Top 10

Posted: Thursday, July 17, 2008 by Travis Cody in

Welcome to the Top 10!

This week, our dancers pick new partners. The new pairs will perform two dances together, as well as a solo.

You know what that means?

That's right, friends and's time to vote for your favorite dancer instead of your favorite pair. And only viewer votes count from now on...the judges can no longer save any dancers.

Let's begin with our rankings, from our favorite on down.

1. Twitch
2. Will
3. Kherington
4. Katee
5. Joshua
6. Courtney
7. Chelsie
8. Mark
9. Gev
10. Comfort

Now before we go too much farther, we've had an unfortunate injury, which is why Comfort is ranked in our Top 10 instead of Jessica. Jessica has been advised by doctors to withdraw from the competition due to broken ribs. She will be replaced by Comfort.

Our judges tonight are Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, and guest judge Lil C.

We've got a lot to review, so let's get started with the first pairs round. The girls pick the partners.

Courtney and Joshua dance hip hop by Dave Scott. We liked it much better when they danced closer together. We enjoyed the characters in the story, but we do wish they hadn't been so spread out during the routine because it was hard to focus on both of them. They had good chemistry between them. We expected Joshua do dance well, so we ended up trying to watch more of Courtney. We thought she did ok, but certainly not to his level. Say 7 for Courtney and 9 for Joshua.

Chelsie dances a surprisingly boring solo. Lots of smiling but not much content.

Kherington and Mark dance two step by Ronnie and Brandi. This is a first on the show. Competitive two step is tough to do well. And they didn't do it well. It was awkward throughout. They didn't have any chemistry between them and it ended up looking like a new partnership. It looked too cheesy, and that's a shame because the choreography looked like it was really good. Say 7 for Kherington and 6 for Mark.

Gev dances a trick filled hip hop solo. We're enjoying him a lot more in other styles.

Comfort and Twitch dance smooth waltz by Hunter Johnson. Drat. I would have preferred a different style for this pair. Neither one of them can hide the flaws in technique. There's no way to make a smooth waltz exciting, so you have to dance the story and the characters and the romance. Let's be fell short. They weren't horrible, but the dance just didn't measure up. This was just the wrong style for them, but they have to figure out how to step up to the style and perform. Say 6 for Comfort and 7 for Twitch.

Courtney dances her solo with power, drama, and passion. That's dancing to get some votes...and we love her smile!

Katee and Will dance Broadway by Tyce Diorio. This should be a great partnership. Technically outstanding. Lots of fun. Great character. High energy. The choreography was tremendous and they translated it into an amazing performance. Will embraced the fun in the piece, and Katee is every bit as talented as he is. This pairing lived up to the hype. Say 10 for both of them.

Mark shows off his odd style. Not liking it so much.

Chelsie and Gev dance contemporary by Sonya. We definitely like Gev in this. You'd never know that he considers himself a hip hop dancer. The choreography was wonderful and the pair of them were quite engaging. They performed a routine that was a pleasure to watch, and that's what dance is about. Chelsie had a much better showing in this dance than she did in her solo, which isn't surprising since she's a ballroom dancer. Say 9 for Chelsie and 8 for Gev.

Comfort takes charge of her reprieve and attacks her hip hop solo. We still think she's a few notches below the other dancers, but this was a better solo effort than in the past.

You know, I raved a lot last week about this Top 10. I called them the most talented group across all the seasons. And there were some great moments in the first round of pairs dances. But there was a bit more clunkiness than I expected too.

I still think that talent will rise, so let's see how they do in round two.

First, Twitch is all over the stage with his dynamic talent and personality. He's a cut above.

Courtney and Joshua dance Rumba by Jean-Marc Genereaux. That was very well done. It was sexy and romantic, and they did very well with the technique. The dance also had an elegant quality. We loved Jean-Marc's choreography and the story he gave them to dance. Outstanding. Say 10 for both of them.

Katee dances her solo with such joy and energy, and she's technically brilliant. Her movement is so good, and she dances effortlessly.

Kherington and Mark dance jazz by Tyce Diorio. She was much more comfortable with this style and her personality showed up this time. We still didn't feel any connection between the two of them and there's something about Mark we just didn't like any time he danced this week. I guess technically they were ok. But this dance should have been a lot more exciting. Say 8 for Kherington and 6 for Mark.

Will...let's see. I'm looking for some more adjectives. How about marvelous? Yeah. Will is marvelous.

Comfort and Twitch dance hip hop by Dave Scott. There you go! That's what I want to see...two dancers right in their element, nailing a brilliantly choreographed routine by one of the best in the business. Lil C says it was where "internal artistry meets physical expression". Yup. And Comfort was up to the challenge of dancing with Twitch. I thought he was going to blow her off the stage...but they were right in line with each other. They were focused on the movement and they shared it. They meshed as a team. Say 10 for both of them.

Kherington needed a great solo after a couple of sub-par pairs routines, but she didn't get there.

Katee and Will dance a ballet style that I don't know how to spell by Desmond and Dwight. Desmond Richardson is one of the greatest contemporary ballet dancers in the world. It was amazing to have him make a dance for this program. Katee and Will were the only two dancers this season who could have pulled this off. Their movement, both individually and together, gave us chills. Pam was in tears by the time it was over. That was one of the most professional dances I've ever seen on this show. Simply stunning. Say 10 for the both of them, despite the bobble midway through.

Joshua throws down a strong hip hop solo, but we like him for how versatile he is.

Chelsie and Gev dance jive by Jean-Marc Genereaux. There were some outstanding technical elements in that jive that they did very well. They had some problems with transitions between moves. But that was some of the most difficult jive choreography I've ever seen. They did a very credible job with it, and we enjoyed watching it. It was fun. She carried the dance though. Say 9 for her and 7 for him.

We enjoyed Lil C as a judge last night. He gave some great notes to the dancers and we thought his comments were right in line with what we saw.

Here's how we ranked the pairs:

1. Katee & Will - two radically different dances, two brilliant performances
2. Comfort & Twitch - the first dance was forgettable, the second was outstanding
3. Courtney & Joshua - the first dance was good, the second excellent
4. Chelsie & Gev - the partnership is terrific and they had two solid dances
5. Kherington & Mark - off night, and it wasn't helped by a couple of sub par solos

We've split here in the Travis & Pam abode. I'm a Twitch man all the way. But Pam has gone over to Will. She says he's the best dancer on the stage. I can't disagree...he is. But Twitch is my favorite.

This is how I rank the dancers, from most favorite to least.

1. Twitch
2. Will
3. Katee
4. Courtney
5. Joshua
6. Chelsie
7. Kherington
8. Gev
9. Comfort
10. Mark

Yup, some changes in that list based on things we saw tonight. We got comfortable with the previous partnerships. Last night we saw some of the dancers shine in new pairings, and others really lose momentum when they couldn't connect with a new partner.

If you check out the results tonight, you'll see three group routines! Whoa!

It's Doodle Week in the bloggosphere. Now I'm not participating, but Morgen had some instructions on how to make a doodle, so I tried it last night. And what would I doodle?

I doodle about dancing of course!


  1. DrillerAA says:

    Kherington had a "Bad Night at Black Rock". She just looked sluggish on her solo and the Two Step just didn't work. I guess they should be thankful they didn't draw Bollywood this week.
    Will and Katee are the ones to beat right now. I think they may finish one, two in the competition. They are just more versatile than anyone else.

  1. Marsha says:

    There were some good dances last night, well, some REALLY good dances. But there were some stinkers too. I thought the second round of dances were better than the first..just me. But I gotta say, dang Twitch and Comfort were GOOD. And I agree about the Pas de Deux - it was OUTSTANDING! My top 3 - Twitch, Will, Katee.

  1. Julie says:

    Bwhaahhaha "....a ballet style that I don't know how to spell." I felt the same way! Drove me crazy! I enjoyed your review got me pumped up for tonight.

    Now this doodle you did...ummmm.....

  1. Mags says:

    I think it's a great doodle!

  1. Your doodle looks freakishly like Sarge's, Trav!

  1. We are in 100% agreement on the ranking!

  1. Anonymous says:

    I like your doodle. I can't dance...

  1. Bond says:

    I was sad to see Kherington struggle last night, but I do think Mark and Comfort will be going...Mark is a weak partner...

  1. Anndi says:

    I agree with most of the ranking...

    But I don't believe Mark is as weak as comfort overall. I'm not willing to blame Mark for the collapse of his partnership with Kherington. In my opinion, that's a crock. I just think they both got too comfortable with their previous partners.
    He was lovely to watch in the past and has incredible ability to bring the story to life. He was outstanding when he was paired with Chelsie and they danced "beautiful" by Mia Michaels. And "Bleeding Love" conveyed an emotion that astounded me. This is not a "partner" competition.. it's about strength and overall ability.

    Gev is entertaining... but I'm not 100% sold on him.

    I'm not looking forward to the eliminations.
    Comfort does not have the depth and I expect she'll leave. The men are overall stronger than the women...

  1. Travis says:

    Drilleraa: I was really surprised and quite disappointed by Kherington. They are definitely stepping forward as the two best dancers, but the fans don't always pick the "best".

    Marsha: Pas de Deux! That's it! I agree that the second set of dances was much improved.

    Julie: I'm embarrassed that I didn't hear the style correctly and I should have known it because I'm a fan of Desmond Richardson.

    Mags: Thanks!

    WT4W: Does it?

    Starr: We are quite the pair, aren't we?

    Lois: I guess I was a bit hard on myself with the doodling.

    V: I'm not sure what it was, but Mark and Kherington just weren't putting it together. I think it's going to be a tough elimination for the guys.

    Ann: I did enjoy Chelsie and Mark. That partnership was improving each week. But there was just something about Mark I didn't care for this week. And while it's not a partner competition, that's how we see the dancers and sometimes it becomes difficult to separate them to see the individual strengths and weaknesses. Both Mark & Gev have had the votes so far, so we'll see if we have a surprise elimination among the guys this week.

  1. Linda says:

    Just stopping by to say 'hello' as I haven't even had the TV on all week - never mind actually watched anything!

    Great review as always, Travis - you should seriously get paid for these!

    Oh, and I love the doodle! Very nicely done!

  1. BeckEye says:

    I love Mark. I just find him so appealing. But yeah, his solos are a bit odd.

  1. Josh is one of my favorites. It's getting really good, though. Competition is tough.

  1. Travis says:

    Linda: That's great to get away from the tv for awhile.

    Beck: Maybe I can reconnect with him a bit this week, but he's awfully quirky and I'm having trouble with that.

    CWM: Competition is way tough.

  1. jennifer says:

    You doodle was hysterical. Very Travis!