Natascha Bessez & Ryan Neal, “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran
Vocal Performance: C
YIKES. The subsequent context provided by Natascha that she sang the wrong verse really explained this blindside trainwreck of a performance by the perpetual power couple of Listen To Your Heart. I’m actually not that surprised based on the edit they’ve been given – remember, this is a reality tv show meant to entertain us. Did you really expect them to throw the winner blatantly in our faces with this golden-child always saved best-for-last duo every episode? I turned to my roommate (who is still hitting herself for even DARING to come for my Mudi power duo and thought they were this week’s fall guy) and right before their performance went, ‘Imagine if Natascha and Ryan just absolutely blow it out of nowhere?’ Why yes, I do fortune-telling tarot readings on the side, thank you for asking.
This was sort of a less insidious version of what transpired with Julia and Brandon (still lolling) last week with Julia overpowering Brandon into a pulp. Natascha is just a powerhouse singer genuinely not meant to be in a duo. Even if she had an evenly matched partner, they would just be loud and sound absolutely ridiculous. Natascha and Ryan were our classic Icarus tragedy – absolutely soaring six levels above the rest of the competition in a completely different arena for every prior performance and eventually tried to do way too much (read: fly too close to the sun), leading to an absolutely massive fall to their duo death. It was bound to happen – the show was blatantly telling us this for weeks.
Interpretive Routine: C-
My champions of this category, alas. Their flop was largely due in part to Natascha’s impromptu microphone juggling routine gone wrong – an uncharacteristic lack of stage blocking rehearsal that showed. Natascha erred in her apparent optical illusion of Ryan as an octopus, and the bizarre corresponding verse was just Ryan playing the guitar in the corner while Natascha sang at him trying to gauge when to chuck the microphone across the stage. In fairness, this is very much so explained by Natascha’s singing of the wrong verse, but the resulting painfully awkward and long solo verse just came across as Natascha sticking Baby in the corner.
~Romance~ Level: ???
Some would say two refusals to grade this category is a copout, but yet again, I have absolutely zero read on this duo as an actual romantic couple. Time will tell (and by time I mean their Instagram feeds) whether this was all for ~show~ or if Natascha truly has a thing for nerdy guys. I’m rooting for this strange fur coat-Clark Kent seemingly clashing duo, but I simply can’t extract an assessment when the only date we’ve been shown in full was them playing out a fantasy of literally bulldozing their competition.