Clarice and Jess: Broadway (Tyce Diorio)
Much like everybody else, Jess runs out of time during his 8-seconds-of-personality segment, but much NOT like everybody else, when he does, he pouts to the camera and says, "Oh, poopy!" Aaaaand here is where Jess loses me. Look, I give dancers a lot of leeway for things like artifice and obnoxiousness, but this just became too much. Anyway, it's a convenient genre for our lone Broadway boy, as he and Clarice high-step it to a Liza Minelli song. Oh, and the show is actually trying to sell us on a "crush" angle, wherein Jess has a thing for Clarice. Nooooot buying it. I'm not sure who these characters are supposed to be, as the routine is very middling Tyce, but Clarice is doing quite well outside her genre. But... a standing ovation, audience? Really? That head-scratcher quickly takes a back seat, though, when Megan muses that Jess reminds her of James Cagney "...or if Jimmy Durante had been a dancer." Um. WHAT? Nigel doesn't seem sold that Clarice kept up with Jess (well, she did), and then continues to confound me by suddenly being Jess's #1 fan. When did that happen? Nigel does rightly give Jess props for his pirouette that went to the floor and back, but when Mary's all "PERFECTION!" I cannot quite agree.
Ryan and Ricky: Lyrical Hip-Hop (Christopher Scott)
Okay, I didn't notice him much last week, but Ricky is adorbs, and I'm really hoping Ryan blows me away here. If she's truly the weepy-faced heir of Katee and Kathryn, she'll do it. The routine is a love story, where she's gone but he keeps seeing her. In rehearsals, we see them doing the grab-the-legs-to-keep-you-from-leaving movie, which, I'm sorry, has become totally overexposed. On stage, Ricky really carries off the emotion of the story; that kid can MOVE. So can Ryan, of course, but she's not making me love her. The judges focus on how weirdly smiley Ryan was during the dance, which they chalk up to a performance flaw (as do I). Ryan tries to explain why her character was smiling, which comes across rather sad. Look, if we can't tell why, the dance didn't work.
Caitlynn and Mitchell: Jazz (Sonya Tayeh)
In rehearsals, Mitchell seems extroverted and fun. He's thankful Caitlynn is pretty; he's sweaty. Then he gets injured. That's bad news. The good news, for Caitlynn anyway, is that she now gets to dance with Robert from last season. Actually, maybe not entirely good news, because: good fucking luck trying to get me to pay attention to Caitlynn with Robert out there. Sorry, girl, won't be watching you. The dance is kind of standard Sonya, with lots of freeze-frames and insect poses. In the audience, Mitchell is in tears, which makes me love him. Mary calls it "brilliant" and wants Robert on as an all-star later this season. Nigel does Mitchell a solid by trying to make his earlier "10s across the board" catch phrase happen. It'd be fetch if it does.