This is the last qualifying week for the finals! Wheeeee! This is the most important dance stage in the world right now! Someone tell the Bolshoi Ballet, I’m sure they’d be happy to hear that they suck in comparison to a TV show packed with amateurs. Really, I feel like Andrew Gunsberg might be better suited to infomercials, because he acts like he’s going to wet his pants from the excitement of “LTD.” But hey, I’d buy a Slap Chop from him, no problem.

Oh, yay, we have the royal appearance of the judges. Aw, they’re all holding hands like lovey-dovey Hollywood starlets or pre-school students! Everybody, grab your Safety Buddy! Especially you, Paula!

The first order of business is to reveal which act America chose last week to go into the finals. And that act is… Twitch! Yay, Twitch! The real surprise here isn’t that America chose Twitch, but that there’s absolutely no fanfare or tense music or sweaty but hopeful contestants. Andrew just says, Twitch! And that’s it. But even without the ridiculous fanfare, Paula’s thrilled and does her weird wet-nails hand clap.

Dance Town Chaos
After drinking coffee at the Embassy Suites (conveniently located in the heart of Hollywood! Product placement, boo yah!), one of the dancers informs us they’re going to show us it’s a man’s world. This is apparently the group’s way of demonstrating that dancing isn’t just for girls. Really? Somebody ring Mikhail Baryshnikov, because clearly he’s so girly he dated every hot actress of the 70s and 80s. Dance Town Chaos, thanks for insulting dancers AND women at the same time!

But yes, I get it, they’re dancing to the truly wonderful (but kinda sexist even given that it was released in 1966) “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World” by James Brown. Which is all about how “it wouldn’t mean nothin’ without a woman or a girl.” Did you listen to the lyrics, guys? Seriously. But the performance is very strong, even if these guys do look thoroughly ridiculous with their little raccoon masks and fake chest tattoos. But not girly!

Paula says wow. She thinks what they do proves that dance is just as athletic as pro sports, except pro athletes get paid plenty more than a bunch of guys in raccoon masks. Paula gives them a gold star. Travis is all for the man’s world thing and gives them a gold star. Kimberly says they showcased the strengths within their group. Gold star.

Jill & Jacob

Jacob doesn’t want Paula screwing with his choreography. Jacob is pouting in the corner because he doesn’t think the act is Jill & Jacob & Paula. Shut up, Jacob.

Jill is clearly the stronger dancer and, bluntly, pretty amazing. I see “So You Think You Can Dance” in her future! But Jacob just seems sullen and distracted, plus he botches some of the moves. I want to like this more than I do. The tricks are great, but they would be a lot more impressive if Jacob didn’t keep screwing them up.

Travis thought their first performance was much better, and felt the story was disconnected. Red star. Kimberly says Kimberly gave the performance of a lifetime but didn’t love Jacob’s performance. Red star. Paula admires Jacob’s confidence, but it wasn’t the best version of the routine she’d seen. Still, gold star.

Roosevelt Anderson
He works in a clothing store in Brooklyn and dances all day. His employers must be thrilled.

It’s hard to tell if this is great dancing, simply because there’s so much going on in the background.  Though I want to love the wire work, it actually makes the truly amazing part of his dancing – the appearance that he’s floating on air – less impressive. Roosevelt was amazing the first time we saw him, but here I can barely pay attention to him.  

Kimberly wanted more bone breaking and wasn’t loving it. Red star. Paula disagrees. She thinks he seems like someone who’s studied with Marcel Marceau. Go for that mime vote, Paula! Gold star. Travis would have liked the flying to have been cleaner, but he loved it anyway. Gold star.

Tap Sounds Underground
They’ve been friends for fifteen years. And sometimes they buy one another lunch.

The problem I always have with tap is that the dancers are so fixated on their feet they never get their upper bodies in synch. But I do give them credit for dancing their asses off, making good use of the physical space and actually being interesting to watch. That’s saying something, because I kind of hate tap. Still, I like these guys.

Paula wishes they made it seem easier. She says Gene Kelly and the other legends of tap are smiling down on them. Okay, an old reference, but at least she didn’t call on the gods of mime. Gold star. Travis thought they weren’t always in synch, but he still thought it was a great performance. Gold star. Kimberly thinks their rhythms were incredible, but she’s challenging them to update tap. Red star. I think Paula may hit her. She is literally squawking and looks like she might burst into flames or lay an egg. Either way will be entertaining, but alas, time for ANOTHER commercial. I swear this show is fifty to sixty percent commercials.

Shore Thing

Paula takes her little dog to practice. I’m surprised that it’s a Jack Russell and not something more purse-sized, like a Yorkie. Anyway, a bunch of adorable little girls are going to work super hard, which would ordinarily make me sick up a little but these are the same girls who were so great the first time around, so they may actually work just that hard and do something else that’s amazing.

I kind of love this concept – it’s “The Nutcracker” meets Cirque de Soleil by way of Barnum & Bailey. The costumes are great, but more importantly, they make great use of tumblers. Whoever is doing the choreography for this group should really be working in Vegas or on Broadway. I love the kids, but the routines are truly impressive.

Kimberly thought the flips were incredible. Gold star. Paula is very proud of them. Gold star. Some of the kids are crying, which makes me think they need to have less sugar in their diets or something. You’re getting GOLD STARS kids, think happy thoughts! Travis is so glad they fixed their timing to the best of their ability. He also gives them a gold star.

Kendall Glover

Kendall informs us she’s putting some funky hip hop into this routine. And she’s going to have a big surprise for her dad and her grandma. Funky hip hop? Oh, that’s a bad idea, Kendall, because you are more of a future Miss America than you are a hip hop dancer.

I don’t see the funky hip hop, which is probably a good thing. She’s clearly talented, but the smile is too pageant-y and the routine is more gymnastics than dance.

Travis still wants her to work on her lines. Red star. Kimberly thought she was on fire. Gold star. Paula says she’s a gem. And she loves her. And Paula is about to cry, run up on the stage and abduct Kendall Glover in the most public child kidnapping in history. Gold star.

The judges will be putting one act into the finals. Andrew asks the obvious question, “Do you think it will be hard to pick one act?” Yes, dumbass. Go sell a Slap Chop or something! Geez!

More commercials!

The judges choose… Dance Town Chaos. Huh. They were good, but I was rooting for Shore Thing. Because, you know, dancing is all girly (hey, Dance Town Chaos said it, not me) and Shore Thing is a bunch of girls. But I guess it is a man’s world after all.