Moving back to the partnerships, Jeanine has picked Jason. They both lost their partners last week, but they get the consolation of working with Travis from Season 2 this week. Newly brunette Travis is telling a story about two long-time friends who have decided to take it to the next level, and he is pulling out all the stops for his first piece of choreography on the show. Since this is both Jason and Jeanine's style, and since Travis was probably the strongest soloist on his entire season, it should be brilliant, though. Right? Jason Mraz starts strumming away with "If It Kills Me (The Casa Nova Sessions)." The beginning is downright balletic for a moment, and then Jason is flipping around like a damn monkey for a minute, then it comes back to a more comfortable place squarely in the center of lyrical. As the piece crescendos, Jason and Jeanine cling to each other and have a moment that is damn sexy. Then they're ripping each other's clothes off -- literally ripping them -- and then comes the one symbolic sexual thrust (props to Travis for choreographing Jeanine to pull Jason into her), and finally a steamy for-real smooch between the new partners. The crowd was going wild throughout the entire routine, and when the lights come up, Jeanine jumps into Jason's arm triumphantly.
As the crowd squeals wildly and starts up a standing ovation, the judges follow suit and rise to their feet. Nigel starts by giving himself a big, fat pat on the back by saying that he was so proud to see a talent like Travis come full circle on the program. He adds that, not only was the choreography excellent, but the dancing was as well. Both of them have become stars tonight, he declares. Mary is actually silent for a moment. And what a sweet moment it was. Then Nigel spoils it by picking up the slack and snarking just a little extra. Mary shriek-grees that Jeanine and Jason were stars. She turns her attention to Travis and gets a little emotional as she praises him from growing to where he is now. She says Jason rose to a new level and that Jeanine is destined to have an amazing future. Finally, she blows my ear drums out by welcoming them on to the HTT with so much gusto that she must finish with a silent scream. Jesus, that woman needs some Abdul pills. Debbie starts her comments with an adorable little anecdote about Travis approaching her in the makeup room earlier to ask for feedback on his piece and explains that she has known him since he was 14. In that light, she thinks the show has been amazing because it has moved from a competition to a conversation (or a self-perpetuating network megalith... po-tay-to, po-tah-to), evangelizing dance like nothing else. She says this was a magical pairing. Everyone pats themselves on the back some more.