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Duets With Original Partners:
Ricky & Valerie, Broadway – * * * * ½
I’ll try to be extra brief tonight as we have three rounds of dancing to cover. Here’s the deal: Ricky and Valerie are this season’s power couple and they are back together in gorgeous fashion in a Spencer Liff ‘50s Broadway routine. The Golden Age of Broadway number had grace, fluidity and a carefree, lovey-dovey sense about it that’s nearly impossible to fake. You either have it or don’t have it. And Ricky and Valerie have it in spades.
Jessica & Casey, Disco – * * * *
What a difficult routine! I’m out of breath just watching it. Jessica and Casey did the choreography justice (and did so surprisingly effortlessly) but there was something just a little off about it. I don’t know if it was their performance or the style they were given, but it was a bit…disco night on the cruise ship.
Jacque & Zack, Foxtrot – * * ½
Jacque did seem more at home this week doing ballroom than during last week’s hip-hop, but that didn’t mean the routine worked as a whole. It didn’t, in fact very little worked in this routine from the overacting to the timid, awkward movement. As we’re very close to the top four reveal, I gotta wonder if it’s Jacque’s time to go. She’s talented but not quite at the level of Jessica and Valerie.
Ricky - * * * * *
What else to say? Passion. Technique. Beauty. If this isn’t our season 11 champ, I’ll eat my hat.
Jessica - * * * * ½
Last week, I wrote that some of Jessica’s “moves seemed somewhat generic…[but she] just lights up the stage.” Same thing was basically true tonight exact that the truncated time for the solos made it so the whole thing ended right as I was getting into the number. She’s a star for sure.
Casey - * * * *
While Casey isn’t the best actor in the top six, when unburdened by character he’s a mighty fine dancer. Plus, his sweet, boyish vibe was perfectly mirrored by Sam Smith’s sweet, boyish voice.
Valerie - * * * * ½
First off, Valerie looks a lot like her mother. Just a random observation. There was a great energy and freneticism to this tap dance that I just loved. I have noticed that, while Valerie is able to disappear into roles alongside a partner, in her solo routines Valerie often resorts to a painted-on smile that’s often less than genuine. But that’s a small quibble, really.
Zack - * * * * ½
Again, Zack is best in his own style. This routine was fun, amazingly fast and wonderfully musical.
Jacque - * * * *
Yes, there was a disconnect between the big band music and the balletic moves, but Jacque showed a different side of her and I dug it.
Duets With All-Stars:
Valerie & tWitch, Hip-Hop – * * * * ½
What a ridiculously fun number! While last week tWitch overshadowed his partner, this time Valerie was completely his equal. Valerie proved to be hard-hitting and technically on-point but still retained a lady-like newlywed vibe. One of my favorites tonight so far.
Jacque & Will, Contemporary – * * * * ½
This was Jacque’s best performance in a long, long time. It was danced phenomenally and there was a beautiful simplicity about it. I would have loved a tad more chemistry between her and Will but this is, undoubtedly, a success.
Jessica & Ade, Jazz – * * * *
I often have trouble connecting to routines like this. I don’t know if it was the weird costumes, sparse movements or the odd mannerisms. The two danced it well (I think), it just wasn’t my cup of tea.
Ricky & Anya, Cha-Cha – * * * *
I’m not sure cha-cha is Ricky’s best genre, but he did a wonderful job. Did he totally draw my eye away from Anya, not quite. But, like Christina Applegate said, I totally bought it too.
Casey & Mackenzie, Cha-Cha – * * * * *
I love this song. I love this routine. I wouldn’t have thought Casey could perform such a gorgeous, mature piece. I wouldn’t have thought he could out-dance (or at least match) Mackenzie. I wouldn’t have thought Casey could perform a five-star number like this. He might be going home tonight, but this is something to be very, very proud of.
Zack & Fik-Shun, Hip-Hop – * * * *
This was a really cool, imaginative routine. Sometimes I wish the two were a little bit more in synch and he never quite matched Fik-Shun’s technicality and sense of fun. But it was really fun to watch, so who really cares?
Ricky, Valerie, Jessica & Zack
Who Should Have Gone Home:
Jacque & Casey
Who Actually Went Home:
Jacque & Casey