Before we get started with this week’s recap, I have to make a confession: I missed about 30 minutes of the episode. Wasn’t my fault – really. I was all poised and ready to take notes like a good recapper. I even saw the first, oh, 3 minutes of the show. Then the screen went black! I’m sure it’s no coincidence that this occurred at the exact moment when Cat Deeley introduced Mary Murphy. That’s what she gets for invoking the Name of the Beast. What does this mean? Well, I missed the first two couples and, since the episodes aren’t available online (unless I want to deal with malware, courtesy of Zango), I’ll be piecing it together from YouTube. Bear with me – it gets better after the first two pairs!
This week’s judges are, as always, Nigel Lithgoe and the aforementioned Beast, Mary Murphy. Joining them is choreographer, Toni Basil, she of “Mickey” fame. Toni is receiving some sort of award – the Living Legend of Hip Hop – which I’ve never heard of. I’d also never associate Toni Basil with Hip Hop. Cheerleading? Yes. Hip Hip? No.
While last week, we got to hear about the dancers “secrets,” this week, we’ll learn what they would be doing if they couldn’t dance.
Karla and Jonathan
Because she minored in Journalism in college, Karla would likely pursue a career as a journalist. Jonathan, who is something of the gymnast, would like to be a performer for Cirque du Soleil. This week, Karla and Jonathan will perform a Hip Hop number choreographed by Dave Scott. I have my doubts about Jonathan’s ability to do Hip Hop, but we’ll see how he does.
They dance to “By My Side” by Jadakiss featuring Ne-Yo and it’s just as a feared: while Karla really nails it, Jonathan is just okay. He’s obviously not a Hip Hop dancer. At all.
Nigel: They’re both very good dancers, but the chemistry isn’t there.
Mary: She agrees with Nigel about the lack of chemistry. They had great chemistry in their contemporary routine last week, but it just wasn’t there tonight. There were also moments in the routine where they weren’t synchronized.
Toni: The dance was lacking the groove and funk needed in a Hip Hop routine.
Asuka and Vitolio
If she weren’t dancing, Asuka would be designing jewelry. Vitolio would be a singer in a band. No word on whether he can actually carry a tune. This week, they will be performing a Jazz routine choreographed by Mandy Moore, who calls the style of the dance "Thrash Rocker Jazz." Asuka, in particular, struggles with the choreography – she is a salsa dancer, after all. They dance to “Heartbreaker" by Pat Benatar while clad in outfits that probably came straight from that video.
Nigel: It was a simple routine, but it brought out the best in them. It was fantastic.
Mary: It wasn’t as good as last week’s waltz (which I, personally, didn’t care for, so what do I know?), but it was still good.
Toni: They have the potential to be a great couple. The subtext being that they aren’t one yet.
Melissa and Ade
Their alternate career paths? Melissa would be a Pilates instructor and possibly own her own studio, while Ade would be a sound engineer. This week, they’ll be performing a Rumba choreographed by Tony Meredith. Tony tells us that this dance is about love and sensuality. The technique is specific so they will have to get that down and then sell the emotion of the dance. When we see Melissa and Ade in rehearsals, they just look overwhelmed.
Melissa and Ade perform to “Emotion” sung by Destiny’s Child. Take note: this is a Bee Gee’s song and should only be sung by them. Ever. Quite simply, Beyonce is no Barry Gibb. In spite of the music, the dance is fantastic and Melissa is rocking a barely there sequined number. Are the judges impressed?
Nigel: He’s impressed with Melissa’s bod too. He then compliments her partner as well and gives props to Tony on a great routine.
Mary: Tony explained that selling the emotion in this dance would be key and Mary is buying. She thinks Melissa looks incredible, but her dancing was also amazing. Mary’s face never moves. It’s kind of alarming now that I’m fixating on it.
Toni: It was beautifully done and Melissa’s ballet training really worked for her. She was a fan of Tony’s back in the day and says that Melissa and Ade were hot because Tony was.
Jeanette and Brandon
While Brandon would probably like to be a lighting designer, Jeanette waxes rhapsodic about a career as a loan processor: she’s getting her degree in Finance, doncha know. This week, they’ll be working on a Hip Hop routine with choreographer Dave Scott. The routine will be like Rock n’ Roll meets Hip Hop. She will portray a rock star and she will be a hip hopper/rock star wannabe and they will dance to “What a World” by Common. I worry at first, because they use the dreaded chair prop, the killer of all dance routines. Fortunately, it turns out great and the fusion of Rock and Hip Hop really works. Brandon is the biggest surprise – he’s actually pretty good at Hip Hop. Do the judges agree?
Nigel: It’s great to see how choreographers can be inspired by dancers. He’s impressed with both Brandon and Jeanette: they both came out of their elements and did it well.
Mary: She thinks they really hit that.. She compliments Dave on the routine: he really knew how to approach the choreography. The routine was a huge surprise and she’s really proud of them.
Toni: the juxtaposition of styles was strategic on Dave’s part and it really worked for Jeanette and Brandon. They nailed the routine and had a great connection.
Kayla and Kupono
Their partners - Max and Ashley - were eliminated last week, so this is Kayla and Kupono’s first week dancing together. We know who to blame for Kupono’s kooky outfits – he’d like to be a costume designer. Kayla would be a model if she couldn’t be a dancer. Their first dance together will be a Viennese Walz choreographed by Jean Marc Genereux and his wife, France. The dance, we are told, should feel like a dream. However, this dreamy dance has lots of tough lifts and Kupono is having a rough time of it. Maybe he should get to the gym. They dance to “Sweet Dreams for You” by Jewel. It’s lovely and slightly un-memorable in the way that most waltzes are.
Nigel: It was a very beautiful dance from a beautiful couple. Still, it isn’t going to make anyone stand up and cheer… but he hopes he’s wrong about that.
Mary: She calls the dance elegant, flowing, believable and endearing. Neither of them are ballroom dancers, but they did well. Then, to counter Nigel’s comment, the puts them on the Hot Tamale Train. Poor Toni Basil. I hope she got paid lots of money to sit next to that screaming loon.
Toni: She really liked it, but questions the choreographer about having them barefoot: that’s really pushing the envelope. Toni thinks Kayla is something else and although she has terrific technique, she manages to stay in the moment throughout the whole routine. She commends Kupono for his partnering work.
Randi and Evan
Randi says she’d like to be an elementary education teacher and, more specifically, a special education teacher. Evan, not surprisingly in light is his admission last week, would like to own a custom car shop. While last week’s Jive was all about the word “fun,” this week’s word is “booty.” They will be working with Mia Michaels on a routine that centers on the premise that Evan is hypnotized by Randi’s butt. Randi will be like a sexy, sophisticated poodle in this cat and mouse-type story.
Randi and Evan dance to “Koop Island Blues” by Koop featuring Ane Brun. It’s a cute, quirky (of course – this is Mia Michaels we’re talking about here) number and they perform it very well. The routine ends with Evan’s hands on Randi’s butt. So do the judges have a big but?
Nigel: For Mia, this was pretty simple choreography, but they danced it beautifully. They followed through from beginning to end. In his critique, Nigel says the word “but” about 800 times. It’s really hilarious.
Mary: She wasn’t just hypnotized by Randi’s butt. She thought they were terrific: it was one of the best of the night. Tonight is the first time she’s seen Evan as a leading man.
Toni: If she were a dancer on this show, she would be praying to get Mia Michaels as a choreographer. She admits that, sometimes, Mia’s choreography can become the star, but that definitely didn’t happen here.
Caitlin and Jason
Caitlin would like to pursue broadcast journalism, while Jason would play soccer. This week, they’ll be performing a Paso Doble choreographed by Jean Marc Genereux. He tells Caitlin and Jason that this dance is about HATE. We’ll see if they’re able to muster up enough at least dislike to make this one work. They’ll have an uphill battle because they’ll be competing against some incredible music. They perform to the epic “O Fortuna” from Carmina Burana and the music pretty much wins the battle. The music is just too commanding for these two. It was just okay. There wasn’t enough fire or passion and it felt very “Disney presents the Paso Doble.” Am I being too harsh?
Nigel: That music was so passionate (the subtext being that they were not). Jason may have been performing too much for the crowd instead of paying attention to Catilin. Caitlin has good lines and a good flow of movement, but more interaction between the two of them would have been nice.
Mary: It was a strong performance. Jason looks amazing, but he lost his posture at times. She agrees with Nigel that Caitlin’s lines are terrific.
Toni: She enjoyed it. The weakness in their technique didn’t get in the way of the performance. If that isn’t a back-handed compliment, I don’t know what is.
Jeanine and Phillip
Jeanine would like to be an actress, while braniac Phillip would be an inventor. This week, what they both want it to redeem themselves after last week’s lackluster performance. They seem to both know that it was Phillip’s fan base that saved them from the bottom 3 last week. This week, they’ll be working with Tyce Diorio on a Broadway number and already I’m feeling some reservations: they’re using a prop and it’s not a chair – it’s a COUCH. During the routine, Phillip will have to jump over the couch, lengthwise. This could either go really well or Phillip could eat it big time. That’s something we haven’t really seen this season: bloodshed!
The routine, performed to “Moses” from Singin’ in the Rain is cute, but not great and I’m pretty sure Debbie Reynolds never showed her panties the way Jeanine is in this routine. It’s strange that they picked this music when the routine with the couch in Singin’ in the Rain was danced to “Good Morning.” Okay, so Singin’ in the Rain is my all time favorite movie and Gene Kelly is my all time favorite dancer. Maybe I’m biased. The routine ends with feathers everywhere (from the couch pillows). When they step up the face the judges, Phillip reveals that he split his pants wide open. It’s really more than I needed to know about Phillip.
Nigel: He comments that now Phillip knows what it’s like to dance with his ass hanging out of his pants. They needed to bring lots of personality to this number. While Jeanine did, Phillip fell short: he still needs to show more growth.
Mary: She liked it, calling it “so much fun.” She expected it to be a nightmare. She comments that Phillip’s lack of training shows in his feet. Jeanine, she says, could step on any Broadway stage and fit in: she was fabulous.
Toni: She calls the routine “adorable,” but maybe that isn’t the greatest adjective to use when they’re dancing to a song sung by Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor, arguably two of the greatest dancers in film history. Ever. Still, they were better this week that last.
Well folks, that’s all for this week. To find out which two dancers will be sent home, check out iguanachocolate’s recap of the elimination show. I’ll see you all next week!
If you think Mary’s face moved once during this entire episode, PM me immediately!