How do you eliminate dancers when everyone left is so good and you feel a connection with most? Not easy, including for the dancers. The longer a dancer lasts, the more it means to them. They start to believe they could actually win; they can taste it. Being booted off becomes progressively more emotional.
I guessed pretty well as to who would be in the bottom six, but Ellenore and Ryan were a surprise; in fact, I had them pegged as one of the stronger couples of the week, particularly their Broadway number. Their dancing was clean, precise, sharp and detailed. Perhaps it was the choreography. Lindy Hop and Broadway may not have the popular cachet and energy that garners votes over some other styles. It’s hard to judge when couples are doing completely different styles. It’s comparing apples to oranges where personal taste can triumph over quality. To be really fair, each couple should dance the same routines.
Instead of Ellenore and Ryan, I would have put Russell and Noelle in the bottom six. In their Samba, Russell still looked stiff and posed. While Noelle was better and let go more, the number was not very sexy/hot when the dance demanded it. Their contemporary number saved them, one of the best dances of the night. Though the paint was gimmicky and unnecessary, Russell and Noelle danced it beautifully. Choreographically its strength was it simplicity. It was about them and their relationship and therefore had an inherent honesty and intimacy about it. The other best number was the Cha-Cha, danced by Ashleigh and Jakob. It was hot and confident, with Jakob matching Ashleigh in her own style. Jakob, with great lines and legs, is still going all the way.
For Karen and Victor, their Hip-Hop did them in. They were not in synch nor hit the moves hard enough. There was nothing memorable about the dance or dancing. Nathan and Mollee were again victims of their immaturity. It will be interesting to see them dance with a more mature partner next week when couples get mixed up. Their Hip-Hop was ok but the whole telephone premise was stupid and applied on. Why do choreographers feel they need a gimmick? Their Can-Can was all steps and lacked the right attitude, too cute and perky when I wanted it more dirty and jaded.
Again, none of the solos were great. Ryan, Ellenore and Nathan did better than the others. Victor, while a nice dancer, lacks distinguishing personality; he’s bland. Nice in dancing isn’t enough. If someone says my dance or dancing was nice, I’m insulted. It’s right that he was eliminated. Karen’s solo again didn’t use space. She’s a great dancer but needs someone to choreograph for her. On her own, she’s lost. It’s interesting Nigel thought she gave up in her solo. Mollee certainly fought to survive, but her solo was all gymnastic tricks and excessive energy, with little artistry. I would have eliminated Mollee though Karen’s solo hurt her.