Robert is paired with Dominic (ugh) for a hip-hop routine by Tabitha and Napoleon. The theme: sad clowns! Rob's hair looks static-clinged atop his made-up face. This is a fun routine, pure and simple. And while it's not an Alex-level achievement, Robert really keeps up with Dom (Adam says Rob outdanced him, which seems like a stretch, but not by much). Robert here reminds me of the kid of stuff Neil did in his season, just throwing himself into a silly concept. He also reminds me of Jason and Kayla's zombie dance in Season 5. Now you know why clowns are scary, people. Nigel loved it, and Mia calls this brand of hip-hop theater "dope." I love you, Mia Michaels.
Finally, we get Kent paired with Neil for a Travis Wall contemporary number. The theme here is the breakup of a friendship, and it seems to include a literal back-stabbing motion, which is just way too on the nose. But the rest of the routine is pretty brilliant. It's set to Devotchka, from the Little Miss Sunshine soundtrack, a beautiful piece of music I already love. The routine features some of that fighty-fighty stuff Nigel likes to see when it's two guys dancing, but there is also some serious emotional content to the dancing. I have to admit, this season has managed to blur the line between Nigel's super-macho, dance-fighty vision of male-male dancing and the kind of lyrical, emotional stuff that you know the choreographers and dancers would really excel at, but Nigel has intimated he would reject. Routines like this one push at those boundaries in a way I don't think I ever expected to see on this show. And they're making Nigel love it. A spoonful of sugar and all. It's not my much longed-for Gay Homo Mia Michaels Dance of Love, but we're creeping ever closer. Anyway, back to this particular routine which is SO GOOD. These two have such great rapport, going back to the baseball routine. But unlike that one, Kent doesn't come across as the younger brother. The push-pull of their disintegrating friendship feels really harrowing in Travis's hands. Indeed, afterwards, Nigel asks him if this was based on a true story, and Travis acknowledges that it is. Aw, Travis. Writing what he knows. Nigel calls it a chilling piece, and Mia and Adam both cry. Tyce keeps yelling "Are you kidding me?" until Cat finally has to assure him that they are not. Stop ruining everything, Tyce!
Rundown! In order of my preference:
Lauren and Ade's jazz
Kent and Neil's contemporary