We’ve finally made it to the top 10, meaning we’re getting down to the wire. But … we’re somehow extending the show by a half hour tonight. While it’s being pushed back a half hour because of the Presidential Address, instead of shortening the show a half hour, we’re adding a half hour on. I’m not sure exactly how that works out, and I’m certainly not sure how they’re going to fill up that time.
Judging again tonight are Adam Shankman, Mary Murphy, and Nigel Lythgoe. It’s an important night tonight, as the couples have been broken up for the first time tonight, and the girls picked their partners names from a hat. And for something novel and completely different, we don’t get to see the dancers learning the dances with the choreographers, yet each couple dances twice and everyone does a solo. Apparently this will be how we fill up the extra half hour.
Starting us off will be Noelle Marsh and Ryan Ryan Di Lello with a Tabitha and Napoleon D’umo hip hop routine to Give It To Me Right by Melanie Fiona. They start off with Ryan behind a desk, and Noelle bringing in paperwork to him. She seems to be quite the temptress, and he’s not minding it one bit. This is one hot routine. Wow. This is amazing. It’s definitely my favorite hip hop routine of the year so far, and I have to add I like this couple. After all the hotness, she hands him a harassment suit at the end.
Nigel asks Ryan how much he’s enjoying being on the show, then tells Noelle he has to apologize, as last week he said she wasn’t sexy, but “you certainly were this week, Darling.” Her dance technique was good as well, and Ryan did everything very strongly, but he was almost too strong, and not feeling the funk of it. It was a really good routine with good chemistry between them. Mary says it’s hard to have chemistry right of the bat, but she agrees they had it, and that it was a good routine from Tabitha and Napoleon. Noelle really seemed like a different dancer tonight and really brought it on and was completely into the character. Ryan had it all going on from the first moment sitting at the desk. It was a great start and a great partnership, and she’s looking forward to their next dance.
Adam tells Noelle she was smokin’ out there, and it was so good to see her doing it. What’s really important since we’re voting for individuals, is to always find a way to dance from that spot, and she was totally lost in the dance. Ryan was a great partner, and while it might not have been his finest moment, it was a great moment, and especially so because it was a new partnership and something so out of his field.
Ashleigh Di Lello and Jonathan “Legacy” Perez are paired up this week, and they’re taking on a Gary Stewart contemporary routine to Poison by The Prodigy. This is another hot partnership. They have some great aggression going into it, but it almost looks more hip hop than contemporary. It’s good choreography, as it disguises the fact that she’s taller than he is, including at the end when she oddly stands him on his head.
Nigel shakes his head in disbelief and says they were just physically abused by their choreographer, Gary. He calls it one of the most difficult styles in the world, as it requires you to be so athletic and to defy gravity like Kobe Bryant and Lebron James jumping in the air and going a little further. That’s what Gary requires from his dancers. It’s an impossible style to learn so quickly, and he figures they’re covered in bruises. Yet, in the time they had, the effort they put in was absolutely fantastic. He doesn’t think they’ll ever be asked to do anything so difficult again in their entire careers.
Mary starts off by saying “Wow.” She follows by saying the routine was really terrific. And to go to the headstand at the end left such a visual that was phenomenal. The constant leaping and using each other’s legs and body to leap required so much athleticism. There were so many great moments, that they can really latch onto it. She congratulates them for a fight to the finish. Adam says what is so extraordinary and compelling is that they didn’t look afraid and just looked their partners in the eyes. It was probably the best ending moment of any routine this year.
Mollee Gray is up for her solo and talks about growing up in Orem City, Utah, doing dance and gymnastics. She auditioned for High School Musical and found it so cool to be in the same room as the stars of the movies, and it’s all led her here. Her little brother thinks it’s fun to have his sister on TV, and her mom thinks she’s accomplished a lot at 18. She dances her solo to Rock the Beat by LM*AO. She lays it all out on the floor, just as she did in her solo last week.
Russell Ferguson talks about growing up in a bad neighborhood of Boston. His dad tried to keep him off the streets and made sure he was either in school or dancing. It gives him goosebumps to see him dance. Russell’s mom is his biggest fan, not believing that’s her baby on TV. He dances his solo to Outros by Black Milk, and he seems to be pulling out all the stops as well.
The next pair up are Kathryn McCormick and Nathan Trasoras taking on a Spencer Liff Broadway routine to Choreography by Danny Kaye. Let’s see if the judges were right, that Nathan just needed to be with someone older and more mature. It’s a really cute old-fashioned routine, looking like something out of Bye Bye Birdie. I’d agree that this was what he needed, some maturity in his partner. It reminds me of all those old movies from the 50s that I like.
Nigel thought they both found that style absolutely perfectly. It was so 40s/50, and he felt it was really Donald O’Connor-like in the middle from Nathan. His smile worked, whereas sometimes it seems fake, Here it suits it perfectly. One of the choreographers of White Christmas was Bob Fosse, and through that, he built his own style up, making this very relevant. Kathryn is always a beautiful dancer, but he didn’t find the chemistry between the two. Stylewise it was terrific, though.