You can’t stop the opening group number! Er, rather, “You Can’t Stop the Beat” from Hairspray is the inspiration for this week’s group routine. The ladies are all decked out in colorful, fluffy, ‘50s dresses (and big hair!), and the men are spiffy in suits and skinny ties. It’s cheesy and cute, just as it was meant to be. And as I’m watching, I’m wondering who choreographed it, because I don’t think this is something that Tyce could pull off.
Sure enough, Cat emerges on the stage, the dancers scatter as usual, and she tells us that Adam Shankman, this week’s guest judge, choreographed the routine. In case you didn’t catch it on the last show, he’s the director and choreographer for the soon-to-be-released film, Hairspray. We say hello to the judges: Nigel, whose hair looks a bit like a lion’s mane, very wavy and overly styled; Mary, who is wearing what were once ugly kitchen curtains; and Adam, who’s donning dog tags. Really, now. You’re fun and quirky, Adam, so I’ll let you get away with it just this once. Cat introduces a video of the contestants rehearsing the opening bit with Adam. He turns out to be a HUGE energy ball, just bouncing (and cussing) all over the stage. The kids love him, of course. And then we are exposed to Adam’s “hungry jazz face.” Um… sure. I’ll go with it. It’s funny, even if I don’t get it.
The first two couples to hear their results on stage are Dominic & Sabra and Danny & Anya. Cat reveals, “I can tell you that one couple is safe, and one is in our bottom three.” Yeah, I’m pretty sure I already know where this is going. Like LauraBelle, I thought Sabra and Dominic were perfect in their execution and chemistry. They had a great ride with Shane Sparks at the hip-hop wheel. All of the judges sang their praises, and Mary gave them a silent scream, saying it was too high-pitched to hear. Hurray! Why can’t they all be like that? Cat opens the envelope and says that they’ll have to wait for their results.
Anya and Danny performed a contemporary piece by Tyce Dioro. All of the judges liked Anya but said that Danny was missing some kind of charm or connection with the audience. Although he later retracted the statement, I thought Adam was spot-on with his remark, “You dance like you’ve already won the competition.” I’ve always had an issue with Danny’s attitude from the very beginning. When he was told he would be in the Top 20, he had no reaction whatsoever, but rather a very smug face of satisfaction. The choreographers noticed it as well, that he wasn’t surprised by the news… making it seem like he felt ENTITLED to the position. I didn’t care for his reaction to Adam’s statement either, a face that says, “Well… of course.”
Whatever the reason, Danny’s lack of connection with the audience may have been what landed him and Anya in the bottom three. Nigel then apologizes to Adam for telling him that he was “talking crap” the other night, to which Adam responds by apologizing to Nigel and retracting his remark. I don’t understand why he took it back, but whatever. Maybe he was worried about losing a potential audience for his film if he stood by his critical comment to Danny? Who knows. Nigel then says, “You can’t be that arrogant and be that good. You can’t train that hard if you’re that arrogant.” Um… are you kidding me? There are plenty of examples of professional athletes, artists, and other talented members of their respective fields who are so full of themselves, it makes you wonder how they manage to survive in the world, considering no one has clued them in that it revolves around the SUN, not THEM. In any case, part of me is glad to see Danny in the bottom three again, his ego being put in check.
Three more couples are brought onto the stage: Kameron & Lacey, Pasha & Sarah, and Cedric & Shauna. Cat tells us, “One of these three couples will be joining [Anya and Danny].” Choreographer Maria Torres was Lacey and Kameron’s hustler. Heehee. I thought the piece was incredible, but I was worried that it would be outshined by the other, more complicated routines. The judges were more concerned about Kameron being outshined by his partner, Lacey. No worries for them though, they are safe.
Sarah and Pasha had their first performance together and did some west coast swing. Choreographing the pair was last year’s winner, Benji Schwimmer. This was by far my favorite piece of the night, and I’m pretty sure most of the audience and judges agree with me. Nigel said it was “the magic we’ve been waiting for.” With Alex DeSilva as their guide, Shauna and Cedric were hoping not to stumble over the mambo. For once, the pair finally got some good feedback from the judges. However, their progress wasn’t enough; Shauna and Cedric are (unsurprisingly) in the bottom three. Nigel had promised that if Cedric had landed in the bottom three again, he would not save him, so this could be a very uninteresting session for the bottom three guys.