Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thursday Talk Week 28

J: In honor of San Diego Comic-Con, which was just this past weekend, who is your favorite comic-book superhero?

Jennifer: Of the big ones my favorite is probably Batman, kind of because he doesn't actually have any superpowers and is more reliant on smarts and technology to fight evil. I haven't read any actual Batman comics though so this is based on movie portrayals. I like Christian Bale although his Batman voice is pretty preposterous. I also really like Rorschach from Watchmen...I actually read this and haven't watched the movie yet but I've heard good things about Jackie Earle Haley in the role.

Mira: This was really hard for me because I kept thinking about superheros I'd love to be. One additional problem: I don't actually read comic books at all... But in any case, I decided to pick as my favorite comic-book superhero... Wolverine! a) He's pretty bad ass. b) I like Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in X-Men 1, 2, 3 and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. c) I went to Michigan and I'm *proud to be a Michigan Wolverine.* ;-) d) He's bad ass. Now if I could have any superpower? Force field and being invisible like Invisible Woman ("Fantastic Four") or Violet (The Incredibles).

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

M: a real top 6!

Kent: I was expecting that song based on the concept... Everytime I watch Anya dance, I keep thinking about how fantastic she is and ignore her partner. Oops, but Kent was good, too.

Robert: Yay, emotional Stacey Tookey! Though I'm still not rooting for Robert, I'm not rooting against him either. Sigh, I didn't love it and I really was expecting to. But the music and the dancing was too choppy for me (even if the judges thought it wasn't) to really love the movement through it. But Kathryn is a gorgeous dancer and I can't wait to see her in the tour this fall. (Fingers crossed to getting tickets!) Oh, I didn't even notice that it was Kathryn going off to war.

Adechike: I liked Tyce's piece in that I really felt like I could see the music being played through their movement. Balls out dancing. :D

Jose: A lot of people got their genre this week (well not Kent)... Jose got really lucky in getting hip hop especially since he should've gone home last week. I thought that was really interesting music and composition for a hip hop piece but found it enjoyable. Didn't see the story at all in it.

Lauren: Okay, I usually don't bother with the solos, but her solo was OUTSTANDING! I really love her personality. I feel like that was a number in response to Kent and Neil's baseball number, also Broadway. But it was a fun number but I never remember much the Broadway numbers.

Billy: I really love Stacey Tookey and her concepts! And this was an amazing dance and showcased Billy and Ade so perfectly. This really was a perfect dance for Billy and I really liked how the two complemented each other perfectly in movement both in sync and independently.

Jose + Kent: Haha, it was cute. Kent needs to be on Broadway.
Lauren + Adechike: It's surprising to me that Adechike hasn't been in the bottom 3, not because he's terrible but just because he's never felt like the *best* dancer on the show. It was fine to me, *shrug*... The final pairing is not fair, though!
Billy + Robert: They better not get contemporary or jazz... Oh, heehee Bollywood! I'm still feeling gypped of not having gotten Alex and Adechike's Bollywood. It was really exciting to see these two dance together. They're both so technically talented and together they were great together. I'd like to see Billy + Robert make the Top 4 just for the opportunity to see them dance together again.

-- That brings my Top 4 to: Lauren > Kent > Billy > Robert. (Sorry Adechike and Jose!)
-- Loved how they had all the other dancers talk about each other. That was cute! :)
-- Kinda feel like I could do without Mia as a judge. I even like bitchy Tyce better.
-- Overall the solos were better this week than the entire season.
-- I wonder if Kent really has a crush on Lauren...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

T^2: Celebrity Couples

M: There seem to have been an onslaught of celebrity weddings in early July (Carrie Underwood + her hockey player, John Krasinski + Emily Blunt, Carmelo Anthony + whoever LaLa Vazquez is, Martin Lawrence + his lady, Penelope Cruz + Javier Bardem)... On that topic, who is your favorite celebrity couple?

Mira: I'm going to pick Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck. Truthfully I grew up on Team Ben (vs. Team Matt) and really liked the Ben-Gwyneth years, really didn't like the Bennifer 1.0 years (J.Lo) and really didn't care about Bennifer 2.0 because... Yeah, I follow celebrity gossip. In any case, how did Bennifer 2.0 go from apathy to favorite celebrity couple? Super, duper cute kids! Super, duper normal looking life in a nuclear family, wholesome kind of way. So yeah, because of that and the fact that they have achieved what looks like an effortless, normal life with their beautiful family, they're my favorite celebrity couple.

Jennifer: This is a tough one, because it seems like celebrity couples are so temporary. I do like Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze, Jr and the fact that they gave their baby a normal and pretty name (Charlotte Grace). I've become a fan of Dax Shepard because of Parenthood so I like him and Kristen Bell together. Oh, and Zooey Deschanel and Ben Gibbard (from Death Cab for Cutie)! I've never even seen a picture of them together but they're so the perfect indie couple. (By the way, I don't even know who Carmelo Anthony is....)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

M: SYTYCD... top 5?! (actually 6)

WHAT? 3 injuries in 3 weeks! What the heck? :(

Lauren: I really love her in the way I loved Chelsie Hightower. Chelsie wasn't off the bat one of my favorites, but Lauren is just so likable and a fantastic performer and dancer. It's funny, I loved some of NappyTabs's lyrical hip hop dances, but I've super duper loved their real hip hop dances this week. I thought Lauren would look dwarfed by Twitch but the two together in that dance were... perfect!
Solo -- Her movement is great, but it's just weird that she never takes a moment to connect to the audience. Her hair and head was just swinging back and forth so frenetically!

Jose: He really needs to step up his technique... Allison is adorable; really glad we got to know her better this season... Sonya's piece was really interesting, really interesting but I kind of think Jose got away with not doing all that much. It was a really cool concept of having all the movement on the edge of the stage -- but Allison had all the tricks...
Solo -- Love how much Jose personality came out in this along with Jose's bag of breaking tricks. :) Probably my favorite solo by a small margin.

Robert: He's straight? Anyway, on Tyce's jazz routine -- it's interesting, the show has had soooo many conceptually strong pieces that dances that are fantastic like this one and so fantastically danced... well it's still forgettable for me. What really did stand out was seeing how strong of a dancer Robert is. He's a really, really great dancer. I just don't care much about him...
Solo -- Better than most? I dunno contemporary guys... Unless it's powerful (ie. Brandon and "O Fortuna") or super musical (Mark and "Bohemian Rhapsody") it's just... meh!

Adechike: Ooh, Adechike and Comfort! Nice, someone who won't be sweet and nice, but sassy. Yay! I couldn't see how hip hop would work with "Fallin'" but that really worked for me. I'm still very surprised to see Adechike still here, but I thought he really played into the part and the dance so strongly here. (To the extent of CRYING!?)
Solo -- It was to the manipulative cancer dance song! But not particularly impressed by Adechike in this...

Kent: Yes, Kathryn IS beautiful! Such a different level of dance that Sonya gave Kent vs. Jose. Uh, there was SOOO much dancing in that piece. I felt tired watching them. I love Kent!
Solo -- Not impressed by his solo that much, too much running around the stage for me.

Lauren + Robert: I really love Lauren. Barely noticed Robert in that salsa. I like how they're really touting this singer, first having her in a results show and now using that song in a dance.

Adechike + Jose: Legacy assisting on a Paso Doble?!? Um, yeah, the technique was just too imbalanced for me... And that seemed like a very short dance...

Aww... I would've loved to have seen Kent + Billy! Boo to injuries! HAHA, stepping! The two whitest guys ever! :) Not saying white guys can't do step, but... these are two contemporary dancer white guys! And of course Billy ends up not doing it so... it's Kent + Twitch. I'm not sure why but Kent just looked really comical to me the entire time.... REALLY comical. But the judges liked him??

Favorites: Lauren, Adechike
In danger of going home: Jose

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Justified: Is it the hat?

There's really no reason why I should like Justified on FX. I'm not familiar with the source material (an Elmore Leonard character, have never read anything by him), I know nothing about and haven't really had any interest in Kentucky or the US Marshals Service, and well, this is definitely a "manly" show, with lots of guns and fights and criminals. But yet I found myself watching episode after episode and honestly, it's pretty fantastic.

A big part of it is Timothy Olyphant as the main character, Raylan Givens. He's definitely a big snub from the Emmy nominations. There aren't too many shows out there that demand a single actor to pretty much carry the entire show, but this is one of them. The supporting cast is great but I think they'd probably be better described as recurring. Generally Raylan's off on his own, which actually is completely fitting with his character.

Let's back up. First of all, the US Marshals Service, for those of you who don't know exactly what they are (I didn't), is a federal law enforcement agency responsible for such things as apprehending fugitives, transporting prisoners, and protecting court officials and witnesses. At the beginning of the series, Raylan Givens is a Deputy US Marshal working out of Miami. In a meeting with a fugitive, Raylan draws first and shoots and kills the man point blank in a move that he called "justified" (hence the name of the series). This lands him in hot water and gets him involuntarily transferred back to his home state of Kentucky.

There, he immediately gets himself into some trouble involving some people from his past, including a childhood friend turned white supremacist/terrorist turned bible thumping preacher, Boyd Crowder, played by the terrific Walton Goggins (which reminds me that someday I should really watch The Shield, another "manly" show). From there the show kind of goes back and forth between continuing that storyline and with more standalone type episodes.

So Raylan is definitely a unique guy. He's kind of the embodiment of "speak softly and carry a big stick." He's got the polite Southern manners but doesn't hesitate to administer justice however he sees fit. And he wears a cowboy hat and boots. Now Timothy Olyphant is definitely a good-looking guy to start with, but when he puts on that hat? I don't know what it is, I've never had a thing for men in cowboy hats, but Raylan Givens is HOT.

Unfortunately this is kind of a late review...the season finished up back in June but I'm still catching up, and not all the episodes are not available online. But it has been renewed for a second season so I definitely encourage everyone to put this on their list of shows to check out!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thursday Talk Week 26

J: What is your favorite theater production that you've seen (play or musical)? Which ones haven't you seen but want to?

Jennifer: I'm going to go classic and say The Phantom of the Opera is my favorite, even though I was pretty young when I saw it and didn't actually understand the story. I do remember thinking the chandelier crash was pretty spectacular and I still love the music. I've been wanting to see Wicked ever since it came out (despite having HATED the book) and am trying to see it sometime this fall, so we'll see if that works out. I actually haven't seen very many plays but would like to, even just locally. Mira, how about this?

Mira: Absolute favorite for me is also a classic, Les Miserables. It's the one musical that I really think I can watch over and over and over and over again. Love the story, love the music, love the characters... Funny thing with Phantom of the Opera and me -- a) I regretfully must admit that I fell asleep. To qualify that, the music is beauuuutiful, but also beautifully soothing at times. b) I was sitting towards the back in orchestra so when he was singing up in the chandeliers, I had NO idea what was happening until all of a sudden there was a chandelier crash on stage. Hahaha. Anyway, I, too, really, really want to see Wicked. But I would have to admit I'm on the Glee-Wicked bandwagon. Glee introduced me to "Defying Gravity" and since then I've become obsessed with wanting to know more about Wicked. I'm curious about Spring Awakening as well. OHHHHH, wait -- one more thing I need to add with my favorite. Cirque Du Soleil 'O'. It's kind of unbelievable that this is a theater production, but it is and it's AMAZING. And Jenn, I'm game! Except I have a very small window when I'd be able to go... :)

Memphis Beat--It's Catchy!

Burkie's guestblogging again! And, unless there is an outcry, I may be doing it a bit more frequently. Not that Jenn & Mira aren't doing a great job--they are! But there's a lot of TV out there; have you noticed? Hundreds of channels! Even with all their DVR & On-Demand gadgetry at hand, the ladies can't cover it all!

I'm going to concentrate on shows from two particular networks that I've become a fan of: TNT & USA.

Memphis Beat is only four episodes old and I've already proclaimed elsewhere that it may be the best TV show ever! Okay, that may have been an exaggeration. Full disclosure, though: I'm biased. I have a special relationship with Memphis and the things associated with Memphis--Elvis, the blues, BBQ, etc. And, I've always liked both Jason Lee & Alfre Woodard, who both star in this quirky series.

Detective Dwight Hendricks (Lee) is a good cop whose success is based largely on his knowledge & love for his hometown. Memphis is not a large city, but it's very unique. On the banks of the Mississippi, it's named after a city on the Nile in ancient Egypt. It was the home of Elvis, and the home of BB King, who has a club on Beale Street, the touristy strip of music joints, bars, and restaurants there. It's the home of Sun Records, which launched the careers of not only Elvis but also Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and others. It's the home of Stax Records, which helped put great soul stars like Isaac Hayes, the wicked Wilson Pickett, Sam & Dave, and others into the spotlight. The great soul singer Al Green retired from music to become a preacher, and still preaches in Memphis. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis. Memphis dry rub ribs are legendary. I'm just saying, there's a lot things that make Memphis special. It's long overdue that a TV show is based there, and the producers are doing a great job of making Memphis as much of a character in the show as Dwight is. ((and yes, it's glorified or idealized or even Disneyfied; Memphis has more than its share of problems as well, but this is TV, so don't worry about that!))

Back to Dwight. As I said, he's a good cop and has built up a good rep in his precinct, but then he gets a new boss: Lt. Tanya Rice (Woodard). It's your basic clash of styles. She's sassy & businesslike; Dwight is cool & easygoing. She's a single mom struggling to balance work & home; he moonlights as a crooner. And he croons well, too (remember, Lee played the lead singer for Stillwater in Almost Famous). Elvis songs, but not as an Elvis Tribute Artist (the politically correct term for Elvis impersonators, for those of you who didn't know). There are other colorful supporting characters, too, including Dwight's mom, his ex-wife, and the other cops in the precinct.

And that brings me to my only complaint about this show: it's on the wrong network. I like TNT (as you'll see). It has built a nice niche for itself with its catchphrase: We Know Drama. But, I think the USA network has also built a nice niche for itself with its catchphrase: Characters Welcome. This show is a cop show, but (so far, at least) the procedural stuff has been more small-time stuff, not Law & Order stuff. It's Memphis and the characters who shine here. This show belongs on USA!

I realize that not everybody will enjoy this show as much as I do, but I think it has a lot going for it and wouldn't be surprised if it attracted a strong fan base. Memphis has probably been mentioned in more great songs than even New York, so it's about time it got some TV time!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

M: Top 8 (or 7...)

Alex: Super duper bummed that he got injured. Now I'm at a loss who my favorite of the show is... Seriously have no idea! I really hope it's not a ruptured Achilles because then he'll be out for good. I really want him to be around for this entire season!!! Not fair!

Adechike: I'm not really sure why Mia has so much hate for him. Maybe it's because her love Robert is consistently ending up in the Bottom 3? But I love that Cat pointed out to the judges that they commended Jose for bringing his personality into Bollywood then criticized Adechike for doing the same! Cat Deeley ROCKS and deserves not only an Emmy nomination, but an Emmy!!! I only felt ho-hum about Adechike's jazz routine with Courtney, but thought his Bollywood was cute. Not enough to make me want to vote for him; fortunately for him, I never vote (at least not this early on).

Billy Bell: I was thrilled to see Katee Shean back (though sad that there was ANOTHER injury!). This dance was okay for me, but all I kept thinking about was how skinny the two are. It was hilarious that Billy spilled the beans on Jose's obsession with Lauren Gottlieb's butt. :) Billy has been staying a little under the radar for me. Every week there's something he'll do where I can't help but think "eek, how does he make his body angle like that?!" but other than that he's just been good and not attention grabbing...

Lauren: I was really impressed with both of her dances this week. Smoldering sexy dancing with Pasha, then really sweet and not juvenile contemporary with Kent. I was worried that her and Kent being paired would end up in a very immature dance, especially given the story of "after prom." However, I really loved the dance and didn't feel like they were annoying little kids. Totally felt like Adam Shankman was playing matchmaker to Lauren and Kent, though... Very weird.

Jose: He cracks me up. And I love how he took all the ribbing about his crush on Lauren (or her butt). Really liked his dance with Lauren, and his dance with Billy was enjoyable enough. Still not one of my absolute favorites, but he still cracks me up.

Robert: Yeah, I understand what Nigel is saying about Robert and how us fans are making things up about him. Here's the thing for me though: Robert just isn't genuine to me. His modesty and humbleness are so plastic and fake to me. As such, it was kind of fitting that he had a dance where he was plastic and fake. I enjoyed the concept of Robert and Kathryn's dance together. They were both fantastic, but of course I still loved the dance more because I love Kathryn. I also can't help but resent how much the judges love him and are nice to him, especially given weird harshness against other dancers. (Ahem, Mia-Adechike.)

Ashley: Really, really enjoyed the NappyTabs "ninja dance." Thought she pulled that off well. The judges liked her in the quickstep but I only felt ho hum about it as a whole. Of course it does really suck that two non-ballroom people got quickstep of everything. It'd at least be nicer of the judges to have given them the Viennese waltz or something! Anyway, judges love her, I like her, but still... I just don't know that I have a favorite without Alex in the competition!

Kent: Well... Maybe Kent might be a favorite... He's a contender at least. I love how he is full of youthful happiness and you can see he's enjoying every moment and trying to learn and soak everything in. It was smart to model him after Justin for the hip hop number with Comfort. Truthfully I thought he was no better or worse than Billy Bell doing krump. Definitely not at the level of Alex's hip hop last week, though of course it was a different kind of hip hop. As I already talked about earlier, I loved him and Lauren in Travis's piece.

  • I thought it seemed a bit unfair how the pairings/genres ended up. I thought it was absolutely unfair that Lauren/Kent got contemporary; whereas Adechike/Alex got Bollywood. Huh? Or Ashley/Robert with quickstep! It was really good to see Ashley finally get something not contemporary/jazz, though. Got to see more dimension to her dancing.
  • I really hope Alex isn't out for good. :(
  • One final thing, the judges are going absolutely WACKY. Mia completely disagreeing with Nigel and then Adam just taking a lukewarm stance (on Adechike). Adam talking about big and small with Kent. Or Adam talking about how uncomfortable he felt about intruding upon Kent/Lauren... I kind of feel the judges should be asked to be more concise in their critiques because allowing them free reign is making the show go in crazy directions, and not necessarily for the good!

T^2: Emmys!

M: Emmy nominations were released today. Who/what were you really happy to see recognized with a nomination? Who/what got robbed of a nomination?

Jennifer: I was so so happy to see that Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton got nominated for Friday Night Lights! It's definitely about time. I was also glad to see all the love for Modern Family though I think it's odd that all the adults were nominated except for Ed O'Neill. I'm mostly okay with the Glee nominations, especially for Chris Colfer and Mike O'Malley as Kurt and his dad, but am pretty flabbergasted by Matthew Morrison's nomination. Nothing about his performance stands out to me, except maybe his cringeworthy dancing and rapping. It's crazy to me that he was nominated over say, Joel McHale from Community. Speaking of which, Community was completely snubbed. It (and Parks and Recreation) was miles better than both The Office and 30 Rock this year. Amy Poehler did get nominated, though, so at least there's that. And what in the world is it going to take for Cat Deeley to get nominated for Reality Show Host for So You Think You Can Dance?? She's so awesome!

Oh, and I was also secretly glad to see that Tyce Diorio and the Cancer Dance was NOT nominated for the choreography category. I liked the dance but it was overpraised and Tasty Oreo doesn't need another Emmy. I was really happy to see that Stacey Tookey was nominated (love her!) and also Adam Shankman for the Oscars and Chelsie Hightower for Dancing with the Stars! I don't watch DWTS so I'll have to youtube that dance or something. I wonder what it means that Mia was nominated for three pieces though (Addition, Butt Dance, and the Chorus Line group routine) but it was all listed as one entry. Is it like a "Mia Michaels body of work" nomination?

Mira: I, too, was thrilled to see that the best TV couple (And you know what? Thinking back to a Thursday Talk question from ages ago about best relationships -- Tami and Eric Taylor hands down deserve to be on the list! Funny cuz Matt/Julie did make it onto Jenn's list.) were nominated! All the characters on Friday Night Lights are so real and multi-dimensional, but Tami and Eric as played by Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler are definitely the heart and soul of this show full of heart and soul. I was also excited to see the supporting actor nod for Chris Colfer, because Kurt is one of the truly breakout characters to come out of this season of Glee. Also really glad, but not surprised, to see that the women of The Good Wife got recognized with Emmy nominations as well. This show was very quietly one of my favorite new shows of the year.

Robbed? I'm sad that Zach Gilford didn't get a nod for Friday Night Lights. I'm sad that Lisa Edelstein, Cuddy on House, didn't get any Emmy love either. The beauty of House is truly found in the complex relationship between Hugh Laurie's House and her Cuddy.

Leaving the most important for last -- I am *absolutely outraged* that Cat Deeley was snubbed yet again for Outstanding Reality Show Host. She is beautiful, inside and out, and deserves to be recognized for that! Plus, seriously? Ryan Seacrest? The DwTS host? THEY ARE NOTHING COMPARED TO CAT!! :( [Speaking of SYTYCD, I agree with Jenn on the "Cancer Dance" not being nominated. Also, I strongly believe that "Addiction" by itself deserves to take home the Emmy.]

Sunday, July 04, 2010

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

hello. it's burkie! i'm here today to talk about The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. i know, i recently commented that nobody here blogs about manly shows or movies, and here i am guestblogging about what is decidedly not a manly show. so why did i watch it and decide to blog about it?

first off, full disclosure: i'm a fan of the books by alexander mccall smith, even though i've never read them. i have listened to them on CD. they are read by an actress from South Africa and she really brings Botswana alive. yes, Botswana. i knew next to nothing about Botswana until i started listening to these books; now, i'm in love with it.

i don't have HBO, so i had to wait for the DVDs to watch the television series. the series is shot entirely in Botswana, and the first episodes were directed by anthony minghella (best known for directing & winning an oscar for The English Patient, which is one of the most beautifully shot films i've ever seen) before he passed away.

so, back to it. the protagonist (Precious Ramotswe) is played by american singer Jill Scott, who does a very fine job indeed as Botswana's first and only lady detective, but the secondary players shine as well: Anika Noni Rose as Grace Makutsi, Lucian Msamati as Mr. JLB Matekoni, and Thabo Malema & Tau Maserumule as Mr. JLB Matekoni's apprentices. these are gentle mysteries--also called cozies--that do not feature violence or sex. soft-boiled, as it were. it's not surprising that when i go to the HBO homepage for its series, this show doesn't even appear on it. this is not the Sopranos. given that, and the fact that it's about a country in Africa that few people know about, and that it doesn't feature vampires, i guess even HBO doesn't expect it to do well. i've heard that it's been picked up for a second season, though, so hopefully word of mouth is helping out.

as fine as the performances are, the real star in this series is Botswana in particular, and Africa in general. we hear/read so much that is negative about Africa--civil wars, exploitation, famine, poverty, etc. this series really exposes the heart of an African country, and it makes you care. perhaps it is a little idealized, but that's okay. the series doesn't shy away from some of Africa's problems, either. domestic violence and the AIDs epidemic are treated with gravity and heartbreak.

so, do yourself a favor and check out this series. it is not only entertaining TV; it is important TV.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Thursday Talk Week 24

J: What fictional town would you want to live in?

Jennifer: Of course I have trouble answering my own first thought is Avonlea (from the Anne of Green Gables books). Idyllic and quaint and I so need to visit the real Prince Edward Island someday. But as this is a purely hypothetical question, I'm going to throw out a couple more ridiculous answers too like Hobbiton from LOTR, Hogsmeade from Harry Potter, and Sunnydale from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (I know, vampires and demons everywhere but I like to imagine myself as one of the Scooby Gang!)

Mira: Hands down, Stars Hollow!!! I know it might be crazy to actually live in but there's sooooo much character to both the town and the townspeople. People who hold every odd job to exist in town, people who stand on street corners singing folksy songs... I love how close-knit the town is, yet completely zany. It's just such a fantastic fictional town! (Stars Hollow is the Gilmore Girls town for those not in the know.)

M: my favorite show. :)

Wow, 6 guys, 3 girls... Girls are lucky cuz better odds for contemporary guys. And they're contemporary/jazz girls. Teehee and I like how Alex got Twitch for his partner; Alex has good facial expressions, too!

Adechike: Lauren for hip hop? Interesting switch up and I mean she is good at this. I'm glad that Adechike got a dance that got him a chance to show some personality, humor.

Ashley: New choreographer, cool! (Not the cultural she was hoping for. She keeps getting her contemporary genre. I think I would've bought the concept (female who can't walk on her own) if Ashley were a little more fluid and less powerful in her movement, but the movement together was really interesting. (Funny, Nigel said he liked the fluidity, which I thought there needed more of. Ha!) I really hope to see her in something DIFFERENT than contemporary.

Robert: + Courtney + Sonya? LUCKY. He was really good in this. Problem is he reminds me too much of Mark, which isn't a bad thing, but just doesn't make him stand out enough. He's Mark, but taller, more muscular, and well, fake modest to me. Shrug. Still not my favorite. (Hey Nigel compared him to Mark, too!)

Melinda: Meh, I wasn't that impressed, especially since I thought it'd be better after she said she was Colombian. Yay, I agree with Nigel on it was very rigid and just steps rather than a full performance. I don't think Melinda would've even make top 8 for me if it were a normal 20 contestant show. (HARSH Mia, but I agree!)

Lauren: and Neil are the perfect pairing aesthetically. I usually have mixed feelings about Broadway numbers. Anyway, I really liked that and it was a good number for Lauren.

Billy: + Kathryn + Stacey Tookey. Another fantastically lucky grouping! First song download from this season: Christina Perri, "Jar of Hearts." Also rewinded to rewatch because I really enjoyed that and I love Stacey's work!! (And Billy is an example of true modesty, humility! Think it's fantastic how his inspiration was Legacy!)

Jose: Now he got a true challenge... He is a fun performer to watch, regardless of how well he does the dance. Kinda miss Mary Murphy for ballroom/latin critiquing.

Kent: + Allison (reminds me of Ivan + Allison!). I heart Kent, I really do, but he totally looked like a kid dressed up in his daddy's clothes.

Alex: Haha, with Twitch! :) That was really good and I think Alex just jumped to the top of my favorites list!!! I love how they made fun of his ballet dancer-ness in the middle of that routine. Fantastic!!

Overall Comments:
- Favorite Dance: Alex + Twitch
- Where's Mary Murphy?? Thought she'd at least show up to choreograph or something!
- Really hope they keep some more partner gender mix-ups! That was a nice twist and a really, really fun routine! Especially since there are wayyyy more guys than girls.
- Who needs to go: Melinda! Bottom 3 with her? No clue!
- I wonder if the choreographers are loving having the all-stars back. Sonya has gotten to work with Courtney and Mark quite a few times now, and they are PERFECT Sonya dancers.
- Best solo: Robert, I think. It kind of all bends in my head...