Eliana is paired with Ryan from Season 6 and they get the dreaded quickstep, choreographed by Jonathan Roberts. (This is quite the heavy DwtS segment.) The story of the dance is that Ryan is a businessman and she's a bored housewife, which is seems to be a not-uncommon theme for choreographers. They're dancing to "That Man" by Caro Emerald. Eliana is magic and I know that because she makes this quickstep look amazing, when often I watch this particular style cringing from behind my hands because it is so difficult and very often goes very badly. I don't think I've ever given Ryan credit for being great at his own style, either. We'll see what Mary has to say about her footwork, but to me, this is phenomenal. While she has a couple of quibbles about her frame, that's the only tiny thing Mary can nitpick about because she was otherwise completely amazing. Jesse: "Holy smokies, Lord have Murphy!" He remembers Eliana from her audition and basically adores her above all others. Nigel is super impressed and says that technically she was about as good as any non-ballroom girl on the show thus far. She was already my favorite dancer and this routine only cements that even further.
Chehon gets the next package; he was born in Chicago where his parents adopted him and his two brothers. He went abroad to dance at 14 and his parents missed him but knew he had to go try it out, and he wants to make them proud. There's more emotion in his voice in those few sentences than we have yet seen from him all season. His solo is absolutely beautiful and earns him a standing ovation from the audience and judges. When he's finished, he's crying because his mom is there for the first time all season and he's so emotional that even Cat gets teary.
Lindsay is paired with one of my favorite dancers of all time, Alex, for another Sonya routine that Lindsay tells us is full of sexual tension. They are dancing to "Somebody that I Used to Know" by Gotye featuring Kimbra, and honestly I'm surprised it took so many episodes for someone to use this song. I'll try to pry my eyes away from Alex's abs for long enough to talk about the dance, which is really great. Sonya has finally figured out how to keep her quirky sensibility while mellowing out and giving us things with a slightly different feel, and to me, this is the best job Lindsay has done outside of her own style this season. Nigel applauds their technique, but admits he didn't feel the sexual tension between them; I will actually agree with that because they were great together but there wasn't that extra layer of electricity. Mary agrees that they didn't have the chemistry, but their dancing was fantastic. Jesse gives the most critique I think he ever has, admitting that he agrees about the lack of emotional connection but gives them an A+++ otherwise for the dancing.