And cue music for our Top 14

Posted: Wednesday, November 18, 2009 by Travis Cody in

Welcome to

Cat Deeley's LEGSSES. Now that's more like it. Her hair is wild and flowing. Her make-up enhances her natural features. Her dress is WOW. And the shoes...THUMP-inducing.

Welcome as always to our permanent panel of judges...Adam Shankman, Mary Murphy, and Nigel Lythgoe.

Let's see if anybody wakes up the itch in my fingers to dial up and vote.

Ashleigh DiLello, a 26 year old ballroom dancer, is paired with Jakob Karr, a 19 year old contemporary dancer for Hip Hop choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon D'Umo. Ashleigh's acting was outstanding. She held character through the entire piece. Both of them embraced the style. These are the hip hop pieces that I really enjoy...character and story are equally as important as movement. This was a strong performance from both dancers. Tab & Nap gave them steps, and then Ashleigh and Jakob took it to another level. This is really a powerful partnership. I'm impressed with them as a pair, and also individually.

Karen Hauer, a 27 year old American rhythm dancer, is paired with Kevin Hunte, a 23 year old hip hop dancer, for Broadway choreographed by Spencer Liff. Kevin danced very carefully. Karen seemed to embrace the joy from the music and movement more readily. But together they didn't really interpret the music as well as I would have liked. The choreography was straight out of a theatre. But what the pair of them were really missing was the lightness and the detail. This particular piece required exaggerated expressions. Congratulations and welcome to Spencer. If he had better technical dancers, this piece could have been a show stopper. Still, I do give both dancers credit. Kevin didn't dance badly...he did the steps and didn't make any major mistakes. Karen danced well. They just didn't interpret the story and character as well as they should have.

Noelle Marsh, an 18 year old contemporary dancer, is paired with Russell Ferguson, a 20 year old krumper, for Foxtrot choreographed by Eddie Simon. The first time they got this dance, Noelle was injured. So they get to dance it together for the first time even though they picked it once already. I lke the choreography. I liked some of the lines they made out of hold. I could tell that they enjoy each other, and that helps them interpret the music. I thought Russell's frame was outstanding and that he led Noelle through the steps quite well. And Noelle surprises me. She was smooth and classy, and her footwork was excellent. This was quite an imporessive dance for both of them. They were out of their own style, but you really couldn't tell because they danced with confidence and conveyed how much fun it was to do. Well done.

Channing Cooke, an 18 year old contemporary dancer, is paired with Victor Smalley, a 20 year old contemporary dancer, for Jazz choreographed by Tyce Dioreo. I could tell in the rehearsal footage that what Tyce wanted was staccato movement...very clipped and crisp. I didn't see that kind of movement in the performance. Both dancers seemed to soften what should have been sharp. They danced the movement they were given, but I wanted more of that crispness. If your character is a bird, then move like a bird does. I think these two have a lot of potential, but I don't feel like they are embracing the challenges every week. I wanted to like this piece, but I guess maybe it wasn't quirky enough. This seemed like the kind of choreography where the pair of them could really let go and just be dancers.

Kathryn McCormick, an 18 year old contemporary dancer, is paired with Legacy Perez, a 28 year old B-Boy, for Paso Doble choreographed by Tony Meredith. His control, posture, frame, footwork...all of it was impressive. This was difficult choreography and they handled it beautifully. Wow. That was really good. It had power, drama, passion, and intensity. The dancing seemed effortless. Last week I thought Legacy overshadowed Kathryn, but this week they were equals. They enhanced each other. There doesn't seem to be anything he can't do, and she is well suited to dramatic pieces like this one. Well done.

Ellenore Scott, a 19 year old contemporary dancer, is paired with Ryan DiLello, a 28 year old ballroom dancer, for Contemporary choreographed by Travis Wall. There's your moment for season 6, at least so far. That was absolutely stunning. As poorly as they fared with krump last week, this was an amazing marriage of dancers with choreography. All of the movement flowed so well that you couldn't tell where one step ended and another began. They portratyed character and story beautifully. The acting and dancing was seamless. They made some extraorinary lines, individually and together. Outstanding.

Mollee Gray, an 18 year old jazz dancer, is paired with Nathan Trasoras, an 18 year old contemporary dancer, for Pop Jazz choreographed by Lauriann Gibson. It was a gamble to put two very young dancers together. They have plenty of enthusiasm, and there is talent there. But for me they don't dance with any kind of maturity. And unfortunately this week I didn't care for the choreography or the music. I'm not realy a fan of Ms Gibson. So this dance was just a total bust for me. I think there's a ton of potential in both of them. I think in this instance, I prefer Nigel's approach to both of these kids. He reminds them that they need to mature quickly, whereas Mary continues to refer to them as a dream team. It's more to the dancers' benefit to be honest about where they are at this stage.

There were some intriguing performances this week. Some dancers were able to take advantage of the styles they had. We saw vast amounts of talent. We saw potential that was exceeded, and potential that wasn't quite reached.

I could have voted for Ellenore and Ryan this week. I thought they had the dance of the night.

Tune in tonight for results.


  1. I must agree regarding Nathan and Molee. I expect High School Musical 4 to break out any minute. I do think than Mary needs to quit pimping them as the "Dream Team" though.
    Elenore is benefiting from Ryan's strength. She can trust him to catch her regardless of the difficulty of the lift, which frees her to dance on a whole new level. He makes it look effortless. Overall, it was a very good show last night.

  1. Travis, I adore your love of dance. I don't even need to see clips to know how each couple performed. You rock.

  1. Marsha says:

    Was a better show last night for most of the couples than last week. I'm thinking Karen and Kevin are in trouble and I don't really see Nathan and Mollee making it to the top 10.

  1. Jody says:

    Ashleigh and Jakob: Hip hop
    They did well but I have this feeling I am not going to remember this at all tomorrow. I still am looking forward to individual voting so Ashleigh can disappear. I cannot be the only one who doesn't like her. And it has nothing to do with her dancing.

    Karen and Kevin: Broadway
    Ouch that wasn't good at all was it. I have to agree that I was glad they didn't make her a sex pot but at the same time I think they went way to far into making her cutesy. Kevin really does seem to be trying so very hard. I just didn't get excited about this dance.

    Noelle and Russell: Foxtrot
    Did you see how dang happy those two see to be? They were dancing filled with joy and what actually looked like no nerves. And Russell tends to be nervous. (puts on mean hat) I am sure that this dance was MUCH more fun then having to dance with the last instructor. This partnership is beginning to really click!

    Channing and Victor: Contemporary
    WTF? I was so torn between thinking the dance was stunning to wondering what kind of drugs Tyce was on when he created this.
    The dance was interesting and one that I definately remember. But like I said I couldn't figure out why I liked it but at the same time almost hated it. Adam solved that puzzle for me as he judged them. The music actually sucked. Sounded alien and made it hard to enjoy the dancing.

    Kathryn and Legacy: Paso Doble
    HOLY COW!! Did you see them both? Strong, sexy, fierce. They owned every step they took. Both of them. They danced with flare that made you sit up and watch with a smile. This couple is shocking the hell out of me because I would have never guessed they were capable of this. I loved it.

    Ellenore and Ryan: Contemporary
    (side note.. Ryan did the whole open shirt thing in the beginning which made me gag a bit.)
    In my head the story was different then what it was suppose to be. But that is ok I guess. I enjoyed the dance. It was actually pretty. The look they gave each other as they bumped into each other in the beginning of the dance was smoldering. I will remember this dance for a while at least.

    Mollee and Nathan: Pop Jazz
    You can tell just by looking at them that they realized this is not a game. This is serious. We screwed up before and we are going to show them we can dance even if we are babies.
    And they did. They were sharp. They matched. They looked like they were actually dancing and not just playing dress up.
    Most improved from last week for sure.

    Now who will be in the bnttom three. I really have no clue. America is funny when they vote.

  1. Bond says:

    Not reading - on TiVo..hoping to watch tonight

  1. Anndi says:

    I'm finally getting into the groove of the season. Took me long enough but the format and that awful stage sucked the fun out of it for a while. Or maybe I'M starting to get over the fact that Ryan didn't make the cut.

    Favourite dance of the evening was Ellenore and Ryan's contemporary piece. Hallelujah for Travis Wall and for not just making Ryan look like a crane (the biggest danger when you have a male dancer who is so strong).

    I never tire of watching Jakob either. I'd be in heaven if he was paired with Ellenore.

    Tyce had me shaking my head. And all the time Nigel and Mary were judging I wondered if I was the only on having a hard time with that music but God Bless Adam Shankman because he NAILED it when he judged that routine.

    And hello Kathryn and Legacy! My word last night was smoldering.

    I'm so very impressed by Russell and Legacy. They pay attention, they study, they work hard. I see them both in the top 10.

    I think Kevin and Karen are in trouble...

    I would have voted Ellenore (way to go quirky!) and Ryan (*sigh* I love ballroom boys) and thrown Jakob votes as well... I think he's the top male in this competition.

  1. Channing and Kevin were both so very talented but I don't think either of them engaged the audience.

  1. Bond says:

    Watched last night...have not seen the results show, so not reading that post yet

    Truly my first time seeing this group of dancers..

    Very much enjoyed Ashleigh and Jakob; Noelle and Russell; Legacy (what a surprise for me as I have not seen him since auditions - the boy can dance!)and Kathryn; and Ellenore and Ryan.

  1. Legacy is the SHIZ!

  1. Jamie says:

    Can you believe there is now a website offshoot of lol cats called The Daily Squee

    Beware of high sugar intake and an irresistable urge to go awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

  1. Akelamalu says:

    We've got Strictly Come Dancing at the moment but none of the contestants are lighting my fire.

  1. TopChamp says: old days of Ms Deeley