Erica: This week is similarly a freakin’ mess. Sorry, guys. We came back on the red-eye from Vegas Saturday night/Sunday morning, I worked Sunday, and since then, I’ve been trying to catch up on life. Including this, and the Emmys.
Kate: I don’t think anyone reads these anymore, unfortunately.
Erica: I’m so freaking tired, you guys. I don’t know if this will make me more or less generous in my judging.
Kate: Oh holy hell, it’s not the finale, next week is. I can’t keep up.
Cat Deeley’s Ensemble
Erica: Hair? Delightful perfection. Dress? I dig the concept of the dress but I feel it could be executed better. Still, the color is perfect on her and she just looks one hundred percent leggy, gorgeous blonde.
Kate: Yes, yes, yes and yes Cat. YES CAT! LOVE IT ALL!
Erica: Hudgy and Mary look like they coordinated tonight; they’re both in black lace. This is definitely Hudgy’s most normal look. Mary looks like she felt whatever is supposed to go under her lace was not modest enough so she threw on something completely unrelated and weird. BUT I LOVE YOU SO MUCH MARY MURPHY.
Kate: Yes, the most normal, but still, I hate her more than I ever thought possible.
Erica: I think sometimes people do not understand my love for Mary Murphy. When this show started, I was not a big fan. She was so screechy and so dippy sometimes! But then. She danced on stage with Dmitry Chaplin and I understood what the point of Mary Murphy is.
Group Routine (All): Hip-Hop, choreo by NappyTabs
“Mi Gente” by J. Balvin & Willie William
Erica: This number involved a lot of black-and-white patterned panels wandering around the stage, and then the dancers were in various black-and-white hip-hop outfits, and I’m not really sure how the live studio audience could possibly have seen any of this, but on TV, the visuals were pretty good. But again, sharpness? This routine required less precision than last week’s, but still, they looked like background dancers at a party in a movie. Like, almost deliberately not sharp so as not to look unrealistic. (Except my girl Jasmine who was fire as always.) Are they just not giving them enough time to rehearse these pieces?
Kate: No, you’re wrong, this was amazing. First of all, I am obsessed with this song, but for a long time I only knew that beat and not the words or title or artist, and today I learned the title and artist, therefore listened to it ALL DAY and imagined myself doing a dance EXACTLY LIKE THIS. I WANT TO LEARN IT! Favorite group routine this season by so so far.
Group Routine (Top 4): Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall & Christopher Scott
“Elements” by Nathan Lanier
Erica: Christopher Scott and Travis Wall are so thrilled to death with themselves for this concept. (Which, for those of you who didn’t watch, is that the four dancers are the four elements.)
Kate: So literal.
Erica: Koine is Earth and starts the routine dashing about in sand. Then it fades on Lex dancing with water raining down on him. Then Kiki dances and sets off flames around him. Then Taylor drops down from the sky with the wind machine going full blast. As a mother and as a former stage manager, all of these things together and separately made me nuts. Like, someone’s going to have to clean up that shit. Also, where are they? Where are they on stage? Because when they come together I see no sand or wetness. I don’t understand how this looked live.
Kate: Same, I feel like it had to have been filmed ahead of time and they were tricking us. It all looked really cool, though.
Erica: Then once they get together, the magic sort of fizzles. I had high hopes for a Scott-Wall mashup and I don’t think this lived up to my expectations.
Kate: Agree, they at first came together in anger and I was like, no, the elements kind of have to work together.
Kiki & Taylor: Cha-Cha, choreo by Anya Garnis
“Don’t Cha (Ralphi’s Hot Freak 12” Vox Mix)” by The Pussycat Dolls
Erica: Do we feel it’s unfair that Kiki gets to be in his style and Taylor isn’t?
Kate: No, don’t they all eventually end up in their styles at some point tonight?
Erica: For those of you who don’t remember, Anya came on this show as a contestant with my beloved Pasha. Kiki ponders if he can bring out Taylor’s sexy side. Pasha would have been able to.
Kate: Oh yay, she’s choreographing now!
Erica: I hate that I hate her outfit. I usually like cha-cha outfits. This remix is very weird. This dancing is very weird. They don’t look like they’re in the same routine. As they showed in the rehearsal footage, Taylor’s leg really can go all the way up. And she’s doing better than he is so I guess my concern about this being unfair was unfounded.
Kate: They are both very good and were good in this but didn’t really CONNECT, in my opinion, and this dance requires some connection. It felt very separated.
Lex & Koine: Broadway, choreo by Al Blackstone
“L-O-V-E” by Nat King Cole
Erica: She is freaking adorable. I love her hands and feet. They’re always so engaged and cute. And she’s a terrific actress and comedienne. And dancer. And this routine was so cute and silly and funny and she just performed the hell out of it.
Kate: Yup, it was pretty much perfect. It seems like that robe was made for her, literally.
Erica: He was on stage as well.
Kate: I continue to barely notice his existence.
Erica: No, no, he was pretty good. But she was just a shining star from heaven and I love her.
Jenna & Kiki: Contemporary, choreo by Mandy Moore
“The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” by Jeffrey Gaines
Erica: So the performers are regurgitating their favorite dances of the season. In other seasons, I have looked forward to this. This season, there are so few dances that I really loved that I’m like, “Ugh.”
Kate: Oh, at first I was like, hey did they did this song already. I need to work on my listening skills.
Erica: He made a good choice, though. This remains a lovely piece.
Kate: Lovely, but highlights her more than him. It doesn’t make me think he should be voted America’s Favorite Dancer.
Erica: And then Jenna has to make it all about her by crying about how much she loves dancing with Kiki. I’m such a bitch. Sorry.
Kate: No, that was gross, and so fake.
Koine & Marko: African Jazz, choreo by Sean Cheesman
“Speaking In Tongues II” by Sheila Chandra
Erica: This is not my favorite of her routines but I think it’s an interesting choice by her.
Kate: Yes, the “song” drives me nuts, but I think it’s cool. Great tricks throughout.
Erica: I should clarify — there is nothing wrong with this routine. The choreography is interesting and the dancers execute it well (although actually Marko looks off this week, but not Koine because she is made of dance). It’s just not my particular thing.
Group Routine (All-Stars): Hip-Hop, choreo by Keone & Mari Madrid
“DNA.” by Kendrick Lamar
Erica: Am I supposed to think anything about Kendrick Lamar?
Kate: He’s a good rapper, apparently. This was cool enough, but I wish they had just done the first group routine again. Mi gente!
Erica: I liked this choreo and I thought they were more on it than in the first routine but still could use a little more precision.
Kate: In the words (and accent) of Rafiki: Nope, wrong again!
Koine & Taylor: Jazz, choreo by Mandy Moore
“Black and Gold” by Brenna Whitaker
Erica: These two have very different bodies but great chemistry and terrific synchronicity.
Kate: Oh, I don’t agree. I loved this routine, partially because it was a different version of a song we definitely did back at Loyola Dance Company, but I thought their different styles felt kind of awkward next to one another.
Erica: That said, this made clear that my favorite is Koine. I’m just obsessed with her hands. Damn, though, Taylor can kick high. They were both spectacular, really.
Kate: Taylor is still better technically, and Koine is just a better all-around performer. I felt she really threw herself into this one perfectly, more so than Taylor.
Lex & Kiki: Hip-Hop, choreo by Luther Brown
“The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)” by Missy Elliott
Kate: Another FANTASTIC song choice.
Erica: I mean, they were not bad. But there have definitely been dancers on this show who could have done this routine better. I did like the choreography.
Kate: They did their very best, and better than I expected them to. They shouldn’t (and hopefully won’t) win.
Erica: I also think there was a problem with the way the costumes and lighting were working against this routine. Like, I couldn’t really see them well enough.
Kate: That might just be a you problem. I love that Cat has started to critique the dances a little bit this season before handing it over to the judges — perhaps to compensate for stupid Hudgy?!
Taylor & Robert: Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall
“Change is Everything (A Cappella Version)” by Son Lux
Erica: Yes. Expected choice from her but also gorgeous routine performed beautifully.
Kate: Oh, yay! I love them together so much. This was even better than the first time. Although, I wonder if my love for her is somewhat (or mostly) tied to my love for Robert…
Erica: Nigel once danced with Cyd Charisse. That’s…Amazing.
Kate: But doesn’t excuse his gross comments/general behavior.
Lex & Gaby: Tap, choreo by Anthony Morigerato
“More” by Bobby Darin
Erica: Do you think he chose this because he wanted to make Gaby wear this dress again? They seem to have the kind of relationship where he would needle her like that.
Kate: I think he chose this because he’s a tapper? Is he not a tapper? He’s not a tapper. I just don’t care about him or Kiki, I’m sorry.
Erica: It’s a nice routine. They do it well together. I like his bouncy splits. His feet seem a little heavy, though, no?
Kate: He’s just not that good.
Kiki & Koine: Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall
“Both Sides Now” by Joni Mitchell
Erica: Who?! Who was it who hurt Koine’s heart?! I will kill you with a knife.
Kate: I’ll be there also, with a baseball bat!
Erica: The camerawork here was unfairly swoopy and WTF was with the Koine closeups? The choreography was lovely, though. Prop-heavy but good use of them.
Kate: The closeups must have had something to do with the rapid costume changes.
Erica: Does Kiki die in the end?
Kate: If he’s the one who broke her heart, then yes. This was wonderful, but mostly because of her.
Lex & Taylor: Contemporary, choreo by Mia Michaels
“You Matter to Me” by Sara Bareilles feat. Jason Mraz
Erica: I’m sort of disappointed, having waited all show for the Mia Michaels routine, that it’s not a group routine.
Kate: Where has she been?
Erica: Lex and Taylor are in love. Lex and Taylor are in love?! How do I feel about this? Do we think this is even true? If it is true, do they know that if they stay in love and get married and have babies and all that, Nigel will show up to their weddings and baby showers and everything forever, declaring loudly his own part in bringing them together?
Kate: Among other creepy statements. They really did kiss for a long time in a lot of the parts. I don’t like her with him as much as I like her with Robert DANCE-wise, but they definitely had lovey-dovey chemistry.
Erica: The choreography is gorgeous and they perform it well, especially Taylor. But there is an unfair close-up on her at the end. I think the cameramen agree with me that the girls are the best.
Kate: How could they not?
Erica: No results tonight. Tune in to next week’s finale for last week’s and this week’s results and the winner. Which should be Koine but I will also accept Taylor but if Lex wins because of the combined forces of misogyny and this announcement of Twu Luv, I will be mad.
Kate: So then, what will they be PERFORMING next week? I guess we’ll have to tune in and see!