It’s a shame that the first night with the Top 20 was simply “meh” in my opinion. No one really stood out in a positive way.
Rayven & Jamie (hip hop) – I agreed with Nigel that this routine would probably be forgotten as the night went on. I thought Rayven was great, but the routine itself wasn’t a “wow!” routine and so by the time the final credits rolled I only thought it was okay.
Susie and Marquis (smooth waltz) – I thought this was a lovely waltz, wobbly lift notwithstanding. But I’m a sucker for this time of ballroom dancing, so I may be biased. Did I think it was FANTASTIC? No.
Kortni and Matt (jazz) – This routine absolutely annoyed me. The dancers were fine, but I HATED the choreography.
Chelsea and Thayne (cha cha) – This was the strongest of the night. But I really thought Nigel would call out Thayne on NOT concentrating on his partner enough, but instead Nigel praised him for concentrating on his partner! Did we see two different things? Thinking maybe I was wrong, I rewound the performance and watched it again. I stand by my initial impression: Thayne spent 75% of the time smiling at the camera/audience and 25% looking at Chelsea. Despite this, they were good together.
Chelsie and Mark (contemporary) – Who put Chelsie in that awful dress? It was so floofy that I couldn’t see half of the girl’s dance moves. Still, it was a decent routine and I thought Mark did a nice job given Mia’s criticism in the pre-dance clip.
Kherington and Twitch (Broadway) – Kherrington wins the prize for most energetic and engaging dancer. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her.
Comfort and Chris (jive) – Ugh. Just – ugh. This was BAD. I didn’t think Comfort was good AT ALL – she was kind of half into it. And because of that Chris was only half into it as well. So color me surprised when the judges handed out praise. I didn’t see it.
Katee and Joshua (hip hop) – I love that Joshua admitted to his short-term ballet training. I liked this routine a lot and thought Katee did a good job keeping up with the much-more-fluid Joshua (who is one of my favorites although I don’t think he’ll make it to the end because I don’t see him being good at stuff like paso doble or tango).
Jessica and Will (tango) – Will was FANTASTIC. His lines were AMAZING. Debbie Allen must be so proud. Jessica was obviously nervous and got more nervous as the performance went on. At some point I expected her legs to give out, but they didn’t.
Courtney and Gev (disco) – I have a love for disco, and thought Gev did a good job. I was surprised by the strong criticism of the judges. Was it as good as the disco routine from last season? No, but for Top 20 it was decently done.
As for couples in the bottom three, I’ll pick Rayven/Jamie, Susie/Marquis, and Courtney/Gev.
Girl going home: Susie. Guy going home: Jamie. Why? Because salsa and ballroom do NOT translate well in solo dancing and doesn’t allow them to do “tricks” like hip hop or contemporary do.
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