Tonight, the top ten guys will all dance outside their style with an all-star partner before the judges narrow down the field to just five. Those five will join last week’s five girls to make up this season’s top 10!
Cole Mills – dancing with Jaimie in contemporary, choreographed by Travis Wall
Damn. For a ballroom dancer, Cole is exceptional in contemporary. He took the piece and he and Jaimie were dancing as one. The lines and elegance displayed had me in awe. Such a well rounded dancer. Nigel said that he did not feel Cole was fake at all in this routine. Vanessa says his partner work was gorgeous. Mary has never seen such a trajectory of improvement.
Jay Jay Dixonbey – dancing with Chelsie doing Cha-Cha, choreographed by Elena Samodanova
Yes! This was smart choreography. It gave Jay Jay the chance to use a lot of his contemporary and jazz skills while still having the tried and true cha-cha steps we need to see. He was fierce out there dancing with Chelsie. Solid job. Vanessa says the cha-cha looked flawless. Mary says that we are drawn to Jay Jay when he dances. Nigel wants him to be careful with breaking his lines.
Slavik Pustovoytov – dancing with Allison in jazz, choreographed by Tyce Diorio
That was sexy. I felt the connection there and the chemistry. Again, another dancer outside his style who is doing a very solid job of showing why he has the tools to do well on this show. I loved this piece because though on the simplistic side, I was captivated by every move. Vanessa feels like she saw a new passion. Mary loved the partnership. Nigel calls it a great job when he feels Slavik needed to do a great job.
Justin Pham – dancing with Comfort in hip-hop, choreographed by Luther Brown
Well, the hip-hop didn’t sit completely comfortable with Justin but he did his best. He had the moves for the most part but needed a bit more of the swag and grit you would expect, especially dancing next to Comfort the beast. Mary feels like Justin hit everything but she feels the acting part needs to be worked on. Nigel says it felt a little lightweight. Vanessa wanted Justin to sit in it a little more.
Peyton Albrecht – dancing with Chelsie doing Cha-Cha, choreographed by Elena Samodanova
I have to compare this to Jay’s cha-cha from earlier since both are the same style. While the former felt more natural, this felt a bit dancing school 101. Peyton had the steps but it didn’t feel organic to me. I could see the practice without feeling the authenticity. But the steps were there as they were supposed to be in a cha-cha. Mary says the chemistry wasn’t there. Nigel says it didn’t sit comfortably. Vanessa says there was a disconnect in the dance for her.
Kyle Bennett, Jr – dancing with Lauren in contemporary, choreographed by Travis Wall
Okay. So some of that was quite sloppy. A bit of the transitions to and from the lifts were not seamless. It was smart of Travis to put a lot of Kyle’s animations in there but I’m not so sure he is going to do all that well in other genres considering this display. Vanessa calls it beautiful and loves watching him dance. She is proud of him. Mary says he lacks in training but gives in heart. Nigel calls him a pleasure to watch who should be proud of himself.
Evan DeBenedetto – dancing with Allison in contemporary, choreographed by Brian Friedman
That was a very aggressive piece, danced wonderfully. I really hope Evan makes the show because I want to see tap represented. And based on this piece, he should. He was totally committed to that and it wasn’t easy. He and Allison went through the ringer in that and exceeded my expectations. Nigel notes how different it is than tap. He felt it was a good job. Vanessa loved the execution. She calls it really good. Mary felt she went through something watching it.
Dustin Payne – dancing with Jaimie in jazz, choreographed by Tyce Diorio
I feel as though Dustin took to jazz better than our other animator, Kyle, took to contemporary. It felt more natural for him and I loved the incorporation of his style into the routine. Nothing was super difficult within that but he made it work and look intriguing. Vanessa has been impressed with Dustin. Mary feels Tyce brought out another side of him. Nigel wanted to see a bit more smiling in the dance.
Allen Genkin – dancing with Lauren in jazz, choreographed by Brian Friedman
Allen definitely redeemed himself from his solo but I have to say, my eyes were glued on Lauren, not him. Perhaps it was the choreography but he felt very supporting to Lauren. That’s not a bad thing of course but I don’t think he did enough to quite stand out among the crop of dancers we saw tonight. It was good. It wasn’t exceptional. Mary thought he did a pretty good job but she felt it didn’t feel authentic in parts. Nigel feels he could relax a bit. Vanessa found some good moments.
Darius Hickman – dancing with Comfort in hip-hop, choreographed by Luther Brown
YES DUDE. YOU BETTER WERK. That was so fun. I did not expect Darius to get into the groove so well and come off so gritty as it is supposed to be. So pleasantly surprised by how well he took to that and he and Comfort just did one of my favorite performances of the evening. Nigel loved the comedy. He says it felt comfortable. Vanessa feels he became her best friend in the dance. Mary notes how Darius got cut in hip-hop last year. She says he knocked it out.
Justin will NOT be in the top five.
Evan is IN the top five.
Jay Jay is IN the top five.
Allen will NOT be in the top five.
Cole is IN the top five.
Dustin will NOT be in the top five.
Peyton will NOT be in the top five.
Darius is IN the top five.
Slavik is IN the top five.
Kyle will NOT be in the top five.
And the top ten has been decided. Congratulations to all of them.
Next week, they will be paired with one another for the first time LIVE as they compete for America’s votes as we begin to dwindle down the competition in search of America’s favorite dancer. I’ll see you all next Monday. :D