E: Ah. That was satisfying. Feisty Jesse Tyler Ferguson returns to not actually judge anything. Cat operates on a whole other level – and reveals a shocking personal detail. Choreographers other than Travis Wall shine. And we finally hear the format for winning the show! It all comes together.
This week Cat’s dress is a t-length champagne gown with an art deco feel – the bodice is sleek and beaded and the skirt flows and flirts. She’s layered a double strand of pearls with silver chains. Instead of beginning with the group number – which is to say, showing us a pre-recorded segment – she chats before we see it. Actually, it’s likely still pre-recorded, because otherwise the cast would have had to quickly change out of their solo outfits, right? Oh, I don’t care. They changed the order of things up, that’s all. Anyway, before anything else Cat imparts the thrilling news that we will again have two winners, the top girl and guy. So whoever is left at the end of tonight will have a fifty percent shot at $100k. Wow. What’s it like not to worry about the results, Lithgoe, Cat asks, now that they’re out of your hands? Oh, I’m still going to worry and judge and direct the audience, he says. Alright, she agrees, you can give your opinions. They just don’t count. Oooh, sassy Cat!
And, now that she’s revealed that Jesse Tyler Ferguson is this week’s guest judge and we’ve oohed and aahed over him, we can see the group routine that I was starting to think didn’t exist – a Sean Cheeseman jazz piece. And, wow. It’s this kind of amazing fusion of straight up jazz, African jazz, and liturgical dance. The men wear white cotton drawstring pants, and the women long dresses with tiered skirts, long sleeves and open backs. Gorgeous. Much of the work is paired – Hayley and Paul match up nicely along with the two long standing couples, an arrangement which makes sense when you think about the massive height differences – and everyone’s gorgeous together. (I can’t help observing that Fik-shun and Paul are totally ripped, while Aaron is clearly sucking in his stomach. It’s weirdly nice, knowing that even people who dance that much don’t automatically have perfect bodies.) It’s exuberant and joyful and tender – as is the fantastic “Hlohonolofatsa” by the Soweto Gospel Choir, I have such a weakness for African choral music – and I really really love it. I mean, that moment when it ends and the six dancers turn glowing, beatific faces to the sky? Gorgeous. Hayley particularly hasn’t been asked to do incandescently happy, so its really heart-warming to see. The crowd, which like last week has achieved insane decibel levels in their cheers, loves it as much as I do. I’m digging Sean Cheeseman this season, and I’m not sure I ever thought I’d say that.
Tonight’s opening slot goes to Paul, who’s paired up with All Star Kathryn (yay!) for Tyce Diorio jazz number. We’ll see; I’m reserving my “yay” until after the performance. The theme is the battle of the sexes – the need for power in relationships. This is the most fun fight I’ve ever had with a girl, Paul tells us, smiling sweetly.
When the routine opens, Kathryn appears suspended in mid-air, a enormous skirt cascading to the floor beneath her. Like the polichenelles in The Nutcracker, Paul bursts through the skirt; Kathryn flings it aside, revealing a tall ladder (the a-frame structure for the skirt) which she quickly shimmies down. Both of them look really hot – tight clothes, strips of leather, long sleeves. Kathryn looks stunning in a belted leotard with sheer sides and neck over a sweetheart neckline. Paul gets into the piece in a big way, enjoying the love of the crowd, delightedly running his hands over his chest like he’s taking a really awesome shower. Dude has such a flexible back, it’s crazy. I can’t say that there’s anything remotely confrontational about it; couples would spend all their time fighting if that’s what it looked like. “Tied Up” by Yello provides a fun background. So it’s not so much as advertised, but I really don’t care.
Saucy and sassy, Cat coos. I think you both won, Nigel decides. That’s fair. Paul can do anything, and he loved the image of Kathryn on top of the ladder. (I didn’t get that, to be honest. What was the point? Was she supposed to be queenly, adding to the power dynamics, and so his bursting through the skirt was about breaking her hold over him? Was it just to look cool?) Mary, who’s got a white cowl neck dress on with a swirling design in nearly the same champagne beading as Cat’s dress, thinks it was the best and most enjoyable fight she’s ever seen. (That’s because the combatants enjoyed it so much, am I right?) She gives Paul the hand for his charisma and talent; she’s got nothing more to say. Of course Jesse Tyler Ferguson has a lot to say, and it starts with how cool he feels for being there at Paul’s first audition and how he’d never have imagined the boy he saw there doing this. It was spectacular. Oh, and it’s convinced him that leather pants can’t be as restrictive as he’s always assumed and that he should start wearing them.
So thanks for that, Paul.
All six contestants are doing a solo, which is pretty damn wonderful because we’ve never seen Aaron solo – not even his audition or in Hollywood week – and only a smidgeon of Paul’s back in L.A.. To this I say, hurrah! Amy’s family gets to say a few words about how much they love her and are proud of her (a lot). Her solo outfit is a bikini top and little skirt covered in blue and pink and gold beaded flowers, completely spectacular; there’s a line of flowers that runs between the two pieces across her amazing abs. She dances to “Anna’s Theme” from The Red Violin soundtrack, and like her previous solo, it’s very emotional, almost melodramatic, which is fascinating given that what she’s gotten the biggest response from on the show has been comedy. Not that I know how you’d do a comic contemporary solo. Anyway, I think it’s great.
NappyTabs choreographs the next routine, and they’ve got Hayley and season four champ Joshua for it. Nice! Their idea is that Hayley’s learning boxing from the old champ, sort of like Rocky as a girl. Joshua takes a lot of ribbing from Napoleon about his animal face shirt, but there’s a method to his madness; it’s the eye of the tiger, baby! Nice reference, Joshua, even if the shirt is hideous.
We have two sides of a boxing ring on the stage, providing a corner for Hayley (red shorts, sneakers, cropped white tank, suspenders, french braids, red training wraps on her hands) and trainer Joshua (black shorts, champion belt under a sleeveless gray sweatshirt, same hand wraps) to leap out of. Their work – set to Wiz Khalifa’s “Work Hard, Play Hard” – hits hard and fast, and it’s almost all in unison, which I love. They box each other; they knock themselves flat. By the end of the routine, he declares her the winner.
Let’s get ready to rumble, Cat growls. “Look like a butterfly, sting like a bee!” Cute. Joshua still has it, Mary says. Way to fight for your future, Hayley, she adds, and I can’t help thinking that there’s nothing anyone can do tonight – it was done and spoken for a week ago. So the fact that these dancers gave it their all tonight? Excellent. It takes skill and will, and Hayley’s got the will. And the skill. Whatever. Baby London sits with his parents in the audience, adorable blue headphones over his tender ears to dampen the sound of the nearly rabid crowd. That would be the best work out video ever, Jesse thinks; Hayley’s so consistent and awesome and this season’s cast is so awesome and beloved and he’s never heard a crowd respond like this. Nigel goes off on a weird tangent about how it always feels like they send the wrong people home (he must mean that he always gets accused of this, right?) but it all works out in the end. Um, okay. Does that mean that we still love the dancers left in the competition even if our favorites go home? He brings up Katy Perry’s boxing routine from the VMAs and Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby. Hayley, he says, is hitting over her weight class.
That’s a compliment, right? Does he mean she shouldn’t be able to keep up with Joshua? Oh, whatever.
He’s just DeShaunt to me, he’s my son, Fik-shun’s Dad tells us, having been elected to speak for the family. They’ve all done something neat, though – they’ve had a huge party of family and friends with signs to wish their boy well. Aw! And wow, Fik-shun. I thought his solo last week was terrific, but this is faster, and the isolations are sicker. You know, as much as Joshua was a better all around dancer, I remember tWitch’s solos impressing me so much more because of their humor. Fik-shun has his twinkle, his own version of that, and it adds so much to his work. He moonwalks, he throws in some bone-breaking along with his customary popping and locking and twinkling. It’s a marvel, set to Chris Brown’s “Look At Me Now.”
Not to be outdone in the battle of the sexes, Spencer Liff has a Broadway routine for Aaron and All Star Melanie in which they’re to portray a couple in the midst of a fight. And boy, do they. They fight as Melanie – wearing an adorable yellow slip dress – cleans a lighting tower and calls him a child. They fight as Aaron, looking better than he ever has in an open short sleeved shirt over a gray t and jeans, walks off looking smug and putting on sunglasses. They love-fight as she’s spun around onto his back and tosses off the sunglasses. They fight over the music – George Michael’s “Faith” – and when I say fight, I mean their mouths are moving for almost the entire routine. At first, I found this off putting, but upon re-watching the routine, I’m okay with it. I’m a Quibbling Sibling: I have to be okay with the bickering, right? This isn’t the pleasant, sexy one-upsmanship of Kathryn and Paul’s alleged battle; it is on. Aaron actually drops Melanie where he was supposed to lower her down in a back bend, but it felt so in the moment Mr. E and I couldn’t even tell if it was on purpose or not. As the routine ends, Aaron throw himself apologetically to his knees, wrapping himself around Melanie’s legs and resting his head against her thigh; she smacks her head to his forehead and pushes him down abruptly, wagging her finger in his face, continuing her lecture until Cat arrives to break up the tiff.
And of course our ever solicitous host asks how Melanie is, which makes it clear that the fall was not purposeful. But so in character, Melanie grins, and it didn’t hurt a bit. What a great actress you are, making that work in the scene, Jesse proclaims. He’s a huge fan of Aaron’s and he wonders why they don’t make everyone tap. This is what I’m saying, Jesse! I love your hair straight like that, Nigel tells normally curly top Melanie, and I can’t help agreeing. It looks fantastic. That was just like me and my ex-wife, he notes, always dancing and arguing. Oh dear. At least my siblings and I don’t actually get mad when we bicker. I’d like to give you a jacket with lead epaulettes to keep your shoulders down, though, he finishes. Oh. I didn’t actually notice. This never bothers me like it does the judges. Are you having trouble keeping your shoulders down because of the injury, Mary wonders? He injured himself because he won’t keep the shoulders down, Nigel interrupts. Ah, so that explains his absence from last week’s group routine. Aaron admits that he’s been going a little easy because he wants to make the final so badly. At any rate, Mary praises his impressive wheelhouse kicks and spins, and says that of all the male dancers on the show, she’d pick him to dance with. “If I could pick someone to drop Mary, it’d be you” Nigel snarks.
Jasmine is a beautiful person inside and out, her mother tells us. She gets chills every time she watches her daughter dance. Wearing a gorgeous purple dress – and this is not to say anything against the other girls, but I love that she’s just as sexy wearing clothes as opposed to really revealing dance wear – Jasmine dances to Destiny’s Child’s “Outro” to Amazing Grace, and it’s so light and lovely and different. She twists and rises and falls to every nuance of the song; her musicality blows me away. That moment where she hangs in the air, elongating time itself before falling to her knees? Stunning. I cannot say enough how much I adore this and her.
It’s easy to see where Paul gets his delicate bone structure and high wattage smile from – his mother. He smiles like a lightbulb, she says. In a black open vest and red pants, he flashes like lightening to “Mama Negra” by Huecco, starting with flips and then dazzling us with speedy footwork. The smiler has done good.
This week Fik-shun’s drawn the unfortunate ballroom card; lucky for him there’s no voting this week. He’s drawn Witney and a Jonathan Roberts fox trot. A sexy fox-trot, folks. Did you even know there was such a thing? There’s also some sort of crazy move that might cost Fik-shun his eyes; “several dancers were lost during this move,” Jonathan informs us know with the cool raise of an eyebrow. Alrighty then.
I can’t help it – Jesse J’s high, nasal voice is super annoying, and “Sexy Silk” is a damned stupid name for a song, so I’m annoyed from the outset. It gets better from there, though, because Witney looks amazing in a flowing blue silk gown and waved hair, very Jayne Mansfield and she commands our attention from the first curving spin into Fik-shun’s arms. I have a belated respect for what Paul achieved a few weeks ago just being on stage with her; it’s always hard to outside the girl in a ballroom routine, and when the girl is Witney, she overwhelms ballroom novice Fik-shun in the worst way. Oh, he tries for the attitude, but you have to concentrate to remember he’s there. And when you do, he’s got a nice lilt, but he’s not crisp enough for me, which is strange considering that’s an area he excels at. Also, I’m not certain, but there are a few times when he wafts a hand in her direction which make me think that he was supposed to be doing something with that hand and just didn’t get it in position fast enough. The choreography doesn’t help his cause, either, particularly when we reach Jonathan’s prize move, Witney flipping over a prone Fik-shun, her stilettos clicking down next to his temples. Super impressive that she can do that at all, let alone in heels, and it looks amazing with all that blond hair and blue silk flying, but again, isn’t Roberts supposed to be showing off the contestant? Fik-shun does get a little moonwalk section, but I’d appreciate it more if he was given actual ballroom content to do. I’d like to think he could do more if given the chance.
You’re Marilyn Monroe in all her glory, Mary tells Witney, a dominating force – and that’s indicative of things to come, because Fik-shun had some good things going for him (closed hold position) but many of his lines and his quality of movement were all off. Sigh. She still loves him, though, and thinks America does too. You were out-shone by your partner, Jesse informs him. For sure this is a problem of the All Star system, and almost inevitable with ballroom, which takes so much study to dance properly. Well, on the other hand, Hayley and Mackenzie and Aaron and Jasmine and Malece all turned in excellent ballroom routines this season. Jesse recounts dancing with Mary at his wedding a few months back (aw! Nigel and Cat were there too, of course) and how she lead because he didn’t know what he was doing. Are you getting the parallel, Fik-shun? Your amazing light was contained, he finishes. Witney the screen goddess did dominate, Nigel agrees, and it’s a good thing for Fik-shun that no one’s voting on tonight. Ouch. (It’s quite true that this is the weakest routine of the evening; it’s also true Nigel didn’t kid about pulling his punches.) He could see Fik-shun panicking in the transitions. Finishing on a happier note, Nigel congratulates the dancer on an astonishing solo.
With tears in her eyes, Hayley’s Mom praises her daughter as hard working and passionate about dance. I love you to the moon and back, she sniffles, making me sniffle back. It’s that phrase, it just gets me. In a gray bikini outfit, Hayley and her spectacular abs dance to Robyn’s “Be Mine” and it’s not as original as what Jasmine did, or as anguished as Amy, but it’s still pretty great. Did she slip toward the beginning? Anyway, Hayley’s amazing.
For her All Star routine, Jasmine’s drawn a Tyce Diorio contemporary piece with Neil. I’m groaning during the rehearsal package because Tyce wants to do an ode to the devastation of superstorms. As someone who works in NYC I’m sure he was strongly effected by last fall’s Sandy, but still, there’s something very artificial about many of Tyce’s “serious subject” routines. Would we feel the intended emotion if we didn’t know what his vision was? He wants it to be cinematic, so let’s see.
He’s used the theme from the movie Unfaithful to set the mood, which is suitably mournful and tense, and he’s added in some helpful dialogue about storms just in case you were wondering what was going on. There’s a wind machine (of course) blowing crumpled newsprint around the stage. Jasmine wears a pale gray ruched dress, and Neil a pale gray suit, and though I really want to dislike the routine, I can’t do it, especially on repeat viewings, because the dancers work keep the concept from being overwrought. There are small moments, like Neil’s back bend, or Jasmine just looking at her ineffectual hands, that are really nice. I don’t know why, too, but struggling against the wind when done well always looks really cool, and I love the uncomprehending way the two stand, looking around them at destruction they can’t take in.
I don’t know whether to attribute it to the subject matter or the dancing, but the judges stand for the piece. Mary fights tears. That was beautiful, Nigel says, just what we expect from Tyce (yes, exactly). He thinks it’s the best he’s ever seen Neil, which, what? Not this? Or this? Or this? For real? I’m sorry, but I’m not sure there was a lot here that showed off what Neil can really do; I would have picked even “Shoeless Joe” in that regard. I liked it, but there wasn’t enough dancing for me. Moving on, Nigel tells Jasmine she’s stolen his heart and that her solo was magnificent. (Yes.) Sniveling (in Nigel’s words), Mary tells them tears are rainbows in their souls (wow, something too sappy even for me, who knew that was possible) and that history will explain what happened in disasters like these, but dance will tell how we felt about it. Aw. That part’s nice. Jesse likes the heart and humanity in the socially relevant pieces, but even more he admires their strength and control. And with all respect to Hayley and Amy, Jasmine is his favorite this year.
Yep. Mine too.
Well, except there’s Aaron, whose parents tells us they’re along for the ride no matter how long it lasts. I get the feeling his Dad thinks that music is Aaron’s true career, somehow. Like, dance is just about Aaron liking to perform in any forum. In a three piece suit and hat, Aaron commands the stage as he solos to Bill Withers “Use Me,” and wow. Remember we’ve never seen his full audition, even; this is a spectacular treat. The rhythm he beats out with his feet, the speed and the agility – wow. The judges are standing when he’s done.
For the final All Star routine Amy has drawn Bollywood, Nakul, and Alex Wong. Nice! Today Nakul’s concept is a love that crosses social and economic boundaries; Alex is Amy’s servant, and they’ve embarked on a secret love affair, so there are elements of control and power as well as romance between them. Very interesting.
Amy recline on a pile of pillows while Alex massages her calf. She’s dripping with red and gold jewelry, and wears a red skirt and green cropped top in gorgeous, gold detailed fabrics; shirtless Alex wears the most amazing harem pants ever, red with an under-sheen of green and gold, along with a chain shrug over one superbly muscled shoulder. It’s at once sexy and indicative of slavery, and lets just say it shows off his physique way more than that dreadful pirate outfit. Amy leaps to her feet, playful, and the two dance with a gorgeous green rectangle of sari fabric before abandoning it for more athletic pursuits. The routine – set to “Munni Badnaam Hui Darling” from the Dabangg soundtrack, is spectacular, intricate and fast and flirty. Their bounce and their posture is amazing. The two share a clandestined kiss; I adore the way they both peek around afterwards, so pleased with themselves, checking to see if anyone noticed. Later they lay on the ground and roll next to each other, their arms embracing the others head. (I don’t know if I made that sound sexy, but it was.) There’s a knee spin sequence (I thought I saw pads on Amy’s knees!) that goes on for nine spins. Unreal! There’s not one moment when their energy flags, even when the two collapse onto the nest of cushions and Alex yanks Amy toward him, the better to massage her leg. I could watch them for days. I’m really surprised that there’s not a standing ovation; it rivals Katee and Joshua’s charming, chemistry-filled inaugural routine for the best Bollywood I’ve seen on SYTYCD.
Wow, Mary declares, that was so fast and athletic. The knee spins (one more than Katee and Joshua did; what, of course I counted) were nuts and crazy. Good golly Miss Bollywood, Jesse quips (and then lets us know he wrote the bon mot down to make sure he remembered it) . To make up for the sting of picking Jasmine as his favorite, he tells Amy that her routine last week with Travis was the best of the season (unchallenged). Bollywood always makes Nigel smile. He too remembers that even Joshua and Katee didn’t do as many knee turns. (Sigh – Joshua and Katee. Re-watching that Bollywood routine fills me with nostalgic love for them.) Nigel can’t help asking Alex if he was scared to do Bollywood considering that was the routine that blew out his knee. No, I was psyched, Alex tells them, He WILL conquer this! He did.
The contestant pair routines begin with Hayley and Paul taking on a Dee Caspary contemporary piece, which is thrilling because I love Dee and because Hayley really seems to get his work. Dee’s concept; a man reassuring his girl that he’ll be there for whatever comes, will be at her side through their journey. We’re new to working together, Paul observes, and I really don’t want to let Hayley down. It will all depend on their chemistry, Dee adds. I guess it’s good that this week is just for show?
And the piece makes the metaphor for a journey explicit; dancing to Sleeping At Last’s quiet, languid cover of “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles),” the two step exaggeratedly around the stage. It sounds silly, but it’s actually gorgeous. Paul wears jeans and a henley – the costume staff (rightly) love him in henleys – and Hayley wears a ruched dress in a dark gray, and has never looked more beautiful, which is saying something. There’s a stunning split where her pointed feet make her legs look like they go on forever. But far more than what the dancers look like, I love the tenderness of the piece. I love the sections where they step together, I love where he’s following her, supportively mirroring her actions, and I love the gorgeous close up of their faces in the end. You didn’t let her down at all, Paul.
It stresses Jesse out so much that people have to leave tonight. Yeah, I know. They’re all deserving. They may be new to working together, but he could see that they shared a bond, a trust, from experiencing this show. I’ll keep it Carly Rae Jepsen short, he finishes: it was amazing.
Well. Clearly Nigel has visions in his head of being attacked on Twitter by Carly’s fans; he’s laughing but horrified, holding up his hands to indicate his innocence. Redirecting the conversation, he tells us he loved the flow of movement in the piece (go Dee!) and finds them both to be complete dancers. The only thing he didn’t like was the flexed feet mid-step, something I heartily disagree with; that’s what gave us the sense of exaggerated movement. Point, flex, point, set foot down, repeat. Am I the only one, asks Mary, who wants you to date? What, in real life? Cat wonders, taken aback. Yes in real life! Whatever happened to Curtis? Did that not go anywhere? I hope not, because otherwise that’s just rude. At Nigel’s prompting Mary admits that she thinks Paul looks like James Dean (love the cute blush when she answers the question); Nigel thinks a young Elvis. I’m sticking with Rudolph Valentino myself. Come on, that’s so on target. Finally, Mary remarks on what a contrast this piece provides from Hayley’s boxing hip hop.
Amy and Fik-shun are reunited, and it feels so good! They’ve got – guess what? – hip hop, this time with Dave Scott, after doing NappyTabs and Christopher Scott during the season. Dave’s conceit is that Amy’s just come home from shopping, and is going to put on a sexy show for significant other Fik-shun, showing off what she bought. They’re hitting it so hard Fik-shun breaks a chair in rehearsal – a nice sturdy looking wooden one, too.
And the whole episode is a sexy yet adorable tease around that little gray shopping bag. They’re so well matched I just have to sit in awe of them. Speaking of sitting, the chair they use on stage is a lot more spindly, but must be better made because it stays in one piece. I’m not sure I’d call what they do aggressive, exactly, but at the very least it feels just right for Usher’s “Lemme See.” Amy puts on a little teasing show, and it’s so good-natured and so much fun; she’s wearing a cropped jean jacket with a razor-back cut out, a belly baring black top and a long black skirt split up her thigh over tall black leather boots. Eventually, Fik-shun rips away the skirt as she slips by him to reveal – what would you call those, hot pants? Granny panties? Anyway. To end the routine, Amy picks up the bag, the lights go down low, and into the spotlight she pulls a small piece of sheer cloth, which she then drapes around her neck.
“A scarf?” Cat calls in disbelief from the wings. “My husband would not appreciate all that build up … for a scarf.” Ha. Wait, Cat is married? How did I not know that? The things that happen in the off-season…. I suppose if I was actually British instead of merely an anglophile I’d have known, because her husband seems to be a well known Northern Irish comedian. Anyway. I can see from his cat calls that Dave Scott was thrilled by what the dancers brought to the party. Dave Scott brought out the best in you and vice versa, Nigel begins. It just goes to show you don’t have to put it in someone’s face to be sexy, Miley Cyrus. Oh, Nigel. I thought we were trying to keep away from Twitter wars. (Ha.) He congratulates Amy on a very versatile evening.
It’s always fabulous to have the dream team together, Mary smiles. She loved the syncopation and body rippling. She ends with a terrific (though not particularly applicable) quote, saying that the difference between fiction and reality is that fiction has to make sense. It broke Jesse’s heart when the two of them split up. Fik-shun is a mega-star, his solo was ridiculous, and cleansed his mind of the horror that is twerking. Amy, come into his pocket. He’d like to take you home. Twerking when it’s working is great, Cat quips. Okay. We’re losing the ability to talk sense, but at least we’re having fun.
So thankfully we’ve arrived at the last routine of the night, a Sean Cheeseman jazz for Aaron and Jasmine. His futuristic concept; Aaron sees a mysterious woman trapped in his mirror, who fascinated and enchants him. Okay. The piece stars with Aaron looking at his reflection in the mirror (it’s heavy on the guyliner, and he’s wearing a shiny silver damask vest with maroon pipping on the edges); Jasmine, her hair teased high above her head, appears behind him. It’s strange and creepy and pretty great. Lord KraVen’s “Mirror Mirror” has more rough edges than we normally hear, and a real driving beat which proves a good change of pace. The two dance in front of a huge mirror – or rather, a small part of it’s a real mirror, and the rest is just tile covered with a reflective film that gives a fuzzy outline instead of a clear image (the normal mirror is where they filmed Aaron watching himself). I really like this touch because it gives an otherworldly, foggy feel to the piece, heightening the sense of mystery and altered reality. Jasmine wears a glittering body suit; Aaron practically feels her up as she leans into him at one point before he flips her around, waving her leg over her head. Later they’ll execute one of the most ridiculous moves I’ve seen all season – he bends her leg over her head so she’s practically – well, if her left leg was the hour hand and her right the minute, it would be 6:15. Insanity. Eventually, he runs her against the mirror wall, and she spins him, sending him reeling onto the floor. Like Comfort in last season’s “Cinema,” has she used this hapless man to get herself out of an enchanted realm?
The judges adore it. Mary lets loose with a mighty train whistle. She loves the deep conviction Jasmine and Aaron bring to their work together, and also thinks that Jasmine’s solo established her as a great artist. I would tend to agree. She thinks the synchronization and the crazy leg thing were out of this world. I hate you and I love you, Jesse tells Jasmine. I hate you because I want to be you and I can’t, and you’re all “hey, I’m a protractor” and you’re a crazy and impossible robot because you should not be able to do what you do. Then he admits getting tongue tied during his earlier critique of Aaron because – wait for it – he’s got a crush on the tapper. (He actually hides under the table after saying so; must be the guyliner, Cat quips.) It makes me happy for humanity that Aaron is proud and thrilled by this. I have no idea what Aaron’s sexuality is, but that’s just how it ought to be, flattering. Anyway. Jesse recovers by saying that Aaron reminds him of his husband. Aw! They just compliment each other so well, Nigel notes. Yep. That they do. Aaron’s tap solo was amazing, and Nigel noticed how hard Aaron worked to keep his shoulders down in this routine. (It makes Aaron incredibly happy that he passed muster this time, because he worked really hard at it. I can’t imagine how difficult that must be when the discipline you’ve worked so hard on makes it tougher for you to do other styles.) As for Jasmine, he’s reminded of his sister’s Barbie dolls; doing that with their legs used to break them. Aaron and Jasmine have thrown down the gauntlet with that routine, he finishes.
And so after the commercial break, we meet the finalists. The three girls hold hands; Amy is put through first (thank you Travis Wall), and then Jasmine. Aw. I hate losing people at this point. The three guys stand in a row without holding hands; first Aaron gets through, and then Fik-shun. (Aaron and Amy could be the top vote getters, or it could just be alphabetical. It’s hard to know.) Paul immediately hugs Fik-shun, and he doesn’t cry, but he looks crushed, just terribly disappointed, and he makes me want to cry. What a time for his popularity to fail! As much as this is my preferred result, I hurt for them and I’ll miss them. Paul and Hayley had what I’d consider the least memorable performances last week – not their fault, more genre/choreography than anything else – and someone has to go. But still, it’s the sucky part of these shows. However. Stiff upper lip. On to the finale, where the big and little power couples get to strut their stuff. Where Fik-shun will have to partner dance with Jasmine. Where there’s going to be a tap routine for Aaron. I mean, that has to happen, right? RIGHT???????