5. Brittany and BluPrint -- Afro Jazz by Sean Cheesman
Music: "Drumming Circle" by Professor Trance & the Energizers
No one seems to know quite how to critique Afro Jazz (same goes on Dancing With the Stars), so we got treated to awkward comments like "I didn't expect you to have the motherland in you" complete with a new African nickname (Wayne Brady to Brittany) or "People say, 'This is your ethnicity, your heritage.' But it isn't! You didn't grow up in a jungle!" (Nigel to a dumbfounded BluPrint). Good God, Lythgoe! I'm not usually one to play the PC card, but that Nigel comment was so jarring and cringeworthy and, sad to say, typical coming from him. He's like your embarrassing, unintentionally racist dad who will NEVER STOP TALKING.
This dance was a revelation, though -- I rewound it at least five times to note the precise moment when BluPrint started grinning and easing into the dance (a far cry from his rigid animator style) after a series of well-executed lifts with Brittany. I think my worry that he'd be not so hot at partnering amplified my reaction to his clear enjoyment. Not to mention, Brittany really, really impressed me. I can see her excelling in any style now with her sense of fun and confidence in her movements. At the top of the show I didn't think much of this partnership; now I can't wait to see what's next.
4. Hayley and Curtis -- 'Seductive Hip Hop' by Christopher Scott
Music: "Go" by Delilah
I'm loving their chemistry! What a perfect tease that was, pre-dance, of Curtis finally getting used to the idea of pawing his partner all over her midsection because that is simply what happens on So You Think You Can Dance. His reaction went from timid to mischievous to clearly delighted within the span of a few seconds of editing. Fun stuff. They are really cute together.
I ended up unable to take my eyes off of Hayley during this dance, which incorporated both a swinging light fixture and a light bulb microphone in very cool ways (given another shot, I think they could have timed the light-play even more perfectly). She seems like one of those dancers who comes alive times a billion when she's onstage as compared to when she's rehearsing. Nothing wrong with that.
3. Jasmine Harper and Aaron -- Jazz by Sonya Tayeh
Music: "Bottom of the River" by Delta Rae
Such incredible power in this one. I nearly threw a fit at the end when I came to the bitter realization it was over. I didn't realize Jasmine was so tall, but seeing her next to Aaron it is very clear her legs go on for miles, or approximately seven sets of Sonya Tayeh's earrings. Sonya made it clear she wanted to show the audience how oppressive her earrings were -- I mean, how impressive these two dancers were together.
I love that even Sonya was in shock at the giants' initial attempts at her "swampy-feeling" routine. Did you see Aaron lift Jasmine out of a center split with her legs perfectly straight? My. God.
"Jasmine, where were you when I was 20?" wondered Wayne Brady, who actually knows Aaron's dad, a Las Vegas musician. "You dance like he sings. Man, you are a sexy cat." Ooh, yeah, Wayne, keep it creepy.
NEXT: Two more POWER COUPLES