Melanie and Marko: Lyrical Hip-Hop (Napoleon and Tabitha)
I know everyone says Melanie is a Ginnifer Goodwin lookalike, and she is, but I also see a lot of Felicity in her too (Season 2!). Also, I've decided that Marko talks like he froze his tongue on an ice cube immediately before talking to you. Anyway, the concept of the dance is that Marko is a groom who's been left at the altar, and he ultimately realizes that his BFF (Melanie) was meant for him all along. Not surprisingly, given that it's these two, the performance is full of sharp, assured movements, and fantastic, effortless partner work. The climactic moment in the routine sees Marko rushing up to her and kissing her full on the mouth. It's very romantic. Are these two the best pair we've seen since Katee Joshua in Season 4? Nigel proclaims them to be "the couple to beat," like, duh. Mary then starts to ask, "How hard was the kiss? Because I had to kiss someone on Broadway, and even though I knew he was engaged..." and then Nigel interrupts by totally making out with her! Okay, 1) gross! And 2) I was kind of interested in that story! Cat: "It's like walking in on your parents!" Okay, think of that. Then think of Mary's "Hot Tamale Train." Then hurl yourself off a cliff. Mary is flummoxed and fans herself. Um, Nigel is EP, right? That's kind of not cool, right? Kristin then appears to get things back on track with this observation: "We sing because we can't speak anymore. Dance is an extension of that. We can't speak anymore, so we move. You are the epitome of the kind of language that I understand." But then: "As an actor who sings and dances, I want to be in your play." And then she KISSES LIL' C. And then NIGEL KISSES C! C's glasses are all akimbo now. This is madness up on that panel right now. Marko, sensibly, goes for Cat, but, you know, he's a gentleman about it. WTF? That whole thing was insane.
Ashley and Chris: Jazz (Sonya Tayeh)
Chris is outright dreading Sonya, because she's so tough. She says her routine was inspired by Beetlejuice and graveyards and such. That's promising. Unfortunately, this isn't "Shake, Shake Senora 2011." It's just another zombie-inspired routine, despite the fact that zombies have been done on this show multiple times. And done WELL. In rehearsals, Chris says he's not going to sweat the technique too much, since he just gets to act like a zombie, and I have to say, the lack of attention to technique shows. He's not very impressive. Ashley's good, but the routine feels repetitive, and, again, we've seen zombies before and better. Nigel critiques the music choice, which he admits is like when the Idol judges criticize song choice (it's almost WORSE to do that on this show; at least on Idol it's the contestants who choose their songs). There "wasn't enough character," says Nigel. Okay, that's not song choice -- that's on the dancers! Say so! When did this show become afraid of criticizing its own contestants?? I swear, I feel like there's an internal research memo floating around Fox or 19 or wherever saying that viewers don't like to see judges actually judging contestants on these shows. Let's reverse that trend right now, huh? Mary gives props to the clean, sharp synchronization, and Kristin -- who says she doesn't intend to "be the Paula" -- says she was riveted despite the fact that she's not usually down with this style.