Tadd and Joshua Allen: Hip-Hop (Lil' C)
Nice to see C choreographing again. The explanation for the style of this particular dance is convoluted in that delightful C way. "N.O.S."?? "Nitrous Oxide System"?? The point is: this dance is about the hustle, and both Joshua and Tadd hit it hard. Not a lot of trickiness to the routine, just hard, synchronized, staccato movement from the pair of them. Afterwards, Cat kind of punctures the "hard" part of the hustle by squeezing Joshua's face like he's an adorable toddler. Mary like it overall but notes a "sweetie-pie factor" in Tadd that Nigel ultimately agrees with. I wonder if Tadd would get more respect and fewer critiques along these lines with a better haircut. As it stand, the Mohawk is so voluminous, it starts to look cartoony. Like a Smurf's hat or a cartoon Elvis. Grab some clippers and give it a try, buddy.
Melanie and Robert Roldan: Contemporary (Stacy Tookey)
The idea here is unrequited love, where Mel has to let go of Robert, who can't love her back. The result is a gorgeous that plays to all of Melanie's strengths: character work, leg extensions, graceful aching leaps. It's the best she's done with lifts all season, though part of that credit certainly goes to Robert, who just seems sturdier and more of an expert every time he's out there. He's only a year from being a striving dancer uncomfortable with praise! Afterwards, Mel is crying and breaking my heart, obviously. Nigel notes the insane assisted-life where Robert kind of floated her through the air. He also calls out the Mel v. Sasha element to this finale, though it'd probably be classier to the boys if we didn't. Kenny gives love to the all-stars, and Cat gets him to confirm the Dirty Dancing remake we've been hearing about all week. Cat then makes the case for Melanie to star in such a film, and honestly, score another one for Cat Deeley, because Mel would be PERFECT. Katie (who is likely pissed that Cat stepped in and blew her big role) says something or other. She's not really contributing much of anything to these critiques. Mary says Mel is in a class of her own and says how proud she's been of Melanie this season, from her very first audition (YUP).
Sasha and Marko: Broadway (Spencer Liff)
They really do seem to have booted Tyce from the Broadway beat in the latter part of this season, which has really been good news for everyone. Spencer's not a flawless choreographer, but he's capable of greatness (Melanie and Tadd last week), and it's left Tyce to do contemporary, where HE, while also not flawless, has produced some of his best stuff ever. Anyway, the idea here is that Marko is a waiter and Sasha is a fancy lady dining at his restaurant (all set to "Whatever Lola Wants"). I kind of have to laugh at how Sasha's Mohawk has been tamped down to "Classy Lady" levels. Both Marko and Sasha have a great sense of musicality, fun, and the story that's being told. Sasha jumps on the table at one point and spins around on it. This is smart choreography, letting Sasha be the dominant one. Kenny says Marko went from leading man to character actor, and Sasha from warrior princess to sophisticated lady. Katie to Marko: "I love when you jumped up." SERIOUSLY, that's what she said. Mary says comedy dancing is "downright dangerous," and they pulled it off. Mary doesn't seem to buy Marko entirely as a nerdy waiter, which ... I love Marko, but really? You can't? Nigel was not knocked out (BOO) and brings up Gwen Verdon's original dancing to "Whatever Lola Wants," which I think is crass, because this isn't supposed to be Damn Yankees. Regardless, he wanted stronger characters.