Last week as each pair of dancers danced two separate songs, and each individual danced and tiny little solo dance, the show was stretched out into two hours. Tonight, the show is jam packing it all into one hour. Of course, it’s minus one couple and he tiny little solo dances, but it still sees like we’re just jammed in there tonight. Even the judges tonight, Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, and Dan Karaty, don’t get a chance to speak before the first dance.
The girls are doing the picking of the partners this week, and Donyelle is up first. She picks Travis from the hat, and the first dance they will be doing will be hip hop. Shane Sparks is choreographing this number and tells then he wants to see if be animalistic. He wants Travis to become like a monkey, and he wants Donyelle to be a kangaroo. They’re a little surprised as they expected to come in and do a little booty popping. They dance to London Bridge by Fergie, and it’s hard to figure where the animals come in. I never see a monkey or kangaroo in the movements, but I do get that it’s “animalistic.” This entire dance is done with masks on Donyelle and Travis’ faces, and n the middle, they drop their hoodies only to reveal masks on the back of their heads as well.
Nigel says that in general, he loves choreography that makes a statement, but he felt the masks subtracted from the performance, as they took away the eyes, and that’s one of the most appealing parts. With Donyelle, that’s always a big part of her dancing, and it was taken away, yet he feels she danced will this week. Mary says she couldn’t tell whether they were coming or going. She loves the concept, and says something else I can’t hear because of the crowd screaming. When that dies down, she says it had to be incredibly difficult to dance with the masks on. You really have to know your count to coincide with your partner. She knows they did what the choreographer wanted then to do, and thinks it was a great concept. Dan believe the routine had tons and tons of potential, and while the masks took away some, their dancing should rise up to make up for it. They played the characters not as cleanly as he feels it should have been done, but going along with the concept, he feels it was pretty hot.
When it’s Allison’s turn to pick a partner, she picks her old partner Ivan, and they both seem delighted. Their first dance will be the argentine tango, the second time for them to do a tango together. Alex De Silva asks if they remember anything from last time, and they have to admit they don’t remember much. He tells them their last tango was amazing, but this one is going to be different, and to make it even better than last time, they’ll need to put 100% into it. Watching Allison and Ivan tango to La Cumparsita by Orquestra Escuela de Tango. This seems to pick right up where Allison and Ivan’s contemporary dance ended a few weeks ago as far as the sensuality of it. He steps look amazing. So do hers, but it’s a wonderful surprise for this hip hop dancer to pull this off.
Nigel mentions that watching High School Musical the other day, he saw that Allison was in it – a little girl with braces, yet here she is as a woman dancing on this stage. My kids and I put the movie in after tonight’s show, and we’re pretty sure Allison was one of the cheerleader dancers. Nigel calls her and Ivan tremendous. There were a few places Ivan was a little undsteady, and his feet weren’t as strong as Nigel would like them, but he did a good job, and Nigel loved it when Ivan split Allison’s legs apart. Mary says it feels like deja vu with these two, and also thinks it’s another great performance in the Argentine tango. She calls it great and sexy, and says the way Allison dances with Ivan, it makes him look like such a man. Ivan flexes his chest out and asks if he should open his shirt, as the camera flips to Dmitry sitting in the audience. Dan points out t hat the first time he saw these two dance on stage, he said Allison worked Ivan all over the floor, and he never saw someone worked over like that. Tonight, though, it’s role reversal, as he feels he worked her.
Natalie chooses the contemporary dancer left in the competition, Ryan, and the first dance they’ll be doing is disco with Doriana Sanchez. She wants them to work on the lifts first, and notes that Ryan gets a little tense first, then he gets down to working seriously. He applies himself in a different way, and is very focused. Natalie is very observant and just throws herself into it, literally. Watching their routine to Turn the Beat Around by Vicki Sue Robinson, Natalie looks great, but I don’t get anything from Ryan. She may as well be dancing with a broom.
Nigel tells Natalie he finds her fiery, and says she brings a lot of energy to these routines, but he doesn’t think Ryan was strong enough, and thinks he danced like a wet blanket. The only chemistry he saw was Ryan’s water putting out Natalie’s fire. Mary says disco inferno … was not. Natalie always partners everyone so well. Mary like her more with Musa, and doesn’t find it believable with Ryan, w ho she says looked uncomfortable in his own shoes. Dan calls this painful with no chemistry, and says he feels badly for Natalie. He tells Ryan it felt like she was leading him. He was really flat and all over the place. Nigel points out that it’s not fun having to say these types of things at this stage of the competition.
That leaves our last pairing to be cousins, Heidi and Benji. This has the makings of something really good. Their first dance will be Broadway with Tyce Diorio. He wants it to have a churchy revival feel, and Benji mocks, “We’re going to feel the spirit of the dance!” Rev. Tyce asks, “Can I get an amen?” Benji runs up to Heidi, thunks her on the forehead, and says, “Be saved! It’s a miracle! Let me heal your bad dancing.” This could only work with these two. They dance to Fake Your Way to the Top from the Dreamgirls soundtrack. This takes an energy that only they have. They live up to every expectation I had for them.
As Nigel begins his critique, he is solemn, then shouts out, “Hallelujah! I believe! I believe!” He calls it the best chemistry of the night, and tells Tyce they love him. Tyce, in the audience, is calling it amazing. Mary says, “Amen!” She couldn’t believe when Heidi and Benji drew each other’s names. She couldn’t be more happier for them today than she is. Dan tells them he doesn’t know if they can sing or act, but Broadway could use Heidi and Benji. They get excited, and say, “Yea! We love Broadway.” You just can’t be unhappy watching them, and together, they truly lit up the night.