Lord knows I love this show and that I thought it'd be great to see it in the fall, but it turns out I was kind of wrong. All season long they've aired a two hour performance show on Tuesday and, once baseball finally went away, a one hour results show on Wednesday. This week, with all their other shows on holiday hiatus, you'd think they'd be well able to air a two hour performance show on Tuesday and a two hour results finale on Wednesday right? Wrong. They shortened the performance show to one hour on a season where they've already crammed two extra dancers into the finale thereby requiring them to 86 solos, same sex dances and a group routine.
Let's not try to do this show in the fall anymore!
Kathryn and Ryan - Samba (Jason Gilkison)
In order to cram 9 dances into one hour (42 minutes of show), they skipped all the intro packages and just jumped right into dances which, for me, cut down on the anticipation factor and made the dances a little less exciting. I suspect that it was in anticipation of this that the costume department sent Ryan out to dance without his shirt on. I'm not usually distracted by his bare chest but it was particularly alluring last night. Also, Kathryn, who it turns out is frakking awesome at everything once again smoked the floor at a Latin ballroom routine.
Ellenore and Jakob - Broadway (Tyce Diorio)
Just about the closest Tyce has come to knocking my socks off with a Broadway number - this one showcased the hell out of Ellenore. Her movement and quirk is so perfectly matched for Fosse-esque stuff that it's ridiculous. Jakob was great of course but the problem with this routine was that it was like to people dancing two separate things rather than a pair dancing together and what Ellenore was dancing was just so much more interesting. Also, her hair looked fanTASTIC during this routine!
Ashleigh and Russell - Lyrical Jazz (Sonya Tayeh)
I know people (Jay and Mike) who think that the judges have way over-rated Russell and that he isn't so great. I whole-heartedly disagree and after watching this dance, I just can't understand why they don't think he's been great. Once again the dance seemed to give one person a lot more to do than the other - Russell seemed to be wrestling with inner demons and having some kind of dance epiphany while Ashleigh just lovingly floated in the background for support (though, to be fair, she did dance her meager part beautifully). Russell owned it and I loved the routine.
Ellenore and Ryan - Jazz (Gerry Stewart)
They were like two robots, both emotionless through the entire thing. So naturally Nigel hated it, but Mary and I both thought it was really good. In addition to this also fitting Ellenore like glove (she got some great choreography for her last night), I thought this was Ryan's best out-of-genre dance all season.
Ashleigh and Jakob - Foxtrot (Jean-Marc Genereux)
It was good, classy and a little jazzy and pretty. But it was also a little tiny bit boring compared to some of the other routines we saw last night. They danced it really well (of course) and it was nice to see them back together but Foxtrots really aren't show-stoppers. Of course, I guess the same can usually be said about Viennese Waltzes and I still think Jakob and Mollee's VW from last week was SPECTACULAR! Anyway...
Ellenore and Russell - Paso Doble (Jason Gilkison)
Dear Jason Gilkison, I love you. Seriously, he's got some good shit going on this season! I am not at all a Paso Doble fan but this was great. Very strong and dramatic. Ellenore reminded me how totally awesome I thought she was in her Tango when she got up there and killed this one and Russell was also totally the shit. Capital G Great!
Kathryn and Jakob - Contemporary (Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson)
Holy shit you guys! This was SO GOOD! Dwight and Desmond usually do the pad de duex's up in here, which are fine but they're usually a little dry and slow for my taste. Also, ballet is obviously best when it's danced by ballet dancers so that is always a tough one. I've never seen any of their straight-up contemporary stuff before and let me tell you, it was awesome! No story, no gimmick just beautiful dancing by two of the best dancers around as imagined by a couple of geniuses.
Ashleigh and Ryan - Contemporary (Travis Wall)
It's unfortunate for them that the went after Kathryn and Jakob's contempo routine. It's also a little unfortunate that this wasn't one of Travis's best numbers. But it was still good and they danced it well and there was certainly a degree of matrimonial familiarity and tenderness that was lovely to watch. But she showed him up pretty good in this one and it is so clear that as the season has progressed, she's grown a great deal more than he has.
Kathryn and Russell - Hip Hop (Tabitha and Napoleon)
NappyTabs routines have been so very boring this year. I've had naps that were more exciting and interesting than that routine. The danced it well for what it was. Russell was good with the movement but a little over-the-top with the facial performance (he was a tad too committed to his Krump face here where it wasn't necessarily...necessary), Kathryn was slightly less good here. She looked a bit like a fish out of water.
Final Order SHOULD be:
Final Order WILL be: