Guest blogger Lenni G spills the 't' on last night's show:
Huge props to Janette and Brandon for last night's performances or, as guest judge, Tyce Diorio, would say (and did) "FanFrigginTastic." Dancing last in the first group of six couples, they did an Angentine Tango that left Nigel speechless. All he could do was stand and applaud as did the rest of the panel and the audience. Mary Murphy found her "temperature rising" and Tyce did the whole analogy thingie about "getting all the juice out" and then said, "You did the whole damn thing." I agree with Nigel that it was a ballroom routine that was as close to perfection as any ballroom routine ever on the show.
In their second dance, which was the last of the evening, they did a Jazz routine from the incomparable choreographer, Wade Robson. Nigel called it brilliant, Tyce said, "You guys have that thing," and Mary, whose voice goes up several octaves whenever she's really, really happy, declared it "spontaneous combustion" and declared the two the best couple of the night. I could not agree more.
OK, OK, this is supposed to be a recap of the whole show, so, here's what else happened while Janette and Brandon were blowing the doors off the Hot Tamale Train. Melissa and Ade opened the show with a great Disco from Doriana Sanchez. Nigel liked its energy and told Melissa that if she had to fall on her ass, and she did, it was best do it at the very end, which she did. Mary pointed out that the choreographer, Doriana Sanchez, had said these two needed to "pray to the disco gods." Mary acknowledged the successful prayer with a hearty "Amen." Their second dance, a Waltz, got the sorta lukewarm comments that the judges give when they aren't over the moon or really bummed. And, it seemed that Melissa fared a lot better than Ade in the compliments department - Mary called Melissa, the oldest competitor, the "fine wine girl" and found her "mesmerizing." This aged wine girl agrees.
Next up, Kayla and Kupono did a Contemporary number from Mia Michaels. Nigel called it a "powerful routine". Mary said Kupono showed intensity and found Kayla "flawless." Tyce defined Mia's choreography perfectly when he said, "The dancer must become an actor - The dancer must embody the experience more than the dance." I know that's dance-speak, but it sounds really deep and I liked it. The K-Team did a Broadway routine for their second dance that got the dreaded lukewarm responses from the judges, i.e., "Really good job, you could have done more." That sounds like a compliment your mother would give you to get you from the "B" grade to the "A" grade.
Caitlyn and Jason followed with a Fox Trot for their first dance which got really good marks from all the judges, especially Tyce who said they looked like stars and really captured "the essence" of the dance. Their second dance, a Lyrical Jazz piece from Mandy Moore, got raves for its choreographer and the lukewarm stuff for the dancers. As Mary said, it was "not magic nor memorable."
The first dance for Jeanine and Phillip was a Russian Folk Dance from Youri Nelzine and Lilia Babenko, who obviously are "Russian folk." Nigel's comment that perhaps this was not the right dance for this show was so right on. This was just one "hot mess" from beginning to end and should tell the producers of the show to ditch the Russian Folk Dance routines from future episodes and seasons. Their second routine, the Jive, did get more positive reviews, particularly for Jeanine who Mary said was "On Fire, one of the top 10 dancers, and definitely on the Hot Tamale Train." As for Phillip, Mary said he did "show improvement," a kind, lukewarm statement from Mary so she wouldn't have to tell Phillip that he isn't even close to being as good as Jeanine.
As for Randi and Evan, after a really strong showing in the early elimination shows, I feel like they have fallen into the lukewarm abyss. Their Hip Hop routine from "NappyTabs" was good, maybe even great in parts. And here again, Randi seemed to be outdancing her male partner big time. That fact was really obvious in their Samba where, as Mary and Tyce noted, Randi definitely carried Evan.
So, SYTYCD fans, notice the trend from last night? First dances by all the couples before Janette and Brandon did their sizzling Argentine Tango generally got pretty good reviews from the judges. After that it was game over for all those couples in their second dances. And, it would appear that the judges, able to watch rehearsals for the week, recognized that Janette and Brandon have no peers in this competition. Think that pretty much accounts for the announcement that the show's producers have decided that next week we will be watching five all new couples no matter who gets eliminated. I'm sure Janette and Brandon are as bummed as I am.