Janaya French, 20, wants to meet Shamu, loves fuzzy socks, and won't eat orange candy. Brandon Mitchell, 27, is from Kansas City, KS, severely allergic to cats and dogs and has a record-setting long-jumper brother. And if he's really 27, I want to know what moisturizer he's using.
They'll be doing a Tabitha and Napoleon routine about alcoholism. Specifically, he's drinking and she's trying to get him to escape the addiction. Please, choreographers, I love these serious issue dances. More of them. Next week, explain the European debt crisis with a quickstep, and I'll love you forever.
Kenny blathers about watching "hip hop turn into a deeper language." Blech. I don't need my hip hop to "tell a story." Sometimes I just want to see young athletic people do amazing things with the human body in a way that highlights the music.
Nigel warns Janaya about needing to "lower her core" in hip hop. Mary wanted to see more "grittiness" from Janaya. Nigel comes back to add that both these dancers will need to do more to stand out in this year's pack of dancers.
Getting ready to go to commercial we see Alexa in a skintight red leggings with a crop top. If a 19-year-old with a dancer's body isn't flattered by an outfit, it is the fault of the outfit.
Alexa Anderson, 19, loves watermelon, toppings, and sprinkles. And she reminds me of Bitty Schram. Daniel Baker, 24, is Australian and then says a bunch of stuff that's so stereotypically Australian I wonder if any of it's true.
Sean Cheesman is choreographing a jazz routine for these two and it's very physical in rehearsals, with Alexa bumping her head a lot.
This is my first shoes rant of the season -- why on earth do you put a man in a full suit to dance but then have him barefoot? Sometimes dancing means wearing shoes. Gah!
This routine isn't grabbing me and I don't know if it's the almost-monotonous music or the complete lack of chemistry between Alexa and Daniel.
Nigel highlights my problem with the routine by saying there wasn't a lot of rise and fall in the choreography which disguised how difficult it actually was. He also calls them out on fake-smiling your way through a routine instead of actually forging a connection with the audience.
Mary agrees with Nigel, and actually liked Daniel's smile, as a counterbalance to the "serious" ballet side of him we've seen so far. Kenny says it was an "extremely demanding" routine and he "appreciated the exercise" but didn't think they were as invested in it as he would have liked them to be.
Amber Jackson, 21, used to run track, loves bunnies, hates sausage, likes to skate. She's partnered with Nick Bloxsom-Carter, 20, who took way too many credits last semester, loves movies, and whose dad works at the Playboy mansion. Lead with that, kid.
They're dancing a Jason Gilkinson Viennese Waltz. Nick's a ballroom dancer, so this is his wheelhouse. Rehearsal seemed to not go well.
My viewing buddy, Diane, is not a fan of this Tina Arena cover of "Nights in White Satin." We had to hide the knitting needles, so she wouldn't stab her eardrums. I explained there's this thing now called "mute button" and saved us bloodshed.
Mary thought it was "dreamy" and then asks Amber if she's ever worn shoes like the dance heels she's wearing now. Amber admits not. Mary calls Nick "absolutely phenomenal." Kenny compliments not only the dancers but the steadicam operator --shoutout for the crew.
Nigel makes a Dance Moms reference and I assume that is a "dance mom" we see in the audience. Nigel worries about Nick's face during performance. He cautions Amber about using her core and not "collapsing" during movements.
I'm getting a strong Benji Schwimmer vibe off Nick as he mugs for votes. Do with that what you will. Benji won his season way back when.
Amelia Lowe, 18, is named after Amelia Earhart because her dad likes to fly planes. Her dad is also a tattoo artist, but she doesn't have any ink yet. She's partnered with Will Thomas, 19, who loves the color orange and folds under pressure, saying "um" a lot.
"NappyTabs" is back to choreograph. I find most of what they say to be nonsense and can't bother committing it to type here.