Now that the presidential address is over, it’s time for the really important stuff -- the “SYTYCD” top ten! Or really, the top eight plus Mollee and Nathan. I know, I know, this week everyone’s partnered with different people and they’ll have a chance to grow and mature, but seriously, if I wanted to wait around for 18-year-old kids to mature I’d teach community college classes. The competition is way too stiff for dead weight at this point, and I’m really hoping this is the last week I have to put up with these adolescent dingbats. And now I have to go check outside my house to make sure no angry, hormonal tweenagers are spray painting my garage with “I HEART NATHAN” and “MOLLEE FOREVER” or some such crap.
Oh look! Cat’s wearing a skinned poodle over a black satin nightie! She must be so proud. Not every tall, blonde gorgeous woman can so effortlessly evoke crazy cat lady in a single evening. Cat tells us that things are CHANGING, dammit! Pretty much the same way they change every season, which is that the judges no longer get a say (though I’d pretty much lost all faith in them anyway) and everyone picks their partners out of a hat. Thanks, Cat, but we know the drill, geez.
In any case, let’s get right to it – it’s dancin’ time!
Noelle and Ryan
Choreographers: Tabitha and Napoleon
Okay, I’ll admit it – I always thought of these two as the whitest white people on the show. They were always good, mind you, but in a studied, classroom way. They do not have the funk, and I suspect they may eat more mayonnaise and Jell-O molds than your average American. But by some little miracle, they find the funk here. Noelle actually sheds her pageant smile and gets her PG 13-rated slut on, which is quite an accomplishment. And while Ryan isn’t as strong, he’s still pretty good. I’m not sure they’ve actually become truly funky, and they may still be the whitest white people on the show, but this is a step in the right direction.
Nigel thinks Ryan must be a happy boy because Noelle writhed all over him like a sexually frustrated python. He gives Noelle props for bringing the sexy, but worries Ryan didn’t feel the funk. Overall, he thought it was good and he liked the chemistry. Mary also liked the chemistry. She thought Noelle was totally believable and thought Ryan had it goin’ on. I hate it when Mary tries to be street, but I agree. Adam thought Noelle was smokin’ and thought Ryan did pretty well. Lotta love all around.
Ashleigh and Legacy
Choreographer: Gary Stewart
First off, let me say how much I hate this routine. Hate, hate, hate it. It’s clunky, slow in all the wrong places and ugly to watch. The song choice is really terrible, and I say that as someone who usually kinda likes The Prodigy. Weirdly, it’s too slow and yet not slow enough, wobbling in this horrible middle area where songs live which are infinitely better when you’re on hallucinogenic drugs. That being said, Legacy and Ashleigh do pretty well, and I’d expect nothing less as they may be the two most motivated dancers on the show.
Nigel says it’s remarkable they did as well as they did, considering how tough the routine was. Mary liked the headstand and felt there were a lot of great, memorable moments. Adam thought it was amazing Ashleigh and Legacy didn’t look afraid and called it the best ending of the season.
Oh, yay, it’s time for the solos and we start with my favorite crappy dancer. Mollee was a featured dancer on High School Musical! And HSM 2! And HSM 3! And she totally loved it! Her brother thinks she’s cool. Her mother is so proud of her. Golly, they’re so Aryan and smiley. Oh, and her grandma and mom are the in the audience. Seriously, this is making me sick.
Once the self-congratulatory blather is concluded, Mollee does her gymnastics routine. It’s thoroughly mediocre. Enough said.
Cat informs us that Russell is the first krumper to end up in the top ten, which is a nice little accomplishment. Russell is from the Boston area, specifically Roxbury, which is not so nice. His mom and dad kept him from getting into a gang, which is something you don’t hear that often on this show. His mom talks about how he’s her little baby and cries. And then we watch his mom and dad watch Russell on TV
. Did the producers really have nothing else to show us other than two people watching TV? Maybe they were too scared to go outside of the apartment. Just saying.
Russell shows off some very krumpy moves, and he looks good. It’s amazing this is the same guy who’s nailing all the ballroom stuff that’s been thrown at him, because there isn’t much of a connection between this and, basically, anything that demands you look graceful or, really, like someone who doesn’t tag things or carry a gun. Russell rocks.
Kathryn and Nathan
Choreographer: Spencer Leff
Kathryn looks like she fell out of a Gene Kelly musical. Nathan looks like he fell out of a Nickelodeon TV series. I don’t feel a lot of chemistry between these two, but that largely has to do with the fact that Kathryn is gliding through the dance while Nathan looks like he’s about to pull a hernia he’s trying so hard to look happy, happy, HAPPY, dammit.
Nigel thought they were perfectly 1950s and loved Nathan’s fake smiling. He felt Kathryn’s choreography was isolated from Nathan, which to me says she didn’t want to get his bad dancer stink on her. Mary thought Kathryn was incredible and thought Nathan had no trouble at all. Adam thought they gave a beautiful history lesson. I think the judges need to lay off the Nathan Kool-Aid.
Noelle is from North Caroline and has a big, loving family. Her mom is proud of her. Do anyone’s parents go on the show to say they’re NOT proud of their kid? Really, the second or third time we have to see the weepy-eyed parent, it gets a little old. Noelle almost didn’t graduate from high school because she auditioned for season 5 and then season 6. But she doesn’t care, because she’s here! This did nothing to convince me Noelle is not an incredibly boring person, by the way.
Her solo actually has a wonderful structure to it and she looks like she’s just bubbling over with joy. Noelle hasn’t been the most captivating person on the show, but she gets big props for showing us how much she loves to dance in her solo – a quality that’s been a little lacking in some of the solos, which usually show us how desperate and fearful people are, like we’re watching a job interview set to choreography.
Ellenore and Jakob
Style: Quick step
Choreographers: Tony and Melanie
Jakob is so winning this season. He and Ellenore actually make the quickstep watchable, which may be a first on the show. Ellenore, for all her weird ass alien babbling, is actually very graceful and has a sort of sly elegance I like.
Nigel tells Jakob not to let his toes turn out too much. He thought it was a comfortable pairing and they did a good job. Mary thinks they deserve a trophy. She was impressed that they not only delivered, but delivered with such tough choreography. Adam starts babbling about how their characters in other dances led them to where they are today, which clearly gives Nigel a headache and just annoys everyone else. He says they were the couple he wanted to see all season and he thought Ellenore looked hot in the dress. And then he yells at Nigel for giving his future boyfriend Jakob crap about his feet. Boy, what wouldn’t you give to see a judge-on-judge smackdown this season?
He says dance is the foundation for his whole family. He grandparents met dancing, his parents met dancing, he met Ashleigh dancing, so, yeah, all about dancing. His mom and dad love him. More heartwarming crap.
Ryan dances to The Scorpions, which kind of speaks to his either having a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor or being a ginormous geek, and I’m going with the latter. His steps are kinda ballroom, in that I wish there was someone dancing with him. He’s a couples guy, which we need more of in this world as I have lots of female friends who are still single and looking, but that may not take him to the top three.
Kathryn’s been dancing since she was three. She moved to L.A. as a teenager. Her mom thinks that was the way for her to achieve her dreams, which is nice, because usually this path is how your kid becomes a stripper.
Uh-oh, Kathryn falls prey to the speed dancing curse of the solos. Cat tells her her mom is beautiful, which is a pretty sly way of not having to comment on her performance.
Mollee and Russell
Style: Lyrical jazz
Choreographer: Mandy Moore
OMG, are they dancing to “It Must Have Been Love” by stinkin’ Roxette? I am gagging, and they haven’t even started dancing yet.
This doesn’t suck. I mean, the music sucks, but the routine doesn’t. Russell is amazing, but Mollee... is... good. There, I said it.
Nigel thinks Mollee has grown into a young woman and he’s as proud of Russell as his dad. Mary loves the partnership and thinks they’re totally believable and thinks Russell has grown to a whole new level. Mary says they’re her favorite couple thus far, which makes me want to throw something at Mary’s head. Adam says he needs medical attention they danced so well. Huh? Oh, and he adds that Russell scares him when he krumps. Which is a nice way of saying he also won’t take the subway into Harlem and he doesn’t eat at Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles after dark, but let’s not explore this any further.
Nathan has two brothers. His one brother is really proud of him. Nathan appreciates his family. And then he cries. I think everyone on the show at this point is stressed out and needs a nap, but go ahead, Nathan, let it all out.
Nathan dances without shoes and pulls at his shirt. And then does a little pirouette. And then he cries about his parents to Cat. You know he’s getting the tween sympathy vote now.
Noelle and Ryan
Style: Smooth waltz
Choreographer: J.T. and Tomas
Well, I liked their hip hop routine better, but this is beautiful. I would expect Ryan to deliver on the waltz, and Noelle is Kathryn-level floaty here. Nice, nice, nice.
Nigel thought they looked like a prince and princess in a Disney movie. He would like to see some more softness in Noelle’s neck, but thought the rest was beautiful. Mary thought they mastered both their routines. She says Noelle was breathtaking and Ryan’s moves seemed effortless. Adam was hypnotized and thinks they’re a power partnership. I still think they’re a little mayo with mayo on the side, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like them. Mayo is a very nice condiment.
She grew up in Santa Cruz but told her parents they needed to take her to New York so she could train. Her mom is the best mom, which I think might be accurate as she friggin’ moved cross-country for her kid to go to school. Her mom says Ellenore is the love of her life. She chokes up. Can we get through just one of these segments without the weeping? I think it’s messing up my hormones.
And then Ellenore has to bust out the weird crap for her solo. To a harmonica song. What, the theme to “Deliverance” wasn’t available, Crazypants? Ellenore, stop it, I swear!
Ashleigh and Legacy
Style: Hip hop
Choreographer: Dave Scott
Ooh, vampires! This is fun at first, even if I’m so “New Moon”ed out I could stick a fang through my forehead. But the routine never really goes anywhere. I mean, we know Legacy can deliver the goods and honestly, so can Ashleigh – but they’re not really required to do much. The song is slow, there’s not a lot of passion and it’s not wow. But I love both of these dancers, even if they could do this routine in their sleep. Dave Scott, WTF?
Nigel didn’t feel it. He wanted more dancing and less cloak work. It didn’t work for Mary, either. Adam didn’t think the routine was challenging enough. Big “meh” from the judges. I don’t want Ashleigh and Legacy to go home, but this could be the nail in their coffin. Pun intended, I’m afraid.
Kathryn and Nathan
Choreographers: Tony and Melanie
Okay, Nathan has to stop with the fish lips. He is BUGGING the crap out of me, and let me just say, not sexy, dude. No matter how cute you may be to the tweens, I think even they would resist kissing a large mouth bass. Anyway, when I can bring myself to stop staring at Nathan’s ridiculous fish face, which I suspect may be an attempt to look like Angelina Jolie or possibly the Octomom, the rest of the routine is a little meh. Yet again, Kathryn is in it to win it and she’s stuck lugging Nathan around like a broken bath toy.
Nigel says he didn’t get the chemistry because of Nathan’s sour face. He thinks the dancing was good, but he didn’t see the ballroom. Nigel is really not loving the choreography tonight, and methinks an unhappy executive producer means some people aren’t working next week. Mary agrees that there was no passion or chemistry. She liked Nathan’s back walks but saw lots of awkward moments. Adam tells Nathan that he’s a polarizing contestant, but says he was helped by having Kathryn supporting him and gives Kathryn props for not sucking.
Legacy doesn’t have the cute pictures from his first dance recital. After seeing “You Got Served,” he decided to move to Santa Monica from Miami and dance for spare change. His dad calls him his Mini-Me. I think his dad might be a pompous ass.
Anyway, Legacy dances and he friggin’ defies gravity. He crabwalks, he spins on his head, he does all sorts of crazy stuff. Not surprisingly, he gets a standing ovation. He deserves a standing ovation. Unfortunately, his dad also stands up and starts making like Rocky, because clearly, this is all about him. This is what you call embarrassing your kid, Dad. I feel so sorry for Legacy now I can’t stand it.
Jakob and Ellenore
Choreographer: Sonja Tayek
This routine is. In. Cred. Ible. Sonja, being all about the twitchy, and Ellenore, being all about the quirky, are a choreographer/dancer match made in heaven. And Jakob, as we well know, can do anything. I think Ellenore may even outweigh the guy, but he tosses her around like a Kleenex, no problem. This routine is just gorgeous and passionate and wowza. That’s it. It’s just wowza.
Nigel screams he’s so excited. He thinks they’ve rewritten the rules when it comes the chemistry with each other and with Sonja. He suspects Ellenore and Sonja may be from the same planet, which is entirely true, although I hope Sonja doesn’t do that same weird baby talk in public. Mary starts hooting. She calls Jakob and Ellenore the new dream team. Ashleigh must be so depressed. Then, she screams again, and Nigel screams a little, too. Adam looks winded from everyone screaming. He says this was a big moment for the show. Then he screams. Then all three judges give them a standing ovation. And Mary screams some more. So, big hit. Or they just needed to scream after sitting on their butts for almost two hours.
Ashleigh was born in Utah. She started dancing ballroom at age 12. Then she had a rare parasitic infection that left her in a wheelchair. Her mom cries. She cries, and says life is perfect now. This is a whole Hallmark TV movie in less than five minutes! Quick, someone option her life rights!
Then, Ashleigh puts on some tinsel and dances. Again, I kind of feel like she needs Ryan, but she’s still got that fiery footwork going on.
Mollee and Russell
Choreographers: Anya and Pasha
They dance the Pony and the Mashed Potato. I feel like I’m watching “American Bandstand.” Russell looks like he’s having so much fun I forget to watch Mollee. I think this is kind of stupid, but it’s a crowd pleaser. Blech.
Nigel thinks they’re the only couple who could follow Jakob and Ellenore. He thinks they’re a fun couple and hopes they stick around. Mary thought it was fun, and she was feeling it. Then, she screams. Adam is feeling it, too. He loves this pairing and he says Mollee is back. Seriously, people, they did the MASHED POTATO. And the Pony. This is not what I call challenging. If uncoordinated teenagers in the early 1960s could do it, well, don’t expect me to be wowed.
He grew up in Florida. His dad tried to make him do sports. His mom finally took him to New York to see Broadway and save him from his awful dad. His mom is in the audience every week. She cries. Because I think there’s a rule that they won’t air your interview unless you cry.
If the Broadway or contemporary thing doesn’t work out, Jakob should seriously consider becoming a ballet dancer, because he so could. He could do anything, including Russian folk dancing, the lambada and clogging and he’d slam any of them out of the park. And I don’t think he has joints or, possibly, leg bones. And I’m rooting for him now more than ever, because I think his dad might be an ass who was trying to make his possibly gay son straight by shoving sports down his throat, which is so not okay with me.
So, that’s our show, and I’m feeling a little worried about Ashleigh and Legacy, as they had the one obvious flop of the night. Amazingly, I think Mollee’s in for the long haul and I’m hating her much less, but her old partner Fish Lips has got to go. And though I hate elimination Wednesdays, at least I can look forward to a scintillating performance by Snoop Dogg. Because when I think dance, I think... Snoop. Right.
Who do you think is going home? Do you think Mollee and Nathan are better off with new partners? And are you overly excited about Snoop Dogg?