This week, the couples get broken up, and each dancer does a solo.
Jessica comes out, looking like Jessica Rabbit, to announce that she has two broken ribs and can’t continue competing. She’s happy as a clam, and why not? She was obviously going to get kicked off tonight, and now she gets to avoid national humiliation AND go on tour. Win-win, Jessica Rabbit.
Couple #1: Courtney & Joshua
Style 1: Hip-hop
The rehearsal footage is scary; Courtney doesn’t even know what popping is. Cute concept: she’s playing the Bride of Frankenstein with her hair froed out to there. Joshua is embarrassingly good, and Courtney is surprisingly not-embarrassing. Lil C is impressed with her; Mary, not so much. For her, Joshua stole the show. Nigel liked Courtney’s character, but thought her dancing wasn’t up to snuff.
Style 2: Rumba
Song: Hero, by Enrique Iglesias
Courtney looks a zillion times better in this number, and they look constantly on the brink of making out. After coming down from a spectacular lift, Courtney’s eyes are unfocused with pleasure.
Lil C calls out the hands for particular praise. He says usually when you have new partners, you don’t want to touch each other, but they had a “sensual innocence.” Off stage, Lil c says, Joshua is timid, and onstage he’s manly and passionate. He says Courtney was great–his one note is that when the lifts are coming, he can see it on her face, and it should be a surprise. “You were stroking the floor, Joshua, like a paintbrush!” Mary says. She points out that most dancers fear the rumba because they’re worried about falling off balance, but these two avoided that, and added lovely subtleties. Nigel says that Joshua is a man who can still use his hips, and he even says he wished Joshua would have dropped his butch demeanor for a moment and shown Courtney a little warmth. He’s pleased that Joshua kept his shirt on and Joshua, sounding genuinely petulant, says Will and Twitch are always naked on stage. “Wait ’till y’all see the rest of it,” he says of his own torso. As if his dancing weren’t enough, that tease should be sufficient to make America pick up the phone.
Couple #2: Kherington & Mark
Style 1: Two-step
Song: Kick Back, by Ty England
For the first time on this show, I’m watching Mark. He looks hot. Should I move to Texas or something? Why am I so enraptured by his little cowboy outfit? What a strange dance; I can’t figure out if Kherington’s spotting incorrectly or if that’s the way it’s supposed to look. They look really uncomfortable and awkward.
Lil C fears they attacked it from the wrong direction. “Justifiable presentation” is his final verdict. Mary points out that the arm-connections, tunneling, and spins are tough as hell in this genre. She wasn’t impressed with Kherington’s limp arms. “I’m gonna give you kudos,” she tells Mark, and he looks shocked to hear the praise. Nigel says it was obvious that the two of them didn’t have faith in each other. “You can’t just let go in the middle of turns,” he tells Kherington. He praises them, though, for not giving up. “This is the first time I’ve seen either of you totally out of sorts with your partner and with the routine,” Nigel says.
Style 2: Jazz
Song: Cold Heat, by Jamiroquai
No story here; the style is the focus. There’s a disco theme in the lighting and the mood of the piece, which is unfortunate. That style shouldn’t be on the show, and I’m not sure why we’re highlighting it when we don’t have to. There’s something off about this pairing. Mark and Kherington are strong individually, but as a couple they don’t mesh.
Lil C loved the turns, wasn’t crazy about the lifts. It looked like Mark was asking Kherington, “Are you ready to come down?” Such a perceptive remark. Mary says there’s nothing to criticize, really, but she’s not jumping out of her seat. She didn’t feel anything. She’s happy, but she wants to be fired up. Nigel likens it to a driving test. He could have checked all the boxes: pirouettes, check, pointed toes, check, synchronicity, check–but there was no heart, no passion. They added nothing to Tyce’s choreography.
After the break, heart and passion for DAYS.