Cat Deeley’s Look
Kate: The hair, makeup and jewelry is all way too Khloe Kardashian for my liking.
Erica: I do not know enough about the Kardashians to recognize these things as such, and I still hate everything.
Kate: The plaid is atrocious.
Erica: I like that hairstyle, if you’re going to kickboxing class. Or the beach.
Kate: Meanwhile, Mary’s dress is trying to eat her.
Group Routine (All): Broadway, choreo by Warren Carlyle
“Overture” by Merrily We Roll Along (2012 New York Cast)
Kate: I feel it was messy and it was the fault of the choreographer, not the dancers.
Erica: Yes. None of the dance moves were particularly impressive in their own selves, nor did they look particularly impressive as a whole. And the camera was swooping around like crazy to make you think you were watching a coordinated piece, but you were not.
Kate: Maybe I just don’t really like the Broadway dance genre as a whole?
Erica: No. I love the Broadway genre. I was really excited for this song and for this look. It was a disappointing dance.
Kate: Yes, YOU love it, but maybe I do not. Hold on, we’re going from 7 to 4 dancers/next week is the FINALE? Fox, just cancel the show already. This is weird.
Erica: Holy moly. That is super-weird and abrupt. I don’t want them to cancel but if this is as much faith as they have, then, yeah. Time to go.
Lex & Gaby: Hip-Hop, choreo by Luther Brown
“Humble” by Kendrick Lamar
Kate: Well, he has much more “swag” than she does, but it’s still not much. He was kind of stiff.
Erica: There was a moment when Gaby was doing that puppet master thing with Lex and the camera was off to the side. That tells me that either a) the camerawork on this show is kind of shoddy, or b) they knew the move didn’t look good from the front.
Kate: It was good, just not what I’d really want/expect to see in the episode before the finale/top 4 dancers. Ya know?
Erica: The judges seem wild about it. I’m not seeing what they’re seeing. Nigel (whose suit is kind of dope tonight, no?) is definitely talking like this show is ending. “When I started this show, I wanted every genre of dance to be respected.” That’s some “I’ve had the time of my life” talk.
Kate: Yes, Nigel’s suit is nicer than usual.
Logan & Allison: African Jazz, choreo by Sean Cheesman
“Kabila” by Lord KraVen
Erica: BTW, there are solos tonight, but we’re not covering them. Assume the dancers managed, once again, to not suck in their own genre for thirty seconds.
Kate: He is much more muscular than I thought he was.
Erica: So…Sean Cheesman is black, and therefore this isn’t racist? Okay.
Kate: Why would it be racist?
Erica: African Jazz always gives me a bit of liberal white guilt. Because it feels — and this routine was maybe the epitome of that — very “Oh look at the adorable savage way these Africans dance!” But I think it’s a problem with figuring out where the line is between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation/adaptation. And I never know where the line is and sometimes I think it comes down to things like, “Well, Sean Cheesman is black, so that’s okay.”
Kate: But African Jazz is a real dance genre. It’s not racist. This was one of the better routines they have done together, but I’m not obsessed with it. Why did it get a standing O?
Erica: Oh, I thought it was very good. I thought the two of them moved their bodies in amazing ways, in a very coordinated fashion. Also, Sadie? Super into this routine. Bopped her butt, clapped, and made “ooh” sounds at the appropriate moments.
Kate: Well, then I love it.
Kaylee & Cyrus: Contemporary, choreo by Tasty Oreo
“DKLA” by Troye Sivan feat. Tkay Maidza
Kate: Loved it. She/they started out as my least favorite dancer/pair, and now look at her/them.
Erica: This was really quite good. She’s better than he is.
Kate: I just think she has embodied what this show is all about — growing as a dancer and becoming an expert in all styles, not just your own.
Erica: Her attitude is just terrific. I felt that Nigel was a little passive-aggressive about his commentary — “Oh, Tasty gave you the right moves so that you could look good together,” but I think that was unfair, at least as far as she is concerned. She’s shown over and over again how well she can handle things outside her comfort zone.
Kate: And, you know, Nigel said his real name, “Tyce”, not “Tasty”.
Kiki & Jenna: Broadway, choreo by Warren Carlyle
“Dancin’ Fool” by Barry Manilow
Kate: THIS Broadway, I like. His ballroom-ness made it kind of a sexy-Broadway, which I liked more than I expected to. Bravo, Kiki! (Still think that name is weird.)
Erica: I thought this was much better choreography but only slightly better dancing. They had a lot of verve and personality but there were too many moments where they weren’t together. And she seemed to not really be following through on all her moves.
Kate: More importantly, I loved Jenna’s red dance shoes. And THIS standing O, I understand. Even Cat loved it! Wait, why did she love it SO much, though?
Erica: Boy, you’re tough to please.
Koine & Marko: Jive, choreo by Dmitry Chaplin
“Rock Around The Clock” by Bill Haley & His Comets
Kate: What a perfect jive song.
Erica: Classic. The definitive.
Kate: She is just adorable, and they do great tricks together. I think her style of dancing makes it look very effortless, which I like, but in this particular one I think she should have gone for more “cutesy” than “come hither”.
Erica: She’s just so cute. So freakin’ cute. I did think she was mostly cutesy and less come-hither, but YMMV. Her hands were, as the kids might say, extra.
Kate: What is “YMMV”? HUDGY, don’t ever try to do the hot tamale train again. Ever.
Erica: Seriously. Mary Murphy has that trademarked.
Kate: She did NOT like it.
Group Routine (All-Stars): Jazz, choreo by Brian Friedman
“Derniere Danse” by Indila
Kate: See, I know the LIVE AUDIENCE is not seeing this in black and white with the pink accents, so why is the camera work showing us that?
Erica: I mean, I get that they’re going for the “look” but it comes across just fine once we lose the filter, so just staaaahhhp.
Kate: Still, this was pretty cool. And well danced. Had we seen that choreographer before? He has some good stuff.
Erica: Yes. He’s been on this show a lot, actually. (Like, check this baby out.) I think he was a big deal in the early seasons and now he kind of comes back occasionally as a favor or something. Anyway, I’m glad you liked this dance. I really liked it but I thought maybe I was just being too entranced by the outfits.
Taylor & Robert: Contemporary, choreo by Mandy Moore
“To Make You Feel My Love” by Mick McAuley & Winifred Horan
Kate: Ugh, when I heard “contemporary” next to these two’s names, I knew it’d be good. And with a version of this song? Yup. All of it good and nice. (I don’t remember hearing one note of it, but I walked down the aisle to an acoustic version of this song.)
Erica: Every part of her is just so long. Long legs, long arms, long torso. And every move goes all the way through each body part. Stunning.
Kate: Her legs were absolutely perfect in every single step and move here.
Erica: And she can act, too. I mean, it can’t be hard to act like you are deeply connected to Robert, but still. She feels what she’s doing. I feel what she’s doing. Damn.
Kate: Why is Nigel giving us a personal history lesson with each routine?
Erica: I’m telling you, I think it’s because he knows he’s about to be off of our TVs.
Mark & Comfort: Hip-Hop, choreo by Misha Gabriel
“No Twerk” by Apashe & Panther x Odalisk
Kate: This concept sounded really cool but it wasn’t what I thought it would be, and he did not seem sharp enough even though this is his own style???
Erica: I honestly (sigh) thought neither of them were sharp enough to pull off the idea here. I’m so sorry, Comfort. I love you. And I thought that the choreography was cool, but missed some opportunities.
Kate: Did Comfort lift him??? She’s awesome. Is this a new choreographer?
Erica: Yes. That was the coolest sequence. I think it might be.
Kate: Hold on, need to comment on one of the pre-solo background videos: They have mini-ballroom competitions for kids? And Lex danced ballroom as a little baby kid? Nothing is cuter.
Erica: Of course they have mini-ballroom competitions for kids. We like making kids act like mini-adults.
Lex, Logan & Kaylee: Contemporary, choreo by Dwight Rhoden & Desmond Richardson
“Strange” by LP
Kate: This was extremely visually pleasing — lighting, costumes, dancing, even camerawork, for once. Really loved it.
Erica: Yeah. I found it, somehow, emotionally satisfying. Like I just had some really delicious and healthy soup.
Kate: I hadn’t heard of these “legendary” choreographers they were all gushing about, but I really enjoyed this dance of theirs. Why was only one of them shown in the rehearsal footage?
Erica: I feel like I have heard of them but only from this show. Like, I feel like either they’ve come on before or been mentioned in some capacity. Maybe they are in some way connected to Debbie Allen? I hate how Nigel is damning Kaylee with faint praise. Kaylee is amazing and versatile and doesn’t need to “keep up” with these boys (who were also spectacular in this). But also f you, Nigel, just because she doesn’t make you happy in your pants place doesn’t mean she’s not an amazing dancer.
Kiki, Koine, Mark & Taylor: Contemporary, choreo by Sean Cheesman
“Still I Rise (Maya Angelou)” by Alexis Henry
Kate: Dancing to a spoken poem rather than a song is a first for this show, I think, which must be tough to choreograph to, but it worked. Awesome tricks, leaps and lifts all around.
Erica: I started off feeling a little irritated by the performance art of it all, but man. They sold it. The choreography was good enough to get away with an irritatingly self-righteous concept, and they performed the hell out of it. They did a series of tricks to a poem and made it look like a dance.
Kate: It’s tough to pick a favorite between Taylor, Koine and Kaylee right now.
Erica: Seriously. Taylor is so elegant, but Koine has also had elegant moments and Kaylee has proven herself to be capable of taking on any persona. Koine is so adorable, but Taylor can shine and Kaylee can be anything, including cute. Kaylee is such an actress, but Taylor can also pour soul into her performance, and Koine in that ex-beauty-queen routine acted the hell out of it. They’re all SO GOOD. I love this show.
Kate: Wait, how are the bottom 3 just in danger and not officially off if next week is the top 4/finale? I guess we are only kicking off 1 right now?
Erica: I don’t know. I understand nothing. I’ll just keep showing up until they name a winner, I guess.
Kate: Mark is going home and I am totally, more than fine with that.
Erica: Yes. Just fine. Okay, so, as of right now, I’m fine with any girl winning. I think Logan is my favorite guy but I’m not sold on him.
Kate: We’ll see if next week is really the finale, I guess!