Ellenore and Ryan were fortunate enough to draw a Travis Wall contemporary routine. The theme is that they're a couple reunited after ten years, and watching the joy on Travis's face as Ryan and Ellenore put his idea into motion is one of the best things I have seen all night. On stage, in front of an autumn backdrop, Ryan and Ellenore bump into each other, hold an impossibly long staredown, and then go right into the routine. It's really very beautiful, and what struck me was how great of a team these two make. His weaknesses flow into her strengths and vice versa, and in a routine like this, where there's so much connection and interplay with each other, it starts to get hard to see where one begins and the other ends. Ryan's strength is a platform for Ellenore's agility; her gracefulness bleeds into his occasional struggles to get low to the ground. Playing into the idea of a couple whose old rhythms are found to be easily re-established, they're a perfect fit.
Nigel says they lucked out pulling Travis this week, as this was his favorite routine of the night. He praises Ryan's strength and notes the choreographers' collective love of Ellenore's adaptability (though he worries that may make her feel less distinct to America). He also calls Ryan the "best ballroom dancer who has ever done contemporary," which is annoying because it forces me to become Fact-Checky McGillicuddy, and ... better than Lacey? Jury's still out for me on that. Mary, and all the judges really, continues to gush love at Travis Wall from all directions. It would seem excessive if he didn't deserve all of it and more for having to lose to Benji. Mary also starts crying as she tells Ryan that he's an inspiration for ballroom dancers who may shy away from this show because of the different styles. She quotes her grandma, saying they were "like walking on tall cotton." I kind of like that. Adam feels like this is the first catch-your-breath moment of the season.