Emmy nominations! And the most exciting one of all is that Cat Deeley finally got herself an Emmy nom for Best Reality Host! Well deserved--she handles all these dancers with such aplomb and kindness. The show also got a bunch of technical Emmys and five of the six choreography nominations! Wow.
After a montage of the nominated choreographers, it's down to business. Our first two couples on the chopping block are Clarice and Jess and Caitlynn and Mitchell. Could be either one of them, really--they're both on the bubble. Clarice is in a horrorshow of an outfit, and I don't know if I want to see her dance in it or not. It's a black lace turtleneck dress over red lingerie--as in literally, you can see her bra and undies. I'm sorry, she looks like a hooker. But she does NOT have to work it like the rent is due, because they are SAFE! Caitlynn & Mitchell are, indeed, in the bottom three. I can never remember that they're on the show, so fair cop, really.
When we come back, Nigel explains to us that next week, it's all new. The Top 10 dancers will dance two dances a show, one with a partner pulled out of a hat, and one with an All-Star. Cool! That sounds like the best of both worlds. But then there's a terrible story about one of our potential All-Stars: Alex Wong had been invited to be one this year, which makes sense from a popularity standpoint, but was he really on the show long enough for that? Anyway, the point is moot because last weekend he went to another audition and snapped the other tendon, the one he didn't wreck on his season. So he's back to square one, and they're out an All-Star. Jesse Tyler Ferguson graciously volunteers to step in :).
A quick video package introduces our cast of All-Stars. From Season 1, we have Melody, runner-up and inventor of the HMV. If Jordan makes it, they can have an extension-off! Actually, I'm stunned the show even acknowledges this season...they seemed to pretend it didn't exist for years. And hello, old stage! I miss your cozy size and your stairs. Moving on... We have Allison from S2, which makes sense. She's already been an All-Star and was astounding. S3's Pasha (Pashaaaaaaa!) and S4's Twitch are also on the crew, and both of them are quickly becoming professional SYTYCD cast members. Also from S4 are Comfort (who was unimpressive in her competition season, but blew me away in her last All-Star turn) and Chelsie! Does that mean she's left Dancing with the Stars? We get Brandon, the runner-up from S5, and Kathryn from S6, who always seemed to be having a secret love affair with her partner, Legacy. And finally, from S7, we have Robert, who was a talented dancer but a total charisma suck, so how he counts as an All-Star I'm not sure. So do we have a fifth guy to announce as the replacement All-Star? Or have they not picked him yet? Cat doesn't say, just claims that they didn't have time to add JTF's video intro.
Our next two couples on the block are Melanie & Marko and Ryan & Ricky. Ricky looks stone-faced and Ryan is putting on a smile, but looks like she already knows they're in the bottom. (Incidentally, M&M's video clip proves that Melanie's stage rash last night was actually blush, albeit ill-applied.) And shocker, M&M are safe. No one, least of all R&R, is surprised. Cat is very sweet in bucking them up, saying "You've been here before and you know you can turn it around." Think Nigel will lower the boom on Ryan?
Our last two couples are Jordan and Tadd, and Sasha and Alex. I can't imagine that it won't be J&T in the bottom--I don't think the Vulture Dance is enough to overcome the lame Sleeping Beauty Broadway from the end of the night. How has Jordan decorated her one boob tonight? Gasp! She is in a purple satin halter-neck, and both boobs are equally sparkly! I am stunned. And to add to my shock, it's Jordan and Tadd who make it through! Good for them. And I think the judges will be pleased to dump Alex, of the three boys. Well, or maybe Mitchell.
While our soloists get ready, we have a performance from the Jason Samuels Smith tap company. Too bad there weren't any tappers on this show to get people excited about the genre. What's that? We did have a tapper? A really appealing tapper who went home way too soon? Grrrrr. Oh, my--this is not only tap, but rap. Tap 'n' Rap! And the rap is about tap dancing! (Which is actually pretty terrible and makes this feel like a Sesame Street sketch, but whatever.) I just like how everyone is in black except for their tap shoes, which are a different color for each performer. Yay, tap.
Ha! Cat thanks them and points out that one of the dancers is Melinda from last season, the tapper we all hated! Hi, Melinda! I didn't recognize you. Possibly because in this number, she wasn't covered in Nigel's drool.
Solo time! Caitlynn is first, dancing to Gaga. Her solo is crap, frankly. She leaps, she falls to the ground, she lumbers to her feet and poses dramatically. Lovely dancer, with no choreographing skill, I think. Right away we go to Mitchell, who's in a singlet that shows off every muscle. Strong drummy music and lots of leaps. Pretty fierce. Ryan, now, in Olivia Newton John's outfit from the end of "Grease." But she's dancing to the Cure? WTF? Ah...on playback, I see the song is by some group named Crystal Castles but "featuring Robert Smith." Her dance is flaily and posey, like last week. She saunters offstage with a bit of a shrug, like she figures she's gone.
Ricky? Dancing to Queen's "Body Language," bless him. Requisite open shirt, bare chest, nice legs & pirouettes. I like him better than Mitchell, I think, though he's more delicate. Sasha's turn! She's never done this, so all her solos are fresh. But I think she's a little slow to get to the money shot here--it's very cool, but builds a little slowly for only 30 seconds. (She danced to Bobby McFerrin's "Thinking About Your Body," btw.) And finally, Alex is dancing to "Palladio," by Escala. Or, if you're a classical philistine like me, "the DeBeers Diamond song." He has the good sense to dance shirtless, but is dancing ballet, which turns out to be his specialty. Alas, the audience doesn't usually respond to ballet--but actually, I guess it doesn't matter as long as he impresses the judges.
Cat throws to the judges, Jesse grumbles about having to dump people, and off they go. In the meantime, we have to listen to Nicole "Pussycat Doll" Scherzinger sing something. Well, by "we," I mean the studio audience. I do not, because I have enough boop-boop time stored up. Seeya, Nikki!
Judges are back, and it's time to begin. Nigel calls up Caitlynn first, and tells her that they've never seen her dance as well as she did in her solo. (Really? I thought it was weak.) Ryan is called forward next, and man, she has a total bitchface on! Girl, fake it! In fact, Nigel says, "You seemed down and depressed before we even started." Maybe because she realized everybody hates her? Sasha is next, and Nigel tells her her solo wasn't all that, but she's fabulous. Without further adieu, Nigel lowers the boom on...Ryan! At last. She's resigned, but crying.
Boys' turn, and we're told that it was 3 votes to 1. Nigel starts with Mitchell, and says that he did a "pretty good" solo but that his overall work is between average and very good, without consistency. Ricky is next, and the audience goes crazy. Man, they just really hated Ryan, huh? Nigel says his solo was one of the best he's ever seen. Alex, last, comes forward to hear that he was amazing last night, but tonight, his solo "let [him] down very badly." Nigel starts talking about all sorts of technical stuff, yada yada, but I think they were always going to dump him if they could get him in the bottom. He's the least experienced of the guys who are left, and he doesn't bring any b-boy cachet to the show, so he's an easy boot. Yup, doesn't even send him back in line before cutting him. There's a little outcry from the crowd, but not much...it's clear they would have picked him, too.
So that's it! Can't wait to see how it goes next week!