Sasha and Tadd: Cha-Cha (Mark Ballas)
First of all: "Sasha and Tadd try and charm you with their cha-cha." Hee. Also, hello, Mark Ballas, you infuriatingly not-altogether-unappealing butterface of a person, you. Is he still dating that Pia Toscano person? Was her performance last week some kind of quid pro quo to get him to choreograph this week? Is he really worth the effort? Am I spinning my wheels pretty severely? From what little I know of Mark Ballas on Dancing with the Stars, I know not to be surprised that there is an ass-slap in the choreography. Performance-wise, it starts off strong (particularly in how they grasp the feel of a cha-cha ... heh), but a couple missed hand connections become a LOT of missed hand connections, and it throws off the balance of everything that follows, which becomes a choppy, amateurish mess. Katie: "You look pretty!" Mary: "Let's get real." She calls out the hand connections and the struggles, as she has to do. She sounds so bummed to deliver this news! Nigel is also bummed, as he agrees with Mary and says the whole thing was pretty uncomfortable to watch. Kenny says it was too ambitious for tonight, which sounds like a criticism of Ballas, though I'm not sure he's in the audience to deliver any kind of reaction shot.
Marko and Lauren Froderman: Contemporary (Tessandra Chavez)
This is another failed love story, though as Marko and Lauren play it, it's dominant emotions are passion and a sneaky kind of playfulness. It's strikingly similar to the Melanie/Robert routine, but with harder edges and deeper wounds, I'd say. Mary: "You just THRUST greatness upon yourself!" She's really made a connection with Marko. "You've been given a second chance in life," she says, on the verge of tears as she alludes to Marko's shoulder bullet. "And you're not going to waste a bit of it." Nigel says tonight has been a little disappointing as season finales go (well then maybe DON'T ASSIGN DISCO?); but thank God for Marko, who really nailed this.
Tadd and Melanie: Jazz (Ray Leeper)
Hey, Show, can you please TELL US THE STYLES before we head into the choreography clips?? Some of us are trying to recap here. Anyway, it's a jazz piece about sexual aggression. So Melanie is styled like Sheena Easton, and the idea of this routine seems to be systematically ripping Tadd's clothes off. As theses go, I can get behind this one. Of course, the ironic tragedy of all this is that while Tadd is being stripped to his boxers and liberated of all that confining clothing, Mel is stuck in these AWFUL skintight leggings. Somebody free this girl! It's a fun routine, if slight compared to the contemporaries we've seen tonight. It does give Cat the opportunity to observe, "When all else fails, bring out a pair of comedy boxers." Words to live by. Nigel says, "That brought my evening to life!" then spends the next five minutes gay-panicking like crazy, because someone might interpret this as enthusiasm for half-naked Tadd. Sigh. He says Melanie, had the character down well before she started dancing. Also, he says Tadd redeemed his cha-cha. (I will never stop loving cha-cha jokes. NEVER.) Katie: "It was fun to watch something different!" I'll say! A woman pulling off her man's pants in a sexually aggressive manner WOULD be pretty different for Katie, I guess.