As much as I love Mia Michaels's choreographing, I love her equally at the judges' table. Even with how harsh she was towards Jessica. But, come on, we've all been saying it. When she talked about hanging out with Tyce Diorio at her house (and falling asleep to that dreadful piece of music he used), and wanting to hang out with Thayne, didn't you totally want to be a fly on that wall in those situations? I can think of nothing quite so banoodles.
Also, how sad is it that Courtney is the only C[Kh]ourtney[i] left on the show now, and they dropped the "Galiano" modifier? These things make me sad.
So this is the last week before the partners start swapping, which is both happy (the emancipation of Will) and sad (Mark and Chelsie! Courtney and Gev!).
Mark and Chelsie
Salsa (Alex Da Silva)
Nigel can go suck a dick, okay? It's getting so predictable with some (most) couples that's he's going to praise the girl and harsh on the guy. Not that Chelsie wasn't better -- she's a ballroom dancer, this is her home turf -- but I don't think Mark's weaknesses were nearly as glaring as Nigel (and Mary, and Mia) made them out to be. I guess I'm just touchy because it's slowly dawning on me that the boys are coalescing into this pyramid with Twitch and Josh and Will at the top, and everyone else (which would be Mark and Gev, my favorites) at the bottom. Sucks!
Broadway (Tyce Diorio)
God, I love these two. DON'T SPLIT THEM UP! I have to admit I was concentrating more on the trials and travails of poor Mark's suspenders straps than to the actual dance, but their chemistry, as usual, is out of this world. How they can be so resolutely brother/sister offstage and yet so red-hot for each other onstage is magic. And hey! Tyce totally stole that head-tossing move from Janet Jackson! Don't pretend I don't remember every inch of the "If" video.
Comfort and Thayne
Hip-Hop (Napoleon and Tabitha)
Okay, I really liked this! It's clearly the best choreography N&T have done for straight-up hip-hop (as opposed to the lyrical hip-hop that's clearly their strong suit), and it was danced with a lot of style. Naturally, all my focus was on Thayne, both because I like him better and because he was dancing out of his own element. You could see the effort a little bit, sure, but he really pulled it off. It sucks that it seemed the judges -- particularly Mia -- appeared to be intentionally downplaying their appreciation for it. I get that they don't want to see Comfort or Thayne make it past the rest of the other, better dancers, but the decision is still theirs for one more week, so what do they care?
Contemporary (Mandy Moore)
Thayne finally gets to dance contemporary! He's so gorgeous in his solos. This one just didn't do it for me, and I can't say for sure if it would have if Thayne had a better partner. But I don't think I'm onboard with blaming their partnership, because I think they've done well for each other. So happy to see Mia stick up for Thayne, though. How did I end up loving that little goober?
Jessica and Will
Contemporary (Tyce Diorio)
The second time I saw this routine, when I was able to divorce the dancing from the music, I liked it a little better. I still say Tyce choreographed an incredibly cold, distant, and dull piece, which is tough to do given all the naked groping going on. But the athleticism on display from Will AND Jess shouldn't be discounted. Will looked effortlessly graceful again, but the real tale will be told next week, when he's finally freed of the Jessica yoke and allowed to dance with better partners. It does kind of make him look desperate to go half-naked for the second straight week, but I can't in good conscience complain about that.
Quickstep (Tony Meredith)
Yikes, the Quickstep is the kiss of death, right? Jess is so lucky that the judges just up and told Comfort she's going home. Anyway, does it count as a Quickstep if it's danced a full step slower than any other Quickstep I've ever seen? Chelsea and Thayne danced circles around this routine a few weeks ago, and Chelsea got sent home for that one. Will's crawl across the floor at the end was the quickest thing about it. That part WAS pretty boss, I admit, but I'm sad to see that these two are back to not impressing me. I was hoping I'd turned a corner.
Courtney and Gev
Cha-Cha (Pasha & Anya)
Aw, Pasha! Love that guy. Gev has become so adaptable in terms of the various genres he's been able to pick up, and I'm pissed he hasn't gotten enough credit for it. Also, how adorable was it that his Russian (Khaszakstani, whatever) accent emerged after spending a day with Pasha and Anya? As for the dance: You can't go wrong with some Rihanna, as far as I'm concerned. And once again, some fantastic partnering from these two. Nigel got it exactly right they they're perfect for each other (Courtney's boyfriend WHO?), which just underlines the utter tragedy that this is their last week dancing together.
Jazz (Mandy Moore)
Their last Mandy Moore routine was that criminally underrated contemporary routine at Top 18. This routine reminded me a lot of Mandy's boardroom routine for Neil and Sabra last year -- not quite as good, but Courtney and Gev had a ball with it. I thought it was fabulous. In the span of one routine, they managed to be sexy (their first appearances were scorching), funny, manic, aggressive, combative, and flirtatious. There was a lot going on, and they sold it.
Kherington and Twitch
Krump (Lil' C)
It started off so, SO well, and then it seemed like Kherington just ran out of gas or something. She was super strong at the beginning, and she just couldn't maintain it, unfortunately. (And hey, Nigel agreed with me -- I just wish he and Mia weren't so eager to brush that aside.) I also think Mia set the new Guinness world record for adjectives that don't mean anything during her critique ("You guys were soaking, silver, bent, noxious, westward, and kajingles!"), so that'll be something she can put on the mantle next to the Emmy.
Tango (Jean-Marc Genereaux)
Once again, there was a slight sluggishness to this that kept it from being a really great tango. Kherington is a phenomenal ballroom dancer, and we know Twitch can keep up in this element, at least sometimes. Nothing in the dance was so excruciating as Nigel's torturous "murder" metaphor in his critique, though. It's been rough to see Twitchington struggle these last couple weeks.
Katee and Joshua
Viennese Waltz (Jean-Marc Genereaux)
I remain the only person left in the world with a soft spot for the Goo Goo Dolls, even "Iris," so that managed to enhance the performance. Josh seemed to struggle with this at times, as the judges noted. He and Katee are the only pair to have made it this far without a bad, or even dull, performance, but this one bordered on uneventful. It's a waltz, though, what can you do? That double set of leg kicks was pretty awesome, though.
Bollywood (Nakul and Marla)
Well THIS is interesting. I'm not sure exactly what Bollywood dancing is supposed to look like, but that was a TON of fun. Josh and Katee brought a ton of energy to this, and Nigel was totally right about them being able to fuse their own style with whatever they're given. Objectively, they've been the best dancers of the first half of the season. And how cute was Nigel's wish for the world to come together through dance? Maybe he doesn't have to suck a dick after all. Well, unless he wants to.
Top Three Routines: Katee and Joshua's Bollywood; Courtney and Gev's Cha-Cha (or maybe their jazz?); and Mark and Chelsie's salsa. (Though, seriously, props to Comfort and Thayne's hip-hop.)
Bottom Three Predictions: Comfort and Thayne, Jessica and Will, Kherington and Twitch.
Going Home: Comfort and Thayne (Easy. 100%.)