Preface: These were my predicted bottom three couples:
Gev and Courtney
Jamie and Rayven
Kortni and Matt
Susie and Marquis
Well, I was two for three. Not bad!!! And I apologize if I get the Courtneys and Chelsea's names misspelled. I find this very confusing!
The show begins with Cat wearing a pink fluffy dress. It's pretty, but I like when she goes less frou frou. I am confused when we see the judges talking (well, Dan and Mary), then the dancers walking into the audience with weird camera angles. What, I ask? Oh, I see. The dancers are kidnapping Nigel! Ha ha. Okay, I'm being mean. It was a cute, original number (Wade and Amanda are SO out there). The boys were wearing 80s punk, with slicked back hair. The girls were wearing big dresses and big colored hair. They drag Nigel on stage, tie him up and gag his mouth, and then dance about. The dancing is just fine, with great synchronicity. Nigel hams it up excessively, however. I would have been more excited if Nigel had just sat there and squirmed without going over the top. I can't imagine Idol's Simon doing that. At the end, the dancers run off, and Cat comes to "rescue" Nigel, not a minute too soon. He says, "Cat, let's be kind to the dancers this year," and *I* gag. Once he is off the stage and back in his customary seat, however, he delivers the line of the night: "Wade's been waiting a whole year to get back at me for (last season's) fox routine" (the one with Sabra and Lacey in the top four, which showcased nothing). I hope the season won't be this corny.
Anyway, Cat walks over to the "jeedges," and we see that Dan has on a cute tan jacket and t-shirt, Mary has on a pretty red and black dress, and Nigel has on his customary black jacket and pinstriped shirt. Because this is a "jam packed show," we get right to the first three couples. First up is Twitchington (not a town in London, Ted, I get it), Twitch and Kherington, and of course America puts them through, and the crowd roars its approval. Then we review the other two couples, Chelsea and Thayne dancing Mia's contemporary routine (Unbelievable, Mary said, and the couple tweaked and freaked and did everything that was asked of them, Dan said) and we will find out if they are safe in a moment. We see a recap of Chelsie and Mark's contemporary piece, (Chelsie the ballroom dancer is told she came through brilliantly), and all three couples are safe. Oh, oh, seven couples left, and three of them are in the bottom three. The contestants must be shaking themselves crazy back stage.
CONTINUED AFTER THE JUMP...
After the break, with a horrible Taco Bell rapping ad, we hear lots of screaming girls, and we bring on the next three couples. Matt and Kourtni's jazz routine to Tainted Love is shown, and Nigel says that he needed more personality from Matt, and we hear his nasty Matt has a broomstick up his you-know-what comment, and I am angry again. Mary liked it, but America did not, and they are the first couple in the bottom three. Mary says the first cut is the deepest (ha ha) and is looking forward to seeing their solos to see why American brought them there, and I wonder if any longtime viewers are as tired as I am of this cliche (but what else could she say, I suppose). Then we get the surprise of the evening. Susie and Marquis's smooth waltz is trotted out again, and Susie looks very nervous. The review focuses on how Nigel says that he was afraid America wouldn't get it, but they did, and I am very disappointed. Finally, we see Comfort and Chris, and are reminded how she dislocated her shoulder. Dan notes then they need to develop better chemistry, but this clicked for the audience, and they are safe (what?!). Rayven and Jamie's hip hop routine is reviewed, and it is pointed out that Nigel wondered if it would be memorable at the end of the night. Clearly it was not, because they are in the bottom three. Nigel also points out that it is hard when you go first, which is true, b/c that is why Michael Johns was booted at number eight during Idol, and I am still bitter about this.
Finally, we get to the final three couples. Katee and Joshua's hip hop routine, which was Nigel's favorite of the night (and was for many viewers, too) is reviewed, and they are through. This leaves Jessica and Will and Gev and Courtney, and I totally got this wrong (I even jotted it down incorrectly before the results!). I was sure that Jessica and Will's tango, while not perfect (though Mary said they were the couple to beat), would go over better than Courtney and Gev's painful disco routine to Boogie Wonderland (likened by Nigel to "Disco Duck"), but this was not so, and Jessica and Will were the final couple in the bottom three. The audience, the judges, the dancers, and I were all in shock. Dan's reaction was thus: "As judges, we were a little easier on some dancers than on others, but we said they were good, and they *were* good, and they don't deserve to be in the bottom three." Warning to America: Vote for your favorites (ahem, Will and Twitch, ahem).
While the dancers go backstage to freak out, er, warm up for their solos, we get the highlight of the night: Poppin' Pete and Shon Boog of the Electronic Boogaloos showing us a sick poppin' routine (unbelievable isolations) and explaining how the style was derived Fresno in 1975.. Cat notes that we will see different performers from the world of dance each week, and I am *so* hopeful that this means we will not get any more lip synched performances from the likes of Fergie, but I am wrong, as you'll see in a moment.
During the break, we get our annoying Snuggle Bear commercial (followed by SYTYCD wannabees snuggling, aka dancing in the streets) and I am beyond annoyed.
Now onto the solos: Kourtni goes first, dancing a contemporary piece, that I find pretty, but not that memorable. Next up is Matt, who has beautiful lines, but I am also not sure that the solo is enough. Rayven takes the stage, in a very odd but stand-out tutu with striped tights, and I llllove it (as Simon would say), and Cat calls her a "rock princess ballerina who done good, and I agree. Jamie is next, dancing a ballroom solo, that reminds me a bit of Pasha (but not as good).
After the break, we see Jessica's solo, with her pretty much running around the stage, IMO, and it reminds me of Lacey's solo last year, where she blanked out and forgot the steps. Finally, Will takes the stage, and he is brilliant: intense, gorgeous, far above the rest. Cat notes that "I've got a feeling that a certain Miss (Debbie) Allen will be home screaming at her television," and I agree. The dancers go backstage, and we are punished, er, treated to a Pussycat Dolls routine. They are dressed in leather (of course) and my sister calls at this exact moment so I don't have to hear them.
Finally, the results, beginning with the girls, as is the custom. Nigel says they are unanimous in their decision. Kourtni is told that they love what she brought to her solo and they hope that she will bring that to her routines, and she is safe. Rayven and Jessica take their paces forward. Nigel points out that he didn't understand Rayven's solo, which she did on demi-pointe rather than on pointe, and I don't see why that is a problem (but I am not a ballerina expert by any means). Then Jessica is told that her entire routine was not strong enough, and that they don't know either of them to really make a decision, but for some bizarre reason, Rayven is sent home, and I am confused. Her mom bawls in the audience while we see Rayven's package. Rayven notes that she had danced professionally before and was using this as a springboard, and I am happy for her. She is a class act.
Finally, we get to the guys. Nigel says they were again unanimous in their decision. Will is first, and Nigel says he was disappointed to see him in the final three, as he is an incredible dancer, but warns him to think about his performance and to not push through his routines (did he?) so American can see how brilliant he is.
Then we get to Jamie and Matt. They love Jamie's personality and Matt's technique, and wish they could fuse them together. But since they can't, they went with technique over personality, so Matt is safe, and Jamie is going home. Nigel warns that "tonight, and only tonight, we'll take technique over personality," and I am reminded at how they said this to Cedric (re: letting his partners down, but is unique and will hopefully grow) last year, but he wasn't eliminated for the first three weeks, so I am a bit skeptical. The theory floated about is that since Jamie and Rayven were a couple, their elimination means they don't have to pair up other couples so early on. This makes sense to me.
And that's it. Top 18 next week.