E: Ah well. My favorites were preserved. That’s about all you can hope for at this stage of the game, right?
Cat hops out in a black and tan ballerina dress – black top (sheer over the shoulders) with a swirly ribbon applique detail, and fluffy beige bottom. It looks like something that Ashley would have worn, light and girly and fun. She’s got her hair pulled back, and big oblong earrings.
She introduces the group routine, which is a fun Broadway piece, set to “On Broadway” from Smokey Joe’s Cafe. The girls are in classic showgirl type outfits – no huge feathers, just lots of silvery fringe and glitter – with sparkly bowler hats that look like something you might buy for New Years Eve. The guys are in shiny gold pants and black long sleeve tops with shiny stripes down around the neck and under the arm pits, and they look like they belong to an entirely different era. It’s odd. Mostly, they dance in genders – first the girls, then the boys, then the girls again. It’s fun. Cat tells us it was choreographed by one Josh Vergas. Sorry, dude, if I’ve mangled your name. Bergasse?
Next she reintroduces the judges. The dreamy Mary Murphy, the slightly less dreamy Nigel Lithgoe, and oh, happy day, Neil Patrick Harris! He’s looking much more relaxed without a tie, and he goes so far as to call Cat a sexy little minx. Oooh, she coos, in all the years I had a crush on Dougie Howser I never imagined you’d call me that. Blush! Neil takes the moment to praise the group numbers, by contrasting them with some unnamed behemoth show like oh, I don’t know, American Idol, where they’re a horror. That’s true. I fast forward through those results shows, and I actually watch these. I am stunned to hear that the judges won’t be relinquishing control tonight, per usual, but will be picking from the bottom four dancers. What you say? When do the votes start doing it? And why? Is someone wonderful more at risk than we’d guess, and they want to get them to the finale? When will it end, the judges domination of the elimination process?
And, right to the recapping. First up, Mitchell, Melanie and Tadd. Mitchell is in the bottom four. The next person in the bottom four is… NOT Melanie the Rock or Tadd. The Rock rolls on toward the finale. Then a typically terrified looking Marko faces off against Clarice and Sasha; predictably, the person in the bottom is Clarice. Finally, Jess, Caitlynn, Ricky and Jordan are brought to center stage, where Jess and Caitlynn are sent to safety, and Ricky and Jordan off to dance for their lives.
Cat lets us know that next week, we’ve got a different crop of All Stars: Season 2’s Ivan, Season 3’s Anya, Pasha, Jamie, Lauren and Neil, Season 5’s Ade and Season 7’s winner Lauren Froderman. Wow, first time a winner’s come back. That’s cool. I don’t know how I feel about the revolving All Star thing, and I’m really dubious about Ivan as a substitute for Twitch (he wasn’t a very good partner, as I recall, and managed to get Allison unjustly kicked off) but I guess we’ll see.
One of the American Ballet Theater soloist Denile Simpkin [Daniil Simkin?] gives us a goofy little piece to “Les Bourgeois” by Jacques Brel. He’s in a cubical farm uniform – black pants, ill fitting white short sleeved shirt, fat polka dot tie. When the music speeds up, he does some glorious weightless flying and cartwheeling and leaping around the stage, but when it’s slow, he’s miming something terribly bourgeois, like smoking or pontificating. It’s … weird. Sorry dude. I’m not sure that it was all that much more interesting to me than the trip to the Gatorade lab, which wasn’t exactly riveting. Best part of that? Sasha punching at the camera: “see, dancers ARE athletes.”
And, the solos. You know, I’m genuinely tired of the solos. I feel like the more we see them, the harder to enjoy they are. Few of them are more than running around to music, and they’re all so talented that it just blurs together, and you get jaded. Impossible leaps? Yawn. Clarice is possibly the best of the bunch; she starts things off with “Let Me Think About It” (the radio edit) by Ida Corr vs. Fedde Le Grand. It’s high energy, which is really nice because the girls especially tend to go for really dreamy music. Mitchell’s up next, and uses “Time and Space” by The Cinematic Orchestration. Because the scoop neck on his t shirt wasn’t scooped enough, Mitchell has taken off basically all of his clothes and is dancing in black briefs with a white silk scarf. It must be said, however, that his rear end is perfectly round.
Jordan decides saving her dance life isn’t worth picking new music, and goes with last night’s Lykke Li. “Don’t you let me go let me go tonight!” Lykke Li pleads. Usually, this annoys the snot out of Nigel, Jordan. We need new solos! She’s got her hair pulled back and is wearing a white bikini type ensemble that makes her look like an extra from classic Star Trek. Then there’s Ricky, dancing to “Battle for the Beat” by District 78. Hmmm. I think this is cheer music, and that he might have used it before. On the other hand, he didn’t use it Wednesday. There’s lots of his signature amazing tumbling.
Cat, so nervous that she’s now picking at her nails, sends the judges off to deliberate (why?!) and sets back to “enjoy” the American debut of Blush, a pan Asian girl group, backed by Snoop Dog. They’re – well, I won’t go quite so far as to say atrocious, but their song “Undivided?” Definitely unimpressive.
So, let’s just pretend that didn’t happen, shall we? The judges are unanimous in their (irritatingly purloined) decision. Would it have made a difference, I wonder? I assume Nigel knows the real numbers; did he include them in the decision? The only one we saw talking during the “deliberation process” was Neil. At any rate, it’s just Nigel talking now. He makes all four dancers stand together. He lists the fabulous prizes, and Jordan just about dies, she wants it so bad. I think that’s a little mean; it seems fairly clear that whoever stays will not be the winner, don’t you think? It’s really just about lasting one more week. Don’t take this the wrong way, he says. There’s no criticism I can give you. You were wonderful and we love you. Look at Allison and Twitch; they were in the bottom, they didn’t win, and here they are, superstars. (Hmm.) So without a word of particular explanation, we lose Mitchell and Clarice. But you’ll be on the tour, Cat consoles immediately, so it’s not like we’re really losing you.
Well, I don’t understand the fascination with Jordan, but I don’t so much feel I know Clarice, either, other than being a lovely, pleasant, family oriented girl, so I guess that’s okay. I would much rather have kept her, but okay. Mitchell; I think Ricky and Mitchell are both fantastic, so between them, it’s a difficult call. Perhaps Ricky’s been more consistent on stage? I don’t even know. Clarice talks about how much she’s going miss her competitors. They really do get attached, going through this process together, don’t they? We get to see Mitchell shake off the famous tear, and flash his enormous, genuine smile, talking about how much he’ll miss Mel and Ricky (like a brother to him) and the warm up guy Joey and everyone on the show. I’m so happy that America has accepted me for who I am, he says.
And we’re out for this week. Are you okay with it? Is it only a matter of time? And who makes it to the finale – Melanie, Marko, Sasha (please God) and – who?