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didn't go well, but that's not the point right now).
Mia's best routines were in the first four-ish seasons: Travis and Heidi's bench dance, Danny and Neil's two princes, Katee and Joshua's "Hometown Glory," Lacey and Kameron's "Dancing." Her best recent routine was a three-hander between season 10's Hayley, Carlos, and Malece.
Watch Allison Hokler spring to youthful life and dance beside her son in a moment of reverie and try not to feel Runners-Up: Outside of Mia and Travis, the ranks of contemporary choreographers is something of a patchwork.
Tyce Diorio, he of the obnoxious personality and dreadful Broadway numbers, has done some of his best work in this genre: Ivan and Allison's "Why," Kent and Sasha's "Fool of Me," and the wildly praised "cancer dance" between season five's Melissa and Ade.
(Also, don't sleep on group routines like "Hide and Seek" and this Alice in Wonderland creation.) That Mia's so-called "message" routines — on subjects like death or aging or aliens — tend to be excellent really helps temper the annoyance factor.
Say what you will about casting a dancer the anthropomorphized concept of "addiction," but when everybody involved turns it out so spectacularly ...
kicks off its eleventh season on Wednesday, and while the series can't be said to be in its prime anymore — the judges don't really critique anymore, and the whole enterprise might be well served by starting the competition at 16 dancers rather than the traditional 20 — it's still your go-to program if you're looking for top-notch dancing on TV. It covers the gamut from ballroom styles to modern dance and jazz and any number of evolving hip hop styles.
His first-ever routine — Jeanine and Jason's "If It Kills Me" — remains one of his very best; since then, he's succeeded with routines that were ambitious (Ellenore and Legacy's "Machine Gun"), emotional (Kent and Neil's "How It Ends"), and satisfyingly gimmicky (Melanie and Marko's "Turn to Stone").
His best work remains his most personal, a routine about his then-ailing mother, where he cast himself as her dance partner.