Hey All :)
Last week, it was the girls. Tonight, the guys take center stage to try and impress the judges enough to make the final cut. Each guy will be paired with an All-Star and given a choreographer outside their own genre.. After all ten performances, the judges will determine which five make the live shows.
I was unimpressed on a whole by the picks on the girls side but am keeping an open mind to see if they deliver starting next week. Let’s hope the boys picks make more sense as we have some really solid ones competing tonight for a spot. With all that being said, let’s get the party started…
Bailey Munoz (dancing contemporary with Lauren) – choreo by Jaci
Such a good routine. Bailey is kind of Slavik for me from last year. Someone who excelled in their own style but was shockingly good when given choreography- especially in contemporary. He just killed that. And he actually had chemistry with Lauren which is tough to do in such a short amount of time. Very impressive.
Lauren is speechless. She calls him great. Nigel is shocked by how good he has become. Mary calls it incredible and says he laid his soul out. Dom feels it was the best B-boy performance he has ever seen.
Ezra Sosa (dancing hip-hop with Comfort) – choreo by Luther)
You know what? I honestly expected a train wreck. And that wasn’t a track wreck. For a ballroom dude, Ezra got down nicely. He was helped a lot by having a great partner and an even better choreographer but that dance called for some really groovy and down and dirty steps and for the most part, he pulled it out. I’m not mad.
Lauren says it stunk (in a good way). She enjoyed seeing what he is capable of. Nigel says he has done well when he has been asked to change his styles. Mary loved the musicality. Dom is blown away.
Vlad Kvartin (dancing contemporary with Melanie) – choreo by Mandy
There really wasn’t much to that. Mandy gave him easy choreography and while he did it, I felt nothing. I wasn’t connected to that at all and he didn’t look very connected to Melanie either. She was fantastic by the way as usual but I just don’t think that particular routine did Vlad any favors.
Mary calls it sweet and tender. Dom loves how easy he made it look. Lauren doesn’t want him to overextend. Nigel notes he didn’t feel a connection between partners.
Aleksandr Ostanin (dancing cha-cha-cha with Lindsay) – choreo by Sharna
Calm down a little bit boy. Damn. He is so fast out there that some of the moves come off sloppy, especially in the lift department. He did well though and I enjoyed how into it he was. I just hope he isn’t knocked too hard for jumping the gun on both the music and steps. Perhaps nerves but in the live shows when up against other stellar dancers, stuff like that will hurt. Will the show put in two tappers with him and Eddie? Hmm.
Nigel said a lot of it didn’t feel comfortable. He gives him critique on his hands and legs. Mary says it was missing the chemistry. Dom disagrees and thought it was phenomenal. Laurie was sold on it and agrees with Dom.
Benjamin Castro (dancing salsa with Koine) – choreo by Oksana
YES. That was so good. Puts the previous routine to shame to be honest. Such awesome steps done so well. I am so impressed by that. It was just fire from beginning to end. And this is someone who we wouldn’t assume would do well in a salsa routine. Loved seeing Koine again too. My favorite of the night thus far.
Mary says he put the seasoning on season 16. She tells him to watch because he is flat footed. Dom commends him on the lifts. Lauren felt the power and joy. She felt him more than ever. Nigel wants him to get deeper into the floor but feels he did a pretty good job all around.
Clocks Volozanin (dancing jazz with Jasmine) – choreo by Spencer
Some of this was rough. This show takes such liberty with the classification of “jazz.” I’ll admit some of those steps were nice but my eyes were basically on Jasmine the entire time. Clocks just wasn’t bringing it. He was also a hair behind Jasmine throughout. I don’t think that dance was good for him at all but the judges have praised his previous work.
Mary calls it pretty amazing but watch his shoulders and hands. Dom says the leaps were so bad. Laurie expected a bit more. She didn’t feel a connection. Nigel loved that angles were used but he didn’t see the work put in.
Brandon Talbott (dancing with Lindsay) – choreo by
How odd. We got NO rehearsal footage. I’m so confused. Are they so strapped for time we don’t even get to see who the choreographer was? Okay. The dance was sloppy. Brandon was just sloppy throughout. They had one great moment toward the end with a windmill like move but the rest was really meh. I didn’t see anything in there to rave about. Sorry for being super critical.
Nigel wants him to be careful of his feet and he missed the chemistry. Dom agrees and missed the spark. Mary liked the body rolls and the ending. Laurie says he is just beginning to see what he is capable of as a dancer.
Nathan Cherry (dancing contemporary with Melanie) – choreo by Talia
WOW. How impressive. Okay, what I said earlier about Bailey? It goes double for Brandon. That was a very, very strong contemporary piece. I loved the gender switching I saw in those steps. Melanie was breathtaking. And Brandon absolutely kept up with her. An intriguing piece too. So good.
Dom wasn’t a strong believer in Brandon until that performance. Laurie calls it so good. He was dancing in the empty she calls. Nigel says he has done an incredible job. Mary calls it intriguing. She loved the light and shade.
Gino Cosculluela (dancing jazz with Lauren) – choreo by Ray
YES BABY YES. Loved that. CHEMISTRY for days. And while again, jazz is used so oddly on this show, that routine showed off Gino quite well. I loved all the side by side stuff. I think my favorite thing about the routine was that it felt very organically danced and not very “okay, step one is this and step two is that.” Another solid routine tonight.
Dom loved the maturity and composure. Laurie wants all. She is beginning to see it. Nigel says he is probably the best technical dancer this year so he needs to turn the light on. Mary loves seeing an artist emerging.
Eddie Hoyt (dancing hip-hop with Comfort) – choreo by Randi & Hef
Eddie is ADORBS. Sure, he isn’t the more comfortable doing a down and dirty hip-hop dance with Comfort of all people but I’ll be damned if he didn’t give it all he had. He had some groove too. I think the choreographers were smart here by giving him enough to be pleasing but not going over the top expecting too much “sauce” if you get my drift. It made me smile, what can I say?
Dom says it was a big growth spurt from his last routine. Laurie says he was the sauce in the pocket. Mary wants to bottle the sauce and sell it. Nigel calls it a good job. He says it was his best performance.
THE TOP 5 GUYS ARE:
Ezra (Mary made it seem like he was eliminated. Of course they put siblings in. I hope they don’t pair them.)
Good choices. Much better than last week. I am a bit bummed about Nathan because I feel like he really deserved a spot but I can’t think of a dancer in the top five I would cut in order to put Nathan in. DAMN. That’s rough. He was so good.
But these choices were so much better than the girls last week. The guys are relatively stronger but we will see what the live shows bring and who gets partnered up with whom. I am looking forward to seeing the live shows.
Next week- the studio shows begin. They will be partnered up and America gets to vote. By the way, next week’s program is still just one hour so it doesn’t start until 9PM Eastern time. I hope to see y’all there. Thanks so much for joining me tonight. :)