Anyway, this paso is supposed to be pirate themed, though that appears to be limited to vaguely pirate/wench costumes and a techno remix of the Pirates of the Caribbean score. There's a slight steppiness to Jenna's work, but she's got the personality and intensity just right, and having Alex as her partner surely doesn't hurt. The whole routine sends Mary into a nervous breakdown where she raves about wishing she were up there dancing that routine. Kenny Ortega names her his favorite dancer after this. Nigel points out that this is Alex's first time dancing ballroom on the show (I was wondering), making it all the more impressive. But he's not competing. Jenna is, and like with Nico, you can see why, after all this praise, it would be pretty pointless to pretend Jenna was in danger at the end of the show.
Makenzie and Paul: Contemporary (Mandy Moore)
Mandy explains that this is a "wrong side of the tracks" love story, and once they take the stage, we see it's set to Lady Gaga's acoustic "Edge of Glory" (from "A Very Gaga Thanksgiving"!). I am in love with Paul and Makenzie's chemistry, and this song gives me chills, so it's no surprise that I was transfixed by their performance. It reminded me of one of Mandy's very best routines, Courtney and Gev's contemporary in Season 4. Nigel was very impressed, and mentions how happy he is that Makenzie is finally out of the bottom three. Mary is similarly bubbling over with praise for these two. Kenny Ortega compares Paul to his namesake character from A Chorus Line, which feels lazy but whatevs.
Amy and Fik-Shun: Viennese Waltz (Jean-Marc Genereux)
Jean-Marc straight-up calls this dance a victory lap for their flawless partnership thus far. That's all gonna seem pretty awkward if Amy gets eliminated later tonight (that's not happening). The rehearsals sell the idea that elegance doesn't come easily to these two. They're dancing to "A Thousand Years, Part 2" by Christina Perri (who was basically created by this show to write songs to dance to) and Steve Kazee (who won the Tony for Once and is dreeeeamy). I should say up front that I have never felt Amy and Fik-Shun as strongly as the judges seemed to think I should this season, but oh boy do I suddenly feel it all right now. What a beautiful waltz, probably one of the best the series has ever produced. The lack of heat between these two has always been something of an issue, but having friend chemistry actually makes this routine come across better. That victory-lap conceit actually works, because now it's a story of two partners who fucking MADE IT, and now they relax and reflect and glide their way into the Top 10 (again, Amy is not going anywhere). Every time Amy leaps into or onto Fik-Shun, he catches her so incredibly smoothly. That's something that's been a challenge for the best dancers on this show. Everything about this routine is gliding on rails. Just gorgeous.