Anybody else getting tired of this “IV Real” thing? Yeah, it was cute the first fifty times the dancers did it, but now it’s getting old. Like Nigel’s lechery and Mary’s ear-splitting shrieking. Old. Will, he of the half-naked dances, has decided that their IV Real in-joke needed to be printed on a T-shirt and worn during the intro group dance for some reason. Enough, please! And, who keeps styling Katee’s hair into that hideous beehive? Quit trying to make the poor girl look like the lost member of the B52's. The other girls get pretty hairstyles. What did Katee ever do to you guys in wardrobe/makeup? Huh? I won’t even get started on Mark’s hair...
Okay, all done bitching. Though I reserve the right to begin again if Mary makes me turn the volume down due to her screaming. Anyhow, Cat introduces the remaining eight dancers and our judges du jour: Nigel, Mary, and singer/dancer/choreographer Toni Basil. Yeah, if you were around in the eighties you might remember her hit “Mickey,” which is now stuck in my head, dammit. If you don’t remember it, count yourself lucky. Also noteworthy is how far away Toni sits from Mary at the table. She must have left her earplugs at home.
Courtney and Will
Samba - Jean Marc Genereux
I Fell In Love With The DJ by Che’Nelle
Courtney gets paired up tonight with the judge’s pimp boy Will, and is excited to get a samba. She wears a bright yellow fringed dress, while Will wears tight black pants and a black mesh “shirt.” Hey, why bother ripping open your shirt when you can just wear something see-through and get it over with? They do well with the high-energy routine, complete with pelvic thrusts aplenty and a nifty spin at the end where Courtney is laid across Will’s shoulder and he twirls around with his arms out to the sides, not holding her in place. Yeah, that was a sucky description. You had to see it.
“My hips are screaming!” blurts Courtney as the judges begin their nonsense. Nigel thinks it’s going to be a great night, and tells them they were great when they weren’t worrying about technique too much. *pimp alert* Nigel then goes into a totally unnecessary observation about Will’s abs once again, yammering on about the guys being in a sequel to 300 or something stupid like that. Way to critique the dancing, Nigel! I’d fast forward, but I want to hear what Toni has to say. Mary screams about being punked by two contemporary dancers, then gives a bit of actual useful critiquing about technique. Toni says she was having so much fun watching them she forgot she was supposed to be judging, and says they brought the life of the samba to the routine.
Solo: Comfort, I Got This Down by Simian Mobile Disco. Actually, this was a decent hip hop solo by her, if I ignore the mouth-hanging-open thing. She shares that mom and dad made her go to a performing arts school, where she had to train in ballet and jazz, among other things. Hmm.
Courtney and Will, round two
Slow Hip-Hop - Tabitha and Napoleon
Like You’ll Never See Me Again by Alicia Keys
The theme? Getting one last chance with a loved one, sort of that Ghost theme again. I can’t say that I’m a fan of slow hip hop, and the lack of a connection between Court and Will on this one didn’t help. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great, either. Color me unimpressed.
Nigel says this is the first season he’s been emotionally affected by hip hop, and thinks the routine was beautiful. Hmm. Maybe it’s just me who didn’t like it. Mary says she has high expectations of these two, and they blew them away. The moment and the passion were exploding, blah blah. Wooo! Toni remarks on how street used to be “kid stuff,” but is now a respected dance form. She loved it. Apparently I am the only one who wasn’t impressed. I still think Will could lie on the floor motionless and they’d give him a standing ovation. Sheesh.
Solo: Chelsie, Damaged by Danity Kane. What made Chelsie want to dance? She started at age nine as a social thing, to help her make friends and lose her shyness. Typical Chelsie solo. And, it’s her birthday today!
Katee and Twitch
Contemporary - Mia Michaels
Mercy by Duffy
Hey now. After accidentally poking Twitch in the eye upon learning that they’d be partnered, Katee shares that they knew each other before the show. But doesn’t really say how they knew each other. Hmm! Perhaps they’re exes, which makes Mia’s routine even better - Twitch is to play the cool, detached boyfriend to Katee’s psycho obsessive girlfriend. Only Mia, I tell you. The routine was entertaining as all get out, but I’d hardly call it dancing. More like acrobatic acting. And tell me Katee wasn’t done up to resemble Amy Winehouse, complete with beehive hair and black eyeliner.
Nigel scares me by telling the world that he knows how it is to have crazy women banging on his door, then insinuates that it was Mary. Ew, ew, ew. More pimpage of the awesomeness that is Mia, then he tells them that it was one of the most entertaining routines ever on this show. Mary bellows about how brilliant is was and how they’re two of the best dancers. Toni worships at the altar of Mia some more, telling Will he should be happy that Mia used funk music so he could do his thang. Yeah, all kinds of useful critiquing here.
Solo: Will, Get Up Offa That Thing by James Brown. He shares that he was inspired to dance after watching Dirty Dancing, of all things. His mom then signed him up for dance class, and he was eventually noticed by Debbie Allen and got a full scholarship. The solo? He did some classic James Brown moves, complete with a wig. Cute, but a little gimmicky.
Katee and Twitch, round two
Broadway - Tyce Diorio
Sweet Georgia Brown by Bubbling Brown Sugar
Tyce’s vision for this is for Katee to go manhunting - she spies Twitch but he’s not interested, and has to catch his eye. The piece starts off slow and slinky, but goes into doubletime about halfway through. Katee is gorgeous in her blood red dress and Twitch stays covered up in a smart white suit. Nice routine.
Of course Nigel starts out with some choreographer love, then goes on about Twitch’s wonderful character and how he rises to every challenge, especially with so little formal training. There isn’t one routine that Katee has done this season that Nigel hasn’t enjoyed, he admits. She beams. That was terrific, Mary yells. It doesn’t look like work out there anymore, she says. Toni disagrees a little, saying Twitch brings more reality to a Broadway routine than typical Broadway dancers. Toni also wanted Katee to be a little deeper and rougher to match the growling vocals, but enjoyed the overall routine.
Solo: Joshua, Shawty Get Loose by Lil Mama. Josh started out young, getting in trouble for dancing non stop in class. He landed a part in a musical number, and was hooked. And here he is! Not a bad solo, but I’d almost rather see him dance as part of a couple.
Solo: Courtney, Where I Stood by Missy Higgins. She started dancing when she was three as Little Bo Peep, and went from there. There’s only a small window of opportunity in one’s life to be a dancer, she says, and wants to take full advantage of it.
Solo: Twitch, Go To Work by Kay L. Twitch was a late bloomer, getting serious about dance when he was a high school senior. He’s been in music videos in South Korea, but not in the states. Not only does he do the IV real thing at the end of his solo, but he wears a T-shirt with a Superman symbol. Instead of an S, it has a T on it. Ugh.
Comfort and Mark
Hip Hop - Tabitha and Napoleon
Party People by Fergie, feat. Nellie
Yeah, Mark seemed just thrilled when he opens his envelope to reveal Comfort’s name. “Comfoooorrrrrrt,” he drones with gritted teeth. Heh. But, yay, at least we get a Nap and Tab routine. This one is about a couple of kids in detention, sort of Breakfast Club-y. Mark puts on his best stankface for the routine, which I loved. Lots of great moves. The best one: Mark picks Comfort up off the floor, somersaulting her up his front and down his back. Very cool.
Mark shows Cat what he wrote in “detention,” holding up a piece of paper that says I will not be in the bottom, over and over. Aww, let’s hope not. Nigel says he was surprised that Comfort dances better when she’s choreographed, but pretty much sucks at her solos. Plus, he was very impressed with Mark. Mary thinks they did a great job with the piece, and says Comfort was hitting it hard and Mark nailed it. Toni says she’s taken classes from Nap and Tab before, so she knows how hard it is. They brought the groove, she tells them.
Solo: Katee, Taking Changes by Celine Dion. Katee started off her dance career in tap, but wasn’t good at it and moved on to contemporary. Good solo, typical contemporary: jumping, crawling on stage, jazz hands. Yep.
Comfort and Mark, round two
Foxtrot - Jean Marc Genereux
Lady Luck by The Brian Seltzer Orchestra
Jean Marc wants this one jazzy and sassy, he says. Mark is to play a man down on his luck, and Comfort will play Lady Luck. They struggle in practice. And during the routine. This one isn’t pretty, with Comfort spinning like a wet noodle and Mark concentrating too hard to get into it. Not good.
Nigel says Lady Luck walked out of the room when they got the foxtrot, claiming there was no chemistry and it was amateurish. Mary didn’t like it either. Nothing was melting together and the transitions were rough. Worst closed hold she’s ever seen! Toni rips on Comfort’s crappy turns and thought the routine in general was blah.
Chelsie and Joshua
Argentine Tango - Dmitry Chaplin
A Los Amigos by Forever Tango (Original Cast)
Joshua seemed ecstatic to have picked Chelsie, but neither of them are thrilled at doing the tango. I, however, am thrilled to see the drool-worthy Dmitry back as choreographer. Yeah, he can teach me to tango any time. *ahem* Dmitry wants them to play a love-hate relationship, going back to the old days when the tango was a forbidden dance. Superb job by the both of them on the routine - I expected Chelsie to nail the kicks, being a ballroom dancer, but Joshua continues to impress me with his legwork.
Nigel comments on how that was probably the most technical of the routines tonight, then goes on again about Chelsie’s legs. Not just the shape, but how she used them. Nigel then goes off into la-la land with a comment on Joshua’s rather ample behind. Josh shakes it for effect, bringing squeals from the fangirls. Mary tells Joshua he really set the mood for the routine, making it believable. She tells Chels that this was much sexier than her previous tango. Toni thinks that the Argentine is the most “street” of the tangos, and loved how spontaneous and torrid the ending was. She dings them a bit on their turns, but enjoyed them overall.
Solo: Mark, Creator by Santogold. Marky Mark was inspired to dance by Phantom of the Opera, leading him to take all kinds of dance classes. He was the only boy dancer and was a little “different,” as we all know by now. Different is good, Mark. Nice solo, ending with a big slide off the stage.
Chelsie and Joshua, round two
Disco - Doriana Sanchez
Everlasting Love by Gloria Estefan
Oh, joy. Disco to close out the evening. Doriana has thrown in a tricky lift/spin that they’ve been wanting to do for four years - and Josh is strong enough to nail it, swinging Chelsie around and around by one hand and one leg, airplane style. I loathe disco, but this was pretty fun to watch. Chelsie lit up the stage in her sugar pink mini and Josh was still cute in full Saturday Night Fever regalia, pretending to fall to the floor in exhaustion after the dance.
Nigel gives Joshua props for his strength and how much it helps the choreographers do a good job. “A great finale to a wonderful show,” he says. It was really good for me, says Mary, not believing how many lifts Doriana threw in for them to do. She also tells Chelsie that she lands beautifully from all her lifts, not plopping to the floor like some of the dancers. Toni laughs at Chelsie’s comment about never doing disco before because Chels wasn’t even born in the disco era. She applauds how they brought the spirit of disco to the routine.
Finally, that’s it for yet another two hour marathon show. I do believe they'd stretch this sucker out to two hours even if there were only four dancers left. So, what did you think? Good show, or what? One thing I'd like to see if they insist on stringing this thing out: let the solos be longer!
And, lose the disco.