Our apologies for the hiatus, America. We weren’t here to hold your hand through the hurried Los Angeles Week (which still doesn’t have quite the ring of Vegas Week, sorry) and Green Mile episode, or the first live performance show. But we’re here in time to meet the pairings who will be endeavoring to enchant us with their skills and chemistry over the next few weeks, as well as our first eliminations. And as Queen Cat says, those first ones are always tough. When the Bottom 6 were announced, we learned who already has the audience’s hearts and who needs to earn them. But before we got to the tough stuff, we were treated to an energetic opening number to the On the Town score by Broadway choreographer Josh Bergasse. (Not Tyce. Rejoice!) Turns out, our winning dancers will have a spot in that show’s New York ensemble, a perfect gig that can be molded to fit any styles and strengths. And good news for me. Now that Newsies is closing, I need a new regular Broadway meet-up spot with some of America’s Favorite Dancers.
Brooklyn, Casey, Jordan, Nick, Marlena, and Serge
What we saw in these voting results, particularly for the girls, were the consequences of being a Top 20 contestant who didn’t get much audition/LA screentime. The folks at home don’t feel like they know Brooklyn and Jordan yet, really. It’s up to those ladies to make us remember. Marlena didn’t surprise me; she suffers from Bitchy Resting Face.
As for the boys, Nick is the only one I would have predicted. He’s a wee one. And as fast as his feet may be, he’s not going to be able to deliver the explosive lifts and tricks we’ve come to expect from our top couples. Casey also suffers from lack of camera time. And I don’t know what Serge is doing here unless America got wind of this bizarre coupling.
Cat Deeley Scale of Awesomeness
First of all, big ups to Cat for another well-deserved Emmy nomination for Best Reality Host! There’s little hope that the Emmys will go to the people who actually deserve them (especially since most of those people weren’t even nominated – vote for The Feelies instead!), but maybe this is her year.
Cat went casual chic this week with a belted, long-sleeve leopard print dress, black ankle booties, and simple make-up and hair. She had an animal-print moment with Emily after her Hip Hop number (“Digging your pants, girl!”) and gave us her best Boris and Natasha after Marquet and Jordan’s interrogation-themed piece. (“We have ways of making you talk.”) Nigel gave her shit for the weak first pitch she threw at the Dodgers game, but who cares, she looked fucking fabulous. She also provided emotional support to the Bottom 6 and the eliminated dancers – just another duty of an Emmy-nominated hostess.
This Week’s “Jidges” Score of Awesome: 9/10. Now that we’re in performance shows, I’m going to be a little tougher on her. (Tough, as you see, is a 9.) Saving the next 10 for a crazier outfit or when a Travis Wall piece makes her cry.
Performances of the Night
Valerie and Ricky, Contemporary
I’m just going to say it: Valerie lucked out. There’s no question that Ricky is head and shoulders above most of his competition, but that divide was considerably more apparent when he was paired with the tapper. Not to be down on Valerie. She rose to the occasion in this Travis piece; I was particularly impressed with that back bend lift. Still, anyone can see that she’s not a trained contemporary dancer. The flexibility and effortless flow aren’t there quite yet, but Ricky certainly isn’t going to make her look bad. He’s untouchable. And he’s going to keep her in this competition.
Carly and Serge, Contemporary
Sonya obviously didn’t hear that “Latch” belongs to Maks and Meryl, so she went ahead and choreographed this number for Carly and Serge. It was a fairly conventional and romantic piece for Sonya; the pair showed us an emotional connection; and we know how America loves to see the dancers in this element. Will it be enough for Carly to make herself stand out from this season’s pack of brunettes?
Jordan and Marquet, Hip Hop
Mark my words: Marquet is going to be on this stage until the bitter end. He’s a spark plug; the energy just flows through him. Ballroom dancers usually get the character thing on a deeper level than their peers and I hope we get to see Marquet act his little heart out every week like he did in this Sean Cheesman number. I didn’t have the same issues with Jordan breaking character as the judges did. I was mostly impressed that the ballerina got down to this. Of all the girls who drew Hip Hop this week, Jordan worked the deepest into the floor. And you know you better work, bitch.
Brooklyn and Casey, Argentine Tango
Poor Brooklyn and Casey were dropped into this Argentine Tango on a week where they were both sitting in the Bottom 6. They know as well as we do that audiences don’t vote for ballroom like they do for other styles. I sincerely hope they’ll make an exception this time, as these two danced a very sexy tango with expertise.
Tanisha and Rudy, Jazz
Theeeeere’s the Sonya we know and love. Rudy, who comes – as Cat said – “from the Dimitri school of shirts,” and Tanisha, who’s going to be a dark horse to watch out for, impressed in this jazz piece. A few of the lifts looked a little hesitant, but the choreo and the styling looked fab on them both. I think we’re going to like them as pair.
Who Went Home?
Marlena, frankly, didn’t have a prayer of succeeding in this competition. She’s too inaccessible for an American audience. And I’m not sure she ever proved to be on the level of the rest of the Top 10 ladies.
And poor bb Nick. There was no other choice to be made, though he looked completely heartbroken by the news.
Who’s In Danger Next Week?
As much as I adore Benji, that West Coast Swing number was a mess. Not only wasn’t the speed and pizzaz there, but the judges also called Jessica out for pulling faces. We’ll see her in the bottom, though hopefully she’ll redeem herself when paired up with the lovely Stanley.
I wasn’t impressed with Bridget’s “Work” (heh) in that Luther Brown piece. She looked stiff and prissy next to Emilio. The judges praised Jacque and Zack, but maybe white people dancing African Jazz makes the rest of America as uncomfortable as it makes me. (Please stop using the word “animalistic,” guys. I shouldn’t have to explain why.)
Inappropriate Nigel Comment of the Night
Nigel was in fine form this week, whether sucking up to Fox or quoting Winston Churchill while the dancers pretended to look interested. But the grossest Nigel moment of the night occurred when he announced which lady was leaving the competition.
INCON: (To Marlena) “Your beauty carried you through.”
Well, WHOSE FAULT IS THAT, YOU PERV?
The Mary Murphy Tamale Level of Screaming
It was a quiet week for Ms. Murphy. Step it up, dancers. I wanna hear those screams.
Tamale Level: 2/10. We can do better than this. We can all be better than this.
- Stanley danced in jorts during the intro. What a guy.
- What even are you talking about, Misty Copeland?
- “Vampire or werewolf?” “Neither! Wizard.”
- I’ll be forever haunted by seeing Jessica’s shoulder pop out of joint.
- I’ll also be forever haunted by that illusion fabric on her swing costume. Is this Dance Moms? What is happening?
- Cool it with the spinning camera, guys.
- Ed Sheeran music is not acceptable for every dance style. I don’t know where you people get your information.
- Vote for Marquet. His favorite movie is Space Jam.
- The Syncopated Ladies woke up like thiiiiiis. FLAWLESS.
How are we feeling so far? Talk to us about your early favorite couples. Were you surprised to see Marlena or Nick go? Who’s destined for next week’s Bottom 6? Let us know in the comments!