Erica: So I am in the Berkshires. My TiVo won’t stream the episode to me. I don’t know why I thought it would, except that my husband told me it would. In any event, I am utilizing the work of the fine pirates of YouTube, who already have the videos up half an hour after the episode aired. Good job, pirates!
Group Routine – Jazz, choreo by Travis Payne
[“A Place with No Name” by Michael Jackson]
Kate: Ugh, an all MJ episode? So all dances will be to MJ songs? Not sure how I feel about this.
Erica: Well, I mean, he had some pretty good songs. Even if I feel weird about the intense valorization of him posthumously.
Kate: But they have Michael’s actual choreographer, so I guess that’s cool?
Erica: I mean, yeah. It is.
Kate: Either way, the opening number was OK. I didn’t like it starting out with a close up on Rudy’s not-ready face, and they were not quite as sharp as people should be while wearing silver suits and dancing to Michael Jackson.
Erica: Yeah, Rudy’s face is not nearly as cute as I think they’d like us to believe. I really liked the choreography. It did look just a smidge under-rehearsed, like one more day could have really sold the movements.
Kate: On the other hand, Mary Murphy is apparently going to her daughter’s wedding after this because that is a straight-up MOB dress.
Erica: Did you think that Valerie looked like Mac from “Veronica Mars” in this piece?
Kate: YES, THAT IS WHO SHE LOOKS LIKE ALWAYS! THANK YOU!
Erica: I noticed Jessica’s face-pulling. There’s a fine line between adorable and annoying. I’m not sure which side she’s on yet.
Kate: I luuuurrrvvee the dress. Well, the front of the dress; the back looks to have some kind of cape, which I am anti.
Erica: Oh, I am not anti-cape, but I can’t really see this one, as I’m just watching YouTube clips and not the full episode.
Kate: I also do not like when long hair is pinned up to look short like that. Good makeup and fun, blingy jewelry, though!
Erica: See, I thought that looked cute. I mean, it’d be irritating as an everyday look but for funsies, why not?
Kate: MEH SOLOS.
Erica: So I just shouldn’t watch those clips?
Kate: Tanisha’s was actually horrible. I feel like that skirt messed her up majorly.
Erica: So I should, in fact, watch the clip of her.
Kate: If you do so choose.
Erica: I disagree with your assessment. While it was high in acrobatics, given that it was a ballroom routine, it wasn’t bad and I thought she used the skirt to decent effect. I mean, we’ve discussed this before. Solos are boring; ballroom solos are nearly impossible. On the scale of all things being meh, this was no meh-ier than anything else.
Ricky & Season 3’s Jaimie – Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall
[“Smile” by Michael Jackson]
Kate: Beautiful. I didn’t think they connected great as partners, but his dancing is just beautiful.
Erica: I thought they connected well physically, if not emotionally, if that makes any sense. And actually, I felt that more from Jaimie than from him.
Kate: I still can’t get over those feet. Or how creepy MJ sounds singing that song.
Erica: His feet are insane. I’m not super-big on MJ’s version.
Kate: MEH SOLOS.
Erica: Then I won’t watch.
Kate: Zack’s was very MJ-ish in costume and dance style, I suppose.
Valerie & Season 6’s Ryan: Samba, choreo by Jean Marc Genereux
[“Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’’’ by Michael Jackson]
Kate: This could be the most annoying Michael Jackson song ever, if not the most annoying song ever, period.
Erica: Oh, come on. There are way more annoying songs out there.
Kate: But um excuse me Miss Thang! Look who’s sexin’ it up!
Erica: I know, right?! Someone looked all grown up tonight. Even with the stupid thing on her butt.
Kate: I was starting to get over her last week, but I think she was great in this!
Erica: Yes, last week was a sad misstep. This was fantastic.
Kate: MEH SOLOS.
Erica: Didn’t see it.
Kate: I like this song though. Casey did well enough. Still not as good as Ricky.
Erica: What song?
Kate: One of those emo instrumental-ish songs that is now on various commericals. MEH MORE SOLOS
Erica: I’m sorry to hear that.
Kate: I didn’t like Rudy’s.
Erica: Of course you didn’t. It was a male ballroom dancer solo and it was paso-esque. You hate that sh!t.
Casey & Season 4’s Comfort – Hip-hop, choreo by Pharside & Phoenix
[“Xscape” by Michael Jackson]
Erica: I’m always happy to see Comfort. Her hips were insane in this routine. (Her faces were kind of insane, too, but not in a good way.)
Kate: We’ve done a spider kiss of death routine before, no?
Erica: Yeah, but, you know, it was Broadway that time. Also they love “strong,” deadly, sexy women. The choreographers have some issues.
Kate: I can see how Casey tried to keep up with Comfort, and it was a valiant effort, but he just couldn’t do it. She was too quick and crazy and sharp and tough and aggressive for him to even come close, he even looked goofy doing it. In a bad way.
Erica: Yeah. Kind of. He looked like a prop.
Kate: “Here you dancers are doing these styles that you never did before” — THAT’S THE POINT OF THE DAMN SHOW, NIGEL. THE. ENTIRE. POINT. !!!
Erica: For realz. We’re down to the Top 8. We’re expecting them to do this now.
Kate: MEHHHH MOORREE SOLOOSSS
Kate: Jacque’s was good, though. She’s very elegant.
Tanisha & Season 1’s Nick (Winner) – Contemporary, choreo by Stacey Tookey
[“She’s Out of My Life” by Michael Jackson]
Kate: Well, this was way better than her solo.
Erica: I thought she danced quite beautifully.
Kate: It was hard to focus on her and not Nick.
Erica: There’s something about him I find extremely off-putting.
Kate: I also feel like there wasn’t enough dancing in this — too much embracing, not enough synchronized movement.
Erica: I did not like the choreography. They moved pretty, but there was nothing that drew me in or excited me.
Kate: Wait, why does Nigel want her to show weakness? How would she show that while being a good dancer?
Erica: Because she’s a girl. And girls are weak. And Nigel is a misogynist pig. Actually, I think he’s saying that a dancer being in touch with his/her vulnerability makes them more in tune with the emotionalism in the dances, and Mrs. Channing Tatum did say that the emotional component of this dance was a bit missing for her, and I think she was right. So Nigel might have a point. But I’m not wrong, either.
Kate: MEH MEH MEH SOLOS.
Erica: I’m not watching them.
Kate: Jessica showed excellent control in her turns here. I continue to like her very much.
Rudy & Season 2’s Allison – Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper
[“Dirty Diana” by Michael Jackson]
Erica: This one’s not up! YouTube pirates, you’ve failed me!
Kate: They had GREAT chemistry together. Watch out, tWitch and Jacque!
Erica: Yeah? I’m not such a huge Rudy person so I can’t imagine that tWitch needs to watch out for anything.
Kate: Seriously, I really loved this. Allison is so good, and she brought out the best in Rudy. They had some ca-ra-zay lifts!
Erica: Man. I love Allison.
Kate: This was also a perfect combination of awesome choreography perfectly timed to the song with very, very skilled dancers.
Kate: Oh please send Casey home instead of Rudy!
Erica: Yeah? I can’t see this dance so I continue not to care about either of them.
Kate: MEH MEH MEH SOLOS.
Erica: I don’t think this is up, either.
Kate: And Valerie dressed up as Michael Jackson. At this point I’d rather watch her do anything but tap.
Zack & Season 10’s Makenzie – Broadway, choreo by Spencer Liff
[“The Way You Make Me Feel” by Michael Jackson]
Kate: This song will never mean anything other than Center Stage. Also, THIS is the kind of Broadway routine I’m talkin’ about!
Erica: Oh my goodness I’m so excited for Makenzie.
Kate: I loved this routine. Zack is very good for Broadway. That said, he did not completely shine in this on his own, if that makes sense.
Erica: I thought he was terrific. I mean, he was terrific with Makenzie, but that’s what’s supposed to happen in a partner dance, right?
Kate: Why is Nigel putting down his own show? (He did have something to do with American Idol, right?)
Erica: I thought he was an executive producer. But I don’t think that was a big put-down. He was just pointing out that Broadway sometimes gets a bad rap in the entertainment world and it doesn’t deserve it.
Kate: I don’t mind solos when they’re Ricky’s, I suppose.
Erica: Which is why he’s going to win. He reminds me of Season 9’s female winner Eliana, in that he dances like it’s a natural expression of how he feels.
Kate: I mean, do we even need to say anything else about him?
Jacque & Season 4’s tWitch – Hip-hop, choreo by Dave Scott
[“Slave to the Rhythm” by Michael Jackson]
Erica: I take for granted sometimes how completely awesome tWitch is. He’s so freakin’ good.
Kate: I don’t know if this was because of the choreography or the fact that this is tWitch’s style and the opposite of Jacque’s, but at times it felt like Twitch was dancing to the fast beat of the song and Jacque was dancing to the slow beat, and it didn’t exactly synch up.
Erica: I get what you’re saying but I thought she did really well. She has a more flowy style than tWitch but I thought it mostly worked. I was more, like, what is up with the stage? Are they post-apocalyptic but finding joy in each other’s presence? And…Okay. But why? But okay.
Kate: Yeah, I got the post-apocalyptic feeling too, and I could have done without that corny beginning. She did loosen up her ballet stances enough for hip-hop, but she made really bad facial expressions and didn’t match tWitch enough.
Erica: I didn’t notice her face too much. Maybe I was too busy looking at her belly. Or her hair.
Kate: I also can’t wrap my mind around how difficult that hairstyle must have been to put in, and must be to get out. Ouch.
Erica: Yeah. Also, Nigel, you should not use the word “swag.” It sounds dumb coming from you. I’m just telling you because we’re friends.
Kate: You are not friends, you hate him! Ugh, Jacque in the bottom? Please oh please send Tanisha home over her. Come on you stupid country.
Jessica & Season 4’s Will – Contemporary, choreo by Mandy Moore
[“Earth Song” by Michael Jackson]
Kate: Quite a silly song/routine theme combination, but they were very passionate together.
Erica: Sigh. Will.
Kate: I kind of hope she wins…?
Erica: Yeah, you know, I didn’t even notice her for so long and now she’s the girl I’m rooting for. But — have we determined if there will be one boy and one girl winning this year? Because if not, definitely I’m in Ricky’s camp.
Kate: Oh right, me too. The Control Freakz routine was very cool and interesting and fun. I love that little moonwalk move where the do it while turning in circles.
Erica: I need to go to sleep pretty soon. I don’t think I’m gonna watch.
Kate: Oh, boo. I wanted Casey to go home because I feel like Rudy has more potential and versatility, Casey is a little corny. But ok. Byeeee Tanisha!
Erica: I’m not sure I care about Rudy at all but then again, I didn’t see his routine tonight.
Kate: Did you see her snub Jacque for a hug? Wonder what’s going on there.
Erica: I didn’t really notice. And I was looking. But maybe they hate each other. Valerie had a pretty unhappy look on her face. Wonder who she didn’t want to see go? Or who she didn’t want to see stay?
Kate: Oh wait, that’s Jacque’s little boyfriend! Awww shoot guys.
Erica: Yeah, shoot. Because I’m sure that they are totes having an actual relationship and that this hurdle is a reason to be concerned for them.
Kate: Eh, they’ll get over it. Tune in next week for the top 6 everyone!