E: Well, that was unfortunate. But also kind of inevitable. Is this elimination the unkindest cut of all? Let’s get to it.
Cat wore a knee length cream strapless dress, flowy and pretty and vaguely Grecian looking, with a wide beige belt with copper studs arranged to look like braille or some sort of binary code. She should vary her dress lengths more often; this was lovely.
For the opening group number, the sounds of Sean Peter’s “El Fuego” blare through the studio. True to the name, Jordan stands in the middle of the stage in a pool of scarlet, wrapped in an enormous red silk skirt with black edging, her hair piled up like mid-80s Madonna. The men converge on her, and hold the skirt high behind her, eventually ripping it off. Now the girls, clad in short little lingerie dresses (some with a single, garter style stocking) dance together with large scarlet fans. The dancers spin and thump and there’s some really cool drumming to end the song. “I think that’s my favorite so far!” Cat tells choreographer Kelly Abbey. I don’t agree, but I did like it well enough, and I remember Abbey doing a nice group last season.
Before we get to what Cat calls the cruelest cut of all – going home this close to the top ten, although frankly I feel like being sent home the first week would be worse, not getting to show what you’ve got after working so hard to get on the show – there’s quite a bit of joy to be had. I am strangely pleased that (unlike Carmen Electra) Jesse Tyler Ferguson showed up for the results show. Also, I’m loving the little flirty congratulations he and Cat are giving each other on their respective Emmy nominations. You called it, she says, and he did. Nigel details the 8 Emmy nominations the show received: Reality Competition, Lighting, Reality Show Host, and 5 of the 6 choreography nominations. But forget about the show, he says, it’s Cat’s nomination that’s long overdue and so well deserved. I can’t but agree (even though I’m super excited about the rest). The audience and the judges give Cat a standing ovation, and she actually blushes. In fact, she looks close to very happy tears, and my Cat-loving heart couldn’t like it any better.
Now, of course all the information you need’s on the Emmy website, in this handy pull down menu, but in case you don’t want to go fishing for extra info, this is how it sets up. Five choreographers from the show (along with Dancing With the Stars’ Mark Ballas) have been honored for their “body of work” although only three routines of each have been mentioned. They are as follows:
Tabitha and Napoleon Duomo: “Scars” (Dominic and Robert’s clown routine), “Fallin’” (Adechike and Comfort’s broken relationship drama, with the suitcase packed with Adam Shankman’s personal life) and, of course, “Outta Your Mind,” where Alex goes to psychologist Twitch.
Mia Michaels: “Alice in Mia-land/Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” (my absolute favorite group number from last season, maybe favorite altogether, the one with the long table and Allison stepping in for an injured Lauren, glowing in color while all the boys twirled around her in black and white – you can really see where the lighting nomination came from here, too), “When We Dance,” (another gorgeous group routine, where the dancers are angels, either in heaven or a cemetary) and “This Bitter Earth/On the Nature of Daylight” (her contribution to the Meet the Top Twenty show featuring Alex, Billy and Ade)
Mandy Jo Moore (seriously, where does the Jo come from? if it’s her professional name, why doesn’t she use it on the show?): “Oh Yeah” (Lauren and Ade flirting on a couch; I remember that the judges were actually not fans), “Boogie Shoes,” (Lauren and Billy’s adorable sneaker dance, easily the most joyous piece of the season), and “I Surrender” (For UK SYTYCD winner Charlie Bruce, dancing on the finale results show with Neil)
Stacy Tookey: “Mad World” (Billy and Ade’s signature piece about two classmates, one a powerful businessman and the other, homeless), “Heaven is a Place on Earth” (powerful Kathryn and Robert piece about a soldier going off to war, with a twist), and “Sundrenched World” (Kent and Allison as a married couple coming to the end of pretenses)
Travis Wall: “Collide” (Kent and Lauren’s tender prom night; the stirrings of first love made bittersweet by ending of high school), “How It Ends,” (best friend backstabbing routine with super pair Kent and Neil), and “Fix You,” (Allison and Robert, dancing Travis’ struggle to care for his sick mother)
Now that’s a happy trip down memory lane, isn’t it? Good stuff! Go, show!
And this a good time to hear who this year’s All Stars are: Melody (season 1 runner up, and so unknown to me), Allison (yay!), Pasha (yay, but I’m sorry for Ryan DeLillo), Twitch (yay!), Comfort (yay, but what about Sara?), Chelsie Hightower (cool), Brandon (yay), Robert and Kathryn. Nice! The contestants will do one dance with a fellow contestant and one with an All Star from now on.
Then we get some seriously ugly news. It turns out that Alex Wong was supposed to be one of the All Stars, and then on Saturday he tore his other damn knee. Which means that after a year of recovery, he’s back to exactly where he was last year. I don’t know about you, but I cried when I heard that. What even is there to say about the way life can sometimes be so unfair?
Okay. So. Focus, E! Between Jess & Clarice, and Caitlynn & Mitchell, Jess& Clarice are through to the top ten, and the others are back to dancing for their lives. Between Melanie & Marko, and Ricky & Ryan, do I even need to say? Ricky looks terrified; Ryan looks utterly defeated, knowing as well as anyone what’s coming. Marko looks genuinely teary before Cat reads the results; Melanie cries after. Finally, Sasha & Alexander face off against Jordan & Tadd; to my complete surprise, it’s Sasha & Alexander making their first trip to the bottom after their best night ever. Really? I’m genuinely surprised. How’s that possible? And also very sorry we can’t lose Jordan tonight. I was so hoping we would. As long as Sasha doesn’t leave (which, how could she?) I don’t really care. I do think Alexander’s in deep trouble, though, and I don’t think they eliminate in pairs this time since the pairs are broken already.
Anyway. Next up, Jason Samuel Smith and his troupe of tap dancers, 3 men and 3 women rapping to the sound of their own taps. Fun! “Move the Crowd” is the name of this piece. They do it on a portable dance floor, placed in the middle of the stage, and it’s a lot of fun. Cat lets us know that one of the women is Melinda Sullivan from last season. Neat!
So, solos. Caitlynn throws ever trick on the floor to Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory;” it reminded me of Kayla’s solos, which Nigel always said had no shape. Mitchell, too, is clearly dancing for his life. His work to Nathan Lanier’s “Ra” seems frenetic. And his teal blue leotard with the deep v neck is hilarious. Ryan does some robotic shaking to Crystal Castle’s “Not in Love” and while it feels more choreographed than the previous two, it’s also not got a lot going on. Ricky, however, has it all going on, but with a lot more control than Mitchell showed, as he makes impossible leaps and spins and tumbles to Queen’s “Body Language.” Sonya’s got her head in her hands. How will they ever make this choice? Sasha’s quirky and fun, reminding me a bit of Ellenore, doing these great crab like movements, showing off her strength and muscles and not being too leapy. It’s whimsical and composed, to Bobby McFerrin. You can tell she had a blast doing it. She’s kind of giddy. Finally, Alexander does some sort of ballet inspired spinning and leaping to Paladio’s “Escala” and I don’t know quite how to feel about it.
Honestly, there’s nothing I can say about Nicole Sherzinger’s performance of “Right There” except that she danced, and I like her from her stints on Dancing With The Stars and The Sing-Off, and the song was just God awful. I mean, it’s a completely wretched piece of crap song.
So. The results. The judges are unanimous about the girls. Caitlynn looks ready to cry when Nigel calls her forward. Hmm. They really are extra emotional about this one. They loved her solo; step back. Ryan, you weren’t good last night or in your solo, and you just can’t let us see when you feel this defeated. It’s show biz, baby! Smile, and make me believe it! Sasha, we didn’t like your solo either (WHAT? ARE YOU PEOPLE INSANE?) but we love you. And so Ryan gets the boot.
In her package, Ryan tells us that she wants to be remembered (clearly they’ve been asked this question, to play when they leave) as someone who showed us her soul. She wants the audience to know her heart. Which, obviously, is why she’s so defeated. We rejected her heart. We’ve seen her soul and we don’t like it.
God, can I please go give this girl a hug? Thankfully, Cat Deeley’s there to do it for me. But oh, it makes me ache that she thinks this. And clearly, she does.
The judges are not unanimous about the boys. Mitchell, step forward. He looks like he’s about to faint. Wow, maybe Cat’s right. Maybe this is the worst one. They’re certainly treating it like it is. You gave a strong solo, but you’re not consistent on the show. You have peaks and troughs. Step back. Mitchell’s bawling. Ricky, you really did dance for your life, and we loved it. Ricky, step back. Alexander; you were awesome last night, and you didn’t deserve to be in the bottom three for that. But you’re here, and you haven’t generally had a great season, and we totally hated your solo. Your technique, it sucked. So tonight it’ll be you going home.
You know, I’ve said from the first show that they’d get rid of him as soon as they got the chance, but damn, that was cold. Cat whispers in his ear that she loves him. And as we see everyone cry, and Ryan DeLillo appear in the audience, all I can think is how sad that Alexander found himself only to leave, and that producer favorite Ryan got so crushed by viewer’s lack of love (which is at least partly a by product of that over-pimping).
Wow. Well, until next week, friends. As Nigel would say, be kind to your heart, and keep dancing!