Group Routine – Hip-hop, choreo by Jamal Sims
[“Bang Bang” by Jesse J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj]
Erica: I don’t know if I feel better about myself or worse because I know who all three of the artists responsible for this song are.
Kate: You know how I feel about 1/3 of them.
Erica: So I’ve been having some pretty outlandish dreams lately, and when this routine started, I wasn’t totally sure I was awake. Because there were cowboy outfits? But in, like, ‘80s neon brights? And the song was kind of pop, kind of hip-hop, and a little…folk? But no, it was not a dream. Though images from it will probably appear tonight.
Kate: I didn’t love it; they weren’t completely together until the end. Valerie looked good, though.
Erica: This did not work on TV, like, at all. The dancing was kind of disjointed in places and the way the camera kept moving around did not help at all. It was probably pretty good live but on TV it was a swirling mess.
Kate: Agree, VERY BAD camera work.
Erica: Even live, though, there were parts of the dance that kind of dragged, like the bright, poppy costumes were doing most of the work. Well, the costumes and Ricky, of course.
Kate: Speaking of costumes, how the H did they change out of them so quickly?! Was the group routine — gasp! — prerecorded?!
Erica: DUDE! I think you’re right. And I’m very sad about that.
Cat Deeley’s Ensemble
Kate: This is the Cat I know and love!
Erica: LOVE so much the hair. That is exactly what I wish my hair looked like all the time. I mean, I don’t follow that wish up with, like, a blow dryer or anything. But I do wish.
Kate: Me too, but my color.
Erica: Yeah, we’d both look pretty silly blonde. The dress is…not the worst thing I’ve ever seen on her?
Kate: No I like it, but my gosh can we get this woman a belt? Or a seamstress? I get that it’s supposed to be loose fitting but it just plain old doesn’t fit her.
Erica: Mary looks refreshingly like a normal person.
Kate: As normal as Mary can get.
Bridget & Season 5’s Brandon – Bollywood Disco, choreo by Nakul Dev Mahajan
[“Disco Khisko” from the Dil Bole Hadippa soundtrack]
Erica: So…This is different from non-disco Bollywood because…Brandon spun her on his shoulder?
Erica: I was really impressed. She really kept up the joy and spirit of Bollywood while doing what looked like a really challenging dance routine, and she was pretty sharp. Not as sharp as Brandon, who was a dream, but really very good.
Kate: Not as sharp as him at all, or as quick/bouncy. I didn’t love her in this.
Erica: So now each of the dancers will find out if they are in the bottom four right after they dance? And Bridget is in the bottom two? This is pretty weird. I mean, the way they’re structuring this is weird. Bridget has for some reason not been getting very high votes consistently, even though she’s pretty fabulous.
Tanisha & Season 6’s Ryan – Argentinean Tango, choreo by Miriam Larisi & Leonardo Barrionuevo
[“The Gaucho’s Pain” by Tango Jointz]
Kate: Why don’t I remember him???
Erica: I had forgotten him, too. I didn’t keep very careful track of Season 6. But he was a ballroom dude who was in the competition with his wife. Here’s him doing samba with Kathryn. And here’s a Broadway routine with Ellenore, who I loved that season and kind of lost interest when she was kicked off.
Kate: Oh I remember the wife thing.
Erica: I had forgotten (or possibly never knew) that ballroom was Tanisha’s style. Damn, it showed. She was even sexy. Maybe Ryan brought it out in her.
Kate: She was extremely sharp and strong here. Sexy? I’m not there yet.
Erica: There was that one lift where her arms didn’t look right to me, but I don’t know anything about tango besides what I’ve seen on this show. And, you know, that dance movie with Antonio Banderas.
Kate: Take The Lead!?
Erica: That’s the one! Tanisha is safe tonight. This remains a stupid way to do this. There has to be a better way of registering the public’s votes when Fox won’t give them a second day.
Kate: I’m ok with it? It saves time?
Erica: I don’t think it does, though, because now we have to go through the suspenseful opening of the envelope after EVERY dance instead of just all at once.
Emilio & Season 10’s Jasmine H. – Hip-hop, choreo by NappyTabs
[“Get Low” by Dillon Francis & DJ Snake]
Erica: It’s interesting that Jasmine’s doing hip-hop, because she came in last season as a contemporary dancer. Then she did “Run the World” with Comfort and was all, “I want to do hip-hop!” and I thought so highly of her for stepping out of her style instead of playing it safe and now I guess she’s sticking with it.
Kate: Weeeeeeeeeeee NappyTabs!!!!
Erica: Aw, I missed NappyTabs. They have the kookiest stories.
Erica: I mean, it was a fun routine. I thought Emilio was pretty good. I thought Jasmine’s pants didn’t fit her right. They were bagging all weirdly in the crotch region.
Kate: I loved this. Obviously. She was much better here than at hip-hop during her own season. Emilio was good too, but I was honestly watching her for most if it
Erica: Nigel: “Young man, do you know how good this show has been for you? Kiss the ring.”
Kate: *LOL* (For real though.)
Erica: And Emilio is in the bottom. This continues to be weird.
Kate: Eh, I’m not too broken up about it.
Valerie & Season 5’s Ade – Jazz, choreo by Tasty Oreo
[“Hearts a Mess” by Gotye]
Kate: She said in the little Dove-promoted clip that she holds back sometimes, and she did just that here. The energy and intent was there, but she could have elongated 85% of her movements in this and it would have been wam-bam-WOW.
Erica: There were some really cool moments in this, and then some moments that I thought looked really awkward, and I really can’t tell whether the issue is with the choreography or with the dancing.
Kate: Possibly somewhat the choreo, but I do think she should have given more. Even though I like her as a dancer very much.
Erica: I tend to prefer blaming the choreography, and not just because I don’t like Mr. Oreo. I just think it’s always a better idea to critique the system in which people work and not the people themselves, unless the system is a good one.
Kate: I don’t remember the reason for your hatred of Tyce?
Erica: Yeah, I don’t, either. But just because I can’t remember doesn’t mean that the hatred isn’t TOTALLY LEGITIMATE AND DESERVED. And of course, the judges are blaming the dancing, and not the choreo, but they almost never blame the choreo.
Rudy & Season 10’s Jenna – Cha-cha, choreo by Louis van Amstel
[“Maps” by Maroon 5]
Erica: So, you all may remember that Kate and I had it in for Jenna last year.
Kate: Way in.
Erica: I just want to clarify that we didn’t think she was a bad dancer. It’s just that she was consistently voted to the bottom and they saved her over other dancers we liked a lot better. Like Makenzie.
Erica: That said, I was not so into this. Isn’t cha-cha supposed to have hips? I mean, I went in fighting my “Ugh, Jenna” and my “Ugh, Adam Levine” feelings, and then they were so much with the faces and I just…Bleh.
Kate: She was good because ballroom is her thing, but Rudy was way too corny. I like just could NOT.
Erica: Oh my God, Mary needs to stop trying to fake out the audience. She is fooling no one. Ever.
Kate: Not with that voice she’s not.
Erica: And Rudy is safe this week. For those of you keeping track.
Jacque & Season 9’s Chehon – Contemporary Ballet, choreo by Travis Wall
[“Adagio for TRON” by Daft Punk]
Erica: Are they just making up dance categories for the hell of it?
Kate: But this made-up genre seemed less made up than “Bollywood Disco” (come on now), and I LOVED this. I loved that there were traditional ballet movements and a traditional overall tone, with a contemporary spin (including music and costumes). Hah, SPIN, get it?!
Erica: Does contemporary ballet just mean “not wearing glittery tutus”?
Erica: Weee! So what I could see of this dance looked good. Too bad it looked like they were performing through some sort of California brownout.
Kate: Oh the spotlight in the beginning was dreadful. But the movement was so beautiful.
Erica: I felt like I couldn’t see the whole damn thing. Jacque is the other girl in the bottom two.
Ricky & Season 7’s Lauren – Jazz, choreo by Mandy Moore
[“Bossa Nova, Baby” by Elvis Presley]
Erica: Oh my God, Ricky has been dreaming of this since he was eight. I am so f-ing old.
Kate: Yea, you’re 33. Gross.
Erica: So this was basically everything I ever want from this show. Like, if you went into my head and designed a routine based on what I personally want to see, this would be it. Fantastic choreo, fantastic dancing, fantastic performance, and tons of fun.
Kate: They were obviously perfect together.
Erica: I liked Mary’s phrase, “the skills that pay the bills”. I don’t have any of those. Ricky is safe because duh but Nigel making a big thing of how not surprising that is, I find a little unprofessional. You’re still a judge on this program, Nigel.
Kate: He really should win.
Casey & Season 6’s Kathryn – Broadway, choreo by Spencer Liff
[“Maybe This Time” by Liza Minelli]
Erica: This song kills me.
Kate: I like Kristen Chenowith’s version from Glee.
Kate: Yes but I didn’t think he was outstanding here — he had some good moments, but he was a little hesitant in some areas. He’s super lucky he was saved last week via that wonderful routine.
Erica: Making Kathryn do some of those kicks in such a long skirt looked a little silly. I mean, she can make anything look good; I’m just saying.
Jessica & Season 4’s tWitch – Hip-hop, choreo by NappyTabs
[“U Got Me Up (Underground Goodie Mix ‘93) by Cajmere feat. Dajae]
Erica: A number about an old man creeping on some young gorgeous dancer? Is this a tribute song for Nigel? This was terrific, though. I mean, tWitch is always a joy, and I really did think Jessica held her own. I hadn’t even registered her until last week, and now I am really impressed with her. I mean, are we looking at her legs? Her legs are so freaking strong.
Kate: (So he says during his critique!) I thought she was great with him too. The type of Jazz she does obviously translated well to hip-hop, and she definitely kept up with him.
Erica: OH MY GOD NIGEL STOLE MY JOKE! I don’t know if I’m mad about it or impressed as hell that he’s that self-aware.
Kate: You are probably mad about it.
Zach & Season 10’s Amy – Jazz, choreo by Sonya Tayeh
[“Europe, After the Rain” by Max Richter]
Kate: Me too and me too, but the beginning and end dancing to JUST the sound of thunder and rain was WEIRD in a bad way. None of the movements looked/felt right.
Erica: I loved the dancing when there was no music, only rain. I loved the piece as a whole. See, I like blaming the choreo, but I like praising it when it deserves to be praised. This choreo so deserved it.
Kate: So we disagree there. At least they didn’t spend 10 minutes crying about the dance’s subject.
Erica: Hee. So Zach is in danger and I guess we’ll find out in a few minutes if he’s the one who’s gone. Honestly, I thought he danced this well, but I am not crazy about him. But this was good.
Kate: This was, but more because of Amy than Zack.
Erica: Oh, jeez, and then Nigel goes on about how all of his choreographers deserve Emmys and why aren’t they getting them and I love Sonya but for real, Nigel? That’s not classy.
Kate: Yea he went off a little there. Calm it down.
Guest Singer – Christina Perri
Erica: Hey, did you know this show discovered Christina Perri, too? Kiss the ring, Christina Perri.
Kate: Dumb. She sounded horrible.
Erica: I’m only commenting because Kathryn and Chehon are doing the dancing. It’s a really cool performance – they’re, dancing around the platform on which Christina Perri is singing and the camera is having a hard time with it. But they look amazing together. Kathryn and Chehon, I mean.
Kate: I would have preferred to see Kathryn and Chehon dancing together without Christina Perri.
Erica: The song of hers that Stacey Tookey used was “Jar of Hearts”. I kind of like that song, for all its emo-osity. This song did not thrill me. But watching Kathryn and Chehon did.
Kate: Not surprising, but I did like Bridget/saw a lot of potential in her.
Erica: I’m sad to lose Bridget. I liked her personality-wise and I thought she was a pretty terrific dancer. I won’t remember who Emilio is tomorrow.
Kate: But I am glad to still have Jacque.
Erica: So now they’re going to tell us every week which all-star each contestant is dancing with next week? I don’t know why but okay. Here it is: Tanisha will be with Nick (Season 1’s winner?); Valerie is with Season 8’s Ryan; Rudy is with Season 2’s Allison (and he is very excited about it, as well he should be); Jacque is with tWitch; Ricky is with Season 3’s Jaime, she of the flower/hummingbird number with Hok; Casey is with Comfort – that should be a sight to see; Jessica has Season 4’s Will (OMG I’m so excited Will is coming!); Zach is with SEASON 10’S MAKENZIE I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS DAY!!!!
Kate: Ian is thrilled for Makenzie.
Erica: You know what the hell of it is? I don’t know what my tech situation is going to be next week; I don’t know how I’m even going to do this recap.
Kate: We always find a way!