First a tear for Jessica's departure! Sniff, sniff. Bastards! Ahem ... on with the show.
Natalie/Musa - They weren't together at all during the sychronized bits. I've said in the past that that is their one weakness as a team, they aren't always together and it was really obvious tonight. The judges were right, Natalie didn't really dance much, but she does have star quality. However, she did something my mother taught me as being a no-no for a dancer. A dancer doesn't sing along to the song; it looks unprofessional. Natalie was singing along. Musa was fabulous. Really fabulous. The second half of the performance was better than the first, but yeah, this was their weakest routine.
* After watching Dimtri/Ashley's performance, I realize that while I may like Dan Carety as a judge, I don't like his choreography. It doesn't take away from the lack of unison of Natalie/Musa, but I think the lame-ass choreography hurt the routine.
Heidi/Ryan - They were good; Heidi was fabulous. She is a ball of energy. The only negative I can say about her is that after the near-fumble on the upside down lift, you could see that she was pulled out of the performance and she took a few seconds to get back into it. I can't comment on Ryan, because he simply didn't capture my attention at all; Heidi had it all.
Ivan/Allison - Well, Hell has frozen over. I thought Ivan did a wonderful job. (I really love contempory dance, I've found.) I thought the routine was wonderful. Allison was great (but I still think that Jessica, Natalie, Donyelle and hell, Heidi are as good or better -- I know Jessica's gone, I don't care!), but of course the shocker was Ivan. He did a great job. And, he and Allison had wonderful chemistry and passion. I loved it. My only negative comment is with the choreography and it's one small thing -- because I overall loved it -- and that was the over-involved arm movements; it was a bit much. Other than that, this one was wonderful.
Dimitri/Ashley - Yeah, I don't like Dan Carety's choregraphy. Oh, and I hated Ashley's hairsyle and while she seems sweet, she just does nothing for me as a dancer. All of the remaining female dancers (and JESSICA!) move me as dancers, Ashley does not. At all. Dimitri was okay, but this style of dance just doesn't bring out the best in him, but he's still a great dancer. Together though? Well, let's just say that I still wish Dimitri/Ashley had been in the bottom three last week with Ashley going home, because Jessica may have been the partner that Dimitri is looking for. Who knows? All I do know is that Ashley ain't it.
* Aha, Brian is clearly as impressed with Dan's choreography as I am.
Martha/Travis - Overall, they were good, but gosh they just do nothing for me. One negative: Martha very rarely had full extension of either her legs or arms and ballroom dancing generally requires full, proper extension. Not her forte. I was really surprised that no one (esp. Mary) didn't call her on that lack of extension. (BTW, it was nice seeing Travis' hair look normal. Not a fan of porcupine hair.)
Donyelle/Benji - They were good; I thought Benji was sharper in his movements than Donyelle, but the choreography honestly seemed like it was trying too hard. It wasn't by any stretch a bad performance, it just didn't make me smile, make me clap, make me feel joy watching (as past performances by them have).
My favorites and OH!MY!GOD!
1. Ivan/Allison (I KNOW!!!!)
And I just listed the last two to have a top three, I only loved Ivan and Allison's. I know, I know.
1. Dimitri/Ashley (with Ashley going)
2. Heidi/Ryan (With Ryan going)
3. Martha/Travis (with both safe)
Although, I could see Natalie/Musa sneaking into the bottom three, but I won't be surprised if they don't.