We’re only one week away from the finale, with the final eight dancers competing for a spot in the top six. The dancers take the stage in their usual individual dance move way and right away one girl is missing—Ashleigh. Cat arrives on stage in a gold lame’ shorts jumpsuit Holy crap, she’s ready for Studio 54! The usual judges—Adam, Mary, and Nigel are all in attendance.

Since last week, the girls drew names out of a hat to pick new partners. Each pair will dance two randomly chosen styles and each dancer will get a solo. So, what became of Ashleigh? Cat brings her out on stage, and poor Ashleigh has her arm in a sling. Earlier in the day, while practicing, her arm popped out of the socket. She popped it back in and feels ready to dance, but the doctors won’t clear her to compete yet. She’s still eligible to move on if American votes for her.

Kathryn and Ryan

Kathryn wants to go for it and get to the finale and Ryan wants to get to dance with his wife, Ashleigh. Kathryn and Ryan’s first dance will be a disco choreographed by Doriana Sanchez; it’s to Last Dance by Donna Summer remixed by Samantha Ronson but is really about a first dance of a couple. Ryan and Kathryn sport very sparkly disco clothes and execute most of the lifts well, but there seemed to be a little hesitation now and then. However the last bit when Ryan flipped Kathryn over was great.

As for the judges, Adam says that Ryan proves that real men can wear sequins. As for the dancing, they did a great job. Mary, screechy as ever, loves them, their chemistry, and their movement. Wooooooo!!!!! Nigel doesn’t really agree—Kathryn’s outfit is great but Ryan’s isn’t and he was a little too stiff in his dance. Mary disagrees—she remembers getting smacked out on the disco floor by fully extended arms. A few blows to the head explains a lot about Mary.

Their second dance together is a cha-cha choreographed by Jason Gilkison; he’s made it especially difficult. This promised-hot dance is performed to Put Your Hands On Me by Joss Stone. Thankfully, Ryan is sequin-free and all the connections are made seamlessly. It ends on a great inversion of Kathryn in Ryan’s lift.

Adam starts out by saying Jason delivered the hottest, best ballroom dance ever. He kids Ryan about connecting so well with Kathryn—it’s good his wife Ashleigh isn’t there. He loves the teamwork. Mary gets loud again—everything was on fire, from beginning to end. Someone call the fire department for her! If she didn’t know Kathryn wasn’t a ballroom dancer, she would never have guess. She gets all fired up and gives them two first class tickets on the Hot Tamale Train. Nigel loves that Jason is making ballroom dancing into entertainment. Kathryn was nervous about the style but knew it’d be okay with Ryan. Nigel is very impressed that Kathryn got the style and Ryan loosened up from the disco routine.

Kathryn’s solo dance is to Shadowfeet by Brooke Fraser. She does an elegant contemporary dance with lovely leaps.

Ryan dances solo to DinDaDa by Kevin Aviance. It seems he hasn’t really shaken the disco from earlier in the night. He interrupts Cat giving out his number to urge people to vote for Ashleigh through his tears.

Mollee and Jakob

Both dancers realize how important it is making it to the finale for their careers. Their first dance together is a Viennese Waltz choreographed by Jason Gilkison. It’s a more modern waltz and is about the girl having lost her mojo and the guy helping her getting it back. They dance to Ordinary Day by Vanessa Carlton. The waltz is deconstructed, as they dance more next to each other in synch rather in the traditional style. It was pretty.

Adam could have watched the pair dance for two hours—the music, characters, and choreography all came together. Jakob is one of the best dancers he’s ever seen and Mollee is growing every day. Mary finds absolutely nothing ordinary about the dancers or the choreography. She pretty much says the same as Adam. Nigel was impressed with the simplicity and the constant movement was impressive. They were both excellent.

Jakob’s solo dance to When You Say My Name by Mario Spinetti is an emotional, athletic ballet-inspired modern dance. Unfortunately, his outfit distracted me—a cowl neck grey jersey sweater and what looked to be black biker shorts from the late 1980s.

Mollee dances solo to Heartburn by Alicia Keys. All I can say about her is that her dance style is so mature and well-developed, it always shocks me to see how young she is.

Their second dance together is a Broadway routine choreographed by Joey Dowling about two con artists creating a scam to get rich. Jakob’s character is the mastermind and gets Mollee in on the scheme. They perform to Easy Street from Annie (original TV soundtrack) as remixed by Samantha Ronson. The dance involves a slide of a bench and gives Jakob a bit more to do than Mollee. He gets a lot of those kicks and flips he’s so good at.

Adam loves Joey’s choreography—she showed off the dancers really well. Mollee got lucky with getting a great dance partner and getting a great style. He also thinks Jakob is the one of the best dancers they’ve ever had on the show. Mary isn’t giving out any more tickets to the Hot Tamale Train but she thought they worked really well as a couple. Nigel thinks Mollee should go to Broadway and Jakob reminds him of Joel Grey. The style was perfect for the pair.

Ashleigh

She was supposed to perform her solo but can’t, so Cat brings her out to allow her a chance to get some votes.

Ellenore and Legacy

Ellenore wants to be in the finale to have that last chance to compete and Ryan wants to be in the finale because he worked so hard to get there. Their first dance together is a contemporary routine choreographed by Travis Wall about a pair of assassins hired to kill each other and they are married. Hmmm….sounds like a great plot for a movie; it’s a wonder Hollywood hasn’t made that already. The dance starts out with them seated opposite one another at a dining room table as Machine Gun by Portishead begins to play. The dance really does have a fight-quality to it and the dancers really get into conveying their characters. Or maybe they really do need to get a room.

Adam loves that Travis gets how close dancing and murder are. He loved the dance—it was like watching home movies of his parents. He thinks they did an awesome job. Mary thinks the dance was perfectly tailored for their styles and they did a great job. Nigel loved the danger of the dance. Plus, the last time they did a table routine, the choreographer got an Emmy nomination. The table dancing was especially physically dangerous, and they nailed it without injury.

Legacy’s solo dance is to Fancy Footwork by Chromeo. There’s a lot of head spinning and the use of a prop telephone that I really don’t get other than a ploy to get votes.

Ellenore dances solo to I Got The Feeling by James Brown. It’s a standard contemporary routine, something pretty much everyone’s seen, but well-executed.

For their second pair performance they take on a NappyTabs routine choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon Dumo about aliens doing hip hop. As promised, the choreography is a lot on the weird side, as performed to People Are Strange by The Doors and remixed by District 78. They are dressed the same outfit—white jeans and a black hoodie…hers with gold stripes and his with silver. I can’t say I like the dance, but they did execute some tough moves and got into the characters.

The judges panel starts out by making supposed alien noises, which really isn’t that different from what Mary does every week. The routine wasn’t Adam’s favorite of the night because it didn’t push them. However, since the other dance was so tough, it balances out. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. Mary loved the beginning of the routine but then became a disappointed…maybe it was the outfits, maybe it was the lack of synchronization. Nigel was disappointed that there wasn’t enough dancing in the choreography and ended up being style over substance. Tabitha and Napoleon need to be burning up their phone lines voting for these two for saddling them with such a crap dance.

Ashleigh’s substitute and Russell

Russell would love the validation of America’s vote to know his artistry is appreciated. Ashleigh would be thrilled to make it to the finale especially since she had a six-year break from dancing. Their first dance is a street hip hop routine choreographed by Shane Sparks. It’s terrible that Ashleigh can’t perform because Shane promised to turn her into a booty-shaker. Russell performs with Shane’s assistant to Too Much Boot 2 (Bobby J Remix) by Soundmaster T & Jah-Rista featuring Korveil. Russell is way more into it and has cleaner movements than Shane’s assistant. The dance also has some elements of fighting in it and is quite fun.

Adam thinks it must be really hard for him to be up there without Ashleigh, but he hit the old-school hip hop perfectly. Mary has just fallen in love with Russell and found his energy level amazing. Nigel is impressed that he was able to dance so well with Shane’s assistant, given the short time—only since that morning—that Ashleigh was on the injured list. He also really liked the character performance Russell gave while doing the dance.

Russell’s solo performance is to Holiday Buckness by Tha J-Squad. He comes out in a modified Santa outfit and a bag of toys. His shoe comes off—intentionally or not?—then ends the dance by sitting on the chair and pulling out a teddy bear from the toy bag.

His second couples dance is a take on Bollywood choreographed by Nakul Dev Mahajan. There is no story or characters, just pure Bollywood dancing. There are certain hand-gestures that need to be nailed or could be offensive to the people of India. Russell performs with Nakul’s assistant to Spirit of Rangeela from the Rangeela original soundtrack. Russell is in an even sparklier outfit than Ryan’s disco one, but somehow he just makes it work better. Could be the Bollywood music. He’s not quite as sharp in his movements as Nakul’s assistant is, but he seems to pull off this very different style.

Adam thanks Nakul for a great high-energy pure dance and is happy to be warned about hand gestures in India, lest he accidentally cause an international incident. Adam saw joy coming out of Russell’s every pore; he has great style and energy. Mary is impressed that he has had to dance with three different partners and he just “bursted” on the stage. Nigel saw the lift/drop that injured Ashleigh in the routine. He is truly impressed with Russell from doing so well in all these different styles that are so different from krumping.

And those performances are what America is left with to vote for whom they wish to see in the finale next week. Iguanachocolate will be by soon with the results show recap.