Join me here for the live blog tonight. We lose two more dancers tonight. Likely, you’ll be very sad tonight, because we’ve really grown attached to the remaining 6 dancers.
Opening Routine– Everybody Hurts- Jasmine Thompson by Mandy Moore – In many ways, the group routines this year have been consistently better than the actual routines we’re voting on. I don’t know how we can’t have the same consistency in the partnerings. This is another beautiful entry in a solid season of group routines. Love this. Everyone had a moment.
Team Results last week. Team Stage pulled ahead of Team Street with 55% versus 45% for Team Street. To be fair, Team Stage lost Derek, and Team Street lost Neptune. I’m betting Derek wasn’t pulling as many votes as Neptune, so Neptune was a harder hit for Team Street. Plus, I don’t think Megz made a huge case to vote for her.
Our judges are still Nigel, Paula, and Jason. I’m actually liking Jason more and more each week as his feedback has gotten better, and he’s sometimes the only dissenting opinion.
1) Gaby and Marko- Jazz by Ray Leeper- Emergency by Icona Pop
No story here. Just technique and energy. Costuming points here. Gaby looks fantastic. She’s also nailing the sexy part of the dance. She’s come a long way this season. Fierce routine for her. I like the choreo. It’s a solid routine that Gaby is just slaying. This girl might just win the whole thing. Good to have Marko back too. He’s solid as usual. Nigel calls her one of the best dancers possibly across all the seasons. Paula calls it “Bootiful”, and lighthearted and fun. Jason said it felt like there should have been 100 people on stage, and thought her star quality was diminished a bit this week. He gets booed. He just is unfairly comparing it to last week’s performance.
2) Virgil’s Solo- Rock The Bells by LL Cool J
Virgil says his mentor is Clyde Evans, who he’s known for 15 years. He’s doing his solo like old school 90’s hip hop, complete with a boombox. My favorite Virgil solo this season. Well choreographed. Reminded me of the kind of solos Twitch used to do.
3) Jaja and Alex- Contemp by Tassandra- Youth by Daughter
Jaja is playing someone with Alzheimers who fades in and out. This could be the routine that sends Jaja back into contender territory. I was distracted by the dance the whole number and didn’t type. I thought it was brilliant. This is my favorite number of the season. For anyone whose had a family member dealing with dementia or Alzheimers, I thought Jaja’s smiles, and her scared faces, and her everything was EVERYTHING. Alex killed it too. That was SO GOOD. The dancing was incredible. Jaja has come so far. That routine was made better because Jaja was in it. Standing O from the judges. Paula says Jaja has become the ultimate dancer, and praises Tassandra for the routine. Jason was emotionally invested, and teared up a bit. He says he expects her to wow him every week. They talk about The Notebook a bit. Nigel says Jaja found the reality in her performance, of the fading in and out. To think, this girl was cut last season. Insane. She’s come so incredibly far.
4) Hailee’s Solo- Elastic Heart by Sia
Her mentor is Mandy Shaw. She says she’s her second mom, and not just her dance teacher. I can tell this was choreographed, because it’s o much better and so much more dynamic than Hailee’s solos have been in the past. Hailee’s best solo of the season. I’ve liked everything so far. This might be the best episode of the season.
5) Megz and Joshua -Hip Hop by Christopher Scott- Freedom by Pharrell
Megz apparently struggled with the tutting in rehearsal. She’s in her style this week, she needs to be fantastic. She runs into the same problem Gaby did when she danced with Josh. Josh is outperforming her. There’s a reason he won. He’s not just an All-Star, he’s a winner. He’s ridiculous in his own style. I think Megz would have been fine with someone like Dominic dancing opposite her, but it’s hard to not notice the extra something special that Josh puts into each move. A good routine for Megz, but nothing that would get her to the finale. She’s in her own style, and she just had the misfortune of dancing with a winner. Jason says they only get 7 hours to prep with the choreographer, and even less time with their partner. Jason says it was good, but hints that it wasn’t enough. Nigel called it jazz/hip-hop. Nigel says Megz proved she’s an all around dancer. Nigel says she should be in West Side Story. Paula says she should dance dangerously.
6) Gaby’s Solo- It’s Your Thing
Gaby is back, showing off her strong musicality and her personality. Not my favorite solo of the evening, or my favorite Gaby solo. It was alright.
7) Jim and Anya- Samba by Dmitry Chaplin- Chillando Goma by Fulanito
Best ballroom of the season? Jim’s carriage is on point. I honestly can’t really tell that he’s out of is style here. Anya is a great support for him. He’s really bringing the performance this week. I had no idea Jim knew how to be sexy, but he’s really doing it. Great job. So proud of him. Nigel says it looked like Jim was having fun. Nigel didn’t think he was amazing, but he was just shocked he was as good as he was. Nigel also liked Jim’s carriage. Paula says he has to work on his isolations. Jason was shocked too. He thought Jim opened up more than ever on this number.
8) Jaja’s Solo- Laundry by edIT
Her mentor is TightEyez. Another brilliant robotic solo from Jaja. Standing O from the judges.
9) Virgil and Melanie- Contemp by Justin Giles- All Is Now Harmed by Ben Howard
Virgil is a veteran returning from war, who feels the lives of all the friends he lost in war. Heavy routine. Can Virgil match Melanie? Virgil cries while talking to Twitch about the piece. Honestly, I’m not feeling this routine as much as I did Jaja’s. It’s well danced, but I’m not feeling the story, except when Virgil plays with the dog tag, and in the final moments where Melanie and Virgil just connect in an embrace. Standing O from the judges. Anyone remember the No Air routine that Joshua did way back when? I felt like that was better. Except, I don’t think Melanie outdanced Virgil. She could have, but he matched her. Paula says it’s lovely seeing Melanie back. Paula calls it a mature performance. Paula says “Damn you’re good.” LOL. Jason says Virgil has honesty that makes people feel like they’re right there with him. He calls him a great performer. Nigel says that when Virgil doesn’t show his personality, it exposes his lack of technique. He said this was different. No exposing. The performance was everything.
10) Jim’s Solo- Ra by Nathan Lanier
Jim’s mentor is Timothy Draper. He passed away in 2003. Jim is a mess during his package talking about his mentor, just crying his face off. He hopes his mentor is proud of him. Jim has so much technique in his solos. He’s probably the best technical dancer in the competition. Another standing O from the judges.
11) Hailee and Robert- Jazz with RJ and Nick- Haunted by Beyonce
Hailee giggled the whole rehearsal. She’s supposed to be the Angel of Death. New choreographers scare me. Costuming is cool. This routine doesn’t do anything for me. I won’t remember it even happened. I think both Hailee and Robert danced it well, and there ware a few cool stunts. The kiss was crazy. It felt too campy from Hailee to take her seriously though. I didn’t feel like there was enough seduction or danger. Angel of Death? No. Jason says they haven’t seen her this dark yet. She had both character and strength. He calls her a force to be reckoned with. Nigel says sometimes she buries herself in the character and he loses something in her, but not tonight. Paula says Hailee did what she does best. Paula tells her to watch transitions.
12) Megz’s Solo- Let It Go by James Bay
Her mentor is Cynthia Geffon. Her solo is almost contemporary, and not the hard hitting hip hope Megz is used to. Interesting choice to do a solo out of your own style. I don’t know how I feel about it. My initial thoughts are that I’m disappointed, but I appreciate her trying to show something different.
13) Jim and Gaby- Broadway by Josh Bergasse- Fevee by Michael Buble
There’s a hospital bed on stage, lol. Gaby looks hot. Jim has really kicked the performer side of him into gear. This is his best night of the season. His technique on the pirouettes and leaps is incredible. Gaby was alright. I didn’t love the routine, but I thought Jim did a good job. Nigel wasn’t a fan. He says it left him cold. He gets booed. Paula says the choreography was hard, and it needed to feel more effortless. He thought Jim didn’t have the strength of a leading man. He thought Gaby oozed with greatness, and was glad she had the chance for redemption from her first routine.
14) Hailee and Megz- Contemporary by Stacey Tookey- Sarajevo by Max Richter and Sara Leonard
Two sisters being torn apart, and saying goodbye. Stacey thinks Megz is an exciting dancer. I think this was a good dance, and they were evenly matched. Megz actually did a good job out of her style. I thought the two connected well, and had a real bond. Megz watching Hailee walk away was powerful at the end. A strong routine. Paula says the routine played to both of their strengths. Paula says Megz showed remarkable partnership, and chemistry and engagement. She noted the honest, general reactions. She thought they both nailed it. Jason was impressed by Megz, because she really got into character. Paula loved the costumes too. Nigel loved the end of the routine. He loved Megz’s solo, and thought she really has become an all around dancer. Megz tears up a bit. Why was all the feedback about Megz, and very little about Hailee?
15) Virgil and Jaja- Hip Hop by Pharcyde and Phoenix-
Both in their style. This needs to be great. This is a “through the looking glass” number. That huge book on stage. Wow. Props to the props department. Also, costumes. What a crazy weird routine, but crazy fun. Jaja is killing it. Virgil is killing it. Two big personalities given a routine that showcases them perfectly. What more could you ask for? Love this. Jaja has had a perfect night. Virgil has had a great night. I expect Team Street to surge next week in voting. Jason says wanted it to be through the roof, but feels let down. Good, but not as good as he thought it should be. Loud boos from the audience. Nigel says it reminded him of Paula’s routine with MC Skat Cat. LOL. Nigel says hip hop really does belong in the dance culture. He says America is leading the way in hip hop. He barely says anything about the routine. Paula says they’re jolts of electricity. She’s rushed for time, and her thoughts are a bit all over the place.
The Top 6 comes back on stage. We’re going to get some results after the break!
ELIMINATED TONIGHT: Megz Alfonso and Jim Nowakowski
Your Top 4 is… Jaja Vankova, Gaby Diaz, Virgil Edson, and Hailee Payne
Jim is crying. Megz is just holding him. That’s a hard elimination. One spot away from the finale. I had a feeling these would be the results. I think both dancers went out on a high note though. I mean, they made 3rd place for both of their teams. That’s a great feat.
How do you feel about the results? Sound off in the comments. Don’t forget to join me for my power rankings on Thursday, and next week for the Top 4 performance show.