Jourdan Epstein and Marcquet Hill
Style: Contemporary, Choreography by Dee Caspary
Song: "Disappear (Demo Version)" by Mikky Ekko
With the lighting, and the music, and the fluidity of movement, this routine started strong, but lost focus a bit as it went along. The judges all agreed that they weren't connecting or conveying their partnership to the audience, but Nigel went especially critical on Marcquet individually. Though certainly not his best, what Nigel noted as a lack of discipline seemed to be more of a struggle to adapt to the lifts required in the choreography. On the other hand, where Jourdan’s strength in body and technique shone through more than ever here, she continued to struggle to connect through her face. I wish we could have seen more from her in her own style, as her "weight-lifting obsession" fact truly was a surprising twist for a ballerina.
Jessica Richens and Stanley Glover
Style: Jazz, Choreography by Tyce DiOrio
Song: "Funkier Than a Mosquito’s Tweeter" by Nikka Costa
This was… not great. With the wind and the tattered Aladdin-pre-Jasmine costuming, the magic carpet ride was a little much. All of that on top of the idea that they were supposed to be making that giant area rug seem like it was flying, and it makes sense that the judges thought Stanley and Jessica were both overselling with their faces. Nigel told Stanley that his explosive limb movements are thrilling, but he needs to reserve some of that energy for his core.
Bridget Whitman and Emilio Dosal
Style: Jive, Choreography by Anya Garnis and Pasha Kovalev
Song: "Happy" by Pharrell Williams
"Happy"—it’s still a thing! But honestly, could you pass up the opportunity to choreograph a jive to that song? It’s made for supersonic foot movement. Bridget and Emilio seemed to love this dance, and it really showed in their performance. Misty says their “happy” jive is a perfect example of not overdoing it with the face (drink!); Mary thought that Bridget mastered the technique more than Emilio, and although she looked better than ever, Emilio was equally light on his feet. C’mon the guy is hip-hop (and apparently functioning with a highly sensitive nose).
Emily James and Teddy Coffey
Style: Contemporary, Choreography by Tyce DeOrio
Song: "Ne Me Quitte Pas" by Nina Simone
Tyce must have been saving his choreography mojo up for this routine—what an excellent song choice and surprisingly good fit for these two dancers. The desperation of true love was palpable through the book-ended "ugly lifts," as Nigel described them, and how sweet was Misty saying that Emily might not speak French, but her body does? This was the first time Emily really stood out as a unique contemporary dancer, and similar to Mary, I wasn't sure what to think of Teddy at the beginning of Live Shows, but he’s working his way into our SYTYCD hearts.
Brooklyn Fullmer and Casey Askew
Style: Jazz, Choreography by Bonnie Story
"Crazy Little Thing Called Love" by Michael Bublé
During rehearsal, Bonnie noted that both Casey and Brooklyn struggle with "technique face," and switching in and out of character. In performance, that remained true more for Brooklyn than for Casey, who was pretty much a master class in technique, or as Mary said, "ON FIRE AOIDSJFIS ON FIRE!" Nigel recommended that Brooklyn mature very quickly to keep up with her partner, and while that is necessary, behind his beautiful movements, Casey could use a little work on connecting with his partner, as well.
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