Robert's teamed with Allison, who has recovered from her injury. They're doing contemporary with Travis Wall, who has designed a piece about his mother, who is recovering from recent surgery. Which I already knew about because I follow Travis on Twitter. WHAT? Allison is Travis's mom and Robert is Travis. I automatically get nervous when routines get imbued with heavy-hanging MEANING. They can't all be Mia's addiction routine. Lucky for me, it's Robert and Allison, who are among the most gorgeous contemporary dancers I've seen on this show. Folks, I watched this routine three times before I could move on, and it got to me every single time. It starts off with Allison cripple-walking and Robert nudging her along, but while the routine might have stayed maudlin like this, it breaks wide open into a kind of fantasy sequence where mother and son are dancing side-by-side, both in their primes. It's a palpable burst of joy and it absolutely conveys the overwhelming joy of being able to share a talent with someone you love so much. Robert and Allison are flawless and graceful, and by the end, where Allison's back to being hobbled, and Robert places her feet atop his so they can walk forward, he's really possessed of a character. It's an absolute highlight of the season for me. I may just watch it again.
(And I did.) The judges deliver a standing O, Mia's crying of course. Yes, this would all be more meaningful if they all weren't so eager to deem every routine with a Very Important Theme a masterpiece, but I should be able to appreciate that this is warranted, at least. The extra time this week has given Cat the opportunity to give little mini-critiques of her own, and here she talks about how the right choreographer, dancers, music, and style really combined to make something beautiful. And now she's crying. I'm gonna be honest, people, we're all crying. Truth time. As he did last week, Nigel stumps for Robert and tries to snap America out of their apathy towards him. Mia can't talk, because her mom died recently, and because she's Mia. She has very sauce pink eyeshadow on tonight. Adam stumps for Travis to get an Emmy for the routine, which is always crass when Nigel does it, and frankly seems extra crass right now. Can we make that a rule, show that I love? Can we never mention the "E" word ever again? Adam semi-makes it up to me by copping to blowing a snot bubble on national TV. Still, let's class it up, people.
Billy and Anya get Louis Van Amstel and the jive. Yay to all parts of that sentence! The watchword for Billy is "connection," as the judges say he needs to make one. He's clearly intimidated by Anya in rehearsals, though, and everybody notices his steady stream of nervous laughter. On stage, two things delight me: 1) Billy and Anya's hot-pink-and-black '50s style costumes, and 2) Meat Loaf's "Paradise By the Dashboard Light." The song gets shredded all to hell, because it's a hundred minutes long, so there's an awkwardness kind of hanging over the dance. But except for one lift that gets botched pretty badly (and looks like it jams up Anya's legs), Billy does a pretty excellent job. This dance is all pop and energy and speed, and he delivers on all three counts, while managing not to get swallowed up by the Anya Monster.