Jordan and Ade: Jazz (Tyce Diorio)
Oh my GOD, Ade is a brick shithouse out there. He's bulked up like crazy. He looks like he's in NFL training camp. This is all very distracting and not exactly in a good way. He can still move, but everything, including the lifts, seems a bit labored. This is no "Precious Things" when it comes to Tyce choreography. It's actually back to the old Tyce -- lots of movement, not much meaning. Nigel is amazed at how bendy and pliable Jordan is (of course); he loved how "badass" and fun it was. Tyce is happy to have a judge not crap on him this week. Gaga, after showing off her insane platforms, loves on Jordan's legs and her star quality. Rob reaches out to massage Tyce's ego (they go way back, Broadway-wise) and loves "abandon" of Jordan. Mary screams, after being baited to do so by Rob and Cat. In summation: Jordan's got legs and knows how to use them.
Melanie and Neil: Contemporary (Mandy Moore)
YOU GUYS! Melanie AND Neil AND "Total Eclipse of the Heart" AND bedroom-appropriate clothing. Pretty sure I've had this dream. Neil Haskell, as I live and breathe. There's no time for backstage choreo talk this week, so we're left to connect a lot of dots ourselves, when it comes to these more interpretive routines. The other thing is that Mandy Moore, much as I love her, is kind of the Tyce of contemporary, with a lot of motion but not as many bold strokes or narrative throughlines. But she gives her dancers a lot of room to infuse their movements with meaning, and with dancers like Melanie and Neil, that's such a good thing. I can't get over the way these two can move, and as they slide into and around each other, it's everything you could want. There's a big leap at the end where Melanie crashes into Neil's chest a tad heavier than I think she'd like (though when it comes to crashing into Neil's chest, I suppose beggars can't be choosers), but otherwise; flawless. And so fucking sexy. Anyway, it gets the night's first standing ovation, including one from the seemingly 20-foot-tall Gaga. She calls Melanie her favorite, and says she would hire her tomorrow (I wondered if this might end up being a Gaga shopping trip for backup dancers). Rob cites Melanie's flawless technique, and Mary predicts an Emmy nomination. Nigel flip-flops, saying now Melanie is his favorite. On Melanie's way offstage, Cat prods her into repeating her leap, as Neil is waiting off in the wings. This one lands much better (not that the judges had anything to say about the first attempt, other than high praise). And then Cat... maybe puts them on blast for making out in the wings??