First: CAT DEELEY IS EMMY NOMINATED! FINALLY! Okay, that’s done.
This was easily my favorite episode so far this season. It seemed like everyone was on their game including Neil Patrick Harris!! NPH was an exceptional guest judge: he was entertaining but also critical and honest. Jesse Tyler Ferguson (last week’s guest judge) is a super close second.
But as much as I love me some NPH, I’m here to watch and discuss dancing. Let’s do this thing! Each of the top 10 did a solo dance as well as a dance with an all-star. I tend to find the solos relatively boring especially with Tadd and Jess providing the only non-contemporary flavors. So let me just say that they were all more or less fine with no one really standing out so I can get to the fun stuff.
First up was Marko who was paired with Chelsie! They performed a sexy samba choreographed by Jason Gilkinson. It was super fun and I was smiling all through it. Marko did his part really well to my untrained eye, particularly in managing the lifts, but mostly I was watching Chelsie. I think the dance was designed for her to be the focal point which is kind of unfair to Marko but everybody loved it so I suppose it didn’t hurt him.
Jordan was put with Brandon! Brandon, how I’ve missed you! His and Janette’s Wade Robson routine is still one of my all-time favorites. Anyway, they got a Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden contemporary. It was beautiful and beautifully done and reminded me how freaking amazing Brandon is. But I think this routine also did a better job than Marko’s at showing Jordan off some too.
I was super excited to see Tadd and Comfort together, but their Chuck Maldonado hip-hop was… confusing to me. Don’t get me wrong, it was incredibly complicated and entertaining and just watching it I was out of breath. But was it just me or was someone just a little bit off? I think I need to go back and rewatch because it could have been just that it was SO fast that I couldn’t keep up but something seemed off just a… wait for it… Tadd. Oh yeah, that just happened.
Poor, poor Mitchell. He got Tyce this week with some ridiculous and non-existent story about planes and flight or something. He also got Melody as his all-star who is clearly a wonderful dancer, but she couldn’t do much to help this awful choreography. I liked that when NPH critiqued it it seemed like the audience had to be reminded to boo him. And then it was a half-hearted boo because they clearly all agreed with him.
My least favorite dance was followed by one of my favorites: Caitlynn and my all-time SYTYCD boyfriend Pasha! They did a Miriam and Leonardo Argentine Tango. (By the way, I’m loving that we’re getting so many underused choreographers this week! That doesn’t apply to you Tyce.) It was absolutely gorgeous! I swear I didn’t even recognize Caitlynn. This is the first time I’ve seen her and thought, “Wow.” I loved it and had to immediately re-watch it a few times.
And then things kept getting better. Sasha got tWitch as her partner and Christopher Scott for a hip-hop number. This was FREAKING AMAZING. Caps totally necessary. The story was intriguing and made sense, the music was interesting and unexpected, and the dancing was confident, sexy, technical, and just perfect. This is hands down one of my favorites of the whole season. Granted, Creepy Uncle Nigel almost ruined it but it looked like he grossed himself out and didn’t even realize what he was saying. So I’ll let it slide if only so I don’t have to think about it anymore. The point is: AMAZING DANCE.
I have some important news: I hate Jess a little less each week. His dancing continues to impress me and he appears to be listening to the judges by trying to tone it down. I thought his Stacey Tookey contemporary with Kathryn was lovely and he succeeded in all the lifts. It helped that he had such an incredible partner, but I thought he did well.
My hometown girl (and current favorite) Melanie got to dance the waltz with my Pasha! It was gorgeous and float-y and smooth and all the things I think a waltz should be. Not my favorite dance of hers and Pasha’s dance with Caitlynn was more memorable to me, but I still love her.
I’m going to confess that while Ricky is clearly a beautiful dancer and an adorable person, I’ve never really warmed to him. Like I wouldn’t have been upset if he went home in previous weeks. With his routine with Allison choreographed by Tyce (fine, Tyce, you’re not always awful) he changed my mind. It was so creepy good! He killed that dance and really made me notice him for the first time. I truly think it’s because he’s been chained to Ryan this whole time and a good partner can frequently make all the difference. Point being: I kind of love him now.
The last dance of the night was Clarice and Robert!! Robert was one of my favorites his season and I think he’s only gotten better since then. They did a really good and fun Bollywood. It was a great way to end the show and they both worked it. Did it match Joshua and Katee’s? No, but I doubt any Bollywood routine will because they had the novelty going for them. But it came close.
All in all, I actively disliked only Mitchell’s routine and that was not his fault at all in my opinion. Like I said, a truly wonderful episode. I hope next week outdoes it!