Previously: the Top 6 made a decent case for themselves as the best Top 6 this show's ever had (Season 5 almost had it, with Jeanine/Brandon/Kayla/Melissa/Ade... oh, but Evan; and I think Season 3 still takes it with Danny/Sabra/Lacey/Neil/Lauren/Pasha). But even so, tonight's eliminations seem pretty elementary, right? Caitlynn for sure. And probably Ricky, yes? I guess that's what this next hour is for.
Appropriately, given last night's prop-heavy affair, the group dance revolves around an unsettlingly large red flower, standing on its stem in a manner that defies gravity and all manner of natural laws. The guys start out standing around it, like sentries, and the white costumes and harsh back-lighting give everything a desaturated black-and-white feel. Very stark. I keep expecting they're gonna spring a surprise Mia group dance on us, and this one has me more fooled than most. But logic -- and the "disturbing scenes in nature" quality of the routine -- say Sonya. Really beautiful movement in a kind of regimented, almost militaristic manner. Which ... doesn't say Sonya. Okay, I give. (It's Justin Giles!)
Cat introduces the jidges, and we see the wonderfully batty Christina Applegate has abdicated, leaving Nigel, Mary, and Lil' C on the panel. I was going to remark that I've appreciated how the celeb judges occasionally will abdicate when it comes to the elimination episodes, but this week we're going purely by votes anyway, so I guess it's neither here nor there. And I will miss Christina's armchair psychology, I won't lie.
We're starting off with solos -- which aren't really pertinent to anything, as the results are already locked in. But we get to see amazing things like Sasha throw herself around the stage without any regard for life or limb. It's enough to get the judges on their feet, which appears to once again set the Melanie/Sasha balance back to even. Caitlynn's solo is next, and for a hopelessly doomed contestant, she's certainly making the best of her walk down the green mile. Melanie's next and ... what is there even to say about this girl? That I see God every time she points her toes? Because I maybe do?
After a National Dance Day recap -- Mary Murphy's dedication to wearing a black fringe dress on a 106-degree day is so inspiring; and it's also worth noting that the only time Tom Cruise lets Katie Holmes out of the house unaccompanied is when she's doing something for this show -- we return to the solos. Tadd starts from a crouched position below the stage (great work by the cameras to find him there beforehand). As appears to be his custom, Tadd is all over the place, up and down the stairs, and basically just wilding out. Also, if there's a thing I like better than Cat asking the boys to help her walk up the steps to the stage, well ... it's probably hugging Busy Philipps. But otherwise, it's all Cat. Marko's solo is typically graceful and emotional and teeny and wonderful. And finally, Ricky does me a solid and hauls out the Requiem for a Dream/Lord of the Rings Clint Mansell mix. You sweet, spindly-limbed boy. It's one of his better solos, too, and really puts his musicality out front.