Cat Deeley style check: Reptilian Beauty! Cat was gorgeous in this scaly, white, structured dress. Paired with white booty heels, and flowing locks held back with a faux-braid headband, the hostess with the mostest reminded us that sometimes less is more.
Bonus Lady Gaga style check: Sergeant Pepper on Acid! Meanwhile, Gaga made it clear that "more" can sometimes be "way too much." Seriously, the crazy red captain's hat, the shoulder-padded, dragon-sportin' pantsuit, the three-foot platforms, the drag-queen makeup, and the sea-green wig? Talk about overkill.
At the judges' table:Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, the fabulous Lady Gaga, and award-winning director Rob Marshall (Chicago, Nine, and tons more!)
On to the performances!
Dancers: Sasha Mallory and Pasha Kovalev "Puttin' on the Ritz" by Jonathan Roberts Style: Quickstep
Sasha and Pasha ... easy to remember! Clearly, Season 8 is immune to the kiss-of-death rep of the quickstep. We loved this fun, quirky routine, especially the costumes (despite the fact that Pasha was unfortunately wearing a shirt). Rob was happy to see Sasha in heels (cheeky!), Mary thought she absolutely pulled it off with the best body position of the season, Nigel let her know she's her favorite, and Gaga thinks Sasha is as shiny on the inside as she is on the outside.
Dancers: Caitlynn Lawson and Ivan Koumaev "Let Me Love You" by Marty Kudelka Style: Hip Hop
Like Mary, we were psyched to see Ivan back up there, looking very Justin Timberlake adorable. Truth be told, we were a bit distracted by the All-Star tonight, but we still think Caitlynn is Melanie's biggest rival in the competish, as far as technique. Nigel felt that she was committed to her character, Gaga deemed her "extremely sexy," and Rob encouraged her to lose herself more. The routine itself was cute, but a bit forgettable, in our humble opinions.
Dancers: Jordan Casanova and Ade Obayomi "Nutbush City Limits" by Tyce Diorio Style: Jazz
Once again, we had to admit that this was another fab performance from Jordan, even though we're kinda over her this season. Still, we can't deny that she really has excelled at every single thing the choreographers have thrown at her so far. Nigel thought it was a fantastic, bad-ass routine, Gaga was obsessed with her legs, Rob loved her abandon, and Mary's also a big fan. Jordan's been changing our minds each week, but can the same be said for the rest of America?
Dancers: Melanie Moore and Neil Haskell "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Mandy Moore Style: Contemporary
First off, OMG, love, love, love this pairing! Second, we pretty much loved everything about this dance: the music, the costumes, the daredevil leap across the stage into Neil's arms, and obviously the part where Melanie pulled Neil down to the floor on top of her... so hot. Gaga said "My hat is off to you" (as she removed her absurd captain's cap) and claimed she's ready to hire her tomorrow for her tour, Rob praised her flawless technique and her personality, and Nigel dissed Sasha by changing his favorite-dancer vote over to Melanie. For reals, Melanie is so winning this year ... don't you think?
Dancers: Ricky Jaime and Anya Garnis "River Deep, Mountain High" by Jason Gilkison Style: Jive
Super-energized number from Jason, whom we are loving this season, BTW. Seriously, we think Ricky's the best guy in the competition and America needs to start voting for him stat. That being said, Anya did steal the spotlight a bit tonight and Nigel wasn't exactly exaggerating when he critiqued that one lift by saying it belonged more in a meat market than a stage. We mean, if Anya can flip Ricky over her shoulder, Ricky should be able to toss her around with more grace, no? Rob called Ricky a star, Mary felt he did a great job overall, Nigel thought he was too tall (um, not much he can do about that), and Gaga revealed a sweet spot for the dancer.
Dancers: Jess LeProtto and Lauren Gottlieb "Take a Bow" by Nappytabs Style: Hip Hop
In this routine, Jess has cheated on Lauren and is begging for her forgiveness by giving her a single flower. Spoiler alert — she doesn't forgive him (might want to spring for a dozen long-stems next time instead of a lone rose you probably picked from your neighbor's garden). On the upside, we were once again pleasantly surprised by Jess's hip hop skills. Mary acknowledged Jess's progress and felt that his swag-heavy performance came from his soul, Nigel praised him for being a good listener and not overplaying the part, Gaga thought his dancing outshined the unnecessary props, and Rob — who's known Jess from back in the day on Broadway — felt that it was beautiful and pure. Agreed.
Dancers: Tadd Gadduang and Lauren Froderman "Another One Bites the Dust" by Mandy Moore Style: Jazz
One word: Awesome. OK, yes, so Tadd lost his hat moments into the routine and Lauren smacked him in the face, but who cares? The bottom line is that it was great dancing from two phenomenal performers to a dynamic number. Nigel predicted that Tadd won't be biting the dust this week (clever), Gaga was intrigued by the heist story, Rob felt that Tadd is very special, and Mary declared that Tadd put the "C" in "Cool" tonight and predicted a finale finish for the b-boy.
Dancers: Marko Germar and Allison Holker "I Know It's Over" by Sonya Tayeh Style: Contemporary
Wow, what a breathtaking piece of work from Sonya, who proved she doesn't need to make her choreography quirky or weird to stand out. Hands down, Sonya's best routine this season. Looks like we're about to pull a Nigel and now say that Marko is our favorite male dancer. Gaga was brought to tears, Rob was equally moved, Mary deemed it amazing, and Nigel was touched by Marko thanking his mother for her support. Yep, this was a tissue-reacher, for sure.
Dancers: Caitlynn Lawson and Tadd Gadduang "Top Hat, White Tie and Tails" by Jonathan Roberts Style: Foxtrot
Not gonna lie, we're becoming huge fans of the Foxtrot over here. Also, Caitlynn needs to wear her hair that old-timey way always. Performance-wise, both contestants were fabulous. Anyone else starting to have major doubts about Tadd's non-training? It's like the guy can do anything! Rob thought it was sparkling from beginning to end, Mary felt it was beautiful, but she wanted more, Nigel loved it, and Gaga wanted to hop on stage and rip Caitlynn's dress off and start dancing.
Dancers: Marko Germar and Ricky Jaime "Bad Boy For Life" by Nappytabs Style: Hip Hop
This routine about a couple of waste-management janitors was no Twilex (Twitch and Alex) performance, but we still love us some man-on-man hip hop, so we loved it. Mary thought it was super tight, Nigel thought they "cleaned up" tonight (more puns from the master), Gaga kinda knocked Nappytabs (again), but felt both contestants were amazing, and Rob made up for her by giving props to Napoleon and Tabitha for their exquisite choreography.
Dancers: Jess LeProtto and Jordan Casanova "Set Fire to the Rain" by Jason Gilkison Style: Rumba
Um, did Jordan forget her heels? We weren't feeling that costume choice at all. Guess Jordan was a tad too tall for Jess. Overall, we thought it was a bit on the snoozy side. Nigel complimented Jess's new lifting skills but felt the pair lacked chemistry, Gaga bashed the choreography again, Rob stayed positive and thought the couple brought the best out in each other, and Mary felt they needed additional time to achieve more elasticity.
Dancers: Melanie Moore and Sasha Mallory "Game On" by Sonya Tayeh Style: Jazz
We were crossing our fingers for this beast-off all night and we were even more psyched when we learned they were paired with Sonya — game on, indeed! Both ladies were beyond dynamic as intense warrior princesses. Gaga thought it was so incredible that she tossed her ginormous shoe onstage (which Sasha proceeded to use like a machine gun, much to our delight), Rob thought it was unbelievable, Mary felt it was a masterpiece, and Nigel predicted that either one of them could be this year's champion. Oh, and Gaga bestowed her other shoe on Sonya. Sick way to end the show.
Great evening all around tonight. We're guessing the bottom four this week will be Jordan, Caitlynn, Jess, and Ricky... but this season has definitely brought us a lot of surprises. Check in tomorrow night to find out who moves on and who goes home.