8. Makenzie and Paul -- Viennese Waltz by Jason Gilkison
Music: "I'm With You" by Avril Lavigne
It's hard to make a waltz even slightly compelling on this stage, what with all the thrashing and air splits and blindfolded trust drops happening before and after the dainty ballroom pieces. But Jason and these two did their best -- I loved the use of the umbrella and suspect that without it I'd have completely zoned out. This was a classic case of "girl meets the Armenian boy," according to Nigel, who also rambled about the "crispy night air" vibe of the Viennese waltz; meanwhile the kids were like "Ugh, OMG, when are you gonna get to how good we were?"
Mary noted the difficulty of dancing in stiff court shoes, and upped my level of intrigue re: Makenzie's supposedly magical feet. If I see these things flail around bare onstage next week and they aren't shooting out rainbow trails of glitter, I will be very disappointed.
7. Jenna and Tucker -- Broadway by Tyce Diorio
Music: "That's All" by Kevin Spacey (Beyond the Sea soundtrack)
Mary and Wayne Brady were totally right that these two look like Broadway dancers already, and they've both got the permanent "I'm freaked out but also so excited!" facial expression going on at all times. I thought the routine was a little shaky in parts, but it's nothing they couldn't have worked out with another take (or maybe better choreography). The skills and chemistry were there; it just wasn't perfect. Nigel called them a "power couple" and expects many more fabulous routines from them. If I'm being totally honest, I thought Jenna outshone Tucker -- but I really like his general energy and aversion to "plain food," so I hope he stays.
6. Malece and Jade -- Jazz by Travis Wall
Music: "Silver Screen (Shower Scene)" by Felix da Housecat
I'm so back and forth on this one. Technically, I loved the choreography, concept, and especially the music. I just think -- sadly -- it would have worked better with bigger characters. I love Malece visually but I'm not getting much from her as an actress, you know? And that's what this routine demanded, with its thumping Italo disco beat (Felix da Housecat always reminds me of The Flirts -- check it out, berate me later) and Malece's assignment to literally role-play a big-screen diva. If Travis hadn't explained the theme, I'd have had no idea she was supposed to be aggressive. I feel like I'm being too hard on her, but I watched this multiple times and never got caught up in the magic. The staging, lighting, and costuming were all top-notch.
NEXT: Good God, Lythgoe!