Yeah, Nigel Lythgoe's machinations are in full effect. If I was playing a drinking game in which I took a drink after each time Nigel or Mary said the girls are strong or the girls are beasts, I would have been drunk within the first hour. Hey, judges, lay it on a little thicker and you'll for sure end up with a male winner (might I suggest Nick or Marko, viewers?)
Jordan Casanova/Tadd Gaduanng - African Jazz, choreographed by Sean Cheesman
"Riding The Waves" by Afro Celt Sound System (Amazon | iTunes)
They didn't always seem in sync, but it was danced well, and Jordan has nice extension. I had to roll my eyes at Nigel's comment about how if he continues to pick up the choreography like this, he would go far. He is really condescending (although not maliciously, I don't think) to hip-hop dancers.
Sasha Mallory/Alexander Fost - Contemporary, choreographed by Travis Wall
"Stupid (Mark Bell Mix)" by Sarah McLachlan (Amazon | iTunes)
What a great piece of dramatic music, paired with strong dancing. The judges were very high on Sasha and not so much on Alexander, criticizing his lack of emotion/connection. I have a feeling this "the girls are so strong, the boys need to step it up" mentality is going to fester throughout the season. (Post-show edit: LOL at "throughout the season". How about "throughout the next two hours"?!)
Clarice Ordaz/Jess LeProtto - Broadway, choreographed by Tyce Diorio
"Me And My Baby" by Liza Minnelli (iTunes)
What happened to the days when people would get dances completely out of their element? We already had the episode where they dance in their genre last week. Having said that, though, these two did a great job with their dance. Jess, naturally, was a standout. His leaps and spins were effortless. Yet still, more Nigel "the girls are so strong this year!" comments.
Ryan Ramirez/Ricky Jaime - Lyrical Hip-Hop, choreographed by Christopher Scott
"Ain't No Sunshine" by Lighthouse Family (Amazon | iTunes)
The two of them were precise in their movements, but Ryan seemed way too smiley for the song and routine. She explained that she was conveying happiness in remembering their love, but I think that was a misstep on either her or Chris Scott's part. It distracted from the routine.
"In For The Kill (Skream's Let's Get Ravey Remix)" by La Roux (Amazon | iTunes)
Mitchell was the first casualty of the season, injuring his elbow and sitting out the dance. Caitlynn danced with likely All-Star Robert Roldan, and it didn't once seem like she was an amateur dancing with a pro. She was outstanding.
Miranda Maleski/Robert Taylor Jr. - Latin (Jive), choreographed by Jason Gilkison
"Runaway Baby" by Bruno Mars (Amazon | iTunes)
I love this song, but their dancing was kind of atrocious. Their kicks especially. It was fun, but technically, my untrained eye was bleeding. I can't believe Mary brought out the screaming for this.
Missy Morelli/Wadi Jones - Jazz, choreographed by Sean Cheesman
"Judas (R3hab Remix)" - by Lady Gaga (Amazon | iTunes)
Hate the song, loved the routine. They both have a strong presence on the stage. It's so crazy how Wadi jumps on and flips over everything. I still don't understand why the judges act so surprised over his ability to do other styles. He's proven it several times over.
Melanie Moore/Marko Germar - Contemporary, choreographed by Travis Wall
"Turn To Stone" by Ingrid Michaelson (Amazon | iTunes)
Wow what a great routine, from music to costuming to makeup to lighting to choreography to dancing. Travis may have blown his wad in week one, but what better dancers to do that for than these two? I can't believe, though, that Nigel is already calling Melanie the best female dancer they've ever had on this show. IT'S WEEK ONE! SLOW YOUR ROLL, NIGEL!
Ashley Rich/Chris Koehl - Hip-Hop, choreographed by Christopher Scott
"Forget You" by Cee Lo Green (Amazon | iTunes)
I really did not enjoy that choreography. It seemed a bit pedestrian compared to other hip-hop routines we've seen in past years. Bring back Cicely & Olisa! (omg did I say that?!) Dance-wise, I thought Ashley was way better than Chris, and she showed a lot of personality.
Iveta Lukosiute/Nick Young - Ballroom (Quickstep), choreographed by Jason Gilkison
"Ballroom Blitz" by Sweet (Amazon | iTunes)
LMAO Iveta looked less than thrilled to see Nick as her partner. He's adorable though, and his energy was through the roof, enough so that I was watching him more than her. His carriage when they were in close hold was fantastic.
My guesses for Bottom 3 couples:
Caitlynn/Mitchell (due to his injury)
Going home: I have a huge pet peeve about how injuries are handled on these dance shows. If someone can't compete due to injuries, they should go home that week. Plain and simple. Like I've said before, in the Olympics, they don't allow you to advance to the finals on your Olympic Trials time if you got injured. If you're injured, you're done. Period. End of story. I'm not sure what Nigel and Mary are going to do here, but I think Mitchell should go home, especially if he doesn't deliver the best solo the show has ever seen. Miranda will likely join him if she's in the bottom 3. Her routine was easily the worst of the night.