E: Oh, my friends, it’s so sad to say goodbye.
Tonight’s eliminations were – well, kind of inevitable. Sad, but we knew neither of those kids was going to win, and as much as we’re sorry to see them go, there it is.
In other news: Gaga, but not Gaga. Phenomenal group dancing. Retro Cat-clothes. Big shoes. Is peoples. Peoples is peoples.
Tonight’s ensemble from Cat is her 60s sorority girl, ten years on, in flowery black lace with a high neck and long wide sleeves. Her hair is wild and loose and vaguely Fawcett-esque, not with full tilt angel wings, but in that same family. If that makes even the smallest bit of sense! She swings us to the group routine of the night, and, wow.
“The Circus Sets Up” is our theme, from Water for Elephants, and it’s gorgeous. Just gorgeous. There’s a grandstand, and hanging swags of fabric to suggest a tent, and a rope swing. The music is gorgeous. The costumes are a work of art, delicate Edwardian tracery, lace up bodices and Tadd’s in full body horizontal stripes, like he’s wearing long underwear; his mohawk is flattened with a skunk stripe down the middle. Jess is the ringmaster in red, and I think he’s wearing clown make up until I see it’s probably a mustache. All the dancers are powdered white, and besides Jordan (in a cherise bustier) and Jess, they’re all in tones of cream and white. Well, and Tadd’s stripes, but he’s half in white. The girls are all bewigged; I can’t even tell Caitlynn and Melanie apart.
No – it was just all perfect. They fall together as if into an enchanted sleep; they do a fabulously hunched walk in unison, it’s sinuous and delicate and filled with odd little angles. Cat says it made her tear up, and instead of Travis’s name, she attributes the routine to – Tyce? Really? Wow. Cause I loved that. Cat sends a shout out – much deserved – to the hair/make up and costumes designers. This was gorgeous, gorgeous stuff. That crazy filigreed ruff on Sasha’s shoulders? For that alone I could love them.
When she introduces the judging panel, La Gaga is sadly missing. Oh well. That’s going to make tonight much more sedate. Rob The Orange Marshall is in attendance, however, bringing his smile and his smooth charm. He compliments the show for putting dancers front and center – because dancers, kind of by nature, are always in the background. Huh. That’s too sadly true.
Quickly, too quickly, Cat trots out all four girls. She sets off their little recaps one after the other, right down the row, Sasha (“but will she be getting the boot tonight?”) to Jordan to a beaming Caitlynn to Melanie. Cruelly, she makes them wait until after the next commercial break. After a record breaking vote, Sasha and Melanie are safe. Well, that’s as it should be. Phew. I can almost officially stop caring at this point. Sasha almost falls over, hugging Melanie so hard she’s got her feet in the air as they jaunt off stage. Caitlynn continues beaming, but Jordan looks glum and not a little bit pouty.
The boys are next, but instead of going 1234, Cat starts on stage right with Jess and Marko. It was a great lift, Jess, but did America let you down? In the backstage footage, we get to see Marko and his hysterical, adorable mother embracing after his moving number. Marko, to no one’s surprise, is safe. And now I can officially stop caring. Well, stop being nervous. I like the other dancers, and sure, I have opinions, but those are the three who are necessary to me.
Interesting that Cat has separated out Ricky and Tadd, isn’t it? I mean, it’s obvious that Ricky’s the other member of the bottom four, isn’t it? Except I guess it’s not, because Ricky is safe. Maybe those little monsters do vote after all. It seems clear to me – barring a huge mishap with the solos, and maybe not even then – that the judges are not going to let go of Tadd. Jess could have beaten Ricky, maybe, but not Tadd.
Before we get to the solos, however, we have the very great pleasure of seeing the League of Extraordinary Dancers, choreographed by Gaelen Hooks and Christopher Scott, set to the music of
“Bernini’s Angels” by Kerry Muzzey. The music is great, and it all opens with some contemporary dancing girls, and then the guys come in, dressed in a modern take on turn of the century – some pageboy caps, some suspenders, some cardigans and letter sweaters, very clean and sharp. There’s skidding without friction, somehow, which is mindboggling. And then there are the twisting tricky leaps, which look like something Shawn White does on a snowboard with ice and a mountain and half pipe to help, except here it’s on a flat floor with a standing start. Insane. At one point, a girl walks into the center (dressed more like the boys) and she dances largely with her hands, with enormous focus, and suddenly the other dancers are slammed through the air as if by telekinesis. She pushes them. It’s wild. The unison! The leaping! The dude in the wine colored sweater! “That’s not humanly possible,” Cat cries out, and I can only agree.
So, the solos. Jordan dances to Rihanna’s “S&M” (what? I didn’t say anything) and starts off in sex kitten pose on the floor. It’s good. There’s a lot of leg stretching. I thought she wasn’t going to put her heart into it, but it’s not as dispirited as I expected. Maybe she hasn’t given up yet? Then there’s Jess, who believe you me is leaving his everything on the floor. He’s got fingerless gloves and suspenders and Kevin Spacey singing “Mack the Knife” and he pirouettes perfectly for maybe half his allotted time. Sick. Then he kind of ruins is by his attitude when he walks off the stage. Caitlynn begins on the floor, too, but her music – “What Turns You On” by Katie Thompson – is lighter, and so her flirty sexy sex kitten is lighter and more innocent than what Jordan’s selling. It’s very musical, too. Last up, Tadd’s got Harry Belafonte (yes!) and “Jump in the Line” to help him through. He bops out playing air banjo, and promptly hands off the lighting towers, scuttles across the stage (walking on his hands, dragging his body, doing crazy tricks) and finally flips off and runs wild through the audience. Cat points to him from the judges table in vain. Everybody, it’s Tadd!
Next up, live on our very own stage is a recording of Lady Gaga. I mean, come on, there no other explaination for how her towers of twisted metal ended up on stage, lit individually, in the 15 seconds where we were watching Tadd run through the audience. She starts right off to “The Edge of Glory” (which my kids and I like to parody while we’re swimming – “I’m on the edge of the deep end, and I’m hanging on a noodle with you.” It works surprisingly well.) and goes into “You and I.” Couldn’t you totally see Ricky as one of her back up dancers? He’s got the long, lean body type she clearly loves. She’s totally rocking that side ponytail, by the way. Very fun. Really, she gives good value as a performer. Toward the end, a burly back up dancer stalks around her, and blam – I’m almost knocked over. It’s Mark! Mark Kanemura! Okay, I know he dances for her, but he’s, like, huge! I am amazed. The performance ends with him sprawled on the stage as if asleep. She tenderly kisses his – head? Arm? I don’t know.
Whatever it was, it was good. I’m just sorry it wasn’t really live, because if it had been, we could have talked to Mark. Boo. I wanted to see Cat tackle him! And Gaga thank the show for him! Boo.
Anyway. The girls are up for the cut first. Nigel explains to us how the decision was not unanimous before it was unanimous. Riiight. Thanks, John Kerry. Basically it seems to come down to the fact that everyone’s now on tour, none of these four is going to win, so it doesn’t really matter. They’re going by votes, Nigel says. Are they? Literally. The judges didn’t like either girl’s solo, and thought they could both do better. Without a particular word, he lets Jordan know it’s her. And you know, now that the fate has come, she looks enormously relieved. Her smile, for the first time tonight, feels genuine. Caitlynn’s gasping and weeping in the audience, but Jordan’s really holding up okay. It was a life changing experience, she says, and I accomplished the impossible dream. Aw. Next up, the boys. Jess is a sensational character, but Tadd’s unique, and they’re keeping. See, there it is. If it had been Ricky, Broadway boy Jess would have been the unique one – or more unique – and he might have had the upper hand. But, wishes, horses, oh well. Little man Jess is going home. (Funny how he and Tadd are essentially the same height and yet no one calls Tadd a little man, do they?) Go, young one, and celebrate your growth! Sasha tackles Jordan as the broadcast cuts out. Through thick and thin, Sasha’s can be counted on to hug you fiercely.
So tell me. Are you psyched that Jordan’s gone, or sorry to see her amazingly flexible legs scamper off? Sorry to see Jess leave, or thrilled to be shot of him? Or is it just that these are hard cuts, and someone has to go? How’re you feeling?