Let me start by saying this: Cat Deeley's stylist needs to be fired. Whoever he/she is, he/she typically does stellar work and makes Cat look her gorgeous, effervescent, contagiously smiley self. But what the hell happened last night with that harsh, slicked back hair and dark dress? It was like Cat was going to a funeral. Maybe she knows something about the fate of this show that we don't...
Group Performance (Choreographed by Mia Michaels)
This makes me sad. Mia finally returns to choreograph on the show, and she gives us this... this hideously unattractive, amateurish, cheap-hooker crap. I hated almost every moment of this routine, and to find out after the fact that it was Mia's work just saddened me. This is not the level she is at. There was more ass-shaking than actual dancing, and it just wasn't good. It looked like something from a high school talent show... from a group that didn't win the talent show, at that. Sorry.
Aaron and Chelsie (Jive by Chelsie Hightower)
Once again, Aaron is just too awkward to pull this style off convincingly. He messed up quite a few transitions, his kicks and flicks weren't sharply retracted, and he just seemed determined to oversell the whole thing because he knew he wasn't doing as well as he should. His energy was admirable, but he still was just a bit behind throughout. Chelsie, as usual, was perfect, and her choreography was very fast and very good.
Fik-Shun and Allison (Contemporary by Allison Holker)
The story here was beautiful and clearly very personal to Allison, because she put her heart into both the choreography and dance fully. Fik-Shun was once again exposed as technically weak, even though he had some incredible moments where Allison incorporated his strengths into the storyline, and the synchronized moments were surprisingly on-point. Despite his shortcomings, he sold the routine well, and unlike with Melanie last week, Allison brought him to a higher level without making him look silly next to her.
Tucker and Courtney (Jazz by Courtney Galliano)
So... Courtney should stick to dancing and stay away from choreography. There were some good lifts, but the music didn't mesh with the story and the choreography was very odd and off-putting at times. There were several moments of dead space that screamed for movement, and the movement where the music started to kick in looked like a high school cheerleading routine (Russian, push-kick, pencil jump... yawn). It was very inspiring to hear Courtney's story, but I can separate the dancer/choreographer from the dance, and the dance just wasn't that strong.
Paul and Comfort (Hip Hop by Comfort Fedoke)
This reminded me of something Lil' C would choreograph. It was just as much character and personality driven as it was about the movement, and I'm shocked by how varied and exciting Comfort's choreography was. Paul started off a little weak, and I was prepared to witness a trainwreck. But as he sank further into the movement and got a bit more comfortable, he was actually really great. About halfway through I stopped focusing solely on Comfort, and Paul started drawing my eye.... unexpectedly good.
Hayley and Dmitry (Rumba by Dmitry Chaplin)
I can't believe it took this long in the season to see a rumba. Having said that, this was really only a rumba by name and speed. The choreography was sultry and beautiful, though, and Dmitry is gorgeous. Hayley is clearly more of a dancer than a performer, and I found myself not watching her very much because of it. Dmitry (perhaps because he created the piece, perhaps because he's just more talented) lost himself in the dance more than Hayley did, though their chemistry together was good.
Jenna and Mark (Jazz by Mark Kanemura)
This was so exactly what I would have pictured Mark choreographing; it was so like his audition pieces during season four, with a touch of Sonya and Brian Friedman. It was so late 80s/early 90s underground and fun and unique and joyful. I loved every second of it, especially how Jenna committed completely to the choreography. It was amazing. And Nigel is so right that Mark should be Gaga's choreographer in addition to being her lead dancer, because this was right in her wheelhouse but light years better than anything she's done in the past few years. This was the first routine of the season that I rewound and immediately watched again. LOVE.
Jasmine and Twitch (Hip Hop by Twitch)
Following Mark's routine, this was seriously underwhelming... bad, even. Twitch's choreography was very lackluster, and his superhero storyline was totally lost once they started dancing. It was like character, character, now we're gonna dance, character; there was little melding of the two. Jasmine danced powerfully, but I feel like she was let down by the choreography, which Twitch clearly created with himself in mind rather than anyone else.
Amy and Travis (Contemporary by Travis Wall)
There were some incredible moments in this routine (Amy's backbend with her neck twisted back, the flying leap and landing on her stomach, the unbelievably together synchronized turns). It was so wonderful to see Travis dancing on the show again, especially with the season's strongest female dancer. There was such beautiful connection between them both, the constant touching and pushing/pulling, and the emotions were running so high. A stunningly beautiful piece.
Bottom Two Guys: Tucker, Fik-Shun
Bottom Two Girls: Jenna, Hayley
I'm still shocked that Jenna continued to be in the bottom, especially after her performance last week. The others I predicted and were my personal choices as well. It's really sad to see her leave, because she's been consistently one of the strongest dancers on the show. But just like with Makenzie, she just hasn't connected with the mass audience (though I understood why Makenzie didn't, I don't get it with Jenna) so there's really no point in letting her go through to next week. And she's joined by Tucker, who overstayed his welcome by at least two weeks.
My Choices to Be Eliminated from the Finale: Aaron, Hayley