Tomorrow: Poppin’ Pete, The Pussycat Dolls and a group routine choreographed by Wade Robeson
Here are the routines the Top 20 will be performing. Video Later!
- Rayven Armijo and Jamie Bayard – Hip Hop – Choregraphers: Napoleon and Tabitha – Song: “American Boy” by Estelle w/ Kayne West – Video
- Susie Garcia and Marquis Cunningham – Smooth Waltz – Choreographer: Hunter Johnson – Song: “Dark Waltz” by Haley Westenra – Video
- Kourtni Lind and Matt Dorame – Jazz – Choreographer: Mandy Moore – Song: “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell – Video
- Chelsea Traille and Thayne Jasperson – Cha Cha – Choreographers: Tony Meredith and Melanie – Song: “Oye Como Va” by Celia Cruz – Video
- Chelsie Hightower and Mark Kanemura – Contemporary – Choreographer: Mia Michaels – Song: “Beautiful” by Me’Shell Ndegeocello – Video Video
- Kherington Payne and Twitch – Broadway – Choreographer: Tyce Diorio – Song: “Too Darn Hot” from Kiss Me Kate – Video
- Comfort Fedoke and Chris Jarosz – Jive – Choreographers: Tony Meredith and Melanie – Song: “Boom Boom” by Big Head Todd and the Monsters – Video
- Katee Shean and Joshua Allen – Hip Hop – Choreographers: Napoleon and Tabitha – Song: “No Air” by Jordin Sparks /w Chris Brown – Video
- Jessica King and William Wingfield – Tango – Choreographer: Hunter Johnson – Song: “Tango” from Cirque du Soleil – Video
- Courtney Galiano and Gev Manoukian – Disco – Choreographer: Doriana Sanchez – Song: “Boogie Wonderland” by Earth, Wind and Fire – Video
Each of the Top 20 contestants dance their way on to the stage as Cat Deeley introduces them. Joining Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy on the judging panel is Hip Hop and Pop choreographer, Dan Karaty.The dancers are paired into couples. Each week they’ll pick their dance routines randomly from a hat. Tomorrow, the 3 couples with the lowest votes will have to dance solos before the judges choose which girl and guy go home. After a montage of clips featuring the contestants, the competition begins.
I have to say I think Cat Deeley is a terrific host and that Mary Murphy is not bugging me like I thought she would. Nigel Lythgoe can be sort of an asshat, but overall he knows what he’s talking about and offers plenty of constructive criticism. I like that the third spot revolves different choreographers in and out during the season. The different perspectives will keep things interesting.
More Recap After the JUMP…
Rayven Armijo and Jamie Bayard – She’s 28 and she’s not old! says contemporary ballet dancer Rayven. Sigh. She studied with the Alvin Ailey dance troupe. Her partner Jamie is a Western swing dancer. He auditioned with his girlfriend who didn’t make the final cut. Mary LOVES Rayven. She likens the routine they dance to cotton candy, and says that she likes cotton candy. Dan says the routine “wasn’t quite there” and that it was missing the funk. I thought the routine was really fun. Rayven has a great personality–she and Jamie make a cute dance couple. They will probably end up in the Bottom 3 tomorrow, but I hope they manage to make the cut.
Susie Garcia and Marquis Cunningham – There were way better dancers in Las Vegas than high school teacher and Latin dancer Susie Garcia. I was surprised she even made the cut in her audition, but here she is in the Top 20. Go figure. Marquis, one of the unseen has a backstory that includes a mean mom who didn’t want him dancing. They dance a smooth waltz. While they kind of screw up a difficult lift in the middle of the performance, the judges give them a pass. The style is clearly outside of the dancers comfort zone. Nigel compliments the dancers on their lines, and hopes the viewers at home can appreciate it. Mary said, “You guys pulled it off.” Dan says, “I felt like I was watching an almost perfect ending to a love story…well done guys.”
Kourtni Lind and Matt Dorame – Kourtni and Matt are giants! Their choreographer, Mandy Moore creates a goth-inspired jazz routine for them that has some pretty nifty moves, but seems a little labored. Kourtni’s audition revealed a unique dancer who has much to bring to this competition. Matt isn’t quite as exciting, but I’m not sure he deserves the drubbing he gets from Nigel. “Fun routine, ” says Nigel, “I think I need more personality from you, Matt…you’re a very upright dancer, it’s like somebody has taken a broomstick and stuck it up where the sun don’t shine…I’d like to see in future weeks, if you’re still here, for you to relax a little bit more…” Nigel likes Kourtni, “You have a unique face and you use it well…you are already very well known by the audience, I think you’ll do very well in the competition.” Mary thinks they did a great job. Dan tells the duo that they didn’t “attack it” at all, “You gotta do better than that.” I’m betting Matt and Kourtni will be dancing for their lives Thursday night.
Chelsea Traille and Thayne Jasperson – Thayne and Chelsea, both contemporary dancers, are asked to do the Cha Cha. Will they be up to the task? Oh hell yeah! That was hot! Very sexy and energetic. The best routine so far. Nigel thinks they were both terrific. Mary gives them two tickets to the “Hot Tamale Train”. That’s a good thing, apparently. Dan says, “Damn girl!” He really loves Chelsea. “Unbelievable guys, ” he says, “Well done.”
Chelsie Hightower and Mark Kanemura – Chelsie is a ballroom dancer. Mark is contemporary dancer with a unique style. Mia Michaels creates a routine for them, and she’s just…a total bitch. She’s very hard on Mark. She says “I thought he was going to be a lot better than he is, ” with quite a bit of contempt in her voice. She creates a routine for them she describes as “What would Tim Burton’s wedding be like?” A little on the precious side, but both Chelsie and Mark bring a ton of personality to the routine. Very nice. Mark did a great job, and in the end Mia, from the audience, appears to be happy with the results. Nigel says, “This is going to be a really good season this year…I thought you both danced it brilliantly.” Mary says, “Mark you are one wild and crazy unique dude…we need uniqueness. Chelsie…you are like a little innocent angel up on that stage. You guys made the lifts look effortless.” Dan says, “You tweaked and you freaked and did everything that was asked of you, I think it was amazing…great job.”
Kherington Payne and Twitch – Twitch made it to the Top 20 this year after nearly making it last year. Kherington is a young high school student–she missed her graduation. They perform a Broadway routine. They are calling themselves “Twitchington” which is kinda cute. Kherington’s blond perkiness is perfect for the routine. Twitch, for a hip-hop dancer, is no slouch. Nigel says, “Very very hot. Kherington, you look just absolutely stunning. The whole spirit that you have comes out in that beautiful face. You both did it brilliantly. Twitch, you are a hip-hop dancer…you look like a Broadway dancer…You have to believe in it…you both did it brilliantly” Mary says, “Kherington…you are just hitting it up there. Twitch, I am so happy you are on that big stage tonight.” Dan says, “Kherington, you are hitting on all cylinders up there. Twitch, you are not exactly a traditional Broadway dancer, but who cares…I would love to watch you any day up there.”
Comfort Fedoke and Chris Jarosz – Comfort is not accustomed to partner dancing. Her partner Chris, a contemporary dancer, has personality problems, according to Nigel. The jive they perform is very energetic. Comfort, an untrained dancer, is very good, despite dislocating her shoulder the day before. Pretty hot stuff, right here. Nigel says, “Chris, well done…I thought you did a really good job…no more tree (meaning he found his personality). Comfort…you have to be careful to use your knees…everything is a bit too upright…technique wasn’t really where Mary would like it…but personality wise, 100%.” Mary says, “This girl has what it takes…both of you, great personality…I thought you did a respectable job for sure.” Dan says, “Chris I think you did a wonderful job out there…what you guys need to do is find a chemistry with each other.”
Katee Shean and Joshua Allen – Hip Hop dancer Joshua admits to having “a little” ballet training, after the judging panel in Vegas called him out on his resume. His partner Katee auditioned with her best friend who didn’t make the cut. They perform a choreography to Jordin Sparks “No Air”. This routine has a story, about a soldier going off to war, and they pack their performance with a lot of emotion. Nigel says, “That was really really good. I think that’s my favorite routine tonight…it became a wonderful combination of the both of you.” Mary says, “…you made it look effortless…you hit every little nuance.” Dan says, “the unison dancing…you guys killed that…Katee, you held your own up there…bro…you get on stage…you own it.”
Jessica King and William Wingfield – Jessica is one of the unseen, except when she ran out and misspelled Vegas while doing her celebratory “happy dance” after her successful audition. William is a protege of the choreographer Debbie Allen. Jessica thinks William is very sexy, so that bodes well for the chemistry between them. They dance a very strong and sexy Tango. Nigel says, “They are a hell of a couple…Will, you are majestic up there, Jessica…a few wobbles here and there…but I thought you were absolutely wonderful.” Mary says, “There’s just one way I like my Tango to be danced….and that was it! You guys are the couple to beat.” Dan says, “You both played your part very well…you were hot like fire up there.”
Courtney Galiano and Gev Manoukian – Courtney danced for the Knicks. Gev is an immigrant from Kazakhstan. The Disco they dance finds Gev in unfamiliar territory and little unsteady on his feet Nigel didn’t like it at all, “It looked more like Disco Duck.” He liked Courtney a little better, but says, “there’s no feel for it.” The duo look stunned as he says this. Mary likes Courtney, “You were on a little more than Gev in the personality department.” But she thinks he “brought it on” despite being out of his element as a hip hop dancer. Dan says, “I enjoyed that. Do I think it was the best disco I’ve ever seen? No. But I think you guys came out, you performed, had a good time…I think you could have been cleaner, it could have been tighter, but it was pretty good.”