Top 12 Performance Thoughts and Discussion

Here’s a nifty spot for you to write in your thoughts on tonight’s performance episode. I’ll be updating my own thoughts, though I’m sure there will be a delay since I’m posting the music live as well. Get your talk on!

Okay, I gotta start. There is SO MUCH to talk about already.

First of all, Cat’s lovely and I think Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s gonna be a great guest judge. Excited to see Sonya and Cat’s response to the “mum and pop” of the panel pretending to kiss was funny. Even if Nigel and Mary aren’t funny, Cat’s always hysterical responding to them.

I wasn’t quite prepared for how quickly everything got started and I missed them saying there would be 2 performances from each couple, but yay!

Spoiler space…lalala

I felt two ways simultaneously about the news that Sasha & Alexander were dancing a Paso doble. First, I was thinking, this could really suck. To borrow Jesse’s words to Alexander: “I was nervous she might be dragging you around a bit.” But I also thought it would be a good chance for Alexander to step up in a “masculine” role and go toe to toe with the Sasha beast. I really liked the performance. I thought it was perfect that it was a battle because you could see Alexander fighting to match (and better) her. I don’t know that he did it, but he lived up to the dance and to his partner, probably for the first time. It’s interesting that Sasha was dressed as a matador as well and wasn’t waving her skirt around, being the cape. So totally Sasha to be a bullfighter as well.

Before the break, when Cat was announcing the next couples to dance, I was excited to see Ryan & Rickey dance Broadway, but then immediately thought it was fishy that Jordan & Tadd had a Travis Wall routine. Didn’t he say last week that he wanted to work with Tadd? Hmmm… guess they’re not drawing routines out of a hat or even pretending that it’s coincidence.

When Jordan said that she gets to be villanous for once, I was seriously hoping she was being sarcastic. Wasn’t it just last week that she was a mermaid trying to steal Tadd’s soul? Ummmm…and now she’s a vulture trying to…eat him? This whole “the girls are beasts out to get the guys” motif is getting soooo old. I was a bit disappointed with Travis for feeding into it. But then, I absolutely loved the routine. It was awesome and cool and etc.

I really liked the Ryan and Rickey Broadway. I loved how Ryan looked like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and danced with her shoulders. I loved that Rickey was smooth. I thought it was a happy little piece and I really liked it, so I hated the judge’s comments. It kinda feels like they’re jumping the R&R boat before it crashes. I hope R&R slam dunk their last routine because I really want to see them in the Top 10.

However, I have to agree with everything the judging panel said about the Christopher Scott hip hop that Caitlynn & Tadd performed. Except, what I think no one really said is that *everything* was a mismatch with this routine, starting with Christopher Scott’s choreography. It didn’t match his “serious intention” (to use Sonya’s words) about Ugandan kids kidnapped for the army. The costumes were off. The music was wrong, even if the words made some sort of sense for the theme. And yes, as much as I love Caitlynn and like Mitchell, they just didn’t dance that in any way that did it justice. But I honestly think it started with Christopher Scott – I love him as a group choreographer, but I don’t think he’s so good with couple’s choreography.

Louis van Amstel IS! That tango that Melanie & Marko danced was phenomenal! They are amazing dancers andt his was one of my favorite routines of the season. Loooved that they used the edge of the stage the way they used to with the old stage (RIP old stage) and that lift at the end was breathtaking. Was it just me or was Melanie’s blush on the side of her face out of control? OR, did she smack her face?

Clarice & Jess made me eat my words about Christopher Scott not doing good couple’s choreography. Everyone knows they’re not my favorite dancers, but I really loved their lyrical hip hop. I thought the story was a bit cheesy, but it suited them and they did a really good job.

Tyce really did right by Sasha & Alexander and I loved their jazz routine. I was really surprised by that one lift in particularly where Sasha leaped backwards into Alexander’s arms. There was some awkwardness at the end, but it was hard to know what was choreographed and what was mistake. I think they covered pretty well. They really killed their routines tonight.

Whereas Jordan & Tadd’s Spencer Liff 80s-ish Broadway did them no favors. It felt really slow and flat to me. And I was annoyed with Jordan’s leg the entire routine. But I don’t think Spencer’s choreo helped at all. It really sucks because I like them both, but it’s too bad they didn’t have the Travis vulture routine 2nd instead of 1st.

Ouch. That cha cha was messy and I hate to agree because I love Ryan, but it probably was her fault. I kept seeing “all right, time for the ___” on her face as she was getting set for a lift or move. She was thinking too hard. There were all sorts of stiff arms too, like they were fighting each other to lead. I was too absorbed in the trainwreck of Ryan to notice much about Rickey’s hot tamale train-worthy performance.

Caitlynn & Mitchell’s Travis Wall was probably the first of his routines that I didn’t love. It had some great elements, but felt slow, labored and repetitive. I couldn’t put my finger on what it was or where it was coming from. I looove Caitlynn and Mitchell has grown on me enormously, so I want them to be safe, but I don’t think they had a very good night, unfortunately.

Is anybody surprised that Melanie & Marko danced their Dee Caspary contemporary beautifully? They are amazing dancers and I loved that the judges talked about how sad they’re gonna be to see them split up next week, basically taking it for granted that they’re going to survive the cut tomorrow night. They are really incredible and they had two strong routines tonight, so I’m sure they will be here next week.

With Clarice & Jess’s jive, I agreed with Mary when she said that their legs had the jive joy. I thought that their chemistry had finally peaked and they were really cute together and their legs were spot on. But the lefts felt slow and labored and there were simple moments that seemed really labored as well. Probably not the best routine to end on.

Well, I’m gonna go work on the Power Rankings. What do Y’ALL think?? Help me out here!