Wednesday, September 30, 2009

More Exclusive Photos from Post-finale interviews

The Winners banner-- We are Heroes!

Southern Movement Salute!

Shane Sparks and Jose (Beat Ya Feet Kings)

Massive Monkees with Napoleon and Tabitha D'Umo


Duelling cameras, including Fanny Pak's Glenda Morales as videographer!

Vogue Evolution chatting with NancyT

Layla Kayleigh

Artistry in Motion


Afroborike's Veronica ready for action!

We are Heroes with staff Chris Trondsen and Sarah

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Zatzz's recap: ABDC Week 7

Here's the rest of Zatzz's recap -- be sure to read to the end for her far-reaching insights:

"The show started on a rough note. I can imagine how many people at home had their jaw dropped on the ground. Even the audience and the other two crews seemed skeptical to hear Mario Lopez announce that the crew with the most votes and that would go directly to the finals was AfroBorike. Nonetheless, they performed their Decades Challenge performance first. I, personally, was rather amused by their performance. Although the sloppiness, out of sync moments and more, I still enjoyed it. Their opening was probably the best part, although once again, it’s because they were in their element… It’s already down to the end, and AfroBorike have yet to shown versatility.

Later on the show, being saved, AfroBorike performed their Last Chance challenge, to a Tribal-like song and routine. I personally, really enjoyed it. The giant drum the girls came out of was crazy, and they did many beautiful lifts like they’re used to. Other than that, their song was terrifying. AFRO! AFRO! AFRO! AFROOOOOO! Indeed.

Seeing Afroborike move on could only mean one thing; the ladies of We Are Heroes and the bboys of Massive Monkees would have to battle it out. This means that for 3 weeks in a row now, I have only seen my original favorites battle it out. Sickening.

I’d like to talk about We Are Heroes first, since they were the saved crew. WAH truly had the best Decade performance out of the three, but it certainly did not live up to the hype. The way it started with all the locking, which was amazing, I was expecting to see the saw energy and talent for the whole performance. Sadly, it didn’t work. It went downhill for me.

Overall, I really liked the part were they were all gliding, and of course the whole James Brown section.
In other news, WAH have won the title of ‘wtf was that sexual move’ this week, dethroning AB who have been the kings of obscenity since Week 2. I mean, did everyone notice how they were literally grabbing ONE ANOTHER’s crotches!?? THAT WAS WEEEIRD. I didn’t get it. At all.

Saved by the judges over MM, We Are Heroes performed their Last Chance challenge, the superhero themed Ichiban (Number one) performance. Once again, overhype. Although I really did enjoy the performance and thought it it definitely in the Top 10 performances of this season, it didn’t blow my mind away. People compared it to Quest’s orQuestra. Oh well, guess it looked better in person. The chain-reaction effect near the beginning was dope, and the fire was also sort of amusing.
This leaves us the eliminated crew of the week, Massive Monkees. Now, where to begin. I love these boys. But did they bring it this week? Sadly, no. I was quite disappointed, because since the past 3 weeks they had the best performances of the week in my opinion, and from the start they had always went uphill, always improving and adding something new to their performance. Sadly, it was probably a case of tiredness, and MM didn’t live up to my expectations. Being Bboys, they should have killed the James Brown and Rock Steady Crew parts. Did they? Not so much. Irony how I enjoyed the Usher, Lady Gaga and Paula Abdul sections of their performance more.

The worst thing about MM having been eliminated right away is that we will never get to see their Last Chance challenge, not on TV at least. Sad, as I am almost sure they would have killed it, hearing their Mastermix on District78’s site reminded me of OrQuestra… Perhaps MM would’ve performed one of the best routines of ABDC of all time? Who knows.

NOW, I KNOW YA’LL WANT TO KNOW. WHAT I THOUGH OF THEM BEING SHIRTLESS. ALL OF THEM. FINALLY. Well, are words really needed? I just wept of joy and giggled. I can now die a happy person. The important thing is that they went shirtless before getting eliminated. I am grateful. HAHAHA!

And now, we only have the ladies of We Are Heroes and the latinos of AfroBorike left in the running. A deception? Yes. I did not and will not vote. I like both crews, but there isn’t one of them that I want to see win more than the other. AB or WAH’s name next to JabbaWockeeZ, Super Cr3w and Quest Crew sounds extremely wrong to me. Whoever will take the title next week, congratulations. But you have not won my heart.
Seeing MM’s banner drop was a let down to me. I was devastated. The goodbye package didn’t help neither. I hate that song, it makes me cry. For the first time in the history of ABDC, I do not have any crew I LOVE left in the running. It will be the first time I do not see one of my favorites win.

But on a positive note, when I realized how far MM have gone, that they have stayed on this show for as long as Kaba Modern and Fanny Pak have, I guess the rest doesn’t matter so much. The guys really took the elimination well, and they give a respectful speech, and it made me smile to hear Twixx mention the honor it was for them to have shared the stage with Super Cr3w, Beat Freaks and Quest. MM then walked off the stage in their own style--by freestyling. In the end, this was just an experience in the life of Massive Monkees crew, which has been around for 10 years and will be around for many decades to come.

Next week, tune into the live finale, and see who of the wonderful AfroBorike and amazing We Are Heroes will take home the Golden BBOY trophy! (I love this.) Might I add that the most (if not only) exciting part about next week is that ALL the crews are coming back on the stage? Personally, I can’t contain my joy of seeing amazing crews back on the show--MM and VE, but also other crews that definitely had more in store for us--Fr3sh and Southern Movement. No matter who wins on September 27, all I know is that I take away from Season 4 an average season with only two crews that will stand right there in my heart besides my favorites from the past season.

Who’re you looking forward to seeing again at the finale?
Which crew do you think had more in store or us? Twixx or Jerome? Zoeth or Domo? Did MM deserve to go home?

One last thing… or two…
Thank you for reading, and feel free to leave me any feedback or opinions!"
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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Preview from the Pressbox - Chris Trondsen on the Last Chance Challenge

Here's the rest of Chris' preview. It's a little more spoiler-y than usual, but that's almost impossible to avoid in the penultimate week of the season.

"I don’t think anyone saw this finale coming. I know I didn’t. And the other people I speak with each week in press sure didn’t. If you would’ve asked any of us earlier on which two crews were going to be in the finale next week, maybe one of the two crews that made it would be mentioned but probably not both.

When they announced the crew that was safe based on last week’s votes, most people in press were shocked. I always know how everyone else in press feels, not only by the comments following the decision, but by everyone gasping in unison. It means that the two crews most people thought were going to be in the finale now have to go head to head and one is going to have to go home getting crowned third place and will not compete at being called this season’s America’s Best Dance Crew.

The three crews remaining start off the night by having the decade challenge where they all have to dance to music from five different decades of music and the choreography has to reflect it. The crew that was voted safe by the voters and automatically is in the finale does just okay.

All eyes are on the remaining two crews because this performance will decide who goes on to the finale. The first crew that is up for elimination gets mediocre reviews. The crew really couldn’t seem to excel in this multi-song and longer format. The second crew up for elimination kills it to nothing but positive feedback from the judges and response from the crowd. They end up moving on to the finale.

That’s when they have their strongest performance of the entire season. It’s clear in most people’s minds that if voting is based on performance, this crew should win this season. One judge says they’ve “never seen anything like it.” I agree.

So we will see if America agrees with that night’s crowd, the judges, and everyone in the press box (including dancers from past seasons) and votes for the crew that clearly had the stronger of the two final performances (like the voters did last season), or if voting will be based on something else.

But one thing is clear, the crew that the judges saved had their best performance of their life and no one can take that away from them."

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Review: 'Groovaloos' featuring Beat Freaks and other hip hop luminaries

Continuation of 'Groovaloo' review:
The show consists of solo dances, choreographed circles and battles, and group routines, with a balance of choreography and bboy tricks. The battles and circles were fun, but may disappoint audiences used to the spontaneity and urgency of a competition. But some of the group routines are a wonder. Among my favorites --Lindsey's robot routine called 'Once Upon a Time' where she struggles with being unconventional; Keeley's tribute to The Lockers, and Julie's battles with three black-clad figures representing mental illness. Unfortunately, there is no one over-the-top dance like the ones done by Groovaloos on 'Superstars of Dance'. I think the inclusion of a show-stopper could help bring more 'word-of-mouth' to the show, which was not sold out the night I attended.

Each of the bios were compelling, though there were so many that the subtle ones might have been lost to the audience the night I attended the show. Interestingly, all the women dealt with internal issues (body image, depression, lack of confidence, loss of faith, nonconformity), while the men dealt with external problems (poverty, family violence, street violence, parental and societal expectations). In all cases -- the dancers started with different needs and problems, but could find acceptance, excitement, and challenge in the hip hop and bboy dance community. Fortunately for us, Groovaloos brought the words and the moves to allow us non-dancers a brief tantalizing look into their home.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Jai's Judgement on ABDC's VMA Challenge

Here's the rest of Jai's recap. Thanks Jai!

We Are Heroes: Madonna – “Vogue”
The ladies had nice levels, musicality, and synchronization with their performance. The voguing section where Hiro and Riquel had Nichelle and Mami wrapped around their waists was pretty athletic. I also caught Ali voguing upside down on the couch which was pretty cool! The tutting and voguing section with the fans was clean. In the words of JC, WAH owned the props. The props…well, you know the rest! LOL! Although the set up for Ali’s freeze was a little unstable, she cleaned it up and held it together. Ali and Nichelle’s double back hand springs and back tucks were nice and matched the beat perfectly. I felt like WAH’s performance lacked the swagger and intensity from their two previous performances though. Overall, this routine was just okay in my opinion.

AfroBorike: Britney Spears – “Slave 4 U”
The opening with the guys hanging from the chains REALLY caught my eye; it was hot! I have to agree with Lil’ Mama though about Josue’s flip. *checks to see if a pig has flown outside of my window (LMAO!)* It was slightly off but athletic nonetheless. Even though people do not care for AfroBorike’s “sexy” moves, I was actually glad - for once - that the girls incorporated the belly dancing move because it was something that I remembered from the original performance. Another athletic move the group had was when the guys flipped the girls over by their ankles and dragged them backwards. Miguel tossing Zoeth in the air and having her do a clean, twirling flip was great! The entertainment value was definitely evident throughout their performance. Their routine had touches of their signature salsa style as well. This was an overall good performance for them.

Massive Monkees: N*SYNC – “Tearin’ Up My Heart”
Okay, MM were seriously in synch at the beginning of the routine when they were dancing in the desks. I loved how ripping up Leiomy’s picture played onto the lyrics! Although Brysen slipped up by not hopping up on the desk, he recovered with the rest of MM when it came to the choreo. Marcus’ “inverted freeze” move (if that makes sense…LOL!) and no-hands cartwheel were hot! That cartwheel was pure athleticism. The choreo that MM did while Marcus was using Lil Lazy’s foot as a mic was so funny to me, but in a good way; I was laughing with them! I guess I was somewhat surprised by it although I never doubted that MM could not do choreo. The popping section where Tim, Lil’ Lazy, and Brysen were the puppet masters and Jerome, J.D., and Marcus were the puppets was a nice MM spin on the original performance. Lil’ Lazy’s head spin was a nice touch to end the routine. However, I loved the ending when Tim and Brysen pushed off of the desks and hit a freeze and dropped down to a…whatever that b-boy position is! LOL! I don’t know what it’s called, but it was dope (especially since they hit those moves perfectly with the song)! The entertainment value and confidence that MM had made this routine their best performance on the show!

P.S. – I’m sure Zatzz squealed with delight when Jerome pulled his shirt over his head. HAHAHA! Her wish for “shirtless” Monkees had somewhat been granted. LOL!

Rhythm City: Chris Brown – “Wall to Wall”
Once again, I appreciate RC’s clean, synchronized choreo with this performance. Denzel’s back flip over Kenny was great, considering that he had his back to the audience. One wrong move, and Denzel could have fallen off of the stage. Although I liked the Charlie Chaplin move, it was not as energetic or animated as it was in the original performance. The round lighted platforms were cool, but I think it slowed down RC’s routine especially when they were jumping around from platform to platform. I also noticed that Ashley’s ending handstand was not as precise as Domonique and Kenny’s handstands; her legs reminded me of a see-saw…LOL! They had great formations and levels throughout the performance, but their energy level kind of waned off when it got to the second half of the routine. RC’s performance was good, but a little better than WAH and AB’s performances.

Honestly, I agreed with ONE crew being selected for the bottom two. If it’s true that “a crew is only as good as its last performance”, then having Rhythm City in the bottom two was correct. Their dance craze and VMA performances were okay. Not bad, not great…just okay. Yes, Rhythm City had the clean choreo, the levels, the back flips, etc. for both weeks. However, I felt that their routines for both challenges lacked that distinctive Rhythm City swagger we saw in week one. It just seemed like Rhythm City’s performances slowly plateaued as the weeks went on.

When it comes to the other crew in the bottom two, Massive Monkees should NOT have been there. Period. These guys have been steadily improving since Bollywood week. In my opinion, they had one of the best performances for the dance craze and VMA challenges. Even though their challenges have been questionable, Massive Monkees seemed to take those challenges and run with them! Their last two performances had more energy than Rhythm City’s last two performances. [Side note: I’m one of those people who likes seeing a challenge infused with a crew’s signature dance style AND reflected THROUGHOUT a performance. Just seeing it appear ONE or TWO times during a routine is not enough for me. Massive Monkees were Ricky Bobby-ing and tearin’ up all kind of hearts every which way on that stage with their last two performances! LMAO! Why? Because they performed as if it were their last night on the show. Rhythm City? Not so much. Sorry.]

Who do I think will be in the bottom two for week 7? If I keep that “a crew is only as good as its last performance” mentality, then AfroBorike and We Are Heroes could battle it out for a spot in the finale. Both crews’ last two performances were good, but We Are Heroes have a slight edge – in my opinion –for their Stanky Legg routine. Unfortunately, I think We Are Heroes will get eliminated, setting up an AfroBorike/Massive Monkees finale. Until Sunday kids!

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Zatzz's recap: VMA Challenge

"The show started early and on fire: With a group number where Afroborike, Massive Monkees, Rhythm City & We Are Heroes united force to pay tribute to the late King of Pop in a performance choreographed by Napoleon and Tabitha D’Umo. MTV certainly didn’t limit the budget for this one! The feel of it was out of this world. Definitely sent a few shivers down my spine! My favorite part was probably when the AB, WAH & RC girls came together and danced just the 10 of them. To me the performance was amazing until… The judges came out of nowhere in that cage. (Lil Mama seems to like randomly popping up on stages recently.)
Then, it was time to get serious; Mario announced that out of RC & WAH, one was in the bottom and the other would be saved. I have no doubt that WAH were expecting to be in the bottom once again, after having been down there in the past 2 weeks. Hopefully for them, the all-girl crew was saved, while everyone’s favorite crew from the Bronx had to battle for the second time this season.

We Are Heroes had to perform and pay tribute to Madonna’s “Vogue” performance at the VMAs in 1990. Talk about having a lot to live up to! Even so, I think WAH did good. To me, it felt more like watching a fashion show than an actual routine. Still, the vibe was fun and light, and the girls looked beautiful. Best part of the performance, dance-wise, was the group tutting section with the fans. If I’m not wrong, it was similar to what they had done in their audition. On the downside, I think the girls may be trying to hard to be sexy… and it may not be working so much. Did anyone even notice when two of them kissed?

Nuh-huh, you can never recreate that memorable moment from Fanny Pak’s Janet performance! And that they had HEROES spelled out on their panties… okay, sure.
Finally, a personal opinion about WAH getting “Vogue” as their song & challenge: Can we say, STAB IN THE BACK by the producers? It wasn’t even a week ago that Vogue Evolution have been eliminated, and not a single mention was made about them in WAH’s package, the judge’s comment or a shout-out during WAH’s performance. Not cool. Not cool at all.
Next saved crew was Afroborike; not surprising since we know a whole island and community is voting for them. Which means that unfortunately, a bboy crew that is almost considered legend in their domain in the USA, Massive Monkees, had to battle it out in the bottom. Afroborike had to recreate 2001’s “Slave 4 You” performed by Britney Spears on the VMAs.

As I expected, Zoeth was scared of the snake. But we can say the total opposite about Elisabet, who was petting Sir Snake the whole judging time.
ANYWAYS, on to the routine--I was slightly disappointed, because when someone that went to the taping said the guys were hanging from the ceiling, I thought they were gonna be a few feet in the air… But anyways, that was an interesting performance, and I must say I did enjoy this performance quite a bit.

People who have been following my recaps may be surprised to hear that this was actually my second favorite performance of the night! The main reason is that they brought their technical latin dance side to the table, but they were also sexy--WITHOUT being trashy, unlike most other weeks. Hence, they’re probably the crew to have lived up to Britney’s performance the most. Might I also add that this Slave 4 You performance was pretty better than Sassx7’s, who also performed to the same song before getting eliminated? And finally, Miguel’s hair looked horrible. :)
Now that we know who will be the first two crews to be in the Top 3, it was time for Rhythm City and Massive Monkees to battle it out. Surprising to most, and I think most viewers weren’t happy to see the top 2 contenders of ABDC4 having to fight for the last spot in the Top 3.

And so, Massive Monkees went first. The bboys got another tough challenge when they were assigned “Tearin’ Up My Heart” which was performed by no other than JC Chasez and his NSYNC friends in 1999. Now, I might have been the only one, but I was excited when I learned what MM’s song was.
Why? Because I just KNEW they’d use this as an opportunity to go all out and show us charisma, personality and a vibe we hadn’t see on the ABDC stage since Quest Crew last season. The way I interpret it, it was MM’s way to tell the producers that no matter if they try to screw them by giving them weird songs and challenges, they would always overcome them. I hoped everyone noticed that it was Leiomy on the papers they tore at the beginning of their performance--As a shout-out of course, to THEIR BEST FRIENDS FOREVER Vogue Evolution!

And so, the only way I can summarize this performance is by saying that I was smiling ear to ear the whole time and was on the verge of tears, seeing MM push choreography down the throat of all the people saying they can only do flips and stunts… And last word; Words that the Zatzz could never forget to mention…
Next up, Rhythm City had to recreate Chris Brown’s 2007 VMA performance to “Wall to Wall”. It was a good routine, the ‘big movements’ tight choreo part was real good, the ending poses were also dope, but other than that I wasn’t so entertained. Other good point may have been that we saw the guys more than the girls this week. YESSSSSS Haha, I really like the RC guys.

Other than that, many people have been talking about it, and once again, I had some Déjà vu during RC’s performance. Their flips also seem to be too much. Viewers seem to always insult crews saying ‘All they do is flips!!’ But uh, HELLO? RC have been doing more flips than Super Cr3w or Massive Monkees. Seriously.

Personally, I am open to people wanting to change my mind about this performance. Tell me WHY you liked RC’s performance. Tell me. I didn’t see anything outstanding.

Now, I will address the biggest debate of the moment: MM vs RC. Who had the best performance? Did RC deserve to leave? My answer: MM were better. RC may not have deserved to ‘lose’ over WAH & AB, but against what MM have done, yes. Now, people have to get their mind out of the gutter and understand what being in the bottom two means. I think people should realize how much the FEEL of a performance is important. Being in the Bottom 2, it is your last chance; You go all out, it's a BATTLE. You have to do your best, take risks, entertain the audience, go crazy... RC may not understand what that means, since they did nothing of that. They just danced. While MM danced but PERFORMED on top of that. I guess that’s the advantage of being bboys; You know how to battle.

After the storm settled, the Top 3 of ABDC Season 4 was revealed. Next week, we’ll see Afroborike, We Are Heroes and Massive Monkees fight for a spot in the finale. By now, it is anyone’s game. The crews will all have to bring their A-Game next week, or they’re out. Which fans have been the most dedicated voters? Was it the whole latino-american community that will send Afroborike straight to the finals? Or will Seattle and bboy appreciators stand up and keep the Monkees out of the bottom this time? Or will We Are Heroes make the finals and assure that females finally win this show?

You’ll have to watch next week to see, when every crew will perform to the same songs and have to recreate the moves of James Brown, Usher, Lady Goregaga and many more. And finally, the Finalists of ABDC 4 will be revealed.

Thanks for reading and feel free to leave any feedback!

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Preview from the Pressbox - Chris Trondsen on the VMA Challenge

Here's the rest of Chris Trondsen's write-up. Thanks Chris!

"Anyone who has seen commercials for this week’s episode of “America’s Best Dance Crew” knows they have been hyping up this opening dance tribute to Michael Jackson. Let me tell you, in my opinion, it’s worth it. It was crazy to see all the four remaining crews dance together and they all worked really well together. It was weird (but in a good way) to see the males of Afroborike lift female members of other crews. And you have to watch it on Sunday to find out who they have playing the role of Michael Jackson. He plays it well.

One of the crew in the bottom 2 got the biggest reaction from any performance from the audience this entire season. To say they killed the performance is an understatement. I think you really see why this crew is in the final three. They had the entire crowd screaming and on their feet, and received almost flawless reviews from the judges. The crowd has NOT reacted this positively to any performance all season.

The other bottom 2 crew had a VERY impressive performance that drew loud crowd applause, but not as much as the crew that went before them. However, their performance was good enough to sway one judge.

Many of us in the Press area felt that even though the crew the judges saved had a better night, the crew they sent home had a better season overall. It really shows you that on ABDC, it’s really your most recent performance that matters most. It was hard to see the crew get sent home. It was a real emotional good bye from the crew’s captain and I don’t personally think it was their time.

At the end of the show, Mario announced that next week’s challenge is going to be a dancer’s challenge where they have to pay homage to some of the best dancers in the game. Should be interesting to see how the remaining crews do!"

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Jai's Take on ABDC's Dance Craze Challenge

The rest of Jai's recap and review:

AfroBorike – Swag Surfin
I know that “hate” is a strong word. LOL! (Hey! You! *points* Stop that laughing!) But seriously, I HATED the move where the guys jumped off the trampoline, landing over the girls’ faces and thrusting their junk in their faces; it was so awkward and trashy. Ugh! I’m sure that move probably appealed to some of the audience, but I could have done without it. Now that I’ve gotten that off of my chest, we can continue with the rest of their performance. :) I liked the signature partner work after that sexual move though; the girls’ splits were in synch and beautiful. AB’s formations were okay, but the leaps the girls did were off a little especially when Miguel caught Zoeth. I really thought he was unstable when catching her and was going to drop her. Their ending pose was cute with Josue as the surfboard and Zoeth as the surfer. Other than that, I saw some level changes, but AB’s synchronization was off quite a bit during this performance.

Massive Monkees – Ricky Bobby
I liked that MM incorporated the challenge throughout the routine with their signature b-boy moves. There were nice formations and levels given at the beginning of the routine, and I LOVED the little slow groove MM did; that was entertaining! LOL! Lil’ Lazy and Tim’s partner work on the floor was nice. I loved the move where they pushed away from each other; it looked so smooth and effortless! This week, I really saw some showmanship this time around especially with JD flipping like a mad man off the trampoline and off the stage. It was good to see every member of MM utilize the trampoline as well. Jerome’s “crab step” (and his facial expression…LOL!) where JD used the fire extinguisher was hilarious; clearly, that was a reference to the movie Talladega Nights. I liked how they utilized the stage by going side-to-side during the “crab step”, too. JD’s forward brownie flip over Jerome and off the trampoline into a forward head slide at the beginning of routine was great. Lil’ Lazy’s “coin drops” after jumping off the trampoline were really nice, too. For MM, it was pretty easy to keep in synch with the lyrics. They played onto them well with the “stop and pose for the frame” ending and the Polaroid photo op. LOL!
And was I the only person to hold my breath when Marcus and Jerome swung Brysen over the trampoline? One wrong move and Brysen’s head would’ve been cracked open; thankfully, that did not happen!

Rhythm City – The Jerk
I liked RC’s theme with Phramez being the nerd of the group all because he wears, well, frames. Kenny and Denzel’s front and back flips off the trampoline were cool. I liked that they incorporated the wop with the jerk. Also, I especially liked the levels during this portion of routine with the guys standing and the girls on the ground. As we have all come to expect, RC was very clean and in synch with this routine. They had nice formations and isolations and utilized the stage pretty good this week. However, RC didn’t really spend too much time showing the actual dance move. Their performance started off a little slow, but picked up shortly thereafter. Denzel’s jump over Dominique and front flip over Ashley was a very athletic move towards end of routine.

We Are Heroes – Stanky Legg
I liked the nice snake move where each member had their legs on each other; did a slow, staggered wind to floor; and hit a locking move on their knees. Even though it was very subtle, I saw some of WAH’s signature popping as well. I loved the swagger they had during this performance; it reminded me of the swagger they had for the Bollywood performance. Nichelle’s forward tuck and twisting leap off the trampoline was incredible. The front flip off the trampoline towards the end the routine was awesome, too. WAH had great formations and levels; their showmanship and confidence were definitely there. The routine reflected well with lyrics (i.e. – incorporating the sock with the routine and Riquel’s booty popping with the “hit the booty doo” lyrics…LOL!). Honestly, WAH took the stanky legg and made it their own! I also loved how Nichelle wiped her stitches as if to say “And what?!” HA!

Vogue Evolution – Halle Berry
Seriously, I loved the opening with VE doing some leg voguing…LOL! That was hot! Dashaun’s forward tuck off of the trampoline was an athletic move. The group incorporated their signature vogue moves with the Halle Berry dance quite effortlessly. VE was a little cleaner this week and demonstrated some masculinity within their choreo. However, I did see that Leiomy was not in synch with the rest of VE towards the end of the routine. I loved it when Prince jumped off of Dashaun’s back, leaped over Leiomy, spun and hit a side split; that was quite an athletic move. I also loved that the rest of the crew hit a slow dip at the end of Prince’s side split. Leiomy hitting her double spin and dip off the trampoline was HOT as well! VE did a great job of incorporating the challenge throughout their routine. I adored the ending pose where Malechi and Dashaun had Prince and Pony respectively hoisted in the air, kissing Leiomy’s cheek; that was really cute!

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Monday, September 7, 2009

Zatzz's recap: Dance Craze Challenge and some inside info on VMA week!

Here's the rest of Zatzz' astute and funny recap of America's Best Dance Crew 4's Dance Craze Challenge. Thanks Zatzz!
"The show started with the first saved crew -- Afroborike. See, I'm starting to gain respect for this crew. Even though their Audition and Week 1 performances were horrible and most of their other performances were just sex-sex-sex, I'm starting to see a little bit of talent from them. BUT! I don't think they deserve to be where they are. I was set on my Top 4 crews, and hoped my choices would be the ones at the top. And now one of them is gone. Instead we have these sexual robots on the stage.

I was hyped to hear they were making this one more hip-hop and they did pull it off a little. Unfortunately, the just HAD to add a sexual touch to it, didn't they? And so, Alain, Miguel and Josue literally JUMPED on the girls, grabbed their necks, and started grinding on their faces!!!
Okay...Ariel wants me to mention that Afroborike are collaborating with MTV to educate the virgin viewers of ABDC. I bet it's the truth.
Next up were my favorites of the moment -- Massive Monkees. I was happy to see yet another great routine from them. Sure, still not mind blowing, but very entertaining and they got sexy for us ladies :D But they're still not taking those shirts off. What are they waiting for>!> Haha! On the more serious aspect of the performance, their use of props was great (well, I didn't get the extinguisher all that much, was it related to Taladega Nights?) And they worked the trampoline well too.
The final safe crew is Rhythm City, who've been consistent and good all season long. They brought it once again this week, although they may not have executed their challenge perfectly (which I didn't mind at all, because I dislike Jerkin). The little story was a nice touch, and it was good to highlight CJ like that. RC is still the crew I see taking the trophy back to the Bronx the most, although I still think have much work to do. They've been good all season, now they have to be OUTSTANDING.
The first crew to hit the bottom was We Are Heroes. It's their second week down there. Not because they're not talented, but probably because they have the smallest fan-base of all, considering they haven't been around for long and don't have a whole city or community supporting them. Anyways, apparently most people consider it to have been the best of the night. For me, it was the most boring. Yes, I enjoyed Afroborike's raping more. Haha! Except some great flips, I didn't see so much. I didn't see the usual flair I feel while watching the beautiful ladies of We are Heroes dance. Although, I really admire how they have kept on working and doing their best, despite really bad injuries.
Finally the show closed off with a performance by fan favorites Vogue Evolution. I personally liked it better than WAH's but both are still good. As always, VE brought the energy and amazing, confident vibe they always bring to the stage. Unfortunately, it seems like it wasn't enough and our favorite all-gay crew was sent packing, after a great speech and touching video. I appreciate how well VE took their elimination, and wish them all the best in the future.

Next week, the show will air at 7PM -- right before the VMA awards. And just for the event, the ABDC crew will pay tribute to the best performances to have taken place on the VMA's stage. Mario mentions Britney Spears, Madonna, and Michael Jackson, so we can expect a mind-blowing week!

Exclusive info: there will be a group performance next week, choreographed by Nappytabs! Probably a tribute to the late King of Pop.

Thanks a lot for reading, catch you next week!
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Photocredit: MTV

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Preview from the Pressbox - Chris Trondsen on the Dance Craze Challenge

Here's the rest of Chris' report. Thanks Chris for the writeup and the great backstage interviews!

"The crew that stayed STEPPED IT UP. They completely took their performance to a level that makes you realize that they could really win this whole thing. It's a performance you JUST have to see.

After that, the whole place changed. The audience's allegiance shifted so that EVERYONE was now chanting for that other Bottom 2 crew -- their performance was that sick! Everyone backstage was saying that there was no way the judges could send them home after that performance and still be taken seriously.

I am not sure if it will be edited out of the show, but when JC Chasez was talking to the all the crews on stage, he addressed Vogue Evolutions as a 'girl group.' Lil Mama quickly got on his case and the crowd boo'd. JC came back and said he was just kidding, but the faces on Vogue Evolution looked a little annoyed. So JC quickly took it back and moved on from it.

Overall, most crews were good but not great. Only the crew that was saved really took it to the level of the past seasons. You have to wonder if the remaining crews will perform like champions when there are so few weeks left."

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Report and photos from the United Styles Competition

Here's the rest of Han Cho's report, with some photos, of the United Styles Competition held in Boston in August 2009. Thanks for the awesome report Han!

The day of the top 16 battles started rather relaxed and casual. People were gathered in various pockets of the Cyclorama, a large open space with a high ceiling perfect for cyphering, watching one another dance, chatting, drinking Red Bull, checking out the art that had been hung around the space, etc. Music was bumping, which kept the energy and mood upbeat. As it got closer to 5pm, people began to move closer to the floor that had been set up for the battles. Chairs were set up directly across the video for the three judges: El Nino and Float of Floorlords and Crazy Legs of Rock Steady. Lino of Floorlords and Kamel of Boogie Bratz were the hosts for the evening and called everyone to the floor to begin the competition. They started off by opening the floor to any poppers. Megatron headed that off, followed by Snap 2, and then Fables. Megatron called on other various poppers to come out and perform. After that, the battles began.

Crews were judged on originality, style, form, execution, and power, among other things. Each round was 8 minutes long and if a crew did a set, they earned an extra round. For the next 6 hours, crew after crew battled it out, and it was genuinely inspiring and breath-taking to see the dancers move with such ease and fluidity. Some of them came close and the judges could not make a decision, which allowed them to battle another round. Air chairs, back flips onto elbows, flairs, head spin after head spin were some of many power moves that were incorporated into the dances and sets. Sometimes, the breakers were moving and grooving to the music so quickly that it was difficult to even keep up with their performances. Each crew brought their best on the floor, and it became evident as the energy around them escalated and a number of draws were called. Several times, Lino had to stop between battles to tell the spectators to scoot back as they had gradually inched forward, closer and closer to the battle. You could almost taste the sweat and grit in the air.

From 16 crews to 8 crews to 4 crew to the final 2, intermission was held between
each set of battles, so that the individual crews could take breaks. During intermission, people cyphered, and at one point the judges, old school dancers and hosts did a set together, which drove the crowd nuts. Lino began giving away free shirts and shoes for anyone who could do a set he made up. It was nice taking the few breaks between the rounds as the intensity heightened as more crews were eliminated and the battles got fiercer.

The final two that faced off were The Squadron and the Funky Masons. It was heated as both crews had strong individuals who gave killer performances and a great team dynamic. The Squadron had a crazy set that seemed to almost come out of nowhere and they were doing it before anyone knew it had started. The crowd went nuts. The Funky Masons put up a good fight after that, but The Squadron took the cup and the $50,000 home.

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