Top four! America's in charge! Cat Deeley! With her hair swept up underneath in a vaguely Trump-ian swoop I don't entirely approve of but whatever! Fourth judge Tyce Diorio! Wow, things have really gone downhill in this paragraph. Seriously, So You Think You Can Dance, WHERE is my Debbie Allen?? I can't go a whole season without her! Who will make sure that someone calls the fire department (honey)?
First up is a group routine with all four remaining contestants -- Kent, Robert, Lauren, and Adechike -- choreographed by ... ugh, Tyce. It's a Broadway routine set to something from Guys & Dolls. I've never seen that show, but it's always struck me like every high-school production you ever saw. The ones where they have to entice the boys to audition so it's all about gangsters and guns. The choreography involves a lot of passing Lauren around (in mostly non-creepy ways), and a lot of the usual Tyce flourishes that ultimately don't connect to anything else. There is one maneuver I quite like, where Kent and Adechike lift Lauren up into an iron cross, and then Robert passes underneath her like a car in a car wash, swooping her legs up behind her. It ends up looking like she's flying. But overall, this isn't nearly as dynamic as a Top 4 group routine should be. Damn it, Tyce. Afterwards, Tyce critiques his own routine, saying Kent stood out and he wants to see Adechike fighting more. The latter will be a theme.
Lauren is paired with Pasha for a tango, choreographed by Mirian Larici and Leonardo Baarrionuevo. "Steamy" is the watchword from rehearsal, but the word I keep coming to as I watch the performance is "stark." The stage setup, choreography, and performance styles of both dancers seem darkly atmospheric and desperate -- in a very good way. There's a last-call, come-home-with-me vibe to Lauren and Pasha that is incredibly sensual. Loooove this. Probably my favorite ballroom of the season. Nigel loved Lauren's passion, du-hoy, but he also gets rather tongue-tied on the subject of Pasha, coming as close as he ever has to admitting he'd totally do it with the Russian sex-bomb. We all would, Nigel. (And fuck you, Scott Pilgrim for making me almost type "sex bob-omb" just then. Fuck you in your effortful face.) Mia tells Lauren she just became a woman, and calls the routine voyeuristic" (yes!). Adam takes a moment to give props to today's court ruling striking down Prop 8 (WHOOP!) ... and then asks Nigel to marry him. Oh, Adam. You can do better.
Adechike draws a Sean Cheesman African jazz routine with all-star Lauren (!), who enthuses about how far Adechike has come out of his shell since they last performed together. That's sweet and very genuine. The dance itself looks pretty impressive. My focus is constantly pulled to Lauren, but I can't exactly blame Adechike for that. Still, there remains a tightness in Adechike, about the shoulders and such, that keeps him from dancing with appropriate abandon. And in fact, the judges pick up on this very thing, with Nigel and Mia noting the tightness. Mia didn't care for the performance at all, though Nigel ultimately says he did. Tyce, because he has to take up some time, is all "You gotta lay it down!" (He also takes a moment to say he loves Lauren, which: o...kay? She's worked with you for several years, this isn't exactly news.) The overall verdict for Adechike is that this routine was lacking.