There are a lot of neon colors in this opening number, which is essentially a neon nightmare of a line dance. I'm old enough to remember when neon was a thing in the '80s. The boys are in cowboy shirts with 10-gallon hats. Then there's a jump rope and I think I'm in the middle of some kids' show I never wanted to watch. Oh, and now there are chairs, because what this routine needed was more props. This whole thing feels so jumbled and not cohesive.
Now that we're down to the Top 10, the contestants are introduced solo:
Bridget Whitman, Emilio Dosal, Tanisha Belnap, Rudy Abreu, Jacque LaWarne, Zack Everhart, Jessica Richens, Casey Askew, Valerie Rockey and Ricky Ubeda.
Jamal Sims choreographed the opening number and his suit gives me all the answers about the costuming choices.
Judges Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe are joined tonight by Tara Lipinski. I guess I can see it — figure skaters have to know something about choreography. I so wish her appearance leads to a Johnny Weir cameo. They're not telling us right away who's in danger of going home.
Bridget & Brandon Bryant (Season 5) are doing Bollywood with a disco twist, as choreographed by Nakul Dev Mahajan. I remember Brandon's disco routine from his season. Having just rewatched it on YouTube, maybe what I remembered most was how well Brandon filled out a pair of white trousers. (Related: Whatever happened to Doriana Sanchez? I love her wacked out disco routines.)
Ha! They've got Brandon shirtless and in a pair of white trousers. It's like Christmas in August just for me. Good grief this routine is high energy, though. The disco routines always looked exhausting, as do the Bollywood, so this is double the workout.
Brandon leaves the stage for Bridget to face the judges. Cat points out that Bridget's eyebrows are completely covered in glitter. Tara thought Bridget sparkled through the entire routine. Mary said it had strength, stamina, speed, skill and spirit. She says of Bridget, "Those quadriceps must be singing." Nigel says whatever Bridget's been given on the show, she's done it "with her whole heart."
Now we get some results. They're going to announce the bottom two of each gender. Alas, Bridget is one of the bottom two vote-getters for the women.
Tanisha is "right at home" doing an Argentine tango with Ryan Di Lello (Season 6). Ryan makes a comment, I think, to the effect that he and Tanisha have danced together prior to the show.
Even though Tanisha is young, she's able to project a certain maturity that makes her very believable dancing a sexy dance like the Argentine Tango with the much older-looking Ryan. Her legs are flawless. The lifts and the transitions are amazing, too.
Mary is ecstatic and says the choreographers, Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo, have outdone themselves, giving her a routine that has everything she'd want in an Argentine Tango. She praises Tanisha's performance and says she was amazing. Nigel says the footwork was magic and praises some very specific moves in the choreography. Tara praises the terrific opening, which was a solo moment for Tanisha, who was essentially seducing both Ryan and the audience to dance with her.
Cat gives the happy news that Tanisha is safe tonight.
Emilio gets hip-hop for a routine with Jasmine Harper (Season 10). But first, a deodorant company has apparently given the show some money to sponsor a segment about the pressures of the competition.
Tabitha and Napoleon D'Umo are back to choreograph. Just last week, I had a conversation with a fellow viewer on Twitter about how glad we were not to have seen "NappyTabs" yet this season.
The routine starts strong with a seated Emilio getting in some popping right away. Jasmine is in a giant basket and slithers up out of it like a snake. Emilio's better at this than Jasmine. He's getting low with it and adding his own flourishes to the choreographed moves. Jasmine can do things with her backside that are a miracle.
Nigel welcomes back Napoleon and Tabitha, praising them for how they "commercialize" hip-hop. He then tells Emilio that he's improved over the course of the competition. Tara says that Jasmine is unreal. Mary uses "amazing" a lot and also praises Emilio's improvement.
My '70s-era Barbie had a dress just like Mary's tonight. Except Barbie had a giant multi-color butterfly decal on the front. I can't decide if that would make Mary's dress better or worse.
After Cat announces that Emilio is in the bottom two, Nigel interjects that if Emilio had done tonight's routine last week, there would be no way he'd be in the bottom two. I totally agree.
Tyce D'Orio's got a jazz routine for Valerie and Ade Obayomi (Season 5). Tyce says he's challenging Valerie not to be so nice and comments that Ade is a "fierce presence" he needs Valerie to live up to. They're dancing to Gotye's "Hearts a Mess," which I was fairly sure I heard Tyce humming during the rehearsal footage.