Kent! I love Kent, as you know. His big secret is that he was the Homecoming King in high school. Wow, DUH. If your school had a Kent Boyd, you would elect him Homecoming King too, I don't care how sports-obsessed y'all are. He partners with Anya, which is scary at first, but they seem to be getting along famously, despite the fact that she could swallow him whole, bones and all. The teach has a lot to do with The Butchening of Kent Boyd, which promises to be an ongoing mini-series all season. This cha-cha is set to some gayer, disco-ier version of "Lady Marmalade," as if that were possible. And I promise you this isn't my Kent-love talking -- I actually expected him to struggle mightily here -- but Kent KILLS THAT SHIT. You know how there's one dancer every season who just totally transforms their persona and pulls it all together once they hit the stage (Katee, for example)? I was not expecting Kent to be that dancer, but tonight? He is. He appears a good five years older, and while he occasionally pulls a face he's remarkably in character for ballroom. His legwork is imperfect but quite impressive, and best of all, he's able to keep up with Anya, who is a beast. When it's over, Kent practically jumps on Anya, and then Cat wraps him up in the biggest hug. In front of the judges, he preemptively defends his duck lips (hee) and endures a lame "cougar" joke from Nigel, which was either directed at Cat or Anya, in either case: SHUT UP, Nigel. All three judges pick on one flouncy movement he delivered, but otherwise they've been rendered giddy by the sheer force of Kent's personality and skill. Adam compares Kent to Dominic and Gev (shout out, Gev!) in terms of throwing himself into something completely new. He also gets off the night's best metaphor, calling the routine "every parent's nightmare" where their lost little boy ends up in the lion cage, dancing with a lion ready to maul him. YES. Anya is a LION. Much better. I love that Adam totally gets Kent, because Kent is a total proto-Adam Shankman anyway.
Ashley is the dancer I know least about, and her super secret that she can do crazy robot voices doesn't exactly make me want to know more. Plus she's partnered with Neil this week, that bitch. Tyce is choreographing contemporary this time, with the novel theme of "love." Huh. I actually really enjoyed this routine, and Ashley impressed me in it. She throws herself -- often literally -- into every movement, and her extensions really make you feel like she's longing for something. The judges are more pessimistic, saying Ashley was lacking (say it with me) emotion. It does lead to a super awkward moment where Nigel asks 19-year-old Ashley if she's ever been in love, expecting a "no" answer he can play off. But Ashley tears up and says "As a matter of fact, I think I am." FACE, Nigel! I really hope that helped scrounge up Ashley a couple thousand votes.