WARNING: The following recap is not the musing of a certified dance expert. My qualifications for writing this column are: I am a reality TV lover with a DVR machine that I only sort of know how to use.
To recap week 4, obnoxious Robert and his overwhelmed partner Miranda went home, so no worries about him mugging for the camera anymore. In other great news for tonight’s show, Cat Deeley is dressed like an Aryan geisha. She’s doing sake shots backstage during commercial breaks for sure.
Wait, WHAAAAAT? Carmen Electra is a guest judge? She apparently is a trained dancer? And she’s used all of it to become a Pussycat Doll/stripper? Is that the goal for the SYTYCD crew? Do we love this???
Tiny choreographer Travis Wall is also judging, and he’s way too excited to admit that he hasn’t moved on since his appearance on this show as a second season competitor. He hasn't EVEN been a stripper.
This is going to be a funny night.
Before we get started, the boys are all dancing to a Damien Rice song that’s themed around the seven stages of grief. But first, they’re all going to flex for us and then punch each other theatrically. Boring. Somehwere, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross is rolling in her grave.
Now some real dance pairings. But first we have to stay awake while meeting all the dancers’ families in all the boring intros to each dance. We’re milking the drama for sure this evening.
Couple #1: Marko and Melanie
My favorites are set to go first with a jazz routine choreographed by Ray Leeper (yep, that’s his name). Marko reveals he (shockingly!) dressed like a woman on a cruise ship (no, stop!), and Melanie giggles about kissing Marko despite having a boyfriend. Stop talking and make more sexy dance!
They’re dancing tonight to Lady Gaga’s second worst song on her new album (“Americano”) and they’re making the song way horny. He’s wearing his suspenders backwards and the reward is some serious dancer camel-toe. And she’s wearing about three too many costumes. But luckily they’re all slutty and over the top.
Travis Wall is talking about himself somehow. Carmen loves Melanie’s ridiculous legs. Mary Murphy is the same color as her orange dress, and her vocal levels are already shattering every eardrum. Nigel’s trying to make jokes again, which never goes well for anybody.
[Pause from the show for approximately thirteen Captain America movie commercials in a row, including a 7-Eleven ad for their corresponding American flag-colored Slurpee. Salute the flag, y’all.]
Couple #2: Sasha and Alexander
They’re bringing up the sad story of Sasha making it on to the show without her sister who made the finals as well. Boring old Alexander joined the dance team at his high school due to the encouragement of his actor father.
Shaun Evaristo is leading the pair in hip-hop this week, and we’re warned that Alexander has no amount of swag. To prove it, Alex accidentally touches Sasha’s boob during practice and keeps repeating the embarrassing phrase, “Whattup, girl.”
They’re dancing to a forgettable song in a smooth but forgettable performance. There’s a random tree in the background. This is the gayest straight flirtation scene I’ve ever seen, so I guess they’re missing the boat on that assignment. They look like girlfriends ready for a slumber party. Snoozing.
“Dang, girl, you were popping so hard,” says Carmen to Sasha. No one noticed Alexander was there. He was swag-less. Nigel calls it Hip-Hop for Dummies. Travis tries to make it about himself, throwing out dancerly words like “slushing,” “shades” and “musicality.” These two are definitely up for elimination.
Couple #3: Jordan and Tadd
Uh oh, someone’s dressed like Ursula the Sea Witch. Toni Redpath is encouraging Jordan to be a sea witch in this waltz, and that’s supposed to seduce Tadd or whatever. Hopefully the creativity will be as good as the storyline so no one falls asleep.
Ooh, smoke effects. And an Enya song not by Enya. I feel bad for everyone involved and everyone in the audience AND everyone dancing on stage. They all know the misery of a sea witch waltzing. Barely a scream from the audience.
Mary tries defending the usage of the waltz on the show by playing it up as a historically scandalous dance. No one’s buying it, though, and her over-explanation proves there’s nothing to really say. They get a “well done overall” from Nigel. I just noticed Travis is wearing an eggplant colored velvet coat that matches so nicely with his overly tanned skin. Carmen is speechless. Not because she’s qualified, but because she’s dumb.
Couple #4: Jess and Clarice
Oh, it's the worst! My least favorite couple is still here despite my raging fury week after week. Sigh… at least Clarice’s parents love her and support her. But that Jess, and his infernal family home videos. Even as a toddler, he makes my blood boil, the little hobbity diva.
Justin Giles is directing them in a relationship-ending contemporary routine that we’ve seen a million times on this show with much taller, less obnoxious people. This time it’s a Celeste Lear song that drives all the leg pumping and mannequin movements. Everyone is always a robot on this show, and they always need to punch their chests and slide to the ground.
Travis loves it because he did this routine about twenty times himself. Musicality, musicality, blabbity-smackity-flappity. Nigel loves it because this is the style that made his show famous. Carmen Electra agrees with everyone else so she doesn’t have to use real words. Mary compliments them. Clearly, choosing contemporary dance is the guarantee to stay on for another week.
Couple #5: Ashley and Chris
Ashley looks great in her sapphire salsa dress. Chris looks like a five year-old trick-or-treater dressed as Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever for All Hallow’s Eve.
Tito Puente provides the Salsa beat, but all the flopping and hip-twisting is where the action is. Chris's butt looks huge in those ridiculous white bell bottomed pants. His meaty little legs are flopping in every direction as he struggles to keep up with Ashley. No one likes doing Salsa. We hate watching it. They hate doing it. When is this over already?!
Cat gives them a half-hearted “Wow” once they finish. Travis rightfully hated it, citing a lack of energy and chemistry. Carmen tries explaining what salsa’s all about. I notice she’s starting to look less like Fergie and more like Jennifer Coolidge these days. How’d that happen? Mary and Nigel try saving them by citing Ashley’s Latin swagger and Chris’s commitment to teamwork. Ultimately, the fault lies squarely with Chris’s outfit which is grosser up close, complete with sparkly rhinestones all over the shoulders.
Couple #6: Ricky and Ryan
Ricky is quickly growing as my next favorite dancer, so I’m excited to see what this pair is going to do. But first we have to hear about their tragic dance upbringings. (She was taught by Mia Michaels and he was a male cheerleader in Tampa. Ugh.)
The nauseatingly named Chucky Klapow is leading them in their bizarre routine. She looks like Twisted Sister, he’s wearing a castoff Lady Gaga wig on his back, and they’re dancing to David Bowie. The show is saved. I love everything that is happening with these dummies. She almost fell over twice and they’re exhausted at the end of it. But thank goodness for it.
Carmen says something nonsensical. Mary squeals about loving quirky things on the dance floor and then keeps yelling for no reason. Nigel calls himself quirky which no one is amused by. Travis refers to his own routine that this reminded him of. No one is surprised. Luckily, Ricky’s shoulder wig can deflect Travis’s narcissism.
Couple #7: Mitchell and Caitlynn
Mitchell’s actually got a weepy family story that makes all these other yahoos sound like a-holes complaining about their suburban upbringings. Now that we feel sad, it’s time for some dancing. Their rehearsal is with Mandy Moore (no, not that one) and the dance is—surprise!—all about being in love. Always with being in love. Blerg.
What? And they’re dancing to a Celine Dion song. Well DONE, Mandy Moore (not that one)! And Mitchell’s in linen pants skipping around to the schmaltzy cut of Celine and her violins. Oh my, this is over the top. I hope the rest of America is loving this as much as the 40 year-old single cat lovers that are crying at home right now. All the leaping and all the lifting and all the linen pants.
Oh, and Mitchell is crying! And Mandy Moore (not that one) is crying! And Mary Murphy is crying (and screeching)! Look what Celine Dion can still do to us! And then Nigel said it’s the best routine of the night. And then Travis talks about himself. And then Carmen repeats what everyone else just said like it’s the first words she’s spoken in weeks. Cuz they probably were.
The night ends with an Eartha Kitt song with all seven female dancers AGAIN playing sexy murderesses. Why do choreographers only want to cast women as murderous harpies? It’s actually awesome choreography, though, straight off the Broadway set of Chicago. And all eyes are on Melanie and Sasha as always. Cat is happy and drunk by the end, which means we’re all done for the night!
Mitchell and Caitlynn (not as good as Ricky and Ryan, but Celine will clinch it for them for sure)
My Pick for the Bottom Three:
Sasha and Alexander (girlfriends’ slumber party for sure)
Ashley and Chris (a mild Salsa with too much corn)
Jordan and Tadd (just unfortunate enough to pick the Waltz)