I like the new two-dance per couple format on So You Think You Can Dance. We get right down to the dancing.
Mark and Chelsie are first with a salsa routine choreographed by Alex Da Silva to "Fuego" by Joe Bataan. She's wearing this God-awful dress with feathers. The dancing is great. They really keep up with the beat and do a great job with all the quick steps and lifts of the demanding routine.
"Terrific opening," Judge Nigel Lythgoe says. He praises Mark. Nigel says that Chelsie was fantastic. Judge Mary Murphy says that the number worked for her. She says Mark could be more loose at the top. "You dance with such power and strength," she adds. Mary also says Chelsie was phenomenal. Judge Mia Michaels says Chelsie is so "freakin' gorgeous." She says the routine was "smokin' hot."
Before commercial break, host Cat Deeley announces that the evening will feature the first Bollywood routine. (Now that I've got to see! I wonder what couple will be assigned this dance?)
It's not Comfort and Thayne, who are next with a hip-hop routine choreographed by Napoleon and Tabitha D'umo. They dance to "Can We Chill" by Ne-Yo. I love the song and the choreography. Thayne does a pretty good job keeping up with Comfort, who is a hip-hop dancer. Cat describes the routine as a hip-hop Days of Our Lives.
Nigel says that Comfort really didn't relate to Thayne. "I didn't see what you added to the routine," Nigel says to Comfort. He predicts they will be in the bottom three. Mary says the routine lacked chemistry: "There are lots of little nuances that were cool and groovy, but it will not get me to stand up right now." Mia says it was a "little better than good." She says they have to work on chemistry. Mia says Comfort was just "riding." She says Thayne needed to get into the "meat and potatoes" of the piece. (I think they are in big trouble.)
Jessica and Will dance a contemporary piece choreographed by Tyce DiOrio to "Silence" from the Unfaithful soundtrack. They are close to naked, and they are extremely close to one another. The routine is hot.
Nigel says it was stunning. He praises Will's lines and strength. He says that Jessica was keeping up with Will and that he felt a connection. Mary applauds and admits to blushing. "That was one of the most amazing pieces I've seen on the show," she says. Mia says they really explored "newness." "It was like the perfect, moving, human body art," Mia adds. "It just was alive."
Courtney and Gev are next with a cha-cha choreographed by former contestants Anya Garnis and Pasha Kovalev. They dance to a remix of "Don't Stop The Music" by Rihanna. I can't keep my eyes off Courtney. She's so commanding of attention.
Nigel says Courtney is as sexy as Anya. (That's good.) He's says the routine was great fun to watch, and they are perfect with each other. Mary says the routine was magic. "It was hot, cha-cha-cha-cha," Mary says. She says she can overlook Gev's lack of technical work because of the overall performance. She says the routine was on that "Hot Tamale Train." Mia says they are not the best dancers on the show, but they are great performers. "You're killing the floor; you're burning the stage up," she says.
Kherington and Twitch are next with a krumping routine choreographed by Lil' C. They dance to "2 Buck 4 TV" by Tha J-Squad. They are in sync and powerful. Overall, they are pretty good.
Nigel says Kherington did "a damn good job." He also says Twitch did a good job. He says the energy dropped during the last 16 bars. Mary says Twitch did a good job, and Kherington was brilliant. Mia says that was "dirty, disgusting, nasty and buck." (All good things.)
My favorite couple, Katee and Joshua, are next with a waltz choreographed by Jean-Marc Genereux to "Iris" by the Goo Goo Dolls. (Talk about high school flashbacks!) They are so pretty and fluid on the stage. It is the most acrobatic waltz routine I've seen.
The judges are a little more lukewarm about the routine. Nigel says Joshua was too bouncy. "The rest of it, I think you did very well." He says Katee was very beautiful. Mary says all the lifts were great, but the execution was not there. "As a whole, it was OK," she says. Mia says it was a little more clumsy. "Katee, you are a gift to dance," Mia says.
Chelsie and Mark are next with a Broadway routine choreographed by Tyce DiOrio. They dance to "I'm a Woman" from Smokey Joe's Cafe. Ya'll know how I normally feel about Broadway routines. This one is actually enjoyable. It's very sassy, jazzy and soulful.
Nigel says the routine was hot. "Terrific routine, he says. "Well done." Mary says it was sultry, sexy,and bluesy. She says Chelsie has a good attitude. Mia says "it worked" and it was "a success." However, she says it showed Mark's lack of technique, and she says she wants to see more movement from Chelsie.
Comfort and Thayne have a contemporary routine choreographed by Mandy Moore. They dance to "A Different Corner" by George Michael. The routine involves a lot of floor work and lifts. There is not a lot of movement.
Nigel says, "I would have liked to see another couple dance it." (Ouch!) Mary says, "It wasn't completely believable." Mia says that Comfort can only "fake technique so much" and that she looks forward to working with Thayne in the future.
Jessica and Will are next with a quickstep choreographed by Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin. They dance to "Bandstand Boogie" by Barry Manilow. They start with a series of acrobatics.
Nigel says the performance was good, but the actual quickstep was not. Mary says Will's outfit worked against the routine; she also didn't like the routine. Mia says Jessica was stiff and disconnected. She says Will looks tired of carrying Jessica. "Will, you need a new partner." (That stings!)
Courtney and Gev are next with a Mandy Moore jazz routine. They dance to "Standing There" by The Creatures. Their outfits remind me of Indiana Jones (bad memories ... ). The routine is fast-paced.
Nigel says it was fun with no substance. Mary says it was rough and raw. "I loved the routine. I loved the way you danced it," she says. She says Courtney is dynamic. "It was just pure entertainment," she says. Mia tells them they are one of her top couples.
Kherington and Twitch are next with a smooth tango choreographed by Jean-Marc Genereux. They dance to "Assassin's Tango" from Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Twitch compares the routine to the movie. It's actually kind of boring.
Nigel says Twitch didn't seem "honest." "The steps weren't quite right," he says. Nigel says there was no passion from Kherington. "You murdered the dance routine; not each other." Mary says the middle of the routine didn't really work. Mia, who has been very tough on the competitors all night, says they were not committed. "There was nothing there," Mia says. "It was a little stiff for me."
Katee and Joshua end the evening with the Bollywood routine choreographed by Nakul Dev Mahajan. They dance to "Dhoom Taana" from Om Shanti Om. It is my favorite routine of the night. It has so much energy, and it makes me feel good. They are such performers. She looks beautiful; he is so powerful. They make such a wonderful couple. They can basically handle any form of dancing.
"Fantastic," Nigel says. "That was tremendous. Good work." Mary says they are stars. "You guys did everything right," she says. "You guys were amazing. You are definitely back on the Hot Tamale Train." Mia says it was great fun. "Great job. Great work."
I predict Comfort and Thayne, Jessica and Will and Kherington and Twitch will be in the bottom three.