The next group has Jakob, Nathan, Arianna, and Channing tackling Tyce Diorio's contemporary. Jakob and Nathan I already like a lot, Channing I think dances too hard but we'll see, and Arianna may well have just arrived today. No, wait! She was maybe the girl Mia threw her pen at in Vegas. Aww, Mia, WHY?? Man, you picked the wrong week to show up on my TV, Diorio. He says this dance is about four personal stories of sadness or somesuch. Arianna says it'll be great so long as America is willing to "go to the uncomfortable place with us." You know, I could be juvenile here, but I'm sure Nigel's gonna say something gross eventually, so why even bother?
The dance is set to k.d. lang's "Crying," which makes for a hell of a start. You know, without much of a story, it is REALLY hard to describe a contemporary routine. They're all dressed like Tinkerbell, and there's a chair on the stage that ends up getting knocked over by Jakob going apeshit. True to Tyce's explanation, this is four dancers left to their own intense emotions, occasionally thrashing into each other and away again, ultimately grasping onto each other and trudging across the stage all mopey-like. Okay, it's impossible to describe a routine like this without sounding like I'm making fun, but honestly, it was pretty strong. Nathan and Jakob definitely stole the show, as their limbs seemed to go on for days, but I'm incredibly interested in the way Arianna moves, as if on pure spontaneous instinct, and I can't wait to see what else she gets up to. Channing, I remain underwhelmed. Mary doesn't see any weaknesses in any of them, including saying Channing successfully got more elegant, which... I guess? I was too busy watching the other dancers. So Mary just squeals and squeals and squeals. It seems like they're most impressed with Jakob, seeing as Nigel can't help but chime in and rave about how he was flying across that stage. Can't say as I disagree.
Back from the break, we get the exquisite joy of hearing Cat say the term "in earnest," before we cut to The Tappers. Bianca, who finally broke through the glass ceiling; Peter, who seems like the underdog's underdog; and Phillip, who came out of nowhere last week to snatch the Seems Like an Ass, Right? trophy right out of Legacy's arms. In the interviews, Peter tries to coin the phrase "audioally," which is cute and will serve him well when it comes time to interact with Lil' C. Derick K. Grant is the tap choreographer they've debuted for this routine, and they're dancing to some Ella Fitzgerald. And they're great, of course. But for all the exhilarating spontaneity that Bianca and Ryan brought in that tap battle in auditions, this choreographed tap can't help but feel stagey (also, smiley dancing is a problem for me, and was a big reason why I turned on Evan last season... before he gave me many more reasons to turn on him). Peter's featured moments are the most impressive (at one point, he goes up on his toes), but Bianca is the only one who feels like she's about to take this shit right to you, in your living room, up in your face.