We’re down to the top eight dancers, and wow, what dancers. I can’t really say there’s anyone I want to go home, and I almost never feel that way at this point in the season. But then, when everyone’s this good, it’s a shame anyone has to go.
Sorta love that opening number! It’s like a continuation of Jasmine’s hip hop routine from two weeks ago.
Cat Deeley looks like she just got out of the pool after falling in with a full-face of non-waterproof make-up. She has news! The All-Stars are choreographing the routines. Somewhere, Sonja Tayeh is taking a well-deserved nap.
Our judges are Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy and… Jenna Elfman, I think? Yes, Jenna Elfman. Cat has been campaigning to get Jenna into the judges’ chair. She’s a classically trained dancer and danced with Adam Shankman. Why did this take so long? This is her first time? She might be perfect for this.
Montage, montage, montage.
Time for the bottom four: Fik-Shun, Jenna, Tucker and Hayley. Nigel says everyone’s gonna dance a solo, which I’m sure is true for the long haul at this point.
It’s nice to see Fik-Shun dance in his style, although, weirdly, this wasn’t as amazing as I hoped. Hayley’s routine has a certain sameness to it. Gotta love Jenna’s skirt, but I feel as if too much of the routine consists of her twirling it around. Tucker tosses in some gymnastic moves to solid effect.
Aaron and All-Star Chelsie
The Background: Who inspired him most? His friend who was killed. Aaron cries and tells us he makes a little motion at the end of each dance to dedicate it to his friend. He’ll be dancing a jive with Chelsie.
The Dance: This isn’t bad, but it’s not great. Lacks snap, there’s a missed connection and he’s not getting low enough. It’s slower than a jive should be, to be honest. Some of his moves also seem too graceful for a jive.
The Judges: Mary is so happy to see Chelsie Hightower. She thought it was a fun routine, and some was really done well. However, he missed a connection and blew a hip roll. He needed to get onto the balls of his feet. Jenna thinks Aaron has evolved as a dancer. Nigel thought this style would suit him better, but he hopes America will take into account everything he’s done on the show. He thinks Aaron should be a finalist.
The Verdict: You heard Nigel. He wants Aaron to be a finalist. So, he will be.
Fik-Shun and All-Star Allison
The Background: Fik-Shun was inspired by his mom and dad. They said if you believe, go for it! I think a lot of our dancers will be answering the inspiration question in pretty much exactly this way. Contemporary inspiration – mom and dad if you believe go of it!
The Dance: Okay, I’m watching on a computer screen so that doesn’t help, but why is the stage so darn dark? I can barely see a thing. Allison is lovely, but I do see (to the extent I can see) Fik-Shun blundering through some steps. I don’t feel like he’s really selling the emotion of the dance, either, but then — it’s REALLY dark.
Judges: Jenna thinks Fik-Shun can do no wrong. Oh, pooh. I think Jenna may be one of those nice judges who isn’t particularly useful. Nigel knows Allison was inspired by her fiancé tWitch in putting together this routine. He thinks Fik-Shun isn’t great technically but he has a quality. Mary thinks… jeez, I think she liked it. She’s just rattling on. This was the backhanded praise segment of the evening. I did not get the impression Nigel wants Fik-Shun to stick around.
The Verdict: Fik-Shun’s days are numbered unless he gets out of the bottom four.
Tucker and All-Star Courtney
The Background: His inspiration is his dad, who is a macho dude and yet cheers him on as if he’s a football player. His dad accepts him for who he is. Good!
The Dance: Jazz! And this is a beautiful routine. Tucker is in the bottom again? He’s really too good to be in the bottom.
The Judges: Nigel is really proud of both Tucker and his dad. Then, the judges give a standing O to Courtney and her MS, which makes Courtney’s face collapse a little bit because she’s so touched by the sentiment. Mary loves Courtney and Tucker and his dad. Jenna thinks Tucker is very special. Lotta love, basically.
The Verdict: I think Tucker survives the week, but not sure for how long.
Paul and All-Star Comfort
The Background: Paul’s dance coach inspires him. So, it’s either parents or coaches for this segment.
The Dance: Can Paul get in the pocket for a hip-hop routine? You know, he kinda does. Is it perfect? No. But the voting contingent who thinks he’s the dance version of James Franco will be perfectly fine with it.
The Judges: Mary thinks he’s going full steam ahead on the train. Jenna never thought he’d be so impressive. Nigel thought he did get down and dirty. He’s put up a great show.
The Verdict: I definitely see him in the final four.
Hayley and All-Star Dmitry
The Background: Hayley is most inspired by her dance coaches. I don’t think anyone is topping Aaron’s inspirational moment.
The Dance: Damn, Hayley is good. This rumba is remarkable.
The Judges: Jenna wants to spend some time on Dmitry. She thinks there’s nothing Hayley can’t do! She wants her to stop protecting herself going forward. Hey, a note! Nigel thinks Hayley has done everything to her best ability. Mary thinks Hayley got it right tonight.
The Verdict: Hayley or Jenna? Such a toss-up. I don’t feel that we can’t connect with Hayley, but Jenna may be right — she’s technically perfect but not perhaps as emotional as, say, Jasmine.
Jenna and All-Star Mark
The Background: She’s inspired by her cousin Shannon, who died of muscular dystrophy. Okay, Aaron is not the only one with a great inspirational story.
The Dance: Jazz! And an explosion of Mark’s head! He wants it bloody! This could be good. Or bad. Or both. Wait, it’s something else — fun. Jenna is, as always, great. I know a lot of you do not like Jenna. I don’t know what to say, because really, she’s so skilled and, yes, fierce.
The Judges: A standing O from the judges. Nigel thought it was phenomenal! He thinks Mark needs to choreograph for his boss, Lady Gaga. He tells Jenna no one gets voted off (just on), and he fights for her every week because she celebrates dance for him. Mary thinks it was great. It was Bollywood and New Age funk! And Jenna did it marvelously.
The Verdict: It doesn’t matter. I think Nigel is going to be hard pressed to save Jenna yet again.
Jasmine and All-Star Twitch
The Background: She was inspired by her mom, who moved the whole family to Atlanta so Jasmine could follow her dreams.
The Dance: The rehearsal looked SO fun. Comic book meets dance! And this routine doesn’t disappoint. Okay, the ending disappoints a little, as it just sputters to a halt. But I think Jasmine is poised to win this competition.
The Judges: Mary thinks Jasmine was firing on all cylinders. Jenna thinks Jasmine owned it. Nigel thinks Jasmine almost outtWitched tWitch. She has stolen his heart… and he hopes she gets into the finale. Yeah, Nigel, there is no hope — remember, this isn’t really America’s favorite dancer — to some large extent, it’s yours.
The Verdict: Jasmine is definitely getting in the finale. Definitely.
Amy and All-Star Travis
The Background: She is inspired by her cousin, who is a Rockette. So, the tally is two tearful stories, six kinda interchangeable ones.
The Dance: This contemporary dance is about the games we all play at the beginning of a relationship. There’s a lot of pulling and pushing and throwing. Amy is a beast, so this is friggin’ awesome. I am so glad to see her doing something other than the Laurel and Hardy routines she was pounding out with Fik-Shun.
The Judges: Standing O from the judges. Jenna thinks the world is a better place with Amy and Travis. Nigel thinks it was beautiful. Then he talks about Travis. Stop it! Compliment the All-Stars off-camera when the clock isn’t running! Mary thought it was really special and was glad to see her do something that wasn’t so cutesy.
The Verdict: Amy and Jasmine in the final four, I think.
Who’s going home? Brace yourselves! Tucker… step forward. Jenna… step forward. Jenna did the best routine of her life tonight. Tucker was amazing tonight. And both of them are going home. Aw, shucks. I thought Tucker would outlast Fik-Shun, but I guess not. Montage of cutesy moments. The favorite moment for both of them was meeting one another.
This is the most important vote of the season, people! Who do you think needs to go? Who do you want to see win? And are you glad or sad that Jenna finally got the boot?