From Broadway to Bollywood, here's how it went down:
In the first spot, and looking to continue their reign of consistency, Chelsie Hightower (in more plumage than dress) and Mark Kanemura kicked things off with a sexy salsa number that set an early high bar and thoroughly impressed the judges. Hoping to keep the momentum going, their second performance was a smokin' Broadway number, which judge Nigel Lythgoe compared to a hot Las Vegas summer and Mary Murphy found "sultry, sexy and bluesy."
Next up, new couple Comfort Fedoke and Thayne Jasperson stepped into Comfort's comfort zone (and way out of Jasperson's) with a smooth hip-hop routine that left Nigel "a little disappointed." Judge Mia Michaels was nicer, saying it was a "little better than just good." Back in Jasperson's area of expertise, their second number was a sleek contemporary piece, which earned them one of the night's harshest comments from Lythgoe, who told them he "would like to have seen another couple dance their routine" because, he said, it wasn't up to the choreography.
Jessica King and Will Wingfield shined in their genre this week with a gorgeous contemporary piece from Tyce Diorio that further raised the bar to the excellence mark. A screaming Mary blushed a little after the erotic piece and Nigel called the number "extraordinary" and "stunning." High off their first go, Jessica and Will picked "the most dreaded routine of all," the always challenging quickstep. Nigel wasn't feeling their style, while Mia handed down another stinger, telling Will that he's been "carrying Jessica this entire time ... You need a new partner."
Courtney Galiano (in another scandalous outfit) and Gev Manoukian picked up a steamy cha-cha, choreographed by last year's ballroom sensations Anya Garnis and Pasha Kovalev, that burned up the stage. Nigel was wowed and Mary handed out a ticket on her "hot tamale train." Mia called it "fabulousity at its best!" Their second routine, a technical, Mandy Moore-inspired jazz piece (think dancing Indiana Jones), was compared by Nigel to cotton candy. On the other hand, Mary thought it was, "rough and raw ... pure entertainment."
Kherington Payne and Stephen 'Twitch' Boss, one of the hottest pairs on the show, headed back into Boss's world where they absolutely nailed a wild krump routine choreographed by L.A.'s own specialist Lil' C. Nigel was impressed by Kherington's ability to keep up with her more experienced partner, while it finally convinced Mary to get on the krumpin' bus -- a "dirty" but good bus, she said. After conquering the difficult art of krump, Twitchington moved on to one of Jean-Marc Genereux's passionate and smooth tangos, which Nigel felt was neither smooth nor passionate.
Last, Katee Shean and Joshua Allen, who have learned, mastered, chewed up and spit out each and every routine that's come their way this season (they've never been in the bottom three), took on a luminous Viennese waltz that unfortunately didn't settle well with the judges, who called it "clumsy" and "bouncy." Working to save their night with the second routine, Katee and Joshua closed the show with SYTYCD's first ever (straight from India's silver screen) Bollywood routine. "It's fantastic!" shouted Nigel after the piece, while Mary recalled one show rule: you must have "heart, soul, and stardom," and they did, which put them back on the "hot tamale train."
Thursday, two more dancers go home on a live show (9 p.m. ET, on FOX) and the top 10 will be revealed. --Jed DrebenKelsey McNeal/FOX