Heidi dances her solo to Dum Diddly, yet another Black Eyed Peas song. I this she has the fastest legs this side of the Mississippi. Nigel says ballroom is difficult without partner, and he thinks she did very good and says it was well thought out. There was nothing cabbage patch about it at all. Cicely says she has strength and power and is like a ragamuffin. She really enjoyed it. Delisa can’t get out what she’s trying to say, and says she’s just at a loss for words. Jean Marc calls this a smart solo in the way she utilized the dance floor with a beautiful entrance. It was a tough dance without a partner, but she doesn’t need one.
For Ivan and Martha’s second dance, they have picked the smooth waltz, being choreographed by Michael Mead and Teri Redpath. They say it will need smooth movement and turns, with drifting and floating across the floor. Looking at the two of them together, Martha thinks s he looks diesel and Ivan looks way big. She can’t get the move right to fall on her knees. This dance is supposed to emulate Martha saying her vows to Ivan that she will support him. They hope America will love it.
I just have to ask, as Ivan does ballroom so convincingly with Martha to Sunday’s Song by Dolly Parton, how he does this so convincingly. Nigel wasn’t expecting too much from Martha, and talks about the dance being like a high jump. I’m a little confused here. Martha’s hands, he believes, just weren’t good enough. Her hands? Cicely knows they were out of their element, but they are in the finals, and are supposed to glide their feet, and never let them leave the floor. The toe to heel thing didn’t quite kick it, leaving the dance really good, but not the best. Jean Marc says the framing wasn’t there with the choreography. It’s tough for a woman to follow when the frame isn’t strong enough.
Travis does his solo to Belief by Gavin McGraw, and again, I can only say wow. Nigel calls him one of the most gifted dancers ever on the program, and says he got a better sense of humor with it at the end as he went into the splits and leaned his head forward resting on his hands. If he can do all that and have fun with it, he gets Nigel’s vote. Cicely knows he’s fighting for his life and doing it for real. People appreciate it though, and enjoy watching him. Delisa loved the turns, and says she can see him feel it inside. Jean Marc says that in this industry, you don’t always get to pick what job you will have, but they all expect this kind of dancing from him. He would like Travis to keep going all the way.
Allison and Ryan pull Broadway as their second dance style. Tyce Dioro is choreographing this one as well, and says it needs to be quirky and cute with a lot of personality and interaction with the audience. Not a problem for Allison, but this could be for Ryan. Showing personality isn’t his strong suit. It ends up being harder than he expected, but he thinks the judges and America are really gonna love it.
Dancing to Bye Bye Blackbird by Liza Minelli, Allison and Ryan are dancing in matching red outfits. This fits her personality exactly, yet I still don’t know what his is. Nigel says he will try to be as constructive as he can. He’s not sure Ryan has it. He has extension and beautiful lines, but there are so many nuances from this Bob Fosse style dance that weren’t there. Yet when Allison’s hat dropped, and she improved the shot of it to the audience, it was great. Delisa says it’s great Ryan has technique, but he needs to have the character too. Allison needs to get more reserved. Jean Marc says the feeling needs to go all the way back in the audience. Those in the front felt it, but he’s not sure it was there for the rest of them.
Natalie has chosen to do her contemporary solo to Lamentation by Leah Andreone. Again, she’s not being put in that vixen role, and we see her for real. Nigel mentions her mom and dad are in the audience, and he hopes they are as proud of her as he and the other judges are. He calls it sensational. Cicely says she never would have been able to catch herself on the just like Natalie did. She didn’t think she was going to get there, and it was unexpected for her. Delisa tells Natalie she had a lot of feelings and emotion in the solo, and Jean Marc calls it passionate, emotional and electric.
Like his ex-partner, Donyelle, Benji also has never danced a solo in this competition. He dances to Wilson Pickett’s Land of 1000 Dances. He just oozes character and has awesome spins. By the end, the crowd is shouting, “Benji! Benji!” Nigel says that he thinks what that shows for everyone that usually uses partners, is that there is no excuses. Benji just came out there and proved and showed to the world it could be done. Cicely exclaims, “Goodness gracious. Great balls of fire!” She didn’t know what to do, and tells him to just go for it. Delisa calls this very entertaining, and says she was him shaking that butt. Cat mentions and says she thought someone in the front was just gonna lean over and slap it. Jean Marc says he totally believed the dance. He played with the crowd when he needed to and it wasn’t overdone. Nigel asks if Benji has wheels on his shoes. No. Have you got your shirt open. No. Thans you. No gimmicks. Just Dancing. Thank you. Point made.
Donyelle and Dmitry pull Samba for their second number. This is his forte, so it should be great, plus it’s being choreographed by Mary Murphy along with last season’s Artem. Mary mentions the Russian connection and says it’s driving her nuts when they start talking in Russian. She thinksk they laughed today a whole lot more than they danced, yet Dmitry says Russians aren’t allowed to have fun. All the tools are here to make this a fabulous dance.