cover art by Opalsong
|Podbook (entire series)||3:12:35||90.6 MB|
Credits in the End Notes
cross posted at amplificathon, my journal, and AO3
Another week and oh boy! Where do I start with this one? I mean, I'll talk about the dancing, obviously, but what about that ending? That ending!! I won't deny I'm disappointed that Gajeel didn't go home after what happened last week. Especially after that twitter fiasco a few days ago. In case you missed it, let me refresh your memory in my tweet of the week. Here's what Gajeel had to say about the whole almost-dropping-his-partner-while-picking-her-up-without-permission thing:
Wow. Woooooooow. I can't even talk about this. I just can't. I am THAT disgusted. On the bright side, we got to learn more about the dancers this week. Even if it was just a thirty second segment for each. As for the ending, I'll get there in due time. I want to at least try to keep my reviews in chronological order. As for the dancing, this week started slow, but it picked up momentum as it went along.
Top 18 Dance
Broadway, I'll Make a Man Out of You, choreographed by Spencer Liff.
Yes! Great song choice! I love how the ladies got to dance lead on this one. Oh the guys got some good moves, but I am totally ok with them getting to play second fiddle for one routine. Let's be real, this is not going to be a recurring thing. Among all the dancers, Erza especially stood out. I fully, 100% percent believe that she could kick my ass without breaking a sweat.
Bisca & Laxus
Jazz, Simple and Clean (Planitb Remix), choreographed by Wade Robson.
This dance, as an idea, was super cool. I really enjoyed the whole tone, and the choreography was top notch. But the performance wasn't perfect. Bisca looked like she was struggling. I could tell she was trying her best, but the energy just wasn't there. But it was super cool to learn that Bisca is a trained sharpshooter. Laxus on the other hand, breezed through the whole routine, and we already knew that he's a legacy dancer, so nothing new there. I wasn't sold on these two as partners last week, and after this routine I'm still dubious.
Cana & Elfman
Rumba, Hotel Rumba, choreographed by Jean-Marc Généreux.
For a Jean-Marc ballroom, this dance was remarkably normal. Which is too bad, I always enjoy Jean-Marc's weird concept routines. As a straightforward ballroom rumba, it was good. Nothing exceptional, but for week 3 it was solid enough. Cana was super cagey in her get-to-know-me segment. Keeping secrets, Cana? Elman showed off his workout routine. It's impressive that a man can bench-press that much and still have time to be a dancer. When do you sleep?! But back to the dancing: I like the chemistry between Cana and Elfman in this dance. It could be read as super sexy, but also like they're just bros, which I enjoyed. It was also surprising to see that, for a hip hop dancer, Elfman is remarkably smooth on his feet.
Juvia & Gray
Contemporary, True, choreographed by Sonya Tayeh.
This was a weird one. Intentionally weird, yes, but weird. I can't deny the skill that went into both the choreography and the performance. Both dancers were in or near their own style, so it's no surprise that Sonya was able to create a really difficult piece. It didn't quite make me stand up and cheer, but some of those still moments definitely gave me goose bumps. I was honestly surprised by Juvia's segment. I had no idea that, as a contemporary dancer, she used to be on a street crew. Gray's was less surprising: it only confirmed what we'd all been suspecting, that Gray literally can't keep his shirt on.
Levy & Gajeel
Lyrical hip hop, Be As One, choreographed by Luther Brown.
Well, it was better than last week's dance. Barely. That is not high praise. At least the choreographer had the good sense to create a routine with no lifts so I was able to watch the piece without cringing right out of my own skin. I just feel so bad for Levy. She deserves a different partner than Gajeel. I'm worried that she won't get to show the audience just how good she is. We learned in Levy's segment that she postponed her university studies to try out for So You Think You Can Dance, (and a linguistics Masters at that!) so I want her to succeed even more. As for Gajeel, I'm sure no one was surprised to learn he was on a street crew. I WAS surprised that it was the same crew as Juvia! Going back to the routine itself. This smooth, lyrical hip hop wasn't a show stopper, but it had potential. If only Levy and Gajeel had gotten the emotional story of the dance across it would have been much better.
Mirajane & Alzak
Disco, Exit -> Running, choreographed by Doriana Sanchez.
Oh disco. Not sure this was the best style choice for this pair. Alzak, as a ballroom dancer, was disappointing. It's sad to see how Bisca and Alzak who dance so well together, are slowing falling apart as they dance with other people. Unlike Bisca, Alzak didn't look like he was tired, he just looked distracted. Oh, babies! I just want them to go on shooting range dates and dance and be happy! Mirajane also wasn't at top performance this week, but she was still good. We found out that Mirajane had a minor modeling career a few years ago, which makes sense. She is gorgeous! But I know she can dance better than this. It really felt like she just wasn't giving it her all.
Evergreen & Natsu
Contemporary, Somewhere A Clock Is Ticking, choreographed by Travis Wall.
Ouch. This dance, by all rights SHOULD have been good. But it waaaaaaaassnnnnn'''tttttt. Evergreen and Natsu are oil and water partners as far as I can tell. This dance had everything it needed to be amazing. It had the choreography, the costumes, the lighting. Evergreen and Natsu were both dancing their hearts out! But they might as well have been on two different stages for all the partnership they had. Evergreen is, well, I don't actually 'dislike' her, but I don't think we'd be friends in real life. We found out today that she only auditioned because she wants to win against Erza, which suddenly casts that three way tango from two weeks ago in a whole new light. Natsu, on the other hand, spent his entire segment showing off fire eating.
Liasanna & Bickslow
Hip hop, Hot Mess, choreographed by Pharside and Phoenix.
Lisanna and Bickslow have had great luck with their choreography! This was another winner in my books. The character work wasn't quite a match to last week’s routine, unfortunately. We learned that Lisanna was always saving and bringing home animals when she was child, so casting her as a 'bad girl' wasn't a good fit. Bickslow, on the other hand apparently prefers puppets to people (no wonder he's such a good animator). Needless to say, the chemistry between these two dancers is distinctly NOT sexy. Sorry, that's faint praise. The routine really was good, just the character casting was off. Fortunately, Pharside and Phoenix put their signature creepy spin on the routine which saved it. They weren't just clubbing, they were clubbing ZOMBIES! Very nice.
Erza & Freed
Bollywood, Bang Bang, choreographed by Nakul Dev Mahajan.
Did anyone else think it was little weird that Freed had thirty seconds to tell the audience about himself and he spent the entire time talking about Laxus instead? Hmmmm. Interesting. And when Erza showed us her closet I gasped. That was more outfits than I've worn in my entire LIFE. Her clothes weren't just fashion pieces, either. There was some weird costume stuff in there too and I love it! Even Erza's closet is perfect. Speaking of perfect, this routine was stellar! I particularly enjoyed the story of two rival rock stars. It wasn't a story I've seen used in any Bollywood dances before and it really worked! Poor Freed, though. In any awesomeness contest, Erza's already got the trophy.
Lucy & Loke
Quickstep, Thunderstruck, choreographed by Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin.
Top dance of the night. Hands down. I've never seen a quickstep get that reaction from the judges or the audience. This just blew me away. Every once in a while a routine will come along where it's like I'm drawn in an alternate reality were time has no meaning and there is only dance. This routine was like that; it was spectacular! Lucy and Loke were totally connected as partners. Though, to be honest, I couldn't take my eyes off Loke, so I just assume Lucy did well too. I give Lucy a bit of a hard time. She just hasn't done anything individually impressive yet. In her segment we were introduced to Lucy's dog, Plue. At least I THINK that was a dog? If so, it was the weirdest dog I've ever seen. Lucy seems to like it though. We learned from Loke that he's been estranged from his family for years. Which brings us to THAT ENDING!!
Eliminations and Closing Thoughts
I totally thought that Gajeel had the elimination in the bag. Everyone did! They'd as good as said so. AND THANK GOD the judges addressed partnering thing. They finally called out that Gajeel needs to be a better partner if he wants to make it anywhere with a dance career. Props to Paula for being especially passionate. I THINK the message got through? I sure hope so.
When Lucy and Loke came back onstage without warning I had no idea what was going on. Cat, best tv host ever, just took it in stride. After that spectacular performance tonight, nobody was expecting Loke to drop out. Live on air? That's NEVER happened before! There was, like, zero time left in the show, so we only got the barest explanation. What I've gathered from what they said, and my own frantic internet research, is that backstage, after their dance was so well received, Loke called his parents for the first time in years and found out that a close family member is really sick. So he's leaving because and he wants to spend time with them. I'm crying. I am literally crying hot snotty tears there is no shame.
So, to the surprise of absolutely everyone, Evergreen and Loke are going home! Ok, nobody was surprised about Evergreen. But boy, did she look pissed that Loke was stealing her spotlight. Too bad, Evergreen, this is television history! And we get another new pairing next week. Lucy with Natsu: I have no idea how that's going to turn out.