And cue music

Posted: Thursday, July 02, 2009 by Travis Cody in

Welcome to

We welcome the return of Cat's LEGS this week. And we wondersss precious...isss it to be LEGSSES on performance night and ssstylish pantsses on results night? Yessss...we wondersss, my precious, we doesssss.

Judges are Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, and the mega-talented and highly opinionated Mia Michaels. Let's see what they make of our remaining 7 pairs.

But wait...Cat ambushes Mia (OK, the producers told her to do it to enhance the drama of the first dance, just go with me here) about whether her opinions have changed about the dancers...and Mia says yeeeessssss, and for the better. A-ha! Mia was hyper-critical of Brandon during the audition process. So it only makes sense that Janette and Brandon are up first.

Janette, 25 year old Salsa dancer, and Brandon, 19 year old Contemporary dancer, are paired for Cha Cha Cha choreographed by Jean-Marc and France Genereux. We're having a dangerous and sexy Cha Cha Cha. Now I normally like this dance to be cheeky and fun. In this case, the choreography was more on the sexy and sassy side and I liked it. I really appreciated the stiff legs to emphasize each movement. Janette and Brandon have a real connection with each other. And yet again Janette surprises me. I expected her to do well in this style owing to her Salsa experience, but she surpassed my expectations. And Brandon again is a strong partner. This was really an outstanding dance, and Nigel thinks it was world championship caliber. Mary put them on the Hot Tamale train with first class tickets. And Mia...she made Brandon cry because she said that the dancers she is toughest on are the ones that she thinks have the talent and potential to be special. She called him amazing. Both kids were fantastic.

Kayla, 18 year old Jazz/Contemporary dancer, and Kupono, 23 year old Lyrical/Contemporary dancer, are paired for Jazz choreographed by Sonya Tayeh. This is a dark routine, based on vampires and death. This dance makes excellent use of the strengths of both dancers. Kupono has quirks to his movement that suit Sonya's stories, and Kayla has the look and comfort on the floor that this dance required. I didn't connect with the story, but I did enjoy the dancing. It was fluid, with sharp movements mixed in. They were both wonderfully athletic, and I think this was one of Sonya's best pieces, regardless of whether I followed the story. Some of the lines they hit were excellent, extending from core through leg and out the feet. Sometimes the choreography really connects with the dancers, and this is one of those weeks, up to and including costumes and make-up. This was really well conceived, designed, and danced.

Randi, 23 year old Jazz dancer, and Evan, 22 year old Broadway dancer, are paired for Broadway choreographed by Joey Dowling. It was a rough rehearsal...Ms Dowling is demanding and lays out the steps pretty quickly. I suspect that's how a Broadway choreographer would do it, because time is money y'all. I loved the story. The piece was well acted as well as danced. This was right in Evan's wheelhouse and I thought he nailed it. The choreography had so many little details that Evan was all over...little character things that just bring the dance to life and are so suited to the way he dances. And Randi...for as small as she is...was able to capture the Gwen Virdon/Bob Fosse vibe. I did not understand the criticisms from the judges, and I didn't hear anything in that criticism that was a specific constructive note. Maybe "bring more" and "take it to another level" mean something to the dancers. I can report that I loved the dance. I understand that I'm biased because Evan is my favorite dancer, but I thought the judges' comments didn't match what I watched.

Caitlin, 21 year old Contemporary dancer, and Jason, 21 year old Lyrical/Contemporary dancer, are paired for Pop/Jazz choreographed by Brian Friedman. This dance is supposed to be something called an alien impregnation...and I'm sorry to say that I thought the choreography was a bit self-indulgent from Brian. It didn't think it served either dancer well, and that's a shame for a pair that is dancing the line between advancing and going home each week. I did not like that dance and I did not like either dancer in it. Caitlin and Jason are better dancers than that piece showed. I don't normally blame the choreography because it is what it is and it's the dancers' job to commit to it, to interpret it, and to dance it well. But this week, if either of them goes home, I'm going to blame the choreography. They committed to the dance, but it just didn't work for me.

Jeanine, 18 year old Contemporary dancer, and Phillip, 20 year old Popper, are paired for Hip Hop choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon D'Umo. They should be able to really get this. Tab and Nap have chained them together as a metaphor for how they are locked together and dependent on each other. This could be amazing or dangerous...and I thought it was amazing. This is what Phillip is best at, and Jeanine did a fantastic job as well. This was aggressive style hip hop and they both attacked the choreography and hit on everything. I thought that the chain added depth to the piece. They work very well together. I enjoy this pair in this style, and I love Tab and Nap too.

Melissa, 29 year old Ballet dancer, and Ade, 20 year old Contemporary dancer, are paired for Pas de Deux choreographed by Thordal Christensen. I've been waiting for this ever since I got the spoiler in email today. These two dancers in this style should create a moment, and they do. The piece is from Romeo and Juliet. Oh. Oh. Wow. Stunning. Ade's strength combined with Melissa's en pointe...simply beautiful. Every movement captured the story of young love. I loved it. That goes on the Best Of list.

Karla, 23 year old Contemporary dancer, and Vitolio, 25 year old Contemporary dancer, are paired for Quickstep choreographed by Jean-Marc and France Genereux. This dance has traditionally been the kiss of death for most pairs. The key here is to embrace the challenge and attack the dance...otherwise it'll eat you up! I like that JM has created a story around the dance. And not just a story, but a concept with characters for the two dancers to interpret and inhabit. That approach definitely helped. Vitolio's leaps to begin the dance were terrific. This dance was quite charming. They did well with the steps and kept fairly good posture in hold. They didn't get in close enough hold through the meat of the dance, but it didn't really matter because they made it so enjoyable to watch. They really performed the hell out of it and I enjoyed watching them. It really was a decent Quickstep, helped by the side by side work. Nicely done.

Good show tonight. There was really only the one dance that I didn't connect with. Eliminations keep getting tougher. I suspect that whoever goes home tonight can be proud of the final piece they performed on Wednesday.

My votes went to Randi and Evan, of course. I'm locked in there gang. Pam rotated again between Melissa and Ade, Randi and Evan, and Janette and Brandon. She can still get away with splitting votes, at least until Top 10.

Quick promo for a worthy cause. The Dizzy Feet Foundation is an organization that brings dance to kids. From the website:

Dizzy Feet Foundation was founded in 2009 by Nigel Lythgoe, director Adam Shankman, "Dancing with the Stars" judge Carrie Ann Inaba and actress Katie Holmes to support, improve and increase access to dance education in the United States. Guided by a board consisting of some of the most illustrious names in the American dance community, the foundation's mission is threefold:

(1) to provide scholarships and grants to talented dancers, choreographers and teachers working at or through accredited dance studios; (2) to establish national standards for dance education and an accreditation program for dance; (3) to develop, provide and support dance education programs for disadvantaged children by working through and with community organizations.

The 100th episode will air on 23 July. Tyce Diorio has choreographed a tribute to Judy Garland, starring Katie Holmes. Ms Holmes will donate her performance fee to The Dizzy Feet Foundation. I didn't know she danced, but evidently she does.

Tune in tonight for results, and perhaps more details about the 100th show.


  1. Anonymous says: favs, Janette and Brandon were the bomb and I was elated that Mary gave them 1st class Hot Tamale Train tickets. I didn't even mind her when she did it. They are the bomb. Evan and Randi seemed to do the same type of dance as last week. I didn't really care for it much. I liked Philip and Jeanine. Caitlin and Jason's dance was just weird. Real different.

    I'm anxious to see the July 23rd episode. Should be interesting.

    Trav, my mom is up in your neck of the woods. She's visiting my brother and SIL in Seattle so I wont be posting anything about this on my site.

    I'm having a hard time deciding who will be voted off. They are all so different and all so good. I love all these kids...excellent. I just have no idea who would go home :)

  1. Marsha says:

    I've seen the leaks about Kate being on the show, so now we know what it's all about now.

    I'm so glad that Mia has changed her opinion on Brandon. I wondered if she wasn't giving him a hard time because she really thought he was good and wanted to push him to be better.

    Boy, the dancers were really good this week, although, like you I didn't connect with all the dances. Caitlin and Jason were far better than the dance they were given!

    There has to be a 'bottom 3' so, I'm glad I'm not the one that has to pick who goes home!

  1. Jody says:

    This is my first time watching this show. (from the beginning)

    You know I am really beginning to like Mary and her wah hooing alot lol. At first I was worried that she would annoy me to death.

    Did you see that weird guy in the hat behind the teachers? Seriously I expected him to start barking at some point.

    Janette/Brandon - I really like Brandon a lot. But for some reason Janette just irritates the hell out of me. I don't know why but I just don't like her at all.

    Kayle/Kupono - They look good together. I totally enjoyed the death dance LMAO

    Randi/Evan - This is my favorite couple. They make me smile and I am always happy when they dance.

    Caitlin/Jason - It was a strange dance. I couldn't stop watching though. That outfit had to be hot with the rubber head thing though.

    Janine/Philip - The concept of the chain was good but I ended up watching it more then them. There was one point it was wrapped around her leg and I got all paranoid. So I guess the dance was good.

    Melissa/Ade - Oh look the ballerina got to dance on her toes. UGH another woman I am not sure I like. She just acts a little to cutesy for me. I do like Ade though

    Karla/Vitolio - How in the hell did they do that with the dress. I even rewound it and still don't understand. I liked it a lot. But man does he sweat a lot.

  1. Anndi says:

    Something happens after I have time to look the dances over again.

    I may be heartless, but the whole Mia/Brandon thing was far too orchestrated and contrived for me to buy in to it and irritated me.

    The cha cha cha was very good, not the best ever, but very good. However, I would have liked Brandon's body roll to be a Big Kahuna wave rather than a kiddie pool one. I know... picky. And the winks and lipsynching... ugh. That isn't performing, it's pageant. But Ms Janette is one hot number, yes she is!

    Kayla and Kupono are a wonderful pair. Her extensions are divine, his lines are killer. He's the most graceful of the men, all the while being quirky. I like that. And I didn't care that I didn't understand what story Sonya was trying to tell, watching them dance was lovely.

    I was confused about the criticism given to Randi and Evan, as you know. It felt like knitpicking. I watched the Fosse version of the Frug... and I think Evan captured those movements quite well. This being said, I think this should have been saved for a group number. And if the issue is height, shame on the choreographer for not realizing it may be an issue... oh wait, she's an Amazon...

    Caitlin and Jason, meh. This couple lacks chemistry between them, and while Brian friedman was a bit over the top with this routine, I don't think Caitlin rose up to meet the challenge. Jason was ok.

    Jeannine and Phillip managed to survive a dance who's prop overshadowed some of the dance. I do have to say the chest pumps were quite good. While we've seen versatility from Jeannine, and being dealt two hip-hop routines so early on hasn't shown us whether Phillip is more than a one trick pony... I know, not his fault.

    Melissa and Ade. It was a lovely routine, she danced beautifully, but, well... it's a highly technical dance and I expected nothing less from a professional ballerina. He was strong but his feet weren't quite right. His solo section was strong as were the lifts (Note to the choreographers: Ade is more than a crane, please use him accordingly). If you want to be sucked in to the story of Romeo and Juliet and see something magical: Nureyev and Fonteyn. That? is WOW! Or look for Alessandra Ferri. My, my, my.

    Kudos to Karla and Vitolio for surviving the dreaded cursed Quickstep. It was thoroughly enjoyable. And woo for the dress trick!

    I would send Caitlin home, and probably Jason... his whinning about the Paso not being watered down for them annoyed me.

    I'm glad the couch number is over, we may avoid seeing Tom when Katie Holmes dances.

  1. Travis says:

    Thom: This is going to be a tough elimination because they all danced very well this week.

    Marsha: I agree that Caitlin and Jason were not well served by the choreography.

    Jody: Welcome! Mary is an acquired taste for certain. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I really enjoy seeing what other people enjoy about this show.

    Ann: I'm fixing to go watch them all again. I don't often change my initial impressions that I write down in the moment. But perhaps this will be the first week. I do like your insights though.

  1. Linda says:

    I'm with you in not knowing why the judges were so critical of Evan and Randi - I thought their routine was 'spot on' and loved it. I didn't care for the alien dance at all and couldn't quite understand why the judges liked it as well as they did.

    Having seen tonight's results shows, I know the answer to your first question about Cat's legs and it sure weren't pantsses tonight!

  1. I was mesmerized by your opening paragraph.........sssssss.....