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This is it, dance fans - we're down to 20 dancers and the real competition begins. The remaining contestants will be paired up tonight and must learn a different dance each week, with the bottom three vote-getters going before the judges, who will pick two dancers to dump from the show. Tonight's judges are: Nigel, crazy Mary, and Dan. But before we start, we're treated to a great performance by last year's winner, Nick. Not bad, but I still want more Artem. Is that so terrible?
Way Too Much Booty
Swing dancer Benji is first to get partnered up, and he’ll be dancing with Donyelle. Now if that isn’t an odd couple, I don’t know what is. They will be doing a hip-hop routine choreographed by Shane, to the tune of “2 Much Booty.” Now, I like Benji and all, but – I’m thinking this is going to be bad. Really bad. Fortunately, I was wrong, as the couple performed a rather suggestive dance dressed in black pants with beige shirts over tank tops. Ol’ Benji did pretty well, considering, and Donyelle was just great.
Nigel – Great routine. Donyelle – you’re a natural. And Benji – does your church know you dance like that? Your ex may come back if she saw those moves!
Mary – Whole lot of booty shaking, in the right direction. Woo!
Dan – You hit it. (The way they were dancing, he just might have.) It was really good.
Couple number two is hip-hop dancer Ivan and lyrical dancer Allison, who must learn a salsa by Alex. Ivan really struggled in practice, with Alex chiding him to stop sticking out his tongue. Not sexy at all, Ivan. The duo performs to “El Temblor” with Ivan in a black suit and red cap (please, ditch the cap!) and Allison in a sparkly coral dress. Judges were not impressed afterwards:
Nigel – Ivan, you looked nervous. And lose the cap. Allison, your hips were fantastic. Loved you.
Mary – Ivan, you’re the most likeable guy, but I didn’t like the dance. Allison might as well have been dancing with a pole. (Ouch.)
Dan – You were a prop for Allison. Allison, you were phenomenal.
Next up is Jason and Aleksandra. They must learn a contemporary dance and Alex struggles with it in practice. Performing to “Unwritten,” they take the floor in style, with Alex wearing a flowing champagne-colored dress and Jason wearing an unbuttoned white shirt. Both are barefoot. I enjoyed the performance but kept wondering what the heck they were smiling so much about. They both had goofy grins plastered on their faces the whole time. It was sort of distracting. And creepy.
Nigel – Jason, you were fabulous. Alex – beautiful.
Mary – I agree. Jason, you’re like a floodlight from heaven! Haw haw! (Huh? This is where Mary starts getting weird. Again.)
Dan – Amazing. You balanced each other out.
Couple number four is Jaymz and Jessica, who get to perform some 70’s disco. Break out the bellbottoms and those awful wide collars! Ballet dancer Jessica can’t seem to loosen up in practice enough to get the “booty work” right. They dance to “Disco Inferno” – she in a really short red dress, and Jaymz in a Travolta-inspired 70’s suit. I’m glad some fashion trends have never come back…
Nigel – Great music, great choreography. Fun!
Mary – Burn, baby, burn! Woo! WOO! (Shut it, woman.)
Dan – That was funky. Jess, you could have stuck it out a little more.
The next couple is Stanislav and jazz dancer Erin, who will have to learn a Paso Doble. No problem for Stanislav, as he has done this dance before. Erin isn’t used to dancing with a partner, however, and can’t quite get the hang of it in practice. Dancing to “Malagueña,” they look gorgeous in their costumes – Erin wearing a red dress with black lace overlay, and Stanislav in a bullfighter-type costume. It was dramatic and quite good, in my uninformed opinion – even though Erin seemed to have trouble keeping her footing.
Nigel – Stas, you were majestic. Fantastic. Erin, you looked like you were sliding around!
Mary – I say olé! Haw haw! (This woman has got to go….)
Dan – Erin, if you didn’t have Stas, you’d be dead meat. (Ouch.)
Next is Dmitry and Joy, who get another hip-hop routine by Shane. Being a ballroom dancer, Dmitry struggles quite a bit. They perform to “Hit the Floor” in loose jeans and hoodies. The dance was so-so as they looked like they were just going through the moves, but I did enjoy the end where they sort of entwined their legs and fell on the floor face down. But on purpose.
Nigel – It wasn’t as good as Benji and Donyelle. Didn’t have the feel.
Mary – Call the fire department, these two were smoking! (No, but I’m starting to think you’ve been smoking something, Mary…)
Dan – Mary’s just being nice. You learned the steps, but there was nothing behind it.
Couple number seven is Ryan and Heidi, and they will have to learn a Viennese waltz. Ryan is very disappointed, having said about 200 times that he wanted Natalie as a partner. Tough beans, Ryan. Neither dancer is familiar with the waltz, and they look clunky in practice. They must have practiced a lot, though - their performance was beautiful, with Ryan in a black tux and smiley Heidi in an ice blue dress, waltzing to "Caribbean Blue."
Nigel - Great lines, lovely extensions.
Mary - This was 50/50. The upper body was great, but from the waist down, it was a disaster. (I could really make some bad jokes here....)
Dan - It lacked a little finesse, but you rose to the occasion.
Shaggy-headed Ben gets Ashlee as a partner, and they both get stuck with 80's disco. You guessed it, it's "What a Feeling" from Flashdance. Ugh. This is another couple that isn't used to having partners, and Ben has never done a lift in his life. But he learns pretty quickly, and they do their routine barefoot. I thought it wasn't bad at all, but the judges didn't agree.
Nigel - I found that very juvenile. Polish up your solos, we'll be seeing them tomorrow night.
Mary - One of my favorite songs, but I felt nothing from this performance.
Dan - Flat out, that was just bad. Ashlee, I think it's your fault. (Damn, this guy is harsh!)
Travis and Martha make up couple number nine, and I think they're adorable together. They must learn a Broadway routine, and seem to pick it up well in practice. The choreographer has to rein Travis in, though, telling him to hold back and don't give it all away in the first minute. Performing in cute vaudeville costumes to "Steam Heat," the crowd seems to love them.
Nigel - You could be the couple to beat in this competition.
Mary - These are two dancing machines right here!
Dan - You guys just set the bar for yourselves pretty high.
Break dancer Musa and Natalie are the last couple to perform. They must learn the Mambo, and the choreographer is worried about the untrained Musa while Natalie says the mambo makes her feel like a woman. Rowr. No worries about either one of these two, though - they give a smokin' hot performance to the tune of "Nina." And I wonder how on earth she kept that dress on.
Nigel - If you work on the premise that every guy was watching Natalie's hips and not Musa's feet, it would have been great!
Mary - If the name of this show was "If You Think You're Hot," you'd both be winners! Hahahaha! (Kill me now.)
Dan - The dancing left something to be desired. But you have great chemistry, and were fun to watch.
That's it for tonight! And honestly, I've had enough of Mary's cackling. For crying out loud. Tune in next time to find out who the bottom three are, and who will be going home. Oh, and Nelly Furtado will be performing. I really hope it's not that "Like a Bird" song. See you then...
Mute buttons were made for Mary...firstname.lastname@example.org