My thoughts on each routine
- Lacey/Kameron -- First of all, I ADORED the choreography. It was amazing, wonderful, fabulous. Has this lady ever choreographed for the show before? It was just wow. And, while still not a Lacey fan (seriously, I want to like her, she just rubs me the wrong way), I completely agree with Nigel because I realized more than halfway through the routine that I had barely taken my eyes off of Lacey once. 10/10. Wonderful start to the night.
- Shauna/Cedric - Wasn't impressed with the choreography, but Shauna, as always, kicked ASS! This girl is seriously, seriously GOOD!!!!!!!!!!! As for Cedric ... I wouldn't say he impressed me -- Ricky, Jimmy and Jesus should still be in the competition over him -- but this was the first week where I definitely saw an improvement. He was still too loose and too stiff in spots, BUT when he was on, he was amazing. With training, this guy could probably be one of the greatest dancers. Seriously. 6/10. Meh choreography and Cedric needs more work.
- Danny/Anya - Okay, Tyce needs to stay away from Broadway and just do Contemporary. That was BEAUTIFUL!!! And I've really come to the conclusion that if the choreography is strong, these contemporary routines can't be anything BUT standout because these dancers are sooooo good. Danny was absolutely beautiful; Anya sold herself so well and I was very impressed with her, especially since this had a lot of solo moments and I was eh on her solo effort last time out. I do disagree with guest judge and Mary though about the disconnect, because I believe that was the POINT of the routine. It was only when they got in each other's sphere that he could forget to not forgive her (per the song/story). I felt it was part of the choreography. Another: 10/10. Amazing. (I disagree with Nigel, I did not keep my eyes off of Danny. I thought they were both wonderful.)
- Sara/Pasha - (Non-routine real quick; it was cool to see Benji -- even if I don't like his ass anymore -- doing the choreography and I had an awww! moment when I saw Heidi there as his assistant. Awwwww! But annoying that, uhm, she didn't get acknowledgement! GRRR!) I was impressed with the choreography; I think Benji did a great job putting the swing moves to that music and that it worked well AND it was clearly Benji choreography which is good for him, nice trademarking there. I also think that Pasha and Sara did very well together, better than I expected. I thought they were great together, actually. Good dancing, good choreography. I didn't LOVE it, but I liked it A LOT. (Her costume was a little annoying though.) And THANK YOU CAT for acknowledging Heidi!!!!! 9/10. (Uhmmm to the judges, but I thought L/K and D/A were better.)
- Sabra/Dominic - Okay, I love Shane Sparks; I love Sabra; I love Dominic; I love their chemistry (and do think they have the best this season) ... how could I not love this? No, it wasn't the best (but tonight's been AMAZING!), but I enjoyed it so much. And I loved the slow bit in the middle where he held her and they just turned slowly, it just added the right amount of sizzle and breathing room to the routine. I just find these two delightful and Sabra's skill is awesome and Dominic was ON!!! Before Shane Sparks, I never would have said I was a fan of hip-hop dance ... thanks to Shane, I am now. He brings everything to the routines, even, yes, story and emotion. Love him. 10/10 (because I love them -- that includes Shane!)
- Hok/Jaime - He can frickin' play the violin too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ahem. I know some people don't like Jaime, but I do think both of them are so adorable. Love them. Wow! I thought that was beautiful. Yes, it helped that I adore that Sarah McLachlan song and the costumes were beautiful, but still, the whole thing just had me spellbound and it felt like it was over way too soon. Just lovely, lovely, lovely. What a fantastic night. Just fantastic. I don't think I CAN pick a favorite tonight. Wow. But this one, just wow .... utterly beautiful. Swept me away. 10/10. (Yes, another.) Obviously, I disagreed with Mary and Nigel. Whatever. Technique, schmecnique! It was BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Lauren/Neil - Let me start by saying that I don't like Lauren; I do like Neil (a lot!). The pre-bit made me dislike Lauren more (pretending to be Asian as how she described it?!?!) and love Neil more. (Seriously, that was a kick-ass Wookie impression!) And WADE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hmm, I'm not sure how I felt about this one other than I loved Lauren's costume and hated Lauren's performance. Neil was awesome though. I love him. Neil got the character; Lauren did not. There was not moment where she was believable as "innocent." I don't think I can give a score yet. I need to watch it again.
Okay, watched it twice. Fascinating choreography, although, like last week, I'm not sure if it qualifies as jazz. I'm thrilled that Neil got Wade because Neil sold the hell out of this EVERY. SINGLE. MOMENT. Lauren? Meh. I'm annoyed that she got Wade; she doesn't deserve him. I just don't think she's that great of a dancer, I saw all of these little moments where she was slightly off, slightly graceless, thinking through the choreography and she was either soooo over-the-top but not in a in-character-way like Neil was or breaking out of character with her typical Lauren grin and it was distracting. So 10 for Wade (if it was jazz -- if not a 9), 10 for Neil who was AWESOME! 4 for Lauren ... and I'm being generous.
Overall, wonderful, wonderful return to the show. Awesome!!!!!