The opening group number is very into black leather and acid green, and it's got Sonya Tayeh's fingerprints all over it. Sonya and Dmitry Chaplin, it turns out. Nice co-production, you two. Tucker and Jenna are both very featured, and then everybody dies of falling flower petals or something. Very arty.
Cat has her hair up and her formal makeup on, so she's ready for a night. But first, the bad news: Curtis was not in the opening number, as he's injured his shoulder and can't perform this week. Uh, so he's done for, yes? No way the show bends the rules to keep in someone who was already lingering near the bottom. Cat then promises two "mini-group" numbers tonight, and introduces our jidges: Nigel, Mary, and Pitch Perfect star Anna Kendrick.
Wasting no time, Cat calls out our Bottom 6: Jasmine, Alan, Alexis, Curtis, Makenzie, and Nico. WTF? Why is America keeping Hayley safe over Makenzie? Over JASMINE?? What is even going on anymore? What are our values? I wonder if the viewership has dropped enough that there's no consistency anymore and that everybody gets around the same number of votes. (Except for Amy and Fik-Shun, the chosen ones.) Anyway, it has to be Curtis and Alexis, right? God willing. Nigel immediately sends the guys back without having to perform solos (which, to me, translates to: bye, Curtis), then sends MAKENZIE, and not Jasmine, to safety. This is theater. Alexis has to know she's done for now. So Alexis and Jasmine do their solos (Alexis tap-dances to "Stand By Me", which doesn't seem to work; Jasmine is a veritable beast) and then wait until the end of the show. I suspect Nigel made Jasmine solo just to show everyone else how it's done. Fingers crossed.
Jenna and Tucker: Hip-Hop (Luther Brown)
Jenna is wearing the dreaded drop-crotch pants in rehearsals, but they're thankfully gone on stage. (Replaced by other pants, pervs.) There isn't a ton of high concept to this routine, except that they're supposed to be out dancing at a club, which can be tricky to pull off when it's just the two of you on stage. They're dressed in all black leather, dancing on speakers. They keep posturing at each other, which is I think the point, and they're doing what I think is a really solid job of it, and not just because Tucker ultimately takes his shirt off. But guess who's not satisfied? Has Nigel ever complimented a male contemporary dancer doing hip-hop? Like, ever? He calls Tucker "unconvincing" and forgettable, but of course Jenna was a bit better. I'm not sure at what point Nigel became an expert in hip-hop, but it sure would be nice to have an expert in the field on hand to offer expertise (sorry, Anna). Mary calls Nigel's critique a bit harsh. It was not a slam dunk, and she agrees Tucker was a bit upright (that seems to have been the choreo, no?), but the routine was full of energy.