Behind the cut, my thoughts: Top Four (Broadway) - I LOVED it!! Watched it three times right away. Loved it, loved it, loved it. I thought that all four did splendidly. And it was nice seeing off the bat that Danny wasn't this amazing, outstanding dancer who totally and completely put Neil in the dust. I thought the guys were actually fabulous together and I don't know that their portion of the routine could have been like that if it had been Pasha replacing either guy. (I did notice that Danny did two non-handed flips, while Neil had his hands down for the first one. Though if I'm pointing that out, I'll also point out that Neil's non-handed flip was higher than Danny's.) Overall, I loved everything about it -- they were all fabulous. And loving Neil/Sabra as I do, I loved getting the chance to see them dance together so much in this one.
Oh and quick note about the package -- I loved how just slightly off-camera towards the beginning, Danny dipped Neil. Twas sooooooo cute.
Judges' comments. Aww, Neil and then Sabra clapped when Tyce's name was mentioned. Sweet. I don't know that I'd go as far as Gerrie in terms of the conspiracy theory against Lacey, but DAMN!!! Nigel sure as hell doesn't want her to win. Lacey, fix this, fix that. Danny, you're amazing, wonderful. Sabra, you're amazing, don't change a thing, you're perfect! Neil, you're peaking at the right time, great dancer, lovely lad. That? Was pretty shitty and I'm not a Lacey fan. So for all the Lacey fans out there -- especially Gerrie, who would never sink to this level -- FUCK YOU, NIGEL!!!! She made it to the top four, Nigel, whether you wanted her there or not, that was REALLY, REALLY shitty!!! When Mary began and said 'what else can I say that Nigel didn't?' I said aloud: Compliment Lacey? Again, not a fan, but that really annoyed me. And to wrap this section up with a little symmetry, after Dan spoke -- the last of the judges -- Lacey gave a nice little bit of applause.
Lacey's Solo - Good, but I've pretty much discovered that unless they're a favorite or the solo really knocks my socks off, I'm just not horribly impressed with solos. So good. And it was nice hearing some compliments. She deserves them.
Neil/Sabra (Hip-Hop) Like I could be anything less than insanely biased here. Seriously. I loved it. Watched it a few times. So much fun. I will offer one critique for each before moving onto the raves. Sabra: Looked like she was lagging in energy a few points towards the end. Neil: He oversold the cutesy-expression too much through too much of the routine. With that said, I love how they were almost 100% in sync through the whole thing. Just wonderful. I loved the choreography, thought it was a lot of fun and thought they sold it beautifully. This is, of course, my non-hip-hop expert opinion. Oh, and the package: Loved Neil's, "asking me to be sexy is like asking Nigel to be British." So deadpan, so hilarious. I loved it.
Screw the judges. I loved it. That's all I have to say.
Danny/Lacey (Viennese Waltz) Okay, it took all the way to the finale, but, damn, Danny is one absolutely beautiful dancer. I wish, wish that the first 20 seconds or so of choreography had stayed that good for me throughout the whole thing, but after the little leap hops and a few other moves, I found my attention wandering. Not even Danny's grace and beauty could keep me riveted. However, I did find myself focused on Danny much more than Lacey. It was a beautiful dance and both Danny and Lacey performed it beautifully, but I just felt no connection between them. Sorry. But Danny, phew! What a beautiful dancer. (I still like Neil best though.) I'm sure the judges will praise it to heaven and back and I'll understand if they do, just for me, as a TV member, it didn't do anything for me.
Neil's Solo - Sigh, I just love him. I could try and offer critique, but I just absolutely LOVE watching him dance. I really do.
Lacey/Sabra (Foxy Dance) I actually really liked this one and thought the girls did a lovely job with it. I know that based on spoilers the judges didn't like it (I'm typing this before watching their comments), but I thought it was an amazing piece of choreography that really showed off the talents of both of them. Wonderful job. It's a keeper.
Yeah, screw the judges. I thought that was a brilliant piece of choreography that really highlighted the girls' talent, so take that Mary. Loved it.
Danny's Solo - Hmm, you know I absolutely LOVED it ... until he started the gymnastic stuff. I LOVED that he was doing all those jetes and pirouettes and really, really showing his amazing balletic talent, really highlighting his field of expertise. And then he started throwing random gymnastic moves in there and they didn't flow smoothly and then he did the backflips and it just kinda ended. Ah well, the first half was amazing. Absolutely amazing.
Neil/Danny (Princes) - Hmm, I was most looking forward to this one based on spoilers and ... it was okay. I watched it twice, but I still was eh. I was expecting more frankly, not just based on spoilers, but based on the package clip. Too much time sitting down, too much time just not dancing. It may grow on me, but my least favorite routine tonight so far. Sad. I mean, they were both great, but it just didn't get me. It might grow on me. It might. And I will say that it was probably amazing to watch live. I dunno, I'll watch it one more time before listening to judges' comments.
okay, third time's the charm. I really, really liked it that time. Yeah, it was pretty kick-ass. Didn't immediately grab me, but yeah, it was awesome. Although, masculine? I don't think so. That dance was a homerotic dream come true.
Sabra's Package - Man, that floor hit they showed in the group number? CRAP!!!! Man. And of course I had to mentions, as a Neil lover, how he was RIGHTHERE, the first one at her side after she fell. (Well, after Dom who dropped her!!!) Man!!!!
Sabra's Solo - I think it was a leetle too frenetic, but she really threw herself into it and I enjoyed it a lot. Technique flaws and all, I still loved it.
Neil/Lacey (Lindy Hop) - I don't know this dance very well, but I thought they did it very well. My only critique would be that there was a tentativeness from Lacey during the lifts, but considering her back injury, I'm not surprised. It didn't wow me -- I liked Neil/Sabra's MUCH better -- but I really did enjoy this lots. Plenty lots.
Danny/Sabra (Cha Cha) - There were some really nice moves, Danny had some GORGEOUS lines, Sabra looked beautiful, but really, this didn't work for me. There were some moves where it looked strained practically; there wasn't a very good connection with them for me. I don't know; didn't do anything for me.
Ranking the solos:
1. Neil - I love him, thought it was beautifully choreographed and performed.
2. Danny - Even not liking the second half, the first part was AMAZING! Had the second half been like the first, this would have been, well, first.
3. Sabra - Great solid effort, and I loved the choreography.
4. Lacey - Good, just not my style.
Ranking the pairs:
1. Neil/Sabra (Hip-hop) - By far, my favorite dance of the night. Loved it to bits!!!!!!!!
2. Neil/Danny (Princes) - Yeah, it took three watches, but I adored it by that third go-through.
3. Lacey/Sabra (Foxes) - I really thought this was uniquely beautiful. Loved it.
4. Neil/Lacey (Lindy Hop) - Very, very good. I didn't flat-out love it, but I liked it plenty, plenty lots.
5. Danny/Lacey (Viennese Waltz) - I know this is just above the Cha Cha, but really I thought it was MILES better than that one. I really did think it was beautiful, it just didn't move me.
6. Danny/Sabra (Cha Cha) - Least favorite dance. Just didn't do it for me.
Favorite Routine - Group number. LOVED that Broadway routine soooo much. Splendid!!!! One of my faves of the season. AWESOME.
Ranking the dancers: As if I'd say anyone else first:
1. NEIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But seriously, I hope that tonight did make a lot of people realize that he IS a great dancer and DID deserve to be there. I thought he kicked booty!
2. Danny. It took a looooooooooooong time, but I really did see his amazing grace and beauty tonight. But he just doesn't touch me like Neil does.
3. Sabra. I see her flaws, I know the judges tongue-bath her ridiculously without acknowledging the faults, but I still think she's a beautiful dancer and she connects to me. I love her.
4. Lacey. She's a great dancer; she's a versatile dance. She just rubs me the wrong way. I don't like her. I can't explain why. She deserves to be here, no doubt, but personally, she does nothing for me at all.
How I think they'll rank:
4. Neil -- love him to bits, and I've gotten a lot of busy signals, but yeah ... fourth.
3. Danny or Lacey -- I would have said an automatic Danny before tonight, but Danny really moved up in my estimation and the judges were just worshipping him AND he got the only standing O from the judges. I still lead more toward Danny than Lacey, but now I'm not so sure.
2. Lacey or Danny or Sabra -- I think this is likely Lacey's spot, but I could see Danny move in here or Sabra move a spot down because this was the first night in FOREVER she got some critiques. Yes, she got the tongue-baths, but also some heavy (for her) critique. Still, I think this is Lacey's spot to lose.
1. Sabra or Lacey -- However, Lacey's never been in the bottom, the Schwimmer voting machine is incredible and Lacey's fans are intensely devoted. However, the tongue-bathing of Sabra from the judges and the fact that despite the fact that she's not as good a dancer as Lacey, Sabra touches the heart of a lot of people, may give Sabra the edge.
ETA: After reading internet comments and Dialidol speculation, looks like I was totally wrong about Lacey. She actually may go out fourth. Funny, so many Danny fans were so pissed about last week and it looks like this week will give him the win, possibly, because Neil and Sabra got what for most was a lackluster hip-hop, Sabra got a bashed-by-judges number with Lacey and a so-so ChaCha with Danny, while Neil got a dance with Lacey that was (a) very difficult with very little time to perfect, (b) a very, very new dance for him and (c) a partner who clearly was tentative and untrusting of him which was clearly, clearly need for this routine.
Final comments: Wow, Nigel began the show being a shit and thusly ending the show. Saying the show wants a girl to win!?!? Arrrggghhhhh!! I wish we'd seen Danny's reaction to that comment too. Lacey looked unfazed, Neil looked like 'what the fuck? Did you just say that?" and Sabra flat-out looked pissed. Nigel, thy cup runneth over with crappage.