Adechike made a big comeback tonight–I thought the Hip Hop would do him in, but it enlivened him. It was his most animated, connected performance yet.
There was lots of noise made about Alex Wong’s lyrical hip-hop with Twitch, but my favorite dance of the night was Ashley and Ade’s lyrical and beautiful contemporary routine choreographed by first-timer Lee Caspary, who got off to a fantastic start.
Melinda is a total goner tomorrow. She will end up in the B3 and the judges will unanimously dismiss her. It should have happened last week…
But, overall, the best night of dancing yet. Season 7 is looking really, really good.
Videos and Live Blog after the JUMP…
The contestants picked their all-star partners out of a hat last week. Alex will dance with Twitch! Same sex parings for the win!
Adechike Torbert & Lauren Gottlieb – Dave Scott – Hip Hop – “Hot-N-Fun” by N.E.R.D. feat Nelly Furtado – Ha ha, Adechike is all nerded up! Eventually the two strip off their nerd trappings and let it fly. Adechike is handling this better than I thought he would. I am impressed. Nigel says David brought something out in Adechike that hadn’t been there. He brought out his “swagger and funk”. Nigel loved the chemistry. “A different Adechike, ” says Nigel. “Welcome Mr. personality to SYTYCD, ” says Mia. She’s so happy to see that there’s “some sunshine” in there. She calls it a “solid” piece of work. Adam whoops “That’s what I’m talking about.” Adam thanks him for dropping that wall. Adechike looks so relieved. He says Lauren and Dave both helped bring out his personality. – VIDEO
Ashley Galvan & Ade Abayome – Dee Caspary – Contemporary – “Cosmic Love” Florence + The Machine – Wow. These lifts are spectacular. It’s as if Ashley is floating through air. I’m impressed with both of them. I am LOVING this new routine from first time choreographer Dee Caspary. Nigel is also impressed with Ashley “You’ve developed so much…beautiful smooth fluidity. The steps did not get in the way.” Nigel thinks this has been Ashley’s finest performance. Ashley–“It just felt nice to let go.” Mia thinks Dee is amazing, and loved the idea of surrender. It was “extraordinary, like a hurricane, a purple breeze” and thinks she’s a cut above all the female dancers. Adam calls Ashley “breathtaking, unbelievable, one of the best female contemporary routines I’ve seen in any season.” – VIDEO
Billy Bell Dances Solo – “Something Bigger, Something Better” by Amanda Blank 1-888-623-7801 – VIDEO
Robert Roldan & Courtney Galiano – Sonya Tahyeh – Jazz – “XXXO” by M.I.A – So far, tonight’s routines are fantastic. Another good one here. Nigel says that Sonya has a distinctive voice–her routines aren’t suitable for all dancers, but believes it really suited Robert. Nigel is very pleased with him this week. Mia suggests that Robert take ballet–it would ground him, she thinks. But overall, she loved, the strength and the performance. Adam says, “You are so engaged and engaging…your commitment was great.” Adam had a couple of technical notes for Robert, but otherwise thought the performance was “awesome.” – VIDEO
Jose Ruiz dances solo – “Super Bad” by James Brown – 1-888-623-7802 – VIDEO
Melinda Sullivan & Pasha Kovalev – Salsa – Fabian Sanchez – “Magdalena, Mi Amor (Quimbara) D.L.G. – Melinda is Columbian, she’s going to bring that side out. Well, she dancing as fast as she can! Poor girl will never get to dance in her own style. Nigel says, “I don’t feel the fluidity of your movement” The musicality did not sit comfortably with Nigel. Mia says, “You danced as hard as you could, you’re sexy, you did commit, but at moments it felt like you were trying to survive.” Mia called her out on her pigeon toes. Whoa. Mia and Adam now wish they didn’t let Cristina go last week. Adam admires her gumption and tenacity, but thinks she may be coming to the end of the line. Buh bye Melinda. – VIDEO
Kent Boyd dances solo -“Down (Candlelight Remix) by Jay Sean – SPECTACULAR jumps – 1-888-623-7803 – VIDEO
Alex dances solo “Rule the Planet” Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack) – 1-888-623-7804 – VIDEO
Lauren Froderman & Neil Haskell – Broadway – Joey Dowling – “Let Me Entertain You” by Debbie Gibson – WARDROBE MALFUNCTION!!!!! We almost got flashed by Lauren! The strap on her sparkly dress broke. Nigel found Lauren extremely sexy.”It worked out very well in the end.” says Nigel. Mia “I felt it was a great piece, I wanted a little more slinkiness…but as an athletic female dancer, you need to work harder to have a feminine quality.” Mia wanted her to let go a little bit more. Adam suggests she think of herself dancing through water. “You reminded me of a young Cyd Charisse…I thought you were great.” – VIDEO
Ashley Galvan dances solo – “Royal T” by Crookers feat. Roisin Murphy – 1-888-623-7805 – VIDEO
Billy Bell & Kathryn McCormick – Contemporary – Stacey Tookey – “Jar of Hearts” by Christina Perri – Billy finally gets a chance to shine in his own style. Nigel thinks Billy is a brilliant dancer, but did not believe his partnership. Nigel tells Billy that he’s got to figure out the performance and acting side of it. Mia agrees with Nigel. She feels Billy gets too caught up in the lines and the perfection. He’s genius, she says, but needs to bring the element of connection to the masses if he’s going to be a professional dancer. Adam says Billy will see it all in playback. Billy looks upset. Legacy in the house! – VIDEO
Robert Roldan dances solo – “Hold You In My Arms” by Ray Lamontagne – 1-888-623-7806 – VIDEO
Jose Ruiz & Anya Garnis – Samba – Dmitry Chaplin – “Long Time” by Shakira – Anya is doing all the heavy lifting here. This reminds me of a DWTS routine, where the partner dances rings around the celeb. Nigel tells Jose he’s not the best dancer on the show, but he’s got magic and charisma. Jose and Kent, says Nigel, both have “it.” Jose brings a smile to Nigel’s face. Mia is completely baffled–how does he get a away with it? She loves his performances despite his less-than-perfect dancing. Adam calls it “brilliant…abandonment, commitment…you made the dance work for you.” – VIDEO
Melinda Sullivan dances solo – “Empire State of Mind” (Part II) Broken Down” by Alicia Keys – 1-888-623-7807 – VIDEO
Kent Boyd & Allison Holker – Mandy Moore – Jazz – “Heartburn” by Alicia Keys – Mandy said there needed to be “instant chemistry” between Kent & Allsion. Definitely did not see that. It was as if Kent was dancing by himself. Nigel says, “You’ve got a great personality, you need to keep an honesty to your work, you’re becoming a little fake…your lines were terrific.” Nigel says he should have been playing to his partner, rather than the audience. Nigel nailed it. Mia thinks he gets caught up in the “television personality” part of it rather than the artistry. It felt a little “competition dancer” to her. Adam thinks he’s one of the most hire-able dancers on the show, but says he’s got to lose the “hungry jazz face”. – VIDEO
Adechike dances solo – “Ruthless Gravity” by Craig Armstrong – 1-888-623-7808 – VIDEO
Lauren dances solo – “Unchained Melody” by Cyndi Lauper – 1-888-623-7809 – VIDEO
Alex Wong & Twitch – Hip Hop – Napoleon and Tabitha – “Outta Your Mind” by Lil Jon and LMFAO – Yeah, I figured Nappytabs would build a routine based on Alex’s strengths. It’s a beautiful, strong routine and the crowd goes CRAZY after. Nigel says the concept was brilliant and that it was the best routine Nappytabs has ever done on the show. Seriously? Nigel is convinced the all-star concept is awesome. He calls Alex’s hip-hop “incredible”. He’ll be surprised if Alex isn’t up for an Emmy next year. “Who the hell are you, ” asks Mia, “I’m completely shocked. You held your own.” Adam says, “This is your world, and I am just visiting…I cannot tell you how proud you made me to be on this show.” Adam is crying. OMG more crazy OTT pimping for Alex! Yes, that was good, but that lyrical hip-hop stuff has contemporary elements! It’s not a huge stretch. – VIDEO