And cue LEGSSES...

Posted: Thursday, June 16, 2011 by Travis Cody in

Welcome to

Yeah, sorry.  I've decided you're just going to have to live with the LEGSSES.  I enjoy Ms Deeley's LEGSSES almost as much as I enjoy the dancing.

We likess the little sshimmery black dresses that showss off the LEGSSES to maximum effect, preciouss...we doess indeed.  And the sshoesses!  Hair and make up...understated and relaxed.   Yess preciouss...very nice indeed.

Resident judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy are joined by Megan Mullally, who trained in classical ballet as a young woman and has worked in musicals on Broadway.

Dangit!  We've lost Mitchell for tonight due to an elbow injury.  He will automatically go to the bottom 3 guys for elimination consideration.

Jordan Casanova, 19 year old Jazz dancer, and Tadd Gadduang, 25 year old Hip Hop dancer, pair up for African Jazz choreographed by Sean Cheesman.  For a Hip Hop guy, Tadd showed excellent strength and control during the lifts.  His leaps were powerful.  I was impressed with his work in this piece.  He was there for Jordan every time he had to be.  She was tremendous.  I expected her to be good because this is closer to her main style, but she was even better than anticipated.  Her lines were wonderful and she was careful never to dance beyond her partner, while still showing off her style and expertise.  And happy birthday young Lady!  I think they had good chemistry together, and while Tadd's technique might need work, his power and control demonstrated that he has great capacity to learn.  Jordan was just fantastic.

Sasha Mallory, 23 year old Contemporary dancer, and Alexander Frost, 21 year old Contemporary dancer, pair up for Contemporary choreographed by Travis Wall.  Well lucky lucky!  She's a little rough for me.  This was an aggressive piece and it suited her.  But I'd like to see her polish off the edges a little...perhaps show a more softness.  I guess I'm looking for depth and I didn't quite see it here.  I think she danced well, but it came from power and perhaps that was just her character in the piece.  I thought Alexander was brilliant.  I disagree with the judges about him, because I thought he did bring the emotion that was required of his role in the story.  I worry about him gaining a following of voters though.  We didn't see much of him during auditions.  But the young man is talented and has quite the personality.  The choreography was outstanding.  I think the strength of this piece was in the characterization and story telling.

Clarice Ordaz, 19 year old Jazz dancer, and Jess LeProtto, 18 year old Broadway dancer, pair up for Broadway choreographed by Tyce Diorio.  Another lucky choice, particularly for Jess.  This piece had me smiling from the beginning.  They were both so light.  The leaps were so effortless.  I felt like if I put my ear to the stage, I couldn't hear them step.  I thought they both had just the right amount of expression.  Jess is a terrific story teller.  He really understands how to pull everything out of a character, the choreography, and the music.  And Clarice surprised me.  I didn't know what to expect from her, but she held her own opposite Jess for the most part.  The difficulty for her in a piece like this was that it was made for a dancer like Jess, so no matter how well she danced, she was going to be in a bit of a shadow.  Nigel had the word...Jess' dancing is "neat", meaning clean and precise.  But what I appreciated about Jess is that he worked hard to bring Clarice along with him.  I need to give a nod to Tyce.  Last year I had some trouble with his work, but this routine was excellent.  Well done all!

Ryan Ramirez, 19 year old Contemporary dancer, and Ricky Jaime, 19 year old Contemporary dancer, pair up for Lyrical Hip Hop choreographed by Christopher Scott.  Ahhh...I like this style because it focuses on story and character rather than just tricks.  Ryan is an early favorite of ours because we remember her just missing out last season.  I like her even more after this performance.  I liked her attitude and the way she told her part of the was teasing and enticing without becoming melodramatic.  She is technically outstanding and I think she's going to be great in any style.  As for Ricky, I think he was solid.  The byplay between them was wonderful.  I think he portrayed the frustration of not quite being able to hold onto Ryan.  Neither of them are Hip Hop dancers, but they really handled this choreography well.  And the work from Chris Scott was terrific.  Well done.

Caitlynn Lawson, 18 year old Contemporary dancer, and Mitchell Kelly, 20 year old Contemporary dancer, pair up for Jazz choreographed by Sonya Tayeh.  Unfortunately Mitchell is unable to dance due to injury, so Robert Roldan (Season 7 Final Four) has stepped in.  I like this girl.  She seems to have more of the polish I was looking for from Sasha.  Caitlynn has that power, but I also see the edges softened by a real grasp of technique.  She was so controlled in a piece that was really aggressive.  Her extensions and lines were first class.  That was really an impressive performance, particularly with having to switch in mid-stream from Mitchell to Robert.  Caitlynn has everything you could want from a dancer.  Excellent!  And I am digging Sonya Tayeh's work so far this season, and that's not always the case.

Miranda Maleski, 19 year old Contemporary dancer, and Robert Taylor Jr, 31 year old Hip Hop dancer, pair up for Jive choreographed by Jason Gilkinson.  He has the personality to pull this off.  I like the 60s feel to the costuming and choreography.  I always worry about the Hip Hop dancers in the partner work, but Robert does a credible job.  He also demonstrates that he can take choreography and perform not only the steps but also the story.  I liked him in the piece.  Obviously he needs to work on technique.  I thought Miranda was terrific.  What I liked about her was her timing.  She filled up the spaces with all those little performance details I like to see.  Paired with Robert, she could easily disappear in the shadow of how outrageous he is, but she's got a little gleam in her eye too.  This was a great combination of dancers, style, music, and choreography.  I like this pair in this dance.  But there is work to do for both of them to measure up to the quality of the rest of the group.

Missy Morelli, 20 year old Jazz dancer, and Wadi Jones, 24 year old Break dancer, pair up for Jazz choreographed by Sean Cheesman.  Missy was fierce in this piece.  She is definitely one of those Lady Beasts.  She did a grab leg spin with such strength, control and balance.  She threatened to pull my focus throughout the entire piece.  I didn't care as much for the choreography, but I thought Missy was excellent.  I didn't think I was going to like her because of some of the footage of her during auditions.  That's a producer error that could hurt her.  She's much better than what I saw of her in auditions.  Now  This choreography actually suited him.  For never having partnered before, he handled his job with strength and also a gentleness that was unexpected.  He seemed to understand almost instinctively how to work the lifts.  This was an impressive piece.  Although it isn't my favorite choreography from Sean Cheesman, I think he captured each dancer's individual strengths and blended them together very well.  The rest was performance and it was solid.

Melanie Moore, 19 year old Contemporary dancer, and Marko Germar, 22 year old Jazz dancer, pair up for Contemporary choreographed by Travis Wall.  More lucky for these two.  And these are two incredibly strong dancers.  That was a finale piece.  I can't find enough adjectives for it.  The power.  The control.  The acting.  The story.  The interpretation.  The choreography.  The artistry.  The chemistry between the two of them.  Yes there was just a little balance issue from Marko in one of those poses, but it did nothing to pull me out of the magic.  You can't do it any better.  You might do it as well.  But you just can't do it any better.  The level of performance in this have to see it to understand.  Travis are destined for greatness Sir.  And Melanie and Marko...that performance is going to move some other piece out of the Top 10 of all time.  It's worth that kind of hyperbole.

Ashley Rich, 22 year old Contemporary dancer, and Chris Koehl, 21 year old Hip Hop dancer, pair up for  Hip Hop choreographed by Christopher Scott.  You'd think this first show is stacked the way the styles are matching up so well with the dancers.  I expected him to be excellent in this piece, and he was.  I wasn't as impressed with Ashley, although I think she interpreted the dance well even if her technique wasn't very good.  There was a bit too much foolishness that was more story than dance, and that was a little bit distracting.  That isn't the dancers' fault, but I thought that it made them rush a little bit and lose their timing in places.  Still the routine was fun and enjoyable to watch.  I enjoy the confidence that Chris brings to his dancing.  Ashley is going to have to up her game to compete with some of these other gals.  The talent is there, but this is such a strong field.  Versatility is going to be important.

Iveta Lukosiute, 30 year old Ballroom dancer, and Nick Young, 19 year old Tap dancer, pair up for Quickstep choreographed by Jason Gilkinson.  See what I mean about stacking the deck?  Iveta is a past 10 dance champion.  Nick could struggle, but if you're going to get Quickstep in the first week, you want a champion ballroom dancer as your partner.  But with his skill at tap, he'll have the feet for it and he should be able to take the choreography well.  Whoa!  His conrol is incredible.  There was no bounce at all in that initial run across the stage.  It was smooth and fast.  I can't think of a better Quickstep that I've ever seen on this show.  Nick danced like a pro.  This looked like a competition quality Quickstep.  Outstanding!  I can't begin to tell you how good that was.  Nobody dances Quickstep that well.  Iveta was beautiful and elegant, and what a grand partner/teacher she was for this routine.  But Nick!  He attacked that choreography and it was down to his brilliant feet.  And his posture and skill as a partner.  I don't want to cheat Iveta just because I expected her to be excellent.  She reminds me of the kind of dancer and partner Pasha was.  She can be what she needs to be, and also elevate the person she's dancing with so that the whole seamless.  Well done!

We can't vote.  I mean, we have our 4 cell phones and we can register online and everything.  But we can't choose!  Even the "worst" of the performances tonight could challenge in any other season.

So it's not that we can't vote...we won't vote!  They are all too good and at this stage, we just can't choose.  

A guy and a gal will go home after tonight's results show.  The last dancer standing at the end of the summer is really going to earn the title of America's Favorite Dancer.

Turn it on gang.  You won't be sorry.

You know the drill.  Tune in tonight for results, and check back here tomorrow for encores and my results recap.

Later gang!


  1. What a great line up of talent this season. A couple of very, very talented young people are going home tonight, and that is a shame. My guess is that, as a couple Robert and Miranda are in trouble. They are excellent dancers, but did they perform at the same level as their competition last night? Maybe not.

  1. I love this show. There are so many talented dancers.

  1. BeckEye says:

    I think Ashley and Chris should go home, but we'll see.