Hayley and Nico: Broadway (Sean Cheeseman)
The idea here with this "Kiss of the Spider Woman" number is that Hayley plays a gypsy who is trying to kiss poor Nico and steal his soul. As so often happens. Hayley is back to her sexual-dynamo persona, and while it's a bummer to see her so continually pigeon-holed, she is REALLY good at it, and she slinks and crawls and climbs around Nico with abandon. These two engage in an ungodly number of flips and lifts and acrobatics, at one point Nico flipping Hayley over his shoulder by her leg. It's quite an impressive start (and end, sadly) to their partnership.
Nigel leads a standing ovation for Nico, Hayley, and Sean, and he calls it one of the best Broadway routines ever on this show. Can't say as I disagree (and it's nice to see some subtle shade thrown Tyce's way after his unjust praise for ripping off Wade Robson). After seeing this, I get why Nigel sent Nico to safety a few minutes ago. No one could believe that they'd possibly get rid of Nico after pulling this off.
Malece and Alan: Jazz (Mandy Moore)
Mandy wants to do old-style Gene Kelly-type stuff this week, to which Alan replies, "I'm 19 years old, I've never seen a Gene Kelly film." Fair enough. Malece insists she has seen a few Old Hollywood movies and intends to deliver an "Audrey Hepburn kind of character." Maybe it's because they're dancing to the migraine-inducing Michael Buble, or maybe it's because Mandy's choreography is a smidge less than inspired, but I am not feeling this at all. I'm not sure if I'd just not noticed it in previous weeks, but Malece and Alan have almost no chemistry together. They seem literally out of step with each other, and thus every move feels calculated rather than spontaneous. If either one (or both) of them goes home after this, it won't be much of a tragedy.
Even Mandy has a tight smile while applauding the number. But Kenny Ortega raves about the "Judy Holliday/Goldie Hawn" quality of Malece. He does admit to the chemistry issues, though. Nigel hits them more directly with a boatload of technical and stylistic criticisms. Malece appears ready to cry. Mary tries to split the difference, but she echoes Nigel's criticisms that the routine was "uncomfortable."
Jenna and Alex Wong: Paso Doble (Jean-Marc Genereux)
Tucker's leg infection kept him from rehearsing and thus The Unsinkable Alex Wong is filling in as Jenna's partner. Only, of course, the rehearsal footage is all filmed on Day 1, so as far as the pre-routine video is concerned, Tucker is all up in there. It makes for very confusing mixed messages. The show just runs through the pre-roll routine as if nothing happened, which feels incredibly lazy to me. Though I guess they don't want to rob Tucker of the same personality-driven segment that everybody else gets to garner audience votes? Maybe that's it.