The routine (set to "Comanche" by The Revels) is pretty much what Wade said it would be: '30s nightclub, dance-fighting, roving gangs of jazz dancers. It's energetic, fun, creative Wade while not being overly-conceptual Wade, which is a good thing. There are too many dancers, and it's far too early, for me to be able to make much of the individual performances, but it looks like Nathan (18 y/o), Jakob (friend of Jeanine's), Ashleigh (wife), Ryan (husband), and Pauline (giant, swollen ankle) were all strong enough to get featured (Nathan and Jakob being my personal favorites -- huge energy and wild movements from the both of them). The crowd, Mary, and Adam all stand and applaud, while Nigel maintains his dignity/hides his Abdul boner.
After the break, the good news is that we appear to be getting partners/groups rather than solos. And first up are the hip-hoppers, Russell (our krumper), Kevin (our pop-n-locker with sick technique and a Vitolio face), and Legacy (our plucky b-boy and loveable a-hole). It's a nice production touch, seeing each guy describe his little niche in the hip-hop genre. They've got Tabitha and Napoleon on the choreography, and they're both clearly psyched to be able to work with three established hip-hoppers and not need to teach some flouncy contemporary girl how to be hard. Paraphrasing. Not that rehearsals are collision-free, of course. Napoleon can't stop freaking out about how "NASTY!" it all is. Okay.
On stage, decked out in crazy garish '80s style like day-glo Run DMC (and performing to "Beggin'" by Madcon), Legacy, Kevin, and Russell proceed to murder the rest of us stone dead in the most amazing way possible. First of all, seeing Tabitha and Napoleon unleashed like this totally restores my faith in them (after a lackluster season 5). There were certainly a few moments where you could see some rough edges in the way they partnered up, but overall, they were just flying up there. Legacy even managed to impress me with his breakdancing, which he hadn't as of yet. But Russell stole the show -- that man is a beast. Nigel and Mary scream a bit, before Nigel hands out props to all three. Great start!
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?