The cut to Mia after the dance shows two very unimpressed-looking grannies behind her. I'm with you, Unimpressed Grannies! Nigel goes on for WAY too long about how he "remembered the original so vividly," before finally speaking plainly that he's been "obsessed with Randi's butt for three years." Oh, BROTHER. He says Amelia should have brought more character to the piece and then ends up stating one of the big problems of tonight: the original routine was created specifically FOR Evan and Randi. This really does feel somewhat unfair towards the Season 9 dancers to ask them to live up to old standards. Billy found the routine strong, musical, and endearing, though "a little subtlety wouldn't have been amiss."
Dareian and Janelle: "Dreaming with a Broken Heart" (a.k.a. The Bed Dance)
Originally: Kherington and Twitch, Season 4
Janelle's top SYTYCD memory is Chelsie and Mark's "Bleeding Love," while Dareian is partial to the Travis Wall-choreographed "How It Ends" where Neil and Kent undergo a bro breakup (which obviously I always figured was a stealth gay breakup dance but since then I've heard it's about Travis's breakup with Ivan from season 2??). See, okay, these two should have done the butt, but this isn't a bad choice I guess, though Dareian is not equipped to match Twitch, and I really hope his torso was not the determining factor here. Janelle, meanwhile, will be drawing on the dissolution of her eight year relationship that's currently happening, so that's heavy. These two dance pretty well, though the camerawork lets them down, catching Janelle running back behind the bed before her big leaping reveal. Kherington jumped out of nowhere in the original, to much more dramatic effect. Janelle is playing the emotions of this piece very highly. Back in the day, Mia always wanted Kherington to go darker; I wonder if she told Janelle to play her part as more tormented.
Michael found it wonderful, though he calls out Dareian's feet, not knowing this is a constant critique. I kind of love that he calls them "the young man" and "the young lady." He and Mary both agree that Janelle kind of relied on a lot of hair-based intensity, which I think is true. Billy is kind of adorably naïve, praising "whoever this Titch guy is." Um, it's whomever. Nigel gets carried away a bit, saying Dareian brought "better technique" than Twitch, and thank God Mary is there to be like, "Maybe, but slow your roll ... Twitch and Kherington brought passion." True that, Mary.