Jenna and Tucker: Contemporary (Travis Wall)
Travis's concept is that Jenna is a listless puppet who gets her strength to go on from Tucker. Tucker connects the idea to his near-death car accident. On stage, we see Jenna is being supported by four elastic straps, two to each arm. Tucker dances her through them, gradually un-strapping each one until she's floating on her own. It's a lovely series of images, and the suspension of Jenna is reminiscent of this routine Travis put together for Dancing With the Stars (hey there, Jaimie Goodwin, Melanie Moore, and Channing Cooke!) that might be his most accomplished work to date. Jenna's foot actually catches on one of the straps on at least one move, causing it to slide down and overlap her wrist strap; and at the end she needs a couple tries to un-hook the last strap, but she and Tucker work through these moments seamlessly. I love it so much when a pair has reached the point of absolute trust, and these two totally have it. Standing ovation. Mary is choked up, but not too choked up for a "Lord have Murphy." Mary thinks this could be their Moment. God-willing.
Mariah and BluPrint: Jazz (Brian Friedman)
First off, heeeeeey, Brian Friedman. Long time no see, and if I may be forgiven a digression or two, he is looking FINE AS HELL. This concept is something about Greek gods, and you know Brian likes his bizarre costumes, so of course they're dressed like some combination of Clash of the Titans and Masters of the Universe. The stage is adorned with marble columns in the strangest backdoor marketing for Don Jon I have ever seen. The choreography is very sharp and fast, and Mariah is absolutely the star of the show. She's hitting everything hard, while BluPrint is keeping up but still visibly doing the steps. Mariah is owning it. Mary says she loved three-quarters of it, and Nigel notes the clunkiness of the final lift. "Good-ish" is his final statement.
Alan and Malece: Hip-Hop (Dave Scott)
They are really going out of their way to bring out all my favorite choreographers this week. Dave Scott! He so rarely disappoints, and tonight is no exception, despite a) a Chris Brown song, b) two dancers who could not be less suited for hip-hop, and c) those awful drop-crotch pants on Alan. They're supposed to be all futuristic or whatever, but they're a travesty. Anyway, they both have the attitude down, and the choreography is precise enough to connect to Alan and Malece's strong training background. I think I finally get Malece. Her personality is INSIDE her hard work. I can dig that. Cat calls her a "badass tinkerbell." Alan looks just this side of not taking this seriously enough, but I think he pulls it off. Nigel lectures Alan on proper depiction of "swagger, or swag as they now say." Both he and Mary are harder on Alan than they should be, I think, but they're all over Malece.