This week had some difficulties. One of my favorites fell a little out of favor and another favorite completely rocked the show doing a routine that was about as far away from his style as possible. Plus costumes were out of control for some folks.
Tonight everyone performed a couples routine as well as a solo they put together. It was a better show overall than the past two weeks because no one wrecked a dance as has happened in the prior two weeks.
Let’s talked about my three favorites from tonight… and we’ll start with the one that rocked my world.
- Alex (Tabitha & Napoleon D’uomo Hip Hop): Mind blowing! Alex is a ballet dancer, a very accomplished technically perfect dancer. NappyTabs hooked him up with some fierce hip hop choreography and he got paired with Twitch. It was not only the dance of the night, but will likely stand as one of the very best of the entire season. The choreography, while almost completely hip hop did throw in a few ballet moves, which were so well placed. Alex surpassed Billy’s attempt to go into this style last week with his Krump number. This, to me, cements Alex as the dancer to beat this season as he not only nailed the choreography but the attitude as well.
(Solo) One of the best solos of the night too. I loved the musicality of the piece and how he was subtle yet powerful at the same time.
- Lauren (Joey Dowling Broadway) First off, can Joey please give Tyce some lessons on how to choreograph Broadway for SYTYCD? Not only was the choreography great, but Lauren was great doing it with Neil. She seemed liked she was channeling a great MGM musical starlet. The dance was playful and seductive…and thankfully no wardrobe malfunction ensued. (Solo) This was nice, but I’m not sure it showcased her well enough. I felt like I saw just a small bit of a larger dance and the portion I saw didn’t work as a standalone.
- Billy (Stacey Tookey contemporary) It was great to see Billy dancing in his genre. I disagreed with the judges. I thought Billy had connection through out the story (but if he can find some more, that would be great). It was nice to see him not look 12. There were some really pauses in this piece too that didn’t disrupt the overall fluidity of the piece. (Solo) This was perfection. He choreographs great for himself. The dance had great movement rather than just being a bunch of tricks.
Here’s a look at the rest of the dances. This week the order represents the sequence that the couples performed since the solos were in a different order.
- AdéChiké (Dave Scott hip hop): Finally, AdéChiké has some chemistry with a partner. Interestingly it was a dance not in his style where you would think it would be easier for him. This number suited him and Dave Scott delivered some fun choreography. Now if he can just figure out how to be like his inspiration, Alvin Ailey’s Desmond Richardson, when he’s dancing in his style. That would blow me away, guaranteed. (Solo) And guess what, he did find a little bit of Desmond here. He needs to have nights like this more often.
- Ashley (Dee Caspary Contemporary): What a fabulous new choreographer. This was a spectacular dance and is my favorite piece that Ashley’s done. I’m not sure if the performance worked for me because she was feeling the emotion or if it worked because her face was covered most of the time and I couldn’t tell what was happening. Tonight it all worked and I liked this piece a lot. (Solo) I didn’t think this worked for her. It seemed more like a bunch of connected tricks than a thought out dance.
- Robert (Sonya Tayeh Jazz): I’m a sucker for a Sonya jazz piece and this one was great and Robert was solid in it. I hope it’s enough to keep him out of the bottom three this week. I loved some of the poses Courtney and Robert found and the way Robert moved his torso. Really incredible. (Solo) The connection to the music and the choreography was absolutely perfect. This solo was quite beautiful.
- Melinda (Fabio Sanchez Salsa): I liked this. I thought she sold it well, and recovered great from the her wardrobe malfunction (the dress attached to her shoe). Best of all, I felt like she kept up with Pasha. Sadly the judges did not think so, going so far as to say they should’ve sent her home last week. Even though I liked this, it was the weakest dance of the night. (Solo) Things didn’t get better here for Melinda. I felt like she was dancing to something other than the music I was hearing. It just didn’t work for me.
- Jose (Dimitry Chaplan Salsa): I really couldn’t tell how he was doing with the choreography overall because his performance was so much fun. Jose knows how to perform. He connects with his partner. He’s got charisma that spills out and infects the audience in the studio and at home. It worked in the Bollywood number last week and did again here. All that said about the performance side, I thought he did a pretty dang good salsa too, especially for a b-boy. (Solo) This was great. I particularly liked the head spin and how flexible he proved himself to be.
- Kent (Mandy Moore Jazz): I’m really disappointed with Kent this week. He played so much to the audience he wasn’t connecting with Allison at all. As adorable and talented as he is, he really can’t “aw shucks” his way to a win this way. To further complicate this, I didn’t like the choreography. For some reason Mandy just didn’t capture me this week. (S0lo) Kent misfired here too, again playing to much to the audience rather than taking these seconds to deliver a truly memorable dance.
The bottom three is a tough call this week. I think Melinda will be back there this week, and this time the judges will likely send her home. If I had to guess on the other two, I’m thinking Robert because Will pointed out that is Sonya routine may have been a little too weird and the third might be Lauren if only because her piece might not be remembered by the end of the night.