If this was the first time I ever saw this routine, I'd have been enthralled. I think I kinda was anyway. There's a different energy to Chehon here, more assured and determined, where Travis was purposefully aloof, and both tell sliiightly different stories, but no less effectively. Nigel explains the story of the routine, which I only just read about earlier today, where Mia fell in love with a gay guy and tried to give him a flower and he got weirded out. I love that she turned that moment into her most heralded dance on the show. Mary praises Chehon for his strong center, and the Ballet Boys tell him he has a job with them whenever he wants. Raves all around, really.
Cole and Lindsay: "Gravity" (a.k.a. Addiction)
Originally: Kayla and Kupono, Season 5
UGH, I cannot deal with having Cole mug his way through my darling Kupono's part in this, my favorite routine this show has ever done. Also, nothing against Lindsay but she is NO MATCH for what Kayla was able to do. Cole's SYTYCD memory is Mark Kanemura. Just the entirety of Mark, I guess, because they're friends in real life. Lindsay, meanwhile, recorded a YouTube video of her and her friend reenacting Travis and Benji's nerd hip-hop from Season 2 when she was TWELVE. Everybody, bite down on your suicide pills NOW. Mia really gets on Lindsay's case to not be pretty in rehearsals, which she says was a challenge for Kayla as well. Kayla, of course, was up for any and all challenges.
Like the bench dance, I think this would have been a great performance if we had never seen the original. It's such strong choreography that if I didn't have anything to compare it to, I'd love it. I still cried; I always cry. But man, Kupono was SO much sleazier in his role, where Cole plays it as inhuman, which I guess is a smart choice to differentiate, but Kupono had something behind his eyes that was so much more menacing than anything dead-eyed Cole does. Similarly, Kayla nailed the desperation in her side of the dance that Lindsay doesn't come close to. Still, Cat got chills, so there's that. Billy is impressed and reminds me that it should be noted, in fairness, that Kayla and Kupono were both within their genre and these two are not. Mary agrees with me that this is Mia's best routine ever, and while she thought Kupono was more sinister, she loved Cole and LOVED Lindsay. Mary's digging the girls this season way more than I am. Nigel explains why it makes sense to make the dancers perform routines that are not custom made for them, since that's how it is in the real world. Sure, but in the bubble universe of this particular show, it's still setting an impossible standard.