Take a second to celebrate good health: For the first time in a few weeks, no one had to sit this one out due to injury. That’s especially good news for Tyce Diorio’s opening group routine, an Addams Family-inspired number that sets the tone for the night. No one in the Addams family cares what you think. They’re just out to do what they love. So are the top 8—and if anyone tries to get in their way, they can follow Cat’s advice and “kick ’em in the shins.”
But not literally—we’re trying to keep these kids healthy.
Virgil and All-Star Jasmine
Choreographer: Sean Cheesman, African Jazz
Song: “Kintamani (Hanoman’s Forest Mix)” by Transglobal Underground
Think about the story that the coolest counselor at camp told around the fire. Now put it to music. That’s this dance: It’s a little spooky, but there’s a happy ending. The routine tasks Virgil with bringing Jasmine to “the dark side,” but (spoiler alert!) she vanquishes him instead. Get it, girl. Sean Cheesman’s choreography is as fun as Jasmine’s dress; she and Virgil move together even when they’re not doing the same thing. Every step one of them takes echoes back to the other. Virgil lifts Jasmine like he’s a foot taller than he is—what does Nigel mean about his “heart” being the strong one? I mean, sure, it is, but so are his arms. Jason, settling in for another night of vague critiques, says that he thought Virgil’s “sinister” persona came across as cartoonish, but this wasn’t supposed to be Kupono-in-the-addiction-routine level creepy. The good girl won.
ASIDE: After last week’s show, someone was kind enough to remind Nigel that Jasmine and Sasha are actually two different people. I’m glad to see him acknowledge the mistake, even if it comes with a list of excuses. He’s just seen so many great dancers, guys.
Derek and All-Star Jaimie
Choreographer: Tyce Diorio, Contemporary
Song: “Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer” by Stevie Wonder
It’s a testament to the power of Cat Deeley that she could call this routine “Stevie Wonder-ful” and pull it off. And is this the most I’ve liked Derek, or am I just dazzled by Jaimie? Maybe a bit of both. Tyce hands the dancers a story of two “broken souls” (oh Tyce) who’ve “lost the magic they once had” (they’re breaking up, Tyce; just say they’re breaking up). He points to the space where their cheeks are almost touching and says that it’s where the magic lives. Derek takes that piece of direction seriously; he practically rubs half of his face on Jaimie’s at one point. I don’t mind it, though. The choreography itself doesn’t elicit much emotion, but I think their faces do, even if both Nigel and Jason still want more vulnerability. The best compliment Jason can offer is, “Uh, good job.” What if I want more vulnerability from Jason?
Hailee and All-Star Fik-Shun
Choreographer: Luther Brown, Hip-Hop
Song: “Let It Go” by Chonique Sneed
Luther Brown is here to make these kids stop saying “swag,” if only for a week. Say no to swag. Say yes to flavor. Say no to all of the judges naming their favorite flavors. (Jason goes with chicken and waffles, while Nigel favors “bread and buttah,” or maybe coffee and cream. He’s British.) In any case, everyone loves this number, which Hailee manages to rock despite being stuck in what may very well be a discarded Catwoman suit. I don’t think she upstages Fik-Shun, but that’s no crime. She still knows how to get down.
Megz and All-Star Paul
Choreographer: Jean Marc Genereux, Paso Doble
Song: “Blade of Blood” by Tom Player
Cat may call it a “fifty shades of So You Think You Can Dance outfit,” but I’m into the fact that Megz gets to wear pants for this Paso. I’m into the capes. I’m into the lifts. I’m just not that into the finished product. I wish I were! But the Paso Doble has to be so sharp, and Megz seems a little shaky on her feet, not to mention a little stiff in the shoulders. The judges all feel that this routine exposed her lack of formal training, but only Paula offers a useful critique: Megz needs to work on her core strength. Once she’s got that, everything else will come together. Thank you, Paula. Thank you for being specific. You’re almost forgiven for calling her Meg.
Neptune and All-Star Kayla
Choreographer: Ray Leeper, Jazz
Song: “Infinity” by The xx
This is the story of a couple getting back together for good, so if Tyce’s routine made you sad, feel free to imagine that Neptune and Kayla are playing the same characters down the line. The choreography is heavy on partner work, and while Neptune might not have as much technique to spotlight, he moves in tune with Kayla and supports her every step of the way. Jason says that the lifts were weak, but I thought they were the strongest part of the routine—it’s when Neptune and Kayla dance side by side that his lack of training stands out. Paula and Nigel both praise how much Neptune has grown and look forward to how far he could go if he brushes up on technique. This is just what they said to Megz, but nicer. Hmm.
NEXT: Before we turn to stone