Cat "The Really" Deeley is delighted to see us. And I'm delighted to see her. Hello, Cat! And here are the top eight dancers, which is currently composed of six guys and two women. I can't wait for next week, when Cat will presumably have to say "Here are the guys ... and this is your girl!" But something seems odd about this opening dance. I can't quite put my finger on it.
Cat tells us that the dancers won't dance just once (insert crazy terrible electronic reverb that may be an actual mistake) but twice. Once with an all-star and once with a fellow contestants. What? Contestants dancing with each other? I like this innovation and think it could really shake things up!
Now it's time for the Shocking News. Alex hurt himself by dancing in some grainy rehearsal footage the previous night. Looks like a Russian number to me. But it doesn't matter because Alex won't be dancing tonight. Nigel reports that Alex got an MRI today and it looks like a ruptured Achilles tendon. That is probably bad news. Nigel claims that the new rules this season have already accounted for this: Alex is automatically in the bottom three this week and if he can't dance next week, he's out. So I guess that means whichever dancers are the bottom two in actual votes are the ones who are in peril of going home tomorrow.
Nigel goes on to explain that Alex was asked if it hurt, and he said "only in my heart." The audience goes "Awwwwww," but I'm afraid I laughed. I feel bad for the guy, but I'm pretty sure a ruptured Achilles tendon has plenty of physical pain to go with the emotional.
Oh, it's the all-star selection! Lauren opens a card that assigns her Cha-Cha with Pasha (that would be a good name for a show. It could be judged by Zsa-Zsa Gabor!) and Contemporary with Kent. So we're watching the draw but not the random assignation itself. Lauren says she's excited to dance with Kent because it will pull in the tweens. Kent's additional dance is hip-hop with Comfort. Then the rest of the dancers read us the names of their partners. It appears that Adechiké and Alex were doing Bollywood, not Russian. Billy tells us that he's not excited about doing African Jazz with Jose because Jose won't shut up about Lauren Gottlieb's butt. Jose is theatrically appalled by this, and it's quite amusing.
Okay, enough stalling. Cha-Cha with Lauren and Pasha. And Jean-Marc and France. Lauren is worried, but I expect that Pasha will help make it awesome. The song is that "Telephone" by Lady Gaga and Beyonce. Speaking of which, I think we're in a new golden age of awesome videos for shitty songs. The dance is energetic and for once the girl is showing more skin than the guy. The cha-cha involves a lot of dramatic pointing to the wings. Lauren pulls off a Cirque du Soleil-level backbend near the end. Nigel likes Lauren's maturity, by which he means her boobies. Lauren explains that she looked mean by pretending to be a tiger. Mia claims that the dance was "pure murderation", which doesn't mean anything.
Jose will now be hanging out with Lauren Gottlieb while Mandy Moore attempts to teach him a dance. And as we learned earlier, Lauren has quite the caboose. The dance is slow and lyrical, but I think Jose has some trouble making it flow into the moves. There are some neat lifts, though. Nigel tries to get Jose to admit that he has a crush on Lauren, but Jose doesn't bite. Then he gets into some detailed praise involving toe-pointing. He explains that he's nicer to Jose because Jose "has accepted the challenge of So You Think You Can Dance." As opposed to the other dancers, who were drugged in a waterfront bar and dragged onto the show against their will. Mia claims that when the spirit dances, the body will follow. Adam says that Mandy played to Jose's strengths of passion and confidence. The judges looooooove Jose.
Cat makes a rare stumble, nearly calling Comfort Lauren. But she catches herself. So we've got Kent and Comfort in a Dave Scott number. Kent's again goes from "goofy farmboy" offstage to "suave, confident guy" onstage. It's weird, but five seconds into the dance, I totally buy him as this kind of Justin Timberlakey character. He's got the acting part of dancing down pat. Nigel calls the dance "soft-hop," which I don't disagree with. And he likes that Kent didn't overact the part. And he works in a compliment for Comfort's growth, which I like. It's nice to see the all-stars get mentioned. Mia declares that she was not mad at Kent, which is nice, I guess. She compliments Kent on seeming cool, and he protests that he really is cool. At which point Cat leans in and tells the world that at her Fourth of July barbecue (where she invites a whole bunch of past and present dancers, and can you imagine Ryan Seacrest doing that sort of thing?), Kent hit his nose on the bottom of the pool twice. Mia takes control again, suggesting that Kent was maybe not quite as cool as Dave Scott's choreography. Adam goes on again about growth and praises the way Kent went small and drew him in.
It's Mandy again! She's got Adechiké and Courtney. And a story about a woman on the prowl and a seduction. Judging from the rehearsal footage, Courtney's butt is going to be prominently featured. No, she's wearing a dress in the dance. Never mind. I'm having trouble focusing on the dance because this weirdo remix of "Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby?" is bugging the hell out of me. Adechiké is a bartender in this. That's about all I can tell you. Nigel talks about the character Adechiké created and decides he liked it. We learn that Adechiké lost a contact just before the dance, which seems like it would be a problem. Mia calls the dance "very mediocre" and thinks that Adechiké suffered from getting too much praise last week. "It was all donut holes for me. Do you guys know what donut holes are? Emptiness. Nothing. It was nothing." I feel like she didn't get the response she wanted there so she piled on. Nigel argues with her and Cat cuts them off and moves on to Adam to break the tie. Adam feels that Adechiké needs to get lost in the music because the choreography will trap him. He feels that it was the same character as last week and as Cat tries to move things along, Nigel argues loudly. Then Cat just announces that it's time to applaud Courtney and reads out the phone number. Nigel, get out of Cat's way. You may be the Executive Producer, but she's trying to keep the show moving.
Billy and Allison have an acrobatic routine by Spencer Liff. Or do they? Allison has a rib injury, apparently, and that's not the sort of thing you want to do flips with. So they bring in Katee from season four! And that's one of the problems with this season, you know. We're not getting the neat relationships between dancers that made Joshua and Katee so interesting. That was my favorite subplot that year, where every episode had something that made me say "Boy, these two really trust each other!" Okay, anyway. The dance is to "Macavity". From Cats. And you can shut up, because I love this song. I had a cat named Macavity, but I named it after the poem, not the song. The dance is fine, but my main objection is that if they're going to do two dancers, they should have used "Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer". Nigel thinks it's Billy's best non-solo dance. He also praises Katee's partnering, and she certainly didn't hurt. Mia calls Billy "fabulicious" because heaven forfend she just speak English. Adam thinks Billy had never connected with a partner this well, and I think it was because Katee is awesome. I'm talking a lot about Katee here, and I apologize for that.
Ashley. Dom. Tabitha. Napoleon. Ninja assassins. That incredibly old joke about bad dubbing in kung fu movies. Do kids even get that joke anymore? What with DVDs and good subtitling, it seems like that's like the record scratch in trailers. They're dancing to a Ludacris song, but it should really be Wu-Tang. I mean, really now. I like the one spot where they run around with their arms covering their faces like they're children pretending to be vamp