So close! Only one week to go until the dancetestants get into the top 10, break up their partnerships, and dance for themselves. Before they get there though, they all had to dance for their lives one more time. This week was frankly a mixed bag, with some pairs doing absolutely amazing and some…not so much. Complicating things further, this week each pair did two performances, so we had even more to judge. How did they do? Let’s talk!

Highlights

– Melanie and Marko. These two are absolutely awesome. Like the judges said, there’s something kind of great about how well they work as a pair, and I’m bummed to see them get split up next week. Their tango in the first half of the show was great, but what really stood out was their contemporary routine in the second half. It looked so good and so effortless, and was hands down the best of the night.

– Jordan and Tadd’s vulture dance. While they faltered in the second half with their lackluster fairytale number, I thought their first dance where Jordan played an evil predatory vulture was awesome. It was theme-y without getting into schmaltz territory and was dark without seeming like the daydream of a Hot Topic mall goth. It was great.

– Jesse Tyler Ferguson as guest judge. Seriously love him.

Lowlights

– Caitlynn and Mitchell’s first hip hop routine. Yeah….no. While I’m not going to flat out say a hip hop routine based on Rwandan child soldiers is categorically a bad idea…no, actually that’s exactly what I’m going to say. I’m not against statement pieces, but when it’s something that heavy you really have to wow people, and it failed. I think it’s more to do with the choreography decisions than the dancers themselves, which is unfortunate since that makes it not really Mitchell and Caitlynn’s fault, but thems the breaks.

– Ryan and Rickey’s first Broadway number. Now don’t get me wrong, I loves me some Ryan and Rickey, but their first number was seriously lacking something. It’s hard to put my finger on what exactly that was, but I just felt like it could have used a bit more power and energy. For some reason they’re having trouble winning over America (which is insane, because they’re awesome), and I’m worried that this first number isn’t going to do much to change peoples’ minds.

Best Quotes

“Beautiful! Dark! Magnificent! WOOOOOO!” – Mary Murphy re: Jordan and Tadd’s first performance. I love how she’s barely stringing sentences together in her critiques now.

“Embrace how wonderful you are, ok? Embrace it.” – Sonya Tayeh to Ryan. Thanks for the total nonsense masquerading as heartfelt critique, Sonya!

Elimination Prediction

I’d say Caitlynn and Mitchell and, as much as it pains me to say so, Ryan and Rickey are at serious risk of being in the bottom. Both pairs have had trouble winning people over in the past few weeks, and I don’t really think they did a whole lot to change that this week.  I can also see Jordan and Tadd being at risk too, since their second routine wasn’t that great. However, they seem to do pretty well with the votes so far, so I’m not super worried about them. Should be a tense episode tomorrow!