Missy and Wadi: Jazz (Sean Cheesman)
Talk about a perfectly matched pair: Missy likes to speak in Jamaican accent; Wadi is of Jamaican descent! This competition is OVER. Cheesman makes me laugh while describing the routine: "Pandora's box has been opened, and what's revealed are the demon clones of yourself." And not just demons, Missy tells us; SEXY demons! So Missy and Wadi emerge from a big ol' cinderblock on stage and creep around to a remix of "Judas," and all things considered, this is blowing Sonya's routine out of the water. Maybe it's Missy and Wadi themselves who are elevating this routine, as their character work is superb. Missy's got this Jessi Peralta thing going on, and her decided lack of bubbliness sets her apart, and Wadi is using his imposing physique to every advantage. Just a lot of fun to watch. Nigel calls it Sean's best work on the show yet, and I am inclined to agree. He also says Missy is "one of the beasts of the girls," because, again, the narrative of girls vs. boys must be preserved. Mary is officially back to being the Mary of old, as she screams about Missy and Wadi "Open[ing] up Pidora's [sic] box and open[ing] up a whoop-ass can of dancin'!" Oh, Mary.
Melanie and Marko: Contemporary (Travis Wall)
WHOA. Putting these three together on a contemporary routine this early in the competition almost seems unfair. Also, it goes by almost too quickly to notice, but ... Melanie was narcoleptic? I feel like this deserves a soft-focus segment of its own soon. So the concept of the routine is that Marko and Melanie are statues who are in love. They're both painted/dusted to look like white marble, and they begin in a fixed/posed position. One of my favorite things about this routine (and I've watched it three times already, so it's safe to say I really like it) is that Travis didn't over-explain the concept, so the dancers are saying things with their bodies and letting us interpret. The feeling I get here is of statues on holiday, or perhaps on the last day they get to move around, before they'll be petrified forever. There's a sense of finality to the abandon that Marko and Melanie are providing, and it's gorgeous. More than any other choreographer on the show, Travis captures the joy of dancing; the miracle of being able to move through this world. Standing ovation! Mary's in tears (I hear you, girl) and ends up cribbing Cat's speech from after Travis's "Mom" dance last year, about how sometimes all the elements come together and it's magical. Megan is essentially speechless and just quotes Oprah ("Wow, wow, wow!") -- this is a bummer, Megan had started so well! Nigel annoyingly Emmy-baits, which I really wish he would stop doing. He also heaps a whole lot of pressure on Melanie, calling her the "best girl dancer ever."