And cue LEGSSES...

Posted: Thursday, July 07, 2011 by Travis Cody in

Welcome to

Huzzah!   Thanks for your patience last week.  I safely made it through the end of our quarter, and now I can focus on the important stuff...dancing!

Cat Deeley update:  Not liking the hair up in the pony.  I dig the dangly earrings.  The dress is nice, but I prefer the off the shoulder look.  LEGSSES are sstunning ass alwayss precious.

Let me just tell you that I thought the judges got it wrong last week.  I thought Ashely should have been eliminated over Miranda based on the solos.  I thought Miranda danced with more passion, and that she had much more potential as she grew every week.  I also disagreed with eliminating Robert over Chris, although that's a much closer decision in my mind and also based on strength of solo.

Resident judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Muprhy are joined on the panel by Carmen Electra and Travis Wall.

The Top 7 guys lead off the show with a Contemporary piece choreographed by Justin Giles.  I prefer a wide angle shot when they are all dancing something different to focusing on a single dancer.  I want to see all of them and get the full effect of the story because this piece was definitely driven by character and the interaction of each dancer.  Very powerful.  The choreography required much more interpretation of motion with an economy of movement.  They all did very well.

Melanie Moore, 19 year old Contemporary dancer, and Marko Germar, 22 year old Jazz dancer, dance Jazz choreographed by Ray Leeper.  The control and precision with which they dance is remarkable.  My criticisms for this performance are in the costuming and choreography.  I think they are both better than what they were given.  That choreography would have suited lesser dancers very well, but these two need more challenge.  I did not care for the piece, but it had nothing to do with Melanie and Marko.  I'm disappointed by the choreography.  I don't think it quite measured up to the standards of this season to date.  Both Melanie and Marko continue to bring all the performance details each week and end up making it look so effortless.  I liked them, just not the routine.

Sasha Mallory, 23 year old Contemporary dancer, and Alexander Frost, 21 year old Contemporary dancer, dance Hip Hop choreographed by Shaun Evaristo.  I was worried about Alexander, but this type of movement and choreography actually suits him.  He's not going to master the hard hitting swag, but in a softer and more lyrical style he handles his business.  I think he partnered Sasha very well.  Their chemistry is better every week.  Sasha continues to grow on me.  Rather than the feistiness and power she brings to each performance, this week she brought more of a coy and playful style and attitude to the piece.  I enjoyed this.  Nicely done.  I completely disagree with the judges because I connected with them and I thought they told the story.  Maybe technically it was lacking, but the piece entertained me.

Jordan Casanova, 19 year old Jazz dancer, and Tadd Gadduang, 25 year old Hip Hop dancer, dance Smooth Waltz choreographed by Toni Redpath.  Tadd is a sponge for technique.  He's a hip hop guy who can hold a frame and point a toe and be a perfect partner in a ballroom style.  I didn't really care for Jordan all that much, but each week she shows me something to like.  She has an unexpected elegance about her.  I loved their musicality in this piece.  The rise and fall was outstanding.  The dance was really beautiful and the story was well told.  I like their connection.  They produced an ethereal quality in their movement that I could feel through the TV.  Well done.

Clarice Ordaz, 19 year old Jazz dancer, and Jess LeProtto, 18 year old Broadway dancer, dance Contemporary choreographed by Justin Giles.  I''m not sure I like this style, but I really enjoyed their interpretation of it.  The sharp movements took advantage of what I feel is the main strength of this pair, which is the clean and precise way they dance.  I really enjoyed the piece.  The connection between them drove the routine.  They were immersed in the emotion, and that brought the audience right on stage and into the moment with them.  Clarice and Jess both understood how to make the staccato movements sharp, but also connected and smooth.  The routine was believable and raw and real.  I've been concerned about these two, but they have built on that amazing Foxtrot from last week to become serious challengers.  Excellent.

Ashley Rich, 22 year old Contemporary dancer, and Chris Koehl, 21 year old Hip Hop dancer, dance Salsa choreographed by Liz Lira  I would have sent these two home last week based on the solos.  But that was last week and the judges disagreed.  Chris was careful and deliberate in his movement, but he was there for Ashley at every turn.  She looked fantastic.  I can't fault her work in choreographed pieces.  She falls short for me in her solo work.  I thought they did a great job handling some really difficult Salsa choreography.  They lacked some of the heat and energy I expect from Salsa, although Chris managed to get his hips working in the right way.  Ashley was fearless in the lifts and tricks.  They lost some ground when they danced out of hold, which was surprising because I thought they would struggle in hold.  It was a credible dance, lacking a bit of the free flowing excitement of Salsa.

Ryan Ramirez, 19 year old Contemporary dancer, and Ricky Jaime, 19 year old Contemporary dancer, dance Jazz choreographed by Chucky Klapow.  OK.  That was really weird.  I thought they both did a great job with the characters in the piece.  I wouldn't have thought the quirkiness of the choreography would suit Ryan, but she was the strength of the routine.  I think this is the first time in their partnership when she out-danced Ricky.  Her movement felt all out and extended, whereas Ricky seemed like he contained himself a little.  They really nailed the synchronicity.  And their energy was strong.  I'm not sure I liked it, but the choreography definitely suited both dancers.

Caitlynn Lawson, 18 year old Contemporary dancer, and Mitchell Kelly, 20 year old Contemporary dancer, dance Contemporary choreographed by Mandy Moore.  Caitlynn's honesty when she dances is so attractive.  I believe every move she makes.  Her entire body communicates the emotion of the movement.  Mitchell has a strength and power to his dancing that complements Caitlynn so well.  They were both well suited to this piece.  The series of lifts looked completely effortless, and they were seamless from lift to dance to life to dance.  And that leap at the end that dropped down to the floor was stunning.  They put their souls on display.  Outstanding.

The Top 7 gals close the show with a Jazz piece choreographed by Ray Leeper.  Sensual and sinister.  Do you recall the scene in A Chorus Line when Zach takes Cassie to task for pulling his focus and standing out in a line where every head position and every step must be exactly the same from every member of the line?  That's how I feel about Melanie in a good way.  She totally stands out in a group like this because she is so complete and polished, not just as a dancer but as a complete performer.  She doesn't belong in a chorus.  All the gals danced well in this piece, but my eyes constantly found Melanie and followed her through.  It isn't often I can pull out a specific dancer in a group piece like this.  Melanie is just that good.

We're beginning to settle on favorites.  These are the dancers we like...Melanie, Marko, Jess, Caitlynn, Tadd, Jordan, Mitchell.  I would add Ryan and Sasha to round out our Top 5 gals, and Ricky to round out our Top 5 guys.

Tune in tonight for results, and check back here tomorrow for encores and a another edition of Five on Friday.

Later gang!


  1. Over all, I thought it was a very good night. I agree with you, I thought that Sasha and Alexander were far better than the judges gave them credit for. That being said, I do believe that Sashas, Alexander, Ashley and Chris will be the four eliminated before we get to the top ten. They simply are not quite as strong as the others.

  1. Akelamalu says:

    Ah you're back doing what you do best. :)

  1. Starting at the end. I totally agree on Melanie and her being so recognizable, but I have liked her from Vegas.

    Overall a good night. I also think Clarice and Jess have stepped it up to get into the competition. It might be difficult, but if the choreographers can stay away from giving him lifts, he will do well. They are too similar in size and lifts look awkward.

    OK Travis...why is it necessary to have these guest panelists? OK any choreographer I get, but Carmen Electra and even Debbie Reynolds? They never add anything to the comments other than I love you.

    So, I ask again why?

  1. Driller: It's definitely going to be interesting to see who the judges decide to save from the bottom three couples over the next couple of weeks. I think there is an element of "picking the best cast for the tour" to it.

    Akelamalu: I am indeed!

    V: I suspect the guest judges add an element of "don't worry if those other guys don't like you because I love you and you're going to get votes from your fans". You know? Even though the guest judges are celebrities, I still think they bring the fans' perspective to the table. Fans like what they like and vote how they vote, generally minus the understanding or interpretation of the technical abilities of the dancers.