6. Gravity (AKA "Addiction")
Choreographed by Mia Michaels
Performed by Kayla and Kupono (Season 5)
I love what Mia has done here. By anthropromorphizing the "drug," whether it be a chemical or something emotional, as a dangerous and violent person, she has made the "disease" of addiction real and relatable. We all have something that we fall back on which we know is bad for us: drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, ex-lovers, food, anything potentially destructive. Mia shows us here that it is something we struggle with everyday and can overcome if we really want to break free. But that addiction will always be lurking in the darkness, waiting for the next moment of weakness to lull us back into a temporary state of forgetting or false comfort. Kayla is perfect in the role of the addict, her best showing all season. Kupono is also at his strongest, and as much as I love his overall performance (especially his beyond-creepy leer at the very end), I wish he were just a bit more masculine and controlling. That's the only reason this routine isn't ranked higher for me, though I know many who consider this their favorite dance in the show's history. For me, it's definitely unforgettable as well.
5. Tore My Heart
Choreographed by Sonya Tayeh
Performed by Jakob and Ellenore (Season 6)
I'll say it now: I think Jakob is the best dancer to ever appear on the show. He is so technically brilliant and so radiant on stage. He's a natural-born dancer, and I love him. This number, with Ellenore, was his best showing of the season and probably Sonya's best showing overall. It's very violent, both quietly and outwardly; like the addiction piece above, it has something very real to say about abusive relationships, but it's still also just about the very basic "want what you can't have." I love that Sonya played with genres as well, as if the two were about to dance a tango that went horribly wrong. Jakob is so powerful, as is Ellenore in her own right; perhaps she isn't as dominant as Jakob, but her character isn't supposed to be. She plays the part wonderfully while still establishing her own technicality and beauty as a dancer. Her moment of being "stuck," and then melting away is pure magic. And seriously, this entire routine is so sensual and tense and just exploding with eroticism... I love it. Jakob's hips are amazing. And his final pose makes me quiver. And Jesus, those extensions.