this performance sucked. It was awkward to watch- especially when they stumbled with stunts. I thought they were going to wipe it hard and they are definitely in danger.
Kevin Hunte & Karen Hauer – Hip Hop
Sixth on the stage were Kevin & Karen dancing a Nappy-Tabs hip hop (Ice Cream Paint Job – Dorrough). This was one of the better routines of the night. Karen was sexy even if she wasn’t as skilled in the actual style as she could be. Kevin dancing his own style of course hit it and the two of them together did really well. Too bad Nigel had to creep things up again with his descriptions of Karen’s movement… why can’t he just be like Adam? (Likely because Nigel’s an old creepy breeder and Adam’s just a big ol’ queen so he’s less threatening).
Kathryn McCormick & Legacy Perez – Contemporary
Next on stage are Kathryn and Legacy with a Stacey Tookey routine (2 Steps Away – Patti LaBelle). I love a good contemporary routine and this was no exception. Of course it didn’t have the impact that the Addiction routine or Breast Cancer routines did from previous seasons, but Stacey never disappoints. Legacy truly did a fantastic job in this routine and Katheryn was simply gorgeous- I absolutely loved it and best routine of the night.
Pauline Mata & Peter Sabasino – Jazz
Pauline & Peter hit the stage with a Wade Robson piece that has something to do with Van Gogh’s painting, Starry Night (Little Green Back – George Baker Selection). I didn’t love this routine. Full points to Wade for creativity, but it was a little too weird for me and some of the dancing seemed like Peter & Pauline were just marking it. They were committed to the characters, but not really to some of the steps. I didn’t hate it, but I definitely didn’t love it- especially after the Stacey Tookey number with Katheryn & Legacy.
Ellenore Scott & Ryan Di Lello – Argentine Tango
Last to hit the stage are Ellenore & Ryan with an Argentine Tango (Violentango – Astor Piazzollo). GORGEOUS. Ellenore was absolutely stunning in this routine and the stability that they showed throughout the routine was absolutely brilliant. I actually thought that the dress was meant to be that way (hooked to the heel of her shoe) because Ellenore handled it so well. I knew Ryan would kill at this, but I have to say that Ellenore was absolutely on par. Their ability to hit those lines and poses without even the slightest stumble… I really can’t say enough good about this routine.
Next up were the routines for the four bottom dancers: Noelle, Victor, Bianca & Phillip.
Noelle (For a Reason – Zhane): Noelle truly is a great dancer. Beautiful form, movement – she’s absolutely lovely.
Victor (Navras – The Matrix Revolutions Soundrack): I think the biggest thing working against Victor in this solo is that he wasn’t dancing in a very masculine way. He has lots of power but there was just an edge to to it that bordered on the feminine. Still a great dancer though.
Bianca – (Tootsee Roll – 69 Boyz): While I’m the first to admit I’m not a tap fan, I have to say that this solo for Bianca was pretty good.
Phillip – (Almost Like Being in Love – Nat “King” Cole”): Barf .The moment I heard the song I was ready for this routine to be over. I think he’s a better tapper than Bianca, but it was so… predictable.
In the end, Bianca was sent home for the girls, and I have to say I’m not sorry to see her go. There’s no denying that she’s talented, and she seems like a really cool girl… but she just didn’t win me over when it comes to the competition.
For the boys it was Phillip who was sent home. It’s interesting that 2 of the 3 tappers went home tonight, but I wish I could say it was going to negatively affect the show… I just really don’t think it will. I think both are exceptional tappers, however, I don’t feel like that means a whole lot in terms of being up to par with anything else. I’ll keep my fingers crossed though that Peter Sabasino can do better than Bianca & Phillip.