Dareian and Janelle: African Jazz (Sean Cheesman)
Janelle bends backwards in rehearsals, and it really looks like it hurt. There's a lot of jazz in this African jazz, but it works. Question: is there a reason African Jazz always has to look tribal? I would love to see this style placed in some weird contexts like we do with other styles. The performance is fast-moving, ferocious, and in synch. It hits that dancing sweet spot where a high level of energy and commitment meet some on-point technical work. Nigel reveals Janelle got five stitches from that head-bang on the door when she made Top 20, so Janelle is The Injured One for the season. He also manages to single Dareian out for his pirouettes from the opening group routine, which basically never happens. Nigel wants this guy to succeed.
ATTENTION EVERYBODY! DEBBIE ALLEN IS GIVING DANCE LESSIONS AT NATIONAL DANCE DAY LOS ANGELES! Somebody please go and live my dream for me.
Eliana and Cyrus: Broadway (Tyce Diorio)
I loooove Eliana, and Cyrus has been poised to be a big vote-getting this season, so I like this. Cyrus is like "I never thought I'd be dancing Broadway when I tried out for this show where they always dance Broadway!" Meanwhile, Tyce is looking WEATHERED this season as he tells the kids they'll be performing "Run and Tell That" from Hairspray. Seriously, Tyce, get more sleep than you're getting. Maybe an avocado mask or something? Anyway, the performance is fun and energetic, though it suffers, as these so often do, from Tyce's whole-lotta-nothing choreography. It gets a standing O from the crowd anyway, and of course Tyce makes it all about him as he stands and pumps his fists in the crowd for like an hour and a half. Mary: "Winners are ordinary people with extraordinary hearts," and this somehow refers to Cyrus, whose heart isn't in dispute but given his ability, I hardly think we can call him "ordinary." Nigel gives Cyrus an A for effort at this stage, while noting that he hasn't yet picked up the different dance styles yet. Nigel calls Eliana the "benchmark" for the girls even though this choreo didn't really show her off. Then why are we praising Tyce so much, Nigel???