Top 20 Performance Thoughts

I don’t want to say the words jump and shark, I really don’t, but I just don’t know about this season right now. Between the GIANT new stage and the camera angle limitations, all of the injuries and illnesses (Billy Bell, Pauline Mata at Vegas, Noelle Marsh and Mia Michaels) and now this first elimination…

At first I was a bit relieved that the judges were making this first decision. But now that I felt they made it badly, I want my vote back.

Wait, let’s back up…

Cat was gorgeous tonight with her curls and her beautiful red dress. I’m sad that Billy’s gone, but I don’t mind seeing more of Brandon Dumlao.

I’m pleased by Channing and Phillip’s chemistry in the jive, but I can agree with Adam when he says they dropped character, especially near the end. Some of it was a bit awkward and we could see it coming a mile away. But I’m excited to see what’s next for them. It seems like a solid first performance.

Ashleigh seemed a bit sweeter in her interview package and I thought her “sultry Broadway” with Jakob was better than I thought it would be. But my mom made a really good point when she suggested that Ashleigh’s only as strong as her partner. Which is great when she’s dancing with Jakob…but he is outdancing her.

I was pleased with Ariana and Peter. According to that Buddy TV slideshow, they were one of the potential worst couples, but I was immediately excited they were dancing together. They have great personalities and are both adorable. I really like the Nappytabs hip hop routine. Then the judges are pretty tough on them, which makes me nervous.

It was really too bad that Noelle couldn’t dance that foxtrot with Russell – they would’ve been so cute. I thought he did an amazing job with Melanie. And Nigel says that Russell is an example of why he stresses that kids should experience dance in school.

You know who really surprised me? Bianca in her Travis Wall contemporary with Victor. Amazing! Perhaps she has issues with her head, shoulders, knees and toes as Adam suggested, but they had wonderful chemistry together and I think they’ll continue to bring out the best in each other. That one move where Victor lowered her behind his back was stunning. Beautiful.

Karen and Kevin did a really good cha cha, though there were some really awkward transitions. Their personalities and chemistry really carried the routine, though, and Mary put Karen ont he hot tamale train – though Kevin’s just standing on the platform at the moment. Adam had that great comment about “and that’s not usually my thing” about Karen’s smoking hotness. πŸ™‚

So I didn’t get the Elleanor and Ryan Sonya piece the way everyone else did. Maybe I need to watch it again. It definitely had its moments and I was so pleasantly surprised by their chemistry together. Elleanor hasn’t been standing out for a lot of people, so I’m glad if this does the trick for her.

I was pleased by Pauline and Brandon’s smooth waltz. Jason Gilkison said he wanted to do a “young waltz” and I think he did a great job with the movement (the judges compared it unfavorably to a prom dance), but a horrible choice with the song. The Whitney song is good, but not a “young” song. I thought the two of them did a great job, especially considering they had far less time than the others to prepare.

Kathryn and Legacy did a great Dave Scott hip hop. And Legacy is a lucky joker, for sure. It’s pretty unfair how many chances this guy gets and I really don’t think he’s going to do much earthshattering. BUT, this routine was pretty awesome and I’m so glad Kathryn got a chance to shine. She was better than him, though, and this is closer to his style.Β  I loved that she pounded her chest at the end. πŸ™‚

Like Adam, I generally don’t like disco. My mom and I go back and forth on this cause she loves it. It’s just not my thing. Yet…I LOVED this disco routine. For the first time, disco has felt relevant to me and not just cheesy. Mollee and Nathan are so good together and the perfect couple for something this high-energy and youthful.

I was pretty much in shock when the judges announced the bottom 2 girls and the bottom 2 guys to dance. I loved Ariana and I don’t want her there. Why not Ashleigh? Nigel’s highest compliment to her was that if she keeps not messing up, she can ride Jakob’s coattails for a while. Clearly, she’s only a strong as her partner. And after Nigel’s comments about Russell earlier, WHY is he in the bottom 2? It doesn’t make any sense. As much as I love Channing, I’d understand her and Phillip being in the bottom 2 more than these choices. Brandon’s kinda a gimme, though very mean.

The solos are pretty awesome, all of them. I particularly liked Russell’s and had a good feeling he’d be safe. I’m mildly appeased that Nigel’s going to “try” to change the rules so that Brandon can come back next season (hopefully Billy gets the same chance), but I get the feeling Brandon kinda knew this was coming and he was just subbing for a bit more dance experience. He was very gracious.

I just do NOT understand why Ariana went home tonight. I didn’t want Pauline to go, either, but I love Ariana and I do feel like she’s danced stronger than Pauline so far. While I hate the idea of Noelle leaving because of her injury (hey, maybe she’ll get a chance to come back next season too, while we’re handing out maybes), I’d love for Ariana to come back in her place if that turns out to be the case.

Big breath. Well, what do y’all think?