Kupono and Kayla's first dance is a contemporary piece by Mia Michaels. Mia tells us that the song is about addiction and informs Kupono that he is the addiction. This hits particularly close to home for him because he has dealt with others' addictions in his own life. He says addiction almost destroyed his family, so it sucks to inhabit that character. By the end of the interview, he's crying. And as "Gravity" by Sara Bareilles starts playing and Kupono does this snaky, smirking move, I'm about to be, too. The dance is absolutely stunning. Kupono slides his mouth along Kayla's leg with rawness, sensuality, revolting control. It is ineffably beautiful. And what do you expect? Such is the cracked-out wonder that brought us an Emmy-winning bench, the flinging of Lacey and countless other amazements. And there are dazzling leaps and all that, but they are more a bursting-through of the music and the lyrics than a showcase for the dancers' technical abilities. Punctuating them, though, is the stillness, the non-dramatics moments that are beyond dance. And that smirk. Haunting. I just became a Kupono fan.
The crowd goes wild. The camera pans over to Mia, who is definitely a proud mama right now. Nigel first and foremost gives credit to Mia's powerful choreography. He quibbles slightly that Kayla's hair gets in the way sometimes, but it's a tree in the woods as far as I'm concerned. Otherwise, though, he was captivated by the two of them, from technique to performance. They were brilliant. Mary marvels at his intensity and his ability to maintain character. She calls Kayla flawless and allows them to stay on the Hot Tamale Train another week. Tyce reflects on how good dancers are essentially good actors and how a good dance is more than choreography -- it's an experience. He says he had that magical experience just now. He wishes Kupono's body were a bit stronger but otherwise praises the dancers. Cat predicts that this routine will be one to remember from this season. I predict an Emmy nomination.