Nigel praises Billy's hard work at connecting with his partner, though he has a few quibbles with his technique. Mia thought it was "absolutely stellar" and actually praises the fact that his Billy-ness wasn't totally subsumed by jive technique. There's a cute bit where Cat's pronunciation of "sex bomb" gets lost in translation ("sex bum?"), and Billy's never heard of such a thing. (Cat: "It's just me and Tom Jones apparently.") Adam says it's one of his favorite Billy performances of the season. Nigel gives Louis some love -- and wedges in one last World Cup reference before the expiration date runs out.
Tyce is doing a baseball-themed routine with Kent and Neil (NEIL!), so get ready for some incredibly literal Damn Yankees material! You know I love Kent, but if you're looking for a way to make him seem as boyish and juvenile barely old enough to print his own name, you've sure found it in the baseball uniform they've got him in. Combine that with this backstage footage where Neil's playing the hardass, calling Kent "rookie," telling him about stamina and carrying a big stick and all of a sudden it's a Freudian mess I don't even want to deal with. On stage, though, I have to admit, it's crazy amounts of fun. It's basically Kent trying to out-Neil Neil, including pulling off all the acrobatic tumbling and tricks Neil's known for. Lots of athleticism and enthusiasm from both, the kind of old-style Broadway verve you think of when you think of the old shows like Damn Yankees. One really fun moment at the end where Kent flips and lands on his back, then Neil comes sprinting from off camera and somersaults over him. After it's done, Neil goes in for a chest bump and Kent basically catches him in a hug, which might be my new favorite Kent moment ever.
Nigel shamelessly drops the fact that he attended the All-Star game last night (baseball, dance fans; the all-star game of baseball... ask your dad) and praises the routines to high heavens. Mia is in love with the boys-iness of it all. I am too, and I didn't once roll my eyes at yet another boy-boy dance that did backflips trying to prove its masculinity. ...Um, until now, I guess. Adam once again tells Kent how many Broadway jobs are gonna be thrown at him once this show is over. Love all around, basically.
And now is the time on Sprockets when the contestants pair up together. Billy and Lauren get Mandy Moore and jazz. I'll be sparing you the filler segments on Lauren's eating habits and Billy's love of soda, because come on. The routine is about magical shoes, which... hey, I've heard of weirder ideas. And it's set to "Boogie Shoes," which will never not make me think of Felicity Huffman (go to minute 8). It's a fun routine, and Billy and Lauren share a great rapport, both onstage and off. But it all seems a bit... boring? You'd think a shoe-centered dance would have more impressive footwork, is all. The judges really liked it, though, so maybe I'm getting fatigued from the long show. And Billy and Lauren really are great jazz dancers. I just wish they had more to work with here. And while the judges are going all out to push the idea of Lauren as a contender (so we won't end up with a girl-less season in two weeks), I would not be surprised to see her hit Bottom 3 tonight.