Our Top 20 becomes 18 as 2 dancers are eliminated while 9 pairs dance for votes. I didn't like this format last year, and I don't like it this year. We should have 2 shows each week...performances on Tuesday and then results the following night.
But the producers forgot to ask me, so we're stuck with this again.
Cat update...hair up, dangly green earings, off the shoulder barely there frock suitable for a Festival of Tiny Costumes...nice.
Wow for the Top 20 in a brilliant performance, choreographed by Tyce Diorio.
Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy are joined on the panel by Christina Applegate.
Here are our bottom three gals and guys...Makenzie, Mariah, Brittany, Alan, Carlos, and Jade.
The judges save Makenzie and Alan right away. That means Mariah, Brittany, Carlos, and Jade will have to perform solos.
- Mariah - Just a bunch of jerking and stomping.
- Carlos - Control, extension, power, but not much passion.
- Brittany - Lots of Mambo hips, but not much life.
- Jade - His control over his body is honestly indescribable.
That means Mariah and Jade are safe.
Now here's the harsh part of doing eliminations on performance night. These two kids...Brittany and Carlos...have to dance with their partners even though they are no longer in the competition. I don't think that's fair to the partners, who are BluPrint for Brittany and Mariah for Carlos.
Like I said, the producers forgot to ask me for my ideas so we're stuck with this format.
Hayley Erbert, an 18 year old Contemporary dancer, is paired with Curtis Holland, a 19 year old Tap dancer, are paired for Jazz choreographed by Ray Leeper. Oh whoa...BOOTSSES. But I can't use the word sexy for her...she's only 18! I don't know what it is about these two but together they just make me uncomfortable. This choreography was just down and dirty. I thought they danced very well and interpreted the rawness of the story. But I didn't care for it. Hayley's talent is tremendous. She gets into the floor and grinds the sparks out of her performance. She is technically fantastic, and she's amazingly versatile. Curtis is a bit out of his league with her. I'd like to see him work on details and pauses to enhance his performance. I thought he was a bit flat, but he got by because Hayley owned the routine. He's still a favorite of mine because of his tapping ability.
Jasmine Harper, a 19 year old Contemporary dancer, is paired with Aaron Turner, a 25 year old Tap dancer, for Lyrical Hip Hop choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon D'Umo. Jasmine is really a favorite. I think she is a triple threat...great dancer, great actor, great performer. These two together dance with power and maturity. They understand character and how to interpret the music. They have an amazing connection to each other and they make you believe the story they are telling through the movement. Aaron is a big guy, but he has subtlety and nuance to his movement. This performance had star quality. The difference between this piece and the one from Hayley and Curtis was in the honesty. I believed the story Jasmine and Aaron told.
Malece Miller, a 19 year old Contemporary dancer, is paired with Jade Zuberi, a 21 year old Animator, for Bollywood choreographed by Nakul Dev Mahajan. I really do appreciate this style of dance, but sometimes I think it should be retired. This piece had a lot more flare and different kind of movement than I'm used to seeing. I thought they handled it pretty well. I never know exactly how Bollywood is supposed to look. I think they brought energy to the routine. Malece has a bright and shiny quality to her movement. I think she got everything right in the piece, from the technical sharpness to the attitude. I thought Jade was credible, because this is so far out of his comfort zone, which is just going to be the case for him every week. I think Christina gave him a good note...embrace each style and learn as much as you can, and don't be afraid of it.
Alexis Juliano, an 18 year old Tap dancer, is paired with Nico Greetham, an 18 year old Contemporary dancer, for Contemporary choreographed by Stacey Tookey. This is a sequel to the piece danced brilliantly by Katheryn McCormick and Robert Roldan, only now the soldier returns from deployment. They handled this choreography so much better than the Hip Hop from last week. There was joy and honesty in the movement. And because the performance was so tender and sweetly romantic, I didn't mind some of the cut off extensions and relaxed lines from Alexis. Nico made up for any technical issues she had, and drew the eye away from them so that I really wasn't aware that her legs weren't properly stretched until Nigel pointed it out. I was drawn to the honesty and emotion in the routine and the performance as a whole.
Brittany Cherry, a 19 year old Ballroom dancer, is paired with Dorian "BluPrint" Hector, a 19 year old Animator, for Broadway choreographed by Spencer Liff. BluPrint is a surprisingly effective partner. And he doesn't dance like he's intimidated by the style at all. I haven't felt a lot of personality from him throughout the audition process, because his style is so different and controlled. He showed some sparks in this routine. He'll have to learn to extend his lines and reach through each movement to make it big, especially in Broadway numbers like this. I like what Christina told him about projecting to the back row...be big, sell the story, and be sincere. It's a shame to see Brittany go. Clearly she didn't connect with voters, but it's got nothing to do with her talent. She's a great dancer. I think she was classy to perform at such a high level for her partner.
Jasmine Mason, a 19 year old Contemporary dancer, is paired with Alan Bersten, a 19 year old Ballroom dancer, for Tango choreographed by Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo. I enjoyed watching Alan dance in his own style. He was in control of the dance. He made a fantastic frame for Jasmine. He perfectly matched the intensity of the piece as the music built. And Jasmine had perfect trust that he was gong to be there for her through a series of pretty spectacular lifts. They took some outstanding choreography set to a brilliant piece of music and turned it into a passionate story told in Tango. The drama exploded on the stage. That was really hard choreography and they absolutely controlled it and presented a completely captivating performance.
Makenzie Dustman, an 18 year old Contemporary dancer, is paired with Paul Kamiryan, a 21 year old Latin Ballroom dancer, for Jazz choreographed by Sean Cheesman. I didn't care for this piece. I didn't like the choreography. Sometimes I can look past that if the dancers are special or interesting. Unfortunately, I didn't connect with either Mackenzie or Paul this week. They were given almost the total opposite of the soft, beautiful piece they had last week. The judges liked the piece, but it just didn't do anything for me. I do have to give them a nod for a couple of strategic pauses during the routine, which emphasized character. So many young dancers forget those little details, but these two understood when and how to give them.
Mariah Spears, a 19 year old Hip Hop dancer, is paired with Carlos Garland, a 24 year old Contemporary dancer, for Contemporary choreographed by Stacey Tookey. If you saw Mariah dance that horribly jerky solo at the top of the show, you wouldn't believe it was the same girl dancing in this piece. She finished off movements. She had wonderful lines and extensions. And yet, she also maintained a fluidity that meshed so seamlessly with Carlos. She was immersed in the emotion, without overplaying the card. They certainly displayed an emotion and maturity throughout the dance, probably enhanced by the fact that Carlos has been eliminated. It's nice that he got to dance in his style for this last time.
Amy Yakima, a 19 year old Contemporary dancer, is paired with Du-Shaunt "Fik-Shun" Stegall, an 18 year old Hip Hop dancer, for Hip Hop choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon. Last week they were brilliant doing Amy's thing. This week they were brilliant again doing Fik-Shun's thing. It was into the floor and filthy, but it also had a playfulness to it. They have such a great relationship on stage and it comes across in the way they interact. They are so full of personality individually, but together I think they can be the couple to beat. They danced with maturity last week, and cheekiness this week. I knew I was going to like Fik-Shun from the moment I saw his audition, but I didn't get the same sense from Amy. She has won me over. I don't think there's anything these two won't be able to do together.
Jenna Johnson, an 18 year old Ballroom dancer, is paired with Tucker Knox, a 22 year old Contemporary dancer, for Cha Cha Cha choreographed by Dmitri Chaplin. From light and fluffy Broadway, they go to hot Cha Cha Cha choreography. This is her style and I expected her to be as great as she was. She also was able to restrain her performance from overshadowing Tucker. I think he partnered her very well, creating the frame for her to shine. He also brought his contemporary control to a few Cha Cha Cha hip swivels that made them unique and stylish. However, I did miss some of the cheekiness I expect from a typical Cha Cha Cha. I liked the sexiness of the routine...yes, I said it even though she is only 18...but I also wanted a bit of wink-wink-nod-nod fun, which is what I think invites the audience to share the performance.
Our favorites this week are Jasmine M, Tucker, Jasmine H, Aaron, Amy, and Fik-Shun.
I guess we'll have to adapt to the way they have decided to handle eliminations this season. So check back here tomorrow for encores, and next week for another results recap paired with performance review.