Ryan and Ricky: Contemporary (Sonya Tayeh)
BOO! ...Okay, that's out of my system. (BOO!) Anyway, this routine is about a couple whose relationship is ending, and it's conveyed through a bolt of fabric that winds (and ultimately unwinds) around Ryan. See, because Ricky can't let go! I don't know, I worry I've stopped being able to judge these two objectively. It's fine. It's set to an acoustic version of Robyn's "With Every Heartbeat," which should easily get me on R&R's side, but I'm still left a bit cold. Ryan manages not to smile, which is a low bar to clear, to be sure, but she does so. Longing is invoked; I just expected to be moved more. C calls them a "power couple," which is how he described Melanie and Marko (the idea that the two pairs are even close to the same level is kind of laughable, C, but okay). C also marvels that these dancers "only get seven hours" to pull these routines together. Can that possibly be true? What do they even do with the rest of the week? Is that just the time the choreographer spends with them? That would make more sense. Nigel says he's "proud" they kept Ryan last week. BOO!
Jordan and Tadd: Hip-Hop (Napoleon and Tabitha)
The hilariously straightforward concept is this: Tadd and Jordan have had a drunken, collegiate one-night stand, and now it's the morning after and they're scrambling to put on clothes. There's a bed on stage and clothes strewn about that Jordan and Tadd have to climb into and out of. In rehearsal, Jordan is all cutesy and "I don't have sex with people!" Ugh. Her personality is the worst. But on stage, I am becoming more and more of a fan. Okay, but first of all, HELLO shirtless Tadd! There's a little fumble in one sweatshirt exchange, where Jordan has to slide out of it and Tadd has to slide into it, but otherwise everything is crisp, hard, fast, and inventive. So exciting! They are BOTH nailing this, and Tadd is beyond even what my early predictions thought he'd be. FANTASTIC. C liked it but gives a hip-hop specific critique to dance with whole body. Nigel, while also being complementary, says the story "overwhelmed" the dance. WTF? THIS is the routine where you decide to start nitpicking? Cheno performs a number titled, "Shut the Front Door (Reprise)," and compares the whole thing to a delicious dessert. I will be classy and not tie that last statement to Tadd at all.