They tricked me! Here I was, thinking we were down to a one hour show, free from all the useless filler they shoved at us before. But noooo...we're back to two hours. Why, you might ask? Well, our five remaining couples are to be split up, with new couples being formed by a random draw. Each new couple must perform two routines, along with a solo routine from each dancer. Yikes. That's a lot of dancing going on, so take a deep breath, and let's get on with the recap...
Martha and Ivan
"Me and You" - Cassie
Our first new couple is Martha and Ivan, two dancers that I really didn't care to see paired up. They draw a hip hop routine by Shane Sparks, and Martha tells us that she's very bitter about not getting contemporary. Why? I don't know. Out they come, dressed like spies (or flashers) in black trenchcoats and hats. It was okay, nothing great to start off the show, however. The timing seemed off a bit and this duo has zero chemistry in my opinion. Nigel tells Ivan that he did very well, and told Martha that she let Ivan outdance her. Cicely and Olisa wanted Martha to stand out more, as did Jean-Marc.
"Git It" - Bun B feat. the Ying Yang Twins
The first solo of the night is Donyelle, and this is the first solo she's done on the show period. Dressed in camo pants and chunky boots, she does a good job with her hip hop/krunk solo, and the crowd loves her. The judges do too, telling her that she's a natural dancer.
"Pump It" - Black Eyed Peas
Not quite sure what style he was dancing, but his hips were swinging wildly and his shirt was open, so I didn't really care. *ahem* Oh, and he ripped his shirt off at the end to the delight of screaming girls in the audience. Judges liked it overall, but Nigel made a snarky comment about the chest-baring. Eh, he's probably just jealous. When Nigel tries to imitate Dmitry by unbuttoning his shirt, Cat tells him to stop before he scares the little children. Ouch.
Heidi and Travis
"Plaza of Execution" - The Mask of Zorro soundtrack
Here comes Heidi and Travis: now this should be interesting. The cute blondes get a Paso Doble choreographed by Mary (where the heck is Artem, anyway?) and take the floor in dramatic fashion, clad in black and red to match the serious routine. Travis was surprisingly good, with great posture and snappy moves. Heidi was great as his "cape," but her faces still irritate me. She looked like she was going to bite his nose off with her bared teeth. Anyhow, the judges gave it a thumbs up, throwing out words like dramatic, intense, and passionate.
Ryan and Allison
"Ethna" - Klement Bonelli
These two draw a contemporary routine by Mia, and they're happy campers. Until practice, that is: Ryan accidentally smacked his nose on Allison's behind, leaving tooth marks! Gives new meaning to the phrase "bite me," you think? This was one strange, very physical routine. You either loved it or sat there scratching your head, thinking "what the hell is this?" With bare feet and eye patches, they leapt and twisted around the stage, finally jumping off the edge in unison at the end. Nigel summed it all up with his comment: "I won't pretend to understand it, but it was good."
"What You Waiting For?" - Gwen
I was really disappointed in this solo. Martha looked good, even in that enormous green hat, but she just didn't have any feeling behind it. Like she was holding back. I expected better from her, and the judges agreed: Nigel tells her that after that performance, she's now in the danger zone.
Ivan's solo was...cute. Nothing amazing, but cute. It was a hip hop routine done with roller shoes, allowing him to glide across the floor. Nigel says it was gimmicky, while the others tell him he's a natural freestyler, but needs to put some more feeling into his routines.
Dmitry and Donyelle
"Sing, Sing, Sing" - Swing Kids soundtrack
New couple Dmitry and Donyelle get the Lindy Hop, and I cringe. She is Dmitry's fourth partner, which doesn't bode well for Donyelle. She's a little sad about losing Benji as a partner, but not too sad as she drools over Dmitry's bare chest. Yum. The performance wasn't awful, but I had hoped for better. The lifts were a little strained and there were a few missteps. The judges gave it decent reviews, with Nigel telling Dmitry he didn't have the double bounce he wanted to see, and calling Donyelle a bundle of dynamite. I think Nigel's just happy that Dmitry kept his shirt on this time.
Benji and Natalie
"Wonderful" - India.Arie
The beauty and the geek draw jazz as their dance, and get Tyce as their choreographer. Dressed in some recycled-looking tropical outfits, they do a jam-up job as expected. The judges loved it, giving praise like "I didn't want the music to end" and "it was joyful."
"Dum Diddly" - Black Eyed Peas
Smiley Heidi comes out dressed in a tiny gold-sequined outfit, doing the fancy footwork she does best. Complete with the ever-present toothy grin. The judges ate it up, telling her she was great and didn't need a partner. If this girl doesn't make it to the end, I'll be shocked.
Martha and Ivan
"Sandy's Song" - Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton? How about a smooth waltz to Dolly Parton? That's what Martha and Ivan get. Not only that, but they get trashed for their performance, which I thought was very elegant-looking and very boring. I just can't get excited over a waltz, people, sorry. Nigel tells Ivan he needed more lift and expansion, and that Martha had bad hand position. Jean-Marc comments they didn't frame the dance correctly, and that it's going to be tough for them this week. I smell a boot coming on.
"Belief" - Gavin DeGraw
Spikey-haired Travis performs a contemporary style routine, and does a nice job as he pirouettes and leaps around the stage. The judges loved it, calling him a gifted dancer and saying that his turns were "off the chain." Good sense of humor.
Ryan and Allison
"Bye Bye Blackbird" - Liza Minelli
These two draw Broadway for their second routine, and it's not a familiar style for either of them. They perform in fire-engine red outfits, and it's cute at times, but not very engaging. Nigel gives Ryan lukewarm reviews, and compliments Allison for carrying on after losing her hat. Jean-Marc tells them they didn't project into the crowd.
"Lamentation" - Leah Andreone
Natalie does another contemporary-flavored routine in a white baby-doll dress, writhing on the floor and showing off her powerful legs. The judges liked it, telling her she is a sensational dancer, and has passion and emotion. She's crying by the end.
"Land of 1000 Dances" - Wilson Pickett
This is Benji's very first solo, and he gives us the standard swing moves and spins that he's so good at. The crowd loves him, as they chant his name. The judges agree, giving him rave reviews and telling him he's great with or without a partner. Very entertaining, a one man show.
Donyelle and Dmitry
"Hey Mama" - Black Eyed Peas
Is this the Black Eyed Peas night or what? These two draw a Samba, to be taught by none other than Mary and *gasp* Artem! Artem and Dmitry stand off to the side and speak Russian, irking Mary. Too much hotness for one room, I tell you. Donyelle looks great in her sparkly blue dress, and the performance isn't bad at all. Nigel wants to know who dresses Dmitry, and tells Donyelle that she is brilliant to watch because of her facial expressions. Cicely and Olisa tell Dmitry he has finally found a partner. Let's hope.
Heidi and Travis
"Calling You" - Celine Dion
Drawing a contemporary routine by Mia makes Travis a happy boy, but Heidi has some trouble with it, crying during practice. Fear not, though - she can handle most anything, and does a good job. Travis outshines her this time, in my opinion. Nigel says he was touched by the sad routine, and tells Heidi that she was sensational. The others loved it, too.
"We Belong" - Pat Benetar
Allison performs her contemporary routine in a weird, shredded-looking outfit, and Nigel warns her about keeping the same facial expression the whole time. Other than that, she got good reviews.
Natalie and Benji
"She's Freaky" - Pitbull
Nat and Benji get yet another hip hop routine by Shane Sparks, and we get treated to Natalie's "butt-popping" lessons. After the workout, she exclaims that she needs a butt massage, while Benji's mouth just hangs open. Don't scare the poor boy, Nat. It wasn't the greatest performance, and you could tell that this style isn't their specialty. The ugly auto-mechanic outfits didn't help, either. Nigel didn't think they danced "together" and Cicely/Olisa agreed, drawing boos from the audience. Jean-Marc is the only one that really liked it.
"Canned Heat" - Jamiroquai
Ryan gives a technically great performance again, but I just can't connect with this guy. Nigel says he is a great soloist, and the others agreed, telling him to keep up the good work.
Whew! That was almost exhausting, and I didn't even have to get my butt up off the couch and dance like our contestants. Expect the tears to flow as we find out who gets eliminated tomorrow, with a special performance by Chris Brown, whom I have have never heard of. Hopefully he won't lip-synch.
I want an Artem and Dmitry sandwich. Hold the mayo....firstname.lastname@example.org