Hope you didn’t miss it, because the top twenty performed in pairs tonight for the first time. Joining Nigel and Mary at the judges’ table was guest judge Megan Mullally. The show certainly isn’t about the judges, but I must admit I enjoyed Megan as a judge tonight.  Her commentary was both relevant and spot-on. 

But now onto the reason we watch this show: the memorable performances.  And there certainly were several of them tonight.  The one everyone’s going to be talking about is Travis Wall’s contemporary routine performed by Melanie and Marko.  The routine brought Mary to tears, and Nigel suggested that it could win Travis an Emmy nomination.  

One of my faves was Missy and Wadi’s performance of Sean Cheesman’s jazz routine.  I loved the energy and power in the dance, and it was a perfect fit for Lady Gaga’s Judas

Another noteworthy dance was Iveta and Nick’s quickstep, simply because it was performed brilliantly despite being dubbed “the kiss of death” in all past seasons of the show.  Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Iveta is the world champion of the quickstep dance – but Nick is a tapper, and he really shone in the performance. 

All in all, the top 20 did remarkably well tonight.  There was only one dancer who we didn’t get to see, and that was Mitchell, who injured his elbow and could not compete.     

As to any early faves, here is what I got: Nigel called out Jess as one of the top guys, while he also suggested that Robert probably has the biggest personality on the show. Nigel praised the male hip-hop dancers, and he and Mary both applauded Wadi’s partnering skills. As to the female dancers, Nigel called them “beasts” because they are so outstanding this year.  He especially mentioned Missy and Melanie, the latter of whom he dubbed “queen of the beasts.”  One thing is sure: the ladies are bringing some fierce competition to the show this year.

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