"I'm just so proud of you," she said, her face shining with tears. "You really love to dance...There were so, so many things that I did wrong when I was younger and so many things that I wish I could take back, and I felt every moment of that through your dance tonight."
Heck, everyone was crying: Marko, his mom, Sonya, Mary Murphy (who declared Marcus to be her favorite contestant). It was definitely the touching moment of the night.
Lady Gaga, who obviously was a very hands-on judge (also patiently waving, blowing kisses and mouthing "I love you, too" at all the fans trying to get her attention during the breaks), had tender words for the entire top eight, taking time to say unique things to each one—be it praise or constructive criticism.
"Honey, you give me such hope, because it's no surprise that I'm quite short," Gaga told the wee Jordan Casanova after she danced Tyce Diorio's badass pop jazz routine with first-time all-star Ade Obayomi, in which her kicks hinged at a remarkable angle.
"I have a fashion catheter so I don't have to leave to go to the bathroom during the show," she added, showing off those massive shoes.
Gaga told Ricky Jaime, after he jived with Anya Garnis, "I have a sweet spot for you. And I don't know why, and I can't explain it, but I love that you're high." Posture, people! "I love that you're up there, because that's you."
"Adversely," she added, "I felt that Anya was...I think maybe it was the styling or something about it, but it felt a little Dancing With the Stars. It didn't feel as modern as what you were."
Just in case anybody was wondering if Lady Gaga wouldn't have any pointed criticisms.
Fan-favorite hip-hop choreographers Tabitha and Napoleon D'umo didn't play to Gaga's preferences tonight, either!
She didn't think the props were necessary in their first routine, which contained choreography that she "didn't necessarily love." Gaga told Jess LeProtto that his performance "outshine all of that," including some props she didn't feel were needed.
Later in the show, she felt that, in Tabitha and Napoleon's men-at-work routine for Marko and Ricky, "the interpretation of hip-hop was a bit contrived."
Let's just say, Tabitha and Napoleon may not have been first in Gaga's receiving line backstage.
For the record, fellow guest judge Rob Marshall did a fine job as well, at one point rightfully wondering (after Jess and Jordan's theatrical rumba) why people saying something is "so Broadway" is bad.
"Broadway is fantastic!" the stage and screen director delightfully noted.
Unfortunately, while getting the shoe tonight was a badge of honor, two more dancers will get the boot tomorrow.