And then there were eight

Posted: Thursday, July 24, 2008 by Travis Cody in

We're down to the Top 8 now and only two weeks from the finale. The dancers switched partners last week for the first time, and they'll switch again this week. Each pair will dance twice, and everyone gets a solo. And we vote for our favorite dancer.

Let me just set my rankings, from my most favorite on down. The number in parentheses is Pam's rank.

  1. Twitch (4)
  2. Will (1)
  3. Katee (2)
  4. Courtney (3)
  5. Joshua
  6. Chelsie
  7. Comfort
  8. Mark

Judges tonight are Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, and Toni!

Courtney and Will dance Samba by Jean-Marc Genereaux. Will can dance anything. They had a little trouble with the technique in spots. But they really performed the spirit of the dance. They had the hip action going. It was sexy and fast and fun. They connected with each other, and that translated to the crowd. It's easy for a girl to get a bit lost in Will's shadow, but Courtney held her own. It helps that Will is a generous dancer. Say 8 for Courtney and 9 for Will.

Comfort shows off her hip hop skills. In the pre-solo interview, she reveals that she attended a performing arts school. That's what is helping her through some of the more technical styles.

Katee and Twitch dance contemporary by Mia Michaels. These two actually knew each other before the show. We think that familiarity helped them because this was a really physical performance. It was made to be rough and harsh and aggressive. That was stage art. Mia infused both of their styles into her choreography, and they both danced so relaxed. Say 10 for Katee and 9 for Twitch.

Will was inspired by the movie Dirty Dancing. HA! He attended Debbie Allen's Dance Academy, which is why Debbie is not able to judge this season while he's on the show. And he is brilliant in a little parody of James Brown. He just proved he's more than a dancer...he's a star, win or lose this show.

Comfort and Mark dance hip hop by Tabitha & Napoleon. This is the hard hip hop that usually turns me off. There were a couple of great tricks. They hit what they needed to hit. They turned on the crowd. These are two of our least favorite dancers in choreography that we didn't connect with, but the judges praised the dance and I suspect that fans of hip hop and of these two dancers will be pleased with what they did. Based on the judges' recaction, say 9 for Comfort and 8 for Mark.

Katee tells us that she started dancing at the age of 4, with tap class. We simply love her movement. She just throws herself into the music and interprets it so well.

Chelsie and Joshua dance Argentine Tango by Dimitri Chaplin from season 2. The choreography was wonderful and the characterization was excellent. They hit some good lines, but they were also a bit loose in hold. That took some of the drama out of their footwork. It was a good performance. He is a strong partner, she uses her legs to great effect, and together they had strong chemistry. Say 9 for Chelsie and 8 for Joshua.

Mark was inspired by Phantom of the Opera. He went to a performing arts school. He's just too quirky for us. We do like his energy though.

Courtney and Will dance hip hop by Tabitha & Napoleon. This is more the style of hip hop we enjoy. We like that every beat has a movement that furthers the story. They nailed the characters and captured the emotion. It was tight and extremely well performed. Say 9 for Courtney and 10 for Will.

Chelsie tells us that she started dancing in elementary school to overcome her shyness. She did a much better job this week of de-emphasizing her ballroom style in her solo. And happy 19th birthday young lady!

Katee and Twitch dance Broadway by Tyce Diorio. Whoa! Twitch danced about a 4 count with Katee draped over his shoulders. They are strong apart, and strong together. He is amazingly talented and she is just wonderful. Toni said Twitch dances from the inside out...she meant that he brings a street reality to his performance that trained dancers may not be able to find. And Katee has a way of interpreting the music and movement that I can't really explain. So I'll just say 10 for the pair of them.

Joshua took a permission slip for an dance auditon home in exchange for a piece of candy from his 3rd grade teacher. We didn't care for that solo. Dang.

Comfort and Mark dance Fox Trot by Jean-Marc Genereaux. Now we have to give Mark props for his partnering in this dance because he really pulled her through it. He was classic and elegant. He was also patient because a couple of times he had to wait for her to catch up to the choreography, which really threw him off. This was a bad style for them, and it's too bad that this was the second dance. Say 6 for Comfort and 7 for Mark.

Courtney started dancing at 3 years old, caught the bug, and can't give it up. And we are the better for it. We want Courtney and Katee to be in the final 4 so we can see them dance together.

Chelsie and Joshua dance disco by Doriana Sanchez. He lost his balance on a solo turn and covered it pretty well. Unfortunately the whole routine looked very awkward. This is the first time we really didn't believe Joshua was commited to the style of dance. It was very difficult choreography with a lot of tricks and lifts...and give Josh props on those lifts for his strength and give Chelsie props for being so fearless. But we think they didn't took full advantage of the possibilities in that routine. Say 9 for Chelsie and 8 for Joshua.

Twitch didn't start taking dance seriously until his senior year, when he tried out for his school dance team. He is so good, and his personality just makes us smile.

Let me summarize the pairs real quick:

  • Katee & Twitch - We were so excited to hear about this partnership, and they did not disappoint. We thought they had two of the top three performances of the night. Both had outstanding solos.
  • Courtney & Will - The first dance was solid. The second was one of the top three performances of the night. Both had outstanding solos.
  • Chelsie & Joshua - We thought she had the stronger night because her ballroom background really came into play in both styles, and her solo showed more versatility. Joshua demonstrated his strength as a partner, but we thought his solo was lacking.
  • Comfort & Mark - Unfortunately we didn't connect with them in the first dance because of the choreography. The second dance was subpar when compared to how well the other pairs danced. Comfort's solo was one dimensional, while Mark's was typically quirky.

So where do we stand at the end of the night? Pam is busy dialing for Will, and I'm dialing for Twitch. No changes there. Our overall rankings look like this:

  1. Twitch (3)
  2. Will (1)
  3. Katee (2)
  4. Courtney
  5. Chelsie
  6. Joshua
  7. Mark
  8. Comfort

Based on what we saw last night, we think Comfort and Mark are in the most danger.

Only one of the eight great dancers can win, and we're approaching the point where I don't want anyone to go home.

Let's just call it a tie right now, shall we? No? Can't do that?

OK. I'm sticking with Twitch. Pam's guy is Will.

Later babies!


  1. Marsha says:

    Man, there were some really good dances last night.....and a few stinkers. I loved...LOVED Will's helped give him something that he's been missing - personality. While Will is technically the better dancer, Twitch has that special personality and his dancing improves beyond hip hop every dang week!

  1. Bond says:

    Honestly, Comfort and Mark's last dance was below par out of all the dances...They are the 'weakest' of all those left and i agree with you Twitch is the dancer to Nigel said, he has the least amount of 'education' yet he just keeps amazing us

  1. i get tired just watching them!

    smiles, bee

  1. Twitch is awesome but I am with Pam =)

  1. Anonymous says:

    just dropping by to say hello and to have a great Thursday... the weekend is almost here!


  1. TopChamp says:

    I can't believe how short the solo dances are.

    There aren't many on you tube for me to watch just now so I'll have to rely on your judgement.. and I love the extra info you've provided - so thank you Travis.

  1. Travis says:

    Marsha: I'm rooting for Twitch because I think it's time for a hip hop dancer to win it, and he's the best I've seen in 4 seasons. But Will is the best dancer.

    V: C&M are the "weakest", but not because they can't dance. It's an incredibly strong field.

    Bee: I know!

    Starr: If Twitch wasn't there, Will would be my guy.

    Lois: Wooooooooo!!! My weekend is here! I have tomorrow off! YAY ME!

    TC: You are most welcome. This sure has been a tough competition.

  1. Wow, what a night! It's getting really close for me. The good ones are just getting better.