Hey All :)
Tonight, the top eight are back to perform for America’s votes. This is our first two-hour episode of the show this season, so expect more dancing than usual. In fact, everyone will be dancing five times. We will have three group routines, two duets per couple, and solos. And of course, at the end of the night, another two dancers will be eliminated.
Last week, we lost Eddie and Stephanie. The former was expected while the latter was a bit of a surprise. But with those boots, a new partnership forms tonight as Gino & Sophie are now paired together. Will they be able to catch lighting in a bottle quickly or be critiqued for a lack of chemistry?
And what about those that appeared in the bottom last week? Can they bounce back and earn safety tonight? Will anyone step up to challenge Bailey & Mariah, who seemed destined to be this season’s top two dancers? If I had to make a quick guess, I would say Ezra and Anna are in the most trouble tonight should they end up in the bottom for a second week.
As a quick reminder to those that want to vote at the end of the show:
Three ways you can vote:
(1) With the FOXNOW app for mobile phones.
(2) At the website fox.com/dance/vote
(3) By using the text number 21523 – Send a text to that number using the dancer’s first name. Example: text Mariah to 21523 to vote Mariah.
A limit of 20 votes for each method. Voting ends tomorrow morning at 9AM Eastern with results announced at the end of next week’s show.
Let’s get this party started…
What a fun opening group number. It’s a tropical party! Love the mash up of various styles here. The top eight are killing this. Love the costumes too. Choreography by Jonathan & Oksana. The idea tonight is traveling around the globe and that routine was our stop in Rio! Fun. Cat informs us the dancers will be performing four more times this evening.
Benjamin & Anna (Tahitian) – Tiana Liufau
The couples who get these dances that are not usually seen on the show can either luck out or fizzle. It is a good thing because these dancers are exciting and unique but if the dancers don’t hit it correctly from start to finish, the failure stands out more. I think for the most part, this was a success. I remember some Tahitian routines from season’s past I enjoyed more but this was a decent performance. Not a whole lot of partner work here but the side by side was good. They both committed one hundred percent, which is definitely half the battle. It was a nice and competent job.
Nigel loves diversity of dance. He feels spoiled by Tahitian dances from the past. He didn’t feel they got into character enough. Mary thought the hips and knees were moving incredibly fast. She gives Anna some critique but is all praise for Benjamin. To her, it was authentic. Dom feels Anna’s hips told him a great story. He feels Benjamin did well too. Laurie says they have to push past the pain. She feels Benjamin connected but feels Anna lacked stamina.
Sophie out next with a very athletic and ethereal solo. I always giggle at the solos on this show. What are we supposed to connect with in thirty seconds? Just when the dancers get really into it, it is over.
Ezra & Madison (Hip-Hop) – Randi & Hef
Meh. I don’t know but that didn’t feel all that great. Hip-Hop doesn’t really sit too comfortably on Ezra. Madison however, did a pretty good job. It just felt a tad bit off and not down and dirty enough. I get the idea of what Randi and Hef were going for but I think the choreography overall failed them as well. It just didn’t come together fully as I wanted it to.
Mary gives Randi & Hef props for a new concept. She feels towards the end, they got into it. Some of it she wasn’t feeling though. Dom tells Madison she is an amazing hip-hop dancer. He didn’t get that from Ezra. Laurie disagrees. She thought it was amazing. She feels the intent was met. Nigel felt in general, they performed it brilliantly.
Wow. Superb solo from Gino. He conveyed about as much dance power and story as one could in these short pieces.
Bailey & Mariah (Cha-Cha-Cha) – Dmitry Chaplin
Okay. They BETTER call out Bailey’s utter lack of technique in that. This was his poorest performance on the show and if they swoon over that, something’s wrong. Mariah was actually very good here and she should be given kudos for that. It was a fake it till you make it dance and overall, looked okay but come on now, you could tell it was an amateur hour cha-cha. Sorry for the harshness.
Dom knew Bailey was struggling on the lifts. He found it adorable though. He calls Mariah a star. Laurie loved Dmitry’s choreography. She feels she is looking at dancers- not a B-boy and contemporary girl. Nigel says what Bailey achieved is remarkable but looked uncomfortable here. Nigel says the audience loves him to death though. Nigel agrees Mariah is a star. Mary loved every second of it but some things were exposed for Bailey. She said by the time it ended, it was tight and better.
Madison out now for a solo and I can’t tell the difference between what she did and what Sophie did earlier. They looked nearly identical. You gotta bring something different even if you have next to no time to do so.
Fun ballroom solo by Ezra. Solos are hard to do for ballroom people without a partner so when they do it well, I am always impressed and find it a joy to watch.
Gino & Sophie (Contemporary) – KC Monnie
That was BRILLIANT. They totally captured what the choreographer was going for in telling the story. It was one of the moving pieces that will remain us after the season is over because when a good message is met with good dancing, you get something special. Both dancers here shined and it was a captivating piece. Loved the use of the table and chair prop as well. They did some interesting things there.
Laurie says the pairing is magical and she loved the message of the piece. Nigel calls the chemistry magnificent. He compliments both on their solos. Nigel talks about the controversy this week of the Good Morning America journalist who laughed at boys ballet dancing. Gino says he wants to be part of change. Mary calls the piece memorable. Dom thanks them for the performance and says well done.
Good solo from Mariah but boy, these girls solos are just blending together for me. I feel like Mariah, Madison, and Sophie all did a variation of exactly the same piece.
Benjamin & Anna (Broadway) – Al Blackstone
Nice. I’m so glad this was their second number of the night because they improved so much on the first. Will it be enough to save Anna if she hits the bottom? I don’t know about that but both were totally charming here. It felt so elegant and old school with just enough dancing to also impress. Loved the characters and the musicality as well. Really satisfied with that.
Nigel loved how magical and romantic it was. He hopes America will vote for something gentle as this. Mary agrees and feels like they played it just right. She was transported to another era. Dom thought it would be a full out Broadway routine but loved the quality of movement. Laurie feels that America will vote because they feel it- it was amazing.
Ezra & Madison (Argentine Tango) – Miriam & Leonardo
OH. Gonna be tough for the judges tonight. If Ezra was their default choice, he just got a dance in his own style, though he admits this is the hardest ballroom dance for him. I adore the argentine tango. Those intertwined feet and brisk staccato steps. So much fun to watch. This was as good as I expected. A little sloppy in parts but nothing too bad. I wanted a little more of a connection and a fiery attitude but the music held them back in that respect in parts. All in all, it was a very good effort in doing a very difficult genre of dance.
Mary says the routine was incredibly difficult. She says they did it beautifully. She loves Madison’s legs and feet. She calls Ezra the perfect partner. Dom says Ezra did a great job. Laurie felt it was intense as it was so cinematic. She goes into a whole… I’m not sure what she is doing. Laurie gives props to both of them. Nigel loved Madison’s strength and thought Ezra was a great partner. He says well done.
Powerful solo from Benjamin. The guys are nailing these solos tonight and all of them are looking original from one another, as opposed to the ladies. I just wish of course, that they were longer.
By virtue of dancing a solo in a totally different style from the other girls, Anna’s solo is already memorable. It wasn’t anything exceptional I would talk about for hours but it was fun and different.
Bailey & Mariah (Contemporary) – Mandy & Elizabeth
They get a cool prop that they could slide on and off and do some fun tricks with. I absolutely loved this more than the first routine they had tonight. It was fun to see Bailey be a bit more expressive in a routine that requires some feeling and Mariah in her own style is a joy to watch. A word I would use to describe this was cute. It was like young love blossoming. Now judges- DO NOT GO THERE with any showmance nonsense. Thank you.
Dom says that was one his favorite routines that he has ever seen. Laurie calls Bailey a nice young man. She loves his upbringing. She wants him to stay confident and humble. She doesn’t want Mariah to suppress her ability due to Bailey. Nigel feels props can sometimes overwhelm but not tonight. Nigel agrees with Laurie’s advice to Mariah but once again says they are the couple to beat. Mary wants them to be a pair for the rest of their lives. She loved every second of it.
Gino & Sophie (Jazz) – Jonathan Redavid
WOW. Talk about brilliant choreography huh? I loved the way that was put together. It was so much fun. It might actually be my favorite dance of the night. So much intricate stuff in there with a hint of comedy too. Just glorious. This is a great partnership and that’s a big thing to say considering they both had different partners just last week. So good.
Laurie says it was amazing. She says that Gino & Sophie are the couple to beat. Nigel compliments the choreographer and tells them that Bailey & Mariah now have some great opponents. Mary gets up to scream. YES, TRAIN. HOT. TAMALE. She calls them a threat. Dom says they have had their best performances tonight. He also screams.
Bailey out now with a super fun, energetic, and crowd pleasing solo full of B-boy craziness. So good at what he does. The boys >>> the girls for solos this evening.
Madison, Mariah, Benjamin, Gino – Group Number – Talia Favia
What an odd routine. Like I have no idea what that was about but I kinda of loved it for the nuttiness. All four killed it and the boys were especially on point. It was so weird to watch but I couldn’t turn away. Talia always has the capability of doing some weird things with her routines.
Nigel says Talia was brilliant in the creativity. He tells them tonight’s selection is going to be tough. Mary calls it powerful, strong, tough, and she felt it in her gut. Dom makes a joke about abs. He is trying to be professional. Laurie composes herself and says she is blown away because she would hire all four dancers.
Gino – SAFE
Benjamin – IN DANGER
Mariah – SAFE
Madison – IN DANGER
Anna, Sophie, Bailey, Ezra – Group Number – Sean Cheeseman
Afro jazz is always fun to watch. So animalistic. No inhibitions. Love that. Again, I thought all four brought it when necessary and excelled here. Sean Cheeseman made great use of the strengths of all the dancers, giving them all moments to shine together and individually.
Mary gibes Sean some props and tells them all the dancers experienced a rebirth tonight just like the song. She tells them all were brilliant and loved Bailey’s jump and land. Dom wants everyone to know how hard physically and psychologically the competition is for all of them. Laurie says welcome to the real world. She tells them that she feels it all. Nigel says they had a freedom of movement. Nigel once again calls out Bailey and says his solo was outstanding.
Bailey – SAFE
Ezra – IN DANGER
Sophie – SAFE
Anna – IN DANGER
Time for the judges decision on tonight’s final results:
Nigel says the choices haven’t related to America for some reason. He tells all four that they need to figure out how to appeal to voters because the judges love them all. The judges are unanimous in their decisions though. Ezra is staying tonight. Madison is staying tonight as well.
That means Ezra and Madison remain partners and the judges sent home a complete couple in Benjamin and Anna.
Another two-hour episode is ahead next week with ALL-STARS! Voting starts now and I will post some POLLS of for you guys later or tomorrow. I hope you enjoyed the show tonight as it was a very good show and the added time allowed all the contestants to shine at different times. See y’all next week. :D