Previously: the judges were way off the mark on about 90% of their critiques last night, severely testing my faith in people who say things like "dance is a heartform." Tonight, one dancer goes home and deprives us the chance to watch an all-star outshine them next week.
Right off the bat, the opening group number tries to throw me for a loop, because the song is "Royal T" by Crookers feat. Roisin Murphy, and as you know, Roisin Murphy = Wade Robson. But the guys are leaping like grasshoppers and the girls are writhing like snakes -- not to mention all the jump-freeze motions, all of which scream Sonya to me. And indeed it is Sonya! Good routine, and yet another group number to put Robert up front and center.
Cat Deeley reminds us we're live -- we're live, people! -- and while introducing the judges, she jokes that Nigel "rescued two dogs today," because he's a nice guy and totally not someone who took an unnecessary swipe at Travis last night, subjecting the audience to a moment not unlike a dad scolding his son at a Little League baseball game. They then chat for a bit about National Dance Day and Nigel continues to force "NappyTabs" on us, and blah.
First elimination! Christina, Adechike and Kent take the stage. Kent has definitely assumed the mantle of The Contestant Whose Shirts Wouldn't Button this season. He and Courtney did a Tyce Diorio "real jazz" routine last night. The judges dinged him for not "devouring" enough, but I continue to think Kent really transforms on the stage, more than any other contestant this season, He's safe, duh-hoy, and he screams and jumps around again, and hugs Adechike and Christina, because he hasn't quite learned yet that the time when everybody in the universe is celebrating your success is kind of over. He's young. Adechike was okay last night, though he fell victim to the fact that the breakout star of this season is Allison Holker. Meanwhile, Christina's Paso Doble with Pasha earned raves, and she pretty much deserved them. Though, honestly: Pasha. Come on. Who's in the Bottom 3? I guessed Adechike, but it's Christina. I can live with that. Cat appeals to the judges' table for some explanation, and Adam says she was awesome and he doesn't get this result. He goes on to address (somewhat obliquely) the fan/critic response to what he calls the harshness of the criticisms last night. And he gives the whole "no one is above criticism" spiel, which is well-taken, but I think the problem most people had wasn't with the negativity but with the gratuitous potshot Nigel took at Travis, as well as opening the door to choreographer criticism (again re: Travis's routine) but not applying it consistently (like, for example, Tyce's awful vision of Fosse, which, as ever, comes down to "HATS!"). I think it's pretty telling that this is the response to the controversy. I was totally expecting an apologetic kiss-and-make-up with Travis. I wonder if this means there are still hard feelings? Let's speculate!