Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ninjaboi's Review: ABDC5's Music Video Challenge

Here’s the scale, shortened, 10 pts each:
Choreography: Togetherness, Intricacy
Wow: Athletics, Insane tutting moments, makes you stop and think
Showmanship: Energy, Faces, Transitions, Highlighting, Formations, story telling, humor, stage use
Challenge: How well complete/incorporate the challenge given them.
Improvement: Did they work on their problems?

POREOTIX (10% penalty cause of my bias) – Incorporate Umbrellas and Sexy moves
Choreo – 7 – They moved away from their intricate togetherness for more big movements.  Not totally a good idea, though was still together, though not as tight. 
Wow – 7 – They had the bboy flip, and the lightning fast peel off.  It was there, but lacking in intensity somewhat.
Showmanship – 8 – the faces, the clothing reveal, good use of stage, put in the energy they could given the challenge, good highlighting of individuals, still tried to give us a show with their humor. 
Challenge – 7 – This was probably the biggest divide between a group’s style and the music video’s style.  Umbrella’s video was mostly girly posing, model walking, etc.  Plus, a prop is always difficult to incorporate if you’re not used to it.  Given that, they did alright, injecting their humor into what little choreography the video offered.  And they still did technically copy the choreography in the video.
Improvement – 8 – While this week wasn’t as impressive as last, they did do what JC wanted – less tik tik tik tik, and more big movement choreo, some bboy stuff. 
Highlight: I’d focus on the fact that they did the bboy flip, showed their versatility.
Notes – I’m mad at the judges.  Sure the umbrella thing I can’t excuse, that would have been best if all together.  But when two other crews mess up worse in their challenge, they get by because “it was hard to do,” compared to JC and Omarion holding them to a double standard. Also, JC asks Poreotix to essentially leave their own style.  Sure maybe a routine full of tik tik tiks wouldn’t be good every week.  But when they do try and incorporate more choreography and bboying stuff, you don’t even bother to try and thank them for trying to move outside their box?  That’s not nice.  Plus, when a judge says “I think it could have been brought to life differently,” I feel that’s disrespectful to a crew’s artistic expression of themselves. I hope they get Poker Face next week. On a side note, thanks for the unintended shoutout!
Total: 37 penalized down to 33.3
JUNGLE BOOGIE – Incorporate Stepping
Choreo – 7 – For some reason… I didn’t get the sense of much crankin.  I saw the melding of crankin with stepping, which was impressive and I loved it (Big steppie junkie), but for pure crankin based on what I saw the past 2 shows, not much of it.  Seemed more of a step routine with an animal theme too me.  Nothing wrong with that, but just different.
Wow – 8 – Having Raqi up on the platform was pretty dope, especially when juxtaposed against the screen.  The stepping was dope, couldn’t tell that some weren’t coming as hard as others really, though it may be different live.
Showmanship – 8 – Pretty good energy, a bit less than usual, but that’s not saying much.  Good facials, Nice ending, sorta like Vogue Evolution’s ending during Beyonce week.
Challenge – 8 – Excellent use of stepping.  The song was actually pretty slow for what I’d imagine they’d use.  Too tame, if you will. But difficulty wise, this was evened out by them having 2 stepping champs.  
Improvement – 7 – Not much to improve from last week, so automatic score of 7
Highlight – Probably the part when they were getting the platform, and while carrying it flipped it over while another guy slid underneath it. 
Notes – there is some controversy on whether or not this crew bit off of Neutral Zone’s Hip Hop International routine.  I’m willing to suspend judgment for now, much like how Quest may have unintentionally bit another crew in the Whack Track challenge.  Other than that, I love their creativity with the animals.  Can’t wait to see what it is next. (Thanks for the shoutout by the way)
Total: 38
STATIC NOYZE  - Use shopping carts
Choreo – 7 – For a strong choreo group, I was a bit disappointed.  I couldn’t how long each “part” of their dance was.  5 secs of tutting in beginning, 14 seconds of group choreo (without many formation changes), 5 secs of flips (either over a cart or around in a circle), and 13 secs of moving the carts around – that’s almost as much time as doing group choreography.  You could tell the shopping carts sort of kept them from doing their best stuff, especially since it got in the way of any big formations
Wow – 6 – The flips were there, even if they say tricks before art, though to be fair it was a very aftistic flip, if possible.  But aside from that, nothing really stood out to me.
Showmanship – 8 – Despite being bogged down, they had a positive attitude about it.  The story was there. 
Challenge – 7 – It was a good effort despite the carts, which may have been a harder prop than the umbrellas (though the music could easily have fit this crew well, unlike Umbrella).  While they couldn’t go all out because the carts were in the way, the choreo they were able to get in fit the music video, and their style.
Improvement – 7 – a tad bit less intense than last week, but not too noticeable, if you consider how much less stage room they actually have.
Highlight: The reveal of Suzette coming from the kart.  Their showmanship at the best.
Notes – Just a thought… did they get any help from Heavy Impact? Cause I think Isaac was actually in this video…  But overall, this crew is pretty interesting.  Not as much of a story this week (though it is hard to top last week), but they make the best with what they’re given.  I’m guessing Paparazzi for them next week.
Total: 35
SALTARE – Do the Bboy moves from the video
Choreo – 5 – By virtue that for at least part of the video they were able to get it going, they don’t get less.  And they did get the tricks on time when they got them off. But seriously, messing up three times in a routine is inexcusable. Plus, when they were outside the ropes, their dancing just seemed awkward.  Even more basic than one and two and.
Wow – 7 – I have to give it to them that they did get some pretty dope tricks off through the ropes
Showmanship – 6 – One thing I like about this crew is their ability to mix up the formations of the ropes. Didn’t see any of that this week. Nor were they able to improv in between screw ups.  I dance using props too (large bamboo poles), and I always tell my crew to improve SOMETHING if they mess up to keep the stage presence going.  I will give this crew points for going through the routine completely through despite the massive mess ups, no matter how much it killed them.
Challenge – 6 – First off, this isn’t much of a challenge for them given that they can do bboy stuff, as we’ve seen.  And then, I think they didn’t complete about half the tricks they meant to.  Hence the lower score.
Improvement – 5 – Definitely a drop down from last week.  The out of ropes choreo was worse than the small section they did last week…
Highlight – Not sure if anyone saw this, but right at the beginning when they changed ropes, one guy did a roll UNDERNEATH another guy who was doing the ropes.  Impressive
Notes – This performance was memorable for all the wrong reasons.  I feel bad for them and all, but unlike some fans, I can’t excuse them.  Them messing up is like a Bboy missing a 540.  It’s what they do, it’s difficult, but unlike them, the Bboy would be called out bigtime for not making that trick.  They knew well the risk of if they screwed up, they would fall apart.  And you can’t excuse them because it’s “more difficult.”  An open heart surgery is more difficult than giving an eye exam.  But can you excuse a surgeon who messes up the procedure just because its harder?  I don’t think so.  Unlike other crews that have their challenge thrust upon them, these props are inherent in their dancing style, so there’s even less excuse for them
Total: 29
HEAVY IMPACT – Incorporate popping
Choreo – 7 – I really liked it this week.  They kept their grooving style, threw in some popping which could have been better, but overall entertaining and together.
Wow – 6 – Not much, just a simple flip near the beginning
Showmanship – 7 - Excellent faces (I personally like an active face while dancing).  Good use of the stage, formation changes, and just the right amount of energy necessary for the video.  Some may not like the way they swag, but their confidence in themselves is something I admire.
Challenge – 7 – Not much of a challenge musically, its in line with what they do.  Personally for me, the popping section could have been better but I still dug it.  They captured the choreography pretty good and the overall mood of the video as well.
Improvement – 6 - A step up from the past two weeks for sure. Biggest issue I have with them is that they’ve shown us the same thing three weeks in a row.  Can I finally see some bboying stuff, or some krumping?  Also they worked on their transtitions, about half of them were better.
Highlight – that sideways shuffle right at the end to get to the front.  Simple but I liked it, reminded me of a moonwalk almost
Notes – I think not enough people give them credit.  They can dance.  They can groove.  The issue we have is that its getting repetitive.  But people are sleeping on this crew, I think. 
Total: 33
HYPE 5-0 – Use the pole (Not for PDC)
Choreo – 8 – Definitely decent choreography.  Not that I didn’t like their past choreography, but I think the problem was that they seemed to be trying to hard with each move they did. Here, it seemed more effortless. Also, the preciseness of the mirror image was impressive
Wow – 7 – The pole itself was impressive.  Mansplits for that long?  Good job man.  Though the dismount WAS a bit sloppy, but not too noticeably so. 
Showmanship – 9 – This crew killed it, perfectly matched Britney’s sexy style.  Good use from the stage from the very very back to the middle.  Facial expressions and transitions were good.
Challenge – 8 – Matched the music video well.  Big props to the girls for doubling up on Britney.  Good non pole choreography as well as in the music video. Music was neither for or against them.
Improvement – 9 – They stepped it up! Like I said, the choreography this week seemed endless, and they worked on their endings. 
Notes – Personally I could have done without the kiss.  I get that it was a homage to Britney/Madonna, but still… use your dancing to express yourselves first.  I think it’s been overhyped a bit (no pun intended).
Total: 41

For the first time, it’s not a battle mix we see for the bottom crews, but their full routines and the judges pick.  I think everyone here was surprised at who got here.  Royal Flush didn’t deserve to be in the bottom.  I though it would be Heavy Impact and Saltare based on my rankings, or HI and JB by Youtube views.  Guess I was wrong.

ROYAL FLUSH – Use Bboy moves as in the video
Choreo – 7 – Not quite like most choreography you see, almost like their choreography is a trick in itself… It’s interesting to watch.  And unlike most crews this week, no screw ups.
Wow – 9 – As always, their strongest point. Not as many as their first week, but the way it complimented the music was better done I think.
Showmanship – 7 They highlighted more members than Gissette this week, which was good.  The trick, and musicality, matching the song to the lyrics was well done.  The best use of the stage, and most interesting formation changes.
Challenge – 7 – To be honest not much of a challenge for them, though props to their non Bboy members for pulling it off without a hitch.  
Improvement – 7 – About the same as last week, plus not much to improve on…
Highlight: Probably the magic trick.  How the heck did they do it???
Notes: First off, I hope C-Rock and the rest of his crew is coping well with their friend’s death.  They didn’t show any weakness in their routine, but I hope they recover from it in due time. And this crew… why did they have to get in the bottom two in the first place?  Pretty good routines last week, and excellent one this week.  I guess just being an all styles crew has become the new norm on ABDC, and they did that again, and it’s not as memorable.  Good luck to this crew, show us big stuff, go for the royal flush!
Total: 37 
BLUEPRINT CRU – Do the headstand
Choreo – 7 – A bit less than last week, mostly limited by Omarion’s choreo in the video.  Their unique choreo was okay, but not as great as other weeks. Chest popping was fun though.
Wow – 7 - I’ve noticed they tend to stick their wow moments all on their bboy… While that’s okay for now, they’re going to have to branch out soon I think. 
Showmanship – 7 – They have a stage presence.  Was able to at least pose in a way so that the headstand fail at least still looked good.  Good facial expression, formations seemed a bit similar to me, but still entertaining overall.
Challenge – 6 – As the only crew with a real “hip-hopesque” song, I expected them to kill it.  The thing is, I felt that they were limited by the music video here and couldn’t, like Static Noyze or Poreotix, show their true style because they HAD to copy the music video’s choreography.  As for the headstand… they messed up.  I’d rather have a crew have only a few members try the challenge and make it than all of them try and a third of them mess up.  Like with Saltare, just because it’s a hard challenge doesn’t mean that you should get a bye, or have it slide, if it’s difficult.  It’s not as bad as when you mess up your own style, but still, get that challenge done right and complete it through.  Poreotix still had the rest of their umbrella routine on point, but they only had 5 seconds of headstand to do!  I’m not even a dancer and I can do headstand for like 30…  Dedication though for cutting your hair…
Improvement – 6- Not much improvement.  Again, they were held back by Omarion’s choreography, but lacked the intensity of previous weeks in the non-Omarion routines.
Highlight: When their Bboy jumped back on his hands and his crew responded.  Sort of like the Quest wave with Steve’s backflip in Decathlon challenge.
Notes – random musing: what if Klaamation had made the show and got this video?  Anyway, the thing is with this crew… I feel that a lot has been invested in this crew by the show.  The guy’s hair got cut.  They got visas.  They don’t want to seem xenophobic (though apparently the rest of America is?)  They gave him Omarion’s video which could have reflected badly on him.  But I still think that letting a crew get by because the trick was tough and all this, compared to a crew that didn’t mess up and still had potential as much as this crew… that’s not right.  I’m sorry, I’m as big a fan as Blueprint as any and didn’t want them to touch bottom 2 until near the finals.  But seriously… if the only one who can do athletic moves is their Bboy, then they’re gonna face a problem if they get another athletic stunt. 
Total:  33  

Seriously, this bottom two should never have happened.  But given that it did, I disagree with Blueprint staying over Royal Flush.  Sure Blueprint may have just had a bad week after two great solid weeks, and the guy cut his hair, and it’d be a shame for the Canadian crew to go home after two weeks (Does the voting have anything to do with this?  I mean, is Canada able to vote?)  But you’re only as good as your last performance.  One crew messed up their challenge, one crew didn’t.  And the crew that didn’t went home… Not right.  Both the voting and who went home.  I love Blueprint and all… but still… it’s a sudden death battle where a single mistake should be the deciding factor… 

Walk it Out:  Pretty dope moves, similar to Massive Monkee’s exit last season.  And a crew actually caught their banner!!! Respect for sticking around for interviews – that’s maturity right there. 
POWER RANKINGS (Judge’s opinion, this week’s rating, cumulative score, total views on youtube)
1.Hype 5-0 (0, 41, 96, 18858) – A big jump, but a lot of people have woken up to what they guys can do.  And they won the judges back on their side, at least negating out any bias against them.  Don’t get cocky guys, but keep delivering.

2.Blueprint (+, 33, 95, 6253) – ooh… I think the producers really really like them.  I know they can dance for sure, I won’t begrudge them that.  But to mess up and get past… sorry, I’m still not over it completely.  Overall, if they go back to their own choreo as opposed to Omarion’s I think they’ll be fine.  But have the rest of the crew work on athletic stuff! 

3.Poreotix (-, 33.3/37, 92.7/103, 29414) – A drop down to third place, only because I think America may penalize them a tad for the umbrella thing, which may or may not be seen as nitpicking by JC. But in any case, a few less votes compared to this much popularity?  Don’t expect them to hit the bottom till possibly top 4.  As for what to work on, I’d say go back to your roots of isos.  Hopefully next week will give you a better song.

4. Jungle Boogie (+, 38, 98, 4760) – Excellent guys.  I’d rank you higher, but you need to develop a bigger fan base, otherwise they may get passed up by other crews that have bigger bases.  But I love the creativity and animal themes.  I can see a possible last challenge theme of “Zoo…”

5. Static Noyze (0, 35, 93, 5715) – I think this crew may get messed over because it wasn’t as strong as last week’s.  Not a bad performance, but they need to maintain a similar level from week to week. 

6. Heavy Impact (+, 33, 85, 4356) – It was okay, but I need to see more, guys!  I want stronger moves now, as opposed to the gliding type stuff we’ve seen the past three weeks.  The judges may save you, but you still need to win America!  I know you have a strong base, but you need even more

7. Saltare (+, 29, 84, 5593) – After this week, I would be surprised if America kept them up there… America tends to be pretty critical of screw ups, and they had thrice as many as other crews.  They need a killer performance to survive next week.
Peace out, Ninjaboi

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Del's Review of ABDC's Video Music Challenge

Let’s get this underway with one of the top 2 vote getters and known fan favorite: POREOTIX!
Creativity: 7 – We didn’t see much new with Poreotix here. The reason their creativity score is at a 7 is because they did have some very interesting and creative moves at the beginning of the routine, but once they got into the Rihanna portion it was pretty lacking and that’s not just in this area. Personally I think that their last two performances were amazing in the creativity department and after this performance I’m starting to doubt they were all that excited with having to do Umbrella. It kind of stifled them.
Showmanship: 8 – One thing they are always good for though, is showmanship. The way they were selling the Rihanna moves out there was a good thing to see, because even though some might not have been alright with those outfits it didn’t seem like the crew themselves felt any different in them or the music they were dancing to. It was a great display of confidence on the stage, which they have in bundles.
Entertainment Value and Crowd Appeal: 6 – While Poreo was confident on the stage pretty much the only moment that was appeasing to the crowd was them changing into those outfits and maybe the body roll they did at the end. With just two specific moments to spot out in the routine there’s not much to go after, but they can definitely get improve on this next week.
Musicality: 8 – They’re probably one of the (if not the) best crews in musicality. The problem this week with them was the Rihanna choreography. It wasn’t much so “choreography” as it was just Rihanna walking, walking, stopping, sexy move here, walk again and for Poreotix to have to do that it made them look worse than they usually do.  Is that a fault against the crew for not trying to work with the choreography and improve it to coincide with their style? Sure some could say that, but they were being judged on how close to the video they were, and while they were definitely close it wasn’t the most difficult choreography in the world. They redeemed themselves with the first part of their routine in this area, which is why they get 8.
Execution & synchronization: 7 – Like JC said, that Umbrella section was off. Otherwise they did fairly average with keeping up with each other throughout the rest of that particular section. It wasn’t their best at all, and the main problem is that I think they got caught up in her moves rather than keeping up with each other.
Difficulty: 6 – Nothing was all that difficult in this challenge. Like before the Rihanna moves are fairly simple and I can understand why they looked so toned down this week, but I think they could’ve at least added some more intricacy to their performance regardless of the fact that JC has a thing against isolation. At this point it seems that Poreotix can’t really please him anyway so if they have to go into tic-tic-tic­ to please everyone else then I say let them and judge accordingly. If anything I think the judging of their isolation is going to lead to them trying to accord more to the challenges and away from their popping robotic style and very solid isolation techniques. Which could hurt in the end.
Wow factor: 5 – Besides the formation at the beginning with the whole roll through there was nothing that made me say “oh that was cool” in the performance. In Love Story and Day N Nite they had pretty much something cool or different every turn, and this week there was nothing to give me that feeling. Now let me say that I’m not comparing them for the sake of my judging, but I want to see that Poreotix on the stage all the time and I’m sure that’s what the viewing public sees.
Overall average: 6.7 – Not as good of a week for Poreotix as last week no doubt, but I know that there’s something better in their back pockets. Let’s hope that we can get as good as we’ve seen in the first two weeks and they go to what suits them once again.
Up next we have JUNGLE BOOGIE
Creativity:  4 – I’m at a bit of a confusing stop here with Jungle Boogie. As I was browsing the site prepping for this review I came across the “worst performance” comment section, and there I saw the comment crackity made citing the Neutral Zone Adults routine from HHI (Hip Hop International) this past year. He spotlighted this routine in particular because they too had this wolf howl and JB’s is a very eerily similar structure to NZA’s. Not only this but I saw on District 78’s site that JB wanted a “Lycan Roar” involved in their routine’s ending, which has a similarity to NZA’s Lycan bit in their routine. Do I think that Jungle Boogie bit off of them? I must say that I take it into account, but I’m not going to straight up bash them or give them a zero because of it. I’d still like to know the facts regardless, and I will commend them on the platform they used in the routine. It gave a nice focus on Raqi.
Showmanship: 8 - Jungle Boogie is a really really charismatic crew and all of their facial expressions throughout the routine were really hitting their marks. Throughout all of the stepping they had very hard determined expressions and when Raqi got down into her sexiness ( that walk at the beginning especially!) she had a certain fire to her despite flashing a huge smile here or there.
Entertainment Value and Crowd Appeal: 8 – Even though I’m a bit of a skeptic on that wolf howl it was a very entertaining addition to the routine. From that, to the platform usage, to the impromptu “throne fully equipped with pet” ending, Jungle Boogie was very very entertaining throughout their routine.
 Musicality: 8 The stepping was very good. Even though I caught some slight mistakes from a few of the other crew members that’s best saved for later on. I’m impressed from the way JB corresponds with the music overall week in and week out. You can tell that they feel the music and that helps them put a little more into each step.
Execution and Synchronization: 7 - Like I said just now, they hit their steps well. But one thing I have noticed is that it’s a bit wild (no jungle puns intended there) at spots and could use some refining. The other crew members weren’t hitting it as well as the natural steppers in the crew when the time came, and when Raqi came off the board I think it slowed a few of them down.  One thing that I might say is that if they do want to incorporate more stuff into the routines to clean up their moves a little bit in the fine tuning process. They’re good, but missing an extra pop in technique that I think crews like Poreotix and Blueprint have mastered. Something that it takes to capture that top crew attention.
Difficulty: 8 - That stepping was definitely nothing to play with. Due to this being a video challenge we really didn’t see that much else from JB, but what we did was still good. There was nothing all that simple in the routine, but it moved fairly quick so if there was then it must’ve been pretty swift and I missed it.
 Wow Factor: 7 -  It had its moments no doubt. The way Raqi just dropped down from that board no problem was quite the surprise to me and it still is every time I watch it, and the forming of the wolf howl formation was swift and seamless. Not the most eye popping routine, but it was still something to talk about afterward.
Overall average: 7.1 – Jungle Boogie had another strong showing this week and I can see them being safe once again. Once the rubber hits the road they are going to have to step it up and put themselves out there as a top crew. Right now they’re surely being seen as a front runner in some respects, but they’re going to need that special moment to stick them in the fans heads, and despite some of my earlier critiques I think that it’s not far away. I just hope that it’s something special.
 For our next act we’ve got the creative characteristic STATIC NOYZE

 Creativity: 8 - I largely disagree with Omarion here. They used the carts in very creative ways and I’d actually commend them about that most because it’s so a large and overbearing prop. When dealing with something as big and distracting as a shopping cart it takes a lot to incorporate it into a short routine, but Static not only took care of that, they found ways to highlight the carts and add to the experience throught their routine.
Showmanship: 8 – I didn’t get to catch much of the crew’s specific facial expression throughout the routine (mainly due to those camera angles), but the showmanship they displayed through movement was more than enough for me to form an opinion. It wasn’t their best and that can probably be attributed to how much they had to go into and away from the carts, but they didn’t fall off in any respect and I still thought they did well with selling the music.
Entertainment Value and Crowd Appeal: 7 – Not much crowd pleasing activity from them and not much of their storytelling ability was displayed. We basically got the exact video on stage, while not bad, wasn’t exactly a crowd pleasing type of performance and can’t necessarily get the higher praise in this area that one would.
Musicality: 8 – The musicality in this performance was good. The music was a nice change of pace and they added the quirky type moves to accentuate that. Not much else to say besides they danced well once they were off the carts and their movements with them fit into their places.
Execution and Synchronization: 8 - I couldn’t really spot anyone out of the crew that was off at all, which is a very good thing, and I also liked the dramatic touch they put into their performance. From Suzette and Jessenia grabbing the carts in the front and Juan and Enrique throwing the papers up in the back to their ending in which the whole crew kind of flung themselves in dramatics, it’s a tribute not only to their showmanship but also to their ability to give an extra mile in their technique and complete their moves.
Difficulty: 7.5 – I think that this routine and incorporating the carts was fairly difficult, but besides that they didn’t get to do much else and it kind of put a slight on their number. At most I’ll give them love for working so well with the prop, but I can’t give extra marks due to the lack of extra choreography in the routine.
Wow Factor: 6 – With the flip at the beginning and the little moments throughout there wasn’t much “wow” in the tricks department. In the choreography it wasn’t there much either. There has been better from the SN6 in both areas so I know there’s more to expect, but we didn’t get any this week.
Overall average: 7.5 – Good week for Static Noyze. The ‘Tik Tok’ battle quite opened the eyes of a few people and I think this week will only help maintain their position outside of the dreaded ‘Bottom 2’. It was a good performance even with the shopping carts taking up a massive part of the stage (I probably mentioned those darn things 40 times in this critique).
Now we’re going to see probably the most “controversial” of contestants this season, SALTARE …sigh. Here’s the deal with Saltare this week. I would give a critique of their performance just like the other crews, but I just can’t figure how to do it with that mangled product they put out. The trick they tried to do at the beginning destroyed the rest of the performance and I wish that the judges would’ve pointed this out, however they decided to give Saltare pep talks instead of the honest truth. Look, I actually do like Saltare but I honestly have no real way to score them in every area today. 

I know that they did a couple of great tricks here and there, but the fact that they took the very basic and very easy Metro Station video choreography to do in the jumpropes after whatever that beginning trick was didn’t impress me in the slightest. To put it simple, they were just not good at all this week and they need to be called out on such, which I’m sure is something Shane would’ve done had he been on the panel. I really, really hope they pull it together next week because despite my harsh criticism of them this week I think they’re all really good people and deserve better than this. 
With that out of the way we move on to our large and in charge dance crew HEAVY IMPACT.

Creativity: 7 – I liked the early parts before they got into the video, and if there’s one thing Heavy Impact is it’s surely a group of smooth guys. Although some (okay this includes me I can’t lie) might view their “sexiness” as a bit awkward at times they still have nice ways to include it in their performances and this week was no exception.
Showmanship: 8 – Like I said, these guys are smooth and they sell that. While some of them have seriously serious facial expressions while dancing from time to time they still give off that very sleek movement whenever they’re on stage and this week especially they were feeling it the whole time.
Entertainment Value and Crowd Appeal: 7 – It seems like all of their moves and attitude is a crowd pleaser, so I can’t really give them anything extra there. Sure, people love the *big* thing in there but honestly besides the video parts there was just regular Heavy Impact choreo. Even still it wasn’t as interesting as it was in their past two outings.
Musicality: 6.5 – Sometimes you have HI going right with the music and others you can kind of spot them going off a little bit. I think that once the tempo and the speed picks up and isn’t in the slow and smooth vibe they stumble and try to just breeze through that section. I want to see Heavy go into each part of the music with the same precision they do the slower sections. If the music picks up they kind of go a little faster or can’t catch up, which I think is a bit of a problem.
Execution and Synchronization: 6 – I think this area largely ties into my problem with HI’s musicality issue. Some members are perfect with the song and then you have those that are lagging behind here and there. As a whole it makes the crew look a bit slower or faster at certain points and ultimately throws the rhythm off. Taking that into account, it’s an issue that can be fixed and overlooked by some if your moves are precise enough to change people’s minds, but Heavy Impact gets sloppy easily. They kind of rush moves and don’t complete others but that never gets picked on. I think it’s an easy fix and all that they need is to hear this from the judges, but I doubt that’ll be something that any of them pick up on. I can see it as a mistake early or later on but this seems to be happening throughout their entire performances.
Difficulty: 6 – The popping wasn’t much to deal with and their choreography was kind of here or there throughout the routine. I saw nothing outstandingly difficult and I feel like they could’ve delved more into their own style in the beginning and give it to us 100%. Something I didn’t really feel this time around.
Wow Factor: 5 – Eh, I wasn’t buying most of it. The popping got a good reaction, but besides that they didn’t really have something that could entice a “wow” response from even the most excited of fans.
Overall average: 6.5 – It was an “eh” week for Heavy Impact. Not as good as many of the other crews and that’s what I think is going to bite them in the voting. They weren’t downright terrible but they certainly weren’t all that memorable. We’ll see if they can step it up.
For our last crew before the bottom two we catch up with Hawaii’s HYPE 5-0!

Creativity: 8 – The pole trick was absolutely perfect. Hype really added spark into Britney’s routine throughout their entire performance, and put all of their flare into her moves.
Showmanship: 8 - Like stated in the creativity section, they added to Britney’s video and played off of each other well. They kind of held back at certain points, but overall they did a good job displaying the attitude and working it to the fullest.
Entertainment Value and Crowd Appeal: 9 – This would usually just get an 8 because they did a good job playing to the crowd and having entertaining moves throughout, but at the very end they added that kiss and it just puts their rating that much higher. My personal feeling is that the kiss was a bit unnecessary to even include, but I can’t sit here and deny the fact that it did have an impact on the performance. It got everyone *hype* if you will. Which I’m sure to touch up on later (in a family friendly way of course).
Musicality: 8 – I kind of noticed that the grinding section wasn’t much with the music (partly due to the set up I’m sure) and it felt a little off, but besides that they did a good job with the rest of the choreography.
Execution and Synchronization: 7.5 – I can get what JC was saying about them fumbling a bit, but he made it seem like a bigger deal that it really was. Sure they had some tricks and choreo not all together, and in particular going back to their pole illusion I think that the guys weren’t getting into it as much as the girls in particular. Otherwise they held their own this week and it wasn’t as bad as JC made it seem.
Difficulty: 8 – Their movement was sexy, sleek, and while it moved fast everything they did hit on every point it possibly could. Even though I wasn’t really a fan of the girls standing on the back part of the stage that much I still feel as if it’s  a very difficult addition to have them up there dancing and then jump down right into the fray as the guys are doing moves. They seemed to handle it with no missteps so congrats to Hype for that.
Wow Factor: 9 – I’ve stated their tricks mainly with the pole, the stage, and the kiss at the end and I’d even like to spotlight the end pose as a big highlight in the routine. It looked so sick and could be a “defining moment” type of pose. It capped off the routine nicely before they got into the kiss, which obviously took center “WOW!” stage.
Overall average: 8.2 – Very, very good week for Hype. I think that this routine might not get as much praise because people have a very big opinion about the kiss at the end of it, but it’s really one of the best this week. I think currently it ranks as the best score I have, but we’ll see by these last two if this is the best of the week.
Finally we’ve hit the bottom two. First up: ROYAL FLUSH.

Creativity:  8 – I liked Royal Flush’s stuff this week. I’ve been saying that they’re kind of like a chameleon in that they adapt according to the situation, and I think this week they tried to show America that they can be a very fun and eccentric crew as well, matching their song. The moments they had were nice, and the card trick at the end was something different despite me not really getting into it at first.
Showmanship: 7 – Besides Gissette I don’t think many of the other members were quite giving it to me to the fullest. Most of them were still getting into the feel of the song, but you can really tell that Gisette is going in 120% all the time when some of them look a little discarded at times.
Entertainment Value and Crowd Appeal: 8 – RF is entertaining in nature, and the choreography was very entertaining pretty much the entire time.
Musicality: 8 – I thought they did a good job with the music. Specifically the highlights were little section where the rest of the group kind of freezes and we have 2 of the members kind of go up front and dance while crossing in the middle and the entire group‘s choreography to that fake Pitbull’s verse.
Execution and Synchronization: 7 – While they seemed together through a lot of the early parts of it there were some moments that I noticed a person or two not completing their moves or being able to keep up with the rest of the crew. When they all went into the floor work at the beginning even though the camera didn’t show it all you could kind of see a couple of them have trouble with their feet.
Difficulty: 7.5 – Despite their “B-boy problem” I guess, they had some pretty good moves in there. One thing I’d like to see from Royal Flush in the future is for them to kind of expand their techniques a little bit (which I’m sure they’ll do) and change up the formations more. I understand the need to highlight Gissette but it seems as if she’s in the middle a lot of the time in unnecessary spots. She’s not necessarily the strongest of them so I think they tone it down to accommodate featuring her.
Wow Factor: 6.5 – They had some nice moments. Nothing all that spectacular, but they had a couple of “oh, cool” spots in which they kept everyone entertained throughout. It was just “alright”.
Overall average:  7.5 – Disappointed that they had to go. I feel like Royal Flush was the best at improving out of all of the crews and that they really could’ve grown into a surprise crew toward the end.
The problem with them was mostly fan support and this week they were thrown to the wolves by having to face our next crew: BLUEPRINT CRU

Creativity: 8 - The way they started off the routine and then seamlessly transitioned into the video was pretty impressive. I honestly didn’t notice the transition in my first viewing and was pretty surprised at how they did it, along with their other transitions and specific moves.
Showmanship: 8.5 - Blueprint hit every single step with attitude. I don’t think there was one piece that they didn’t hit with everything. Oh, and Derek played the perfect Omarion in this routine. He had the swagger, conviction, and even the haircut to match.
Entertainment Value and Crowd Appeal: 8 - They entertained and kept it flashy, but they didn’t really add any more huge crowd catching moves to the routine that wasn’t included in the Omarion video.
Musicality: 9 - Like I said earlier, they hit pretty much everything and the only thing I can really catch wrong with some of the choreography was that before they started to get into the chest bump it wasn’t completely with the music. I’m not saying that it’s a problem, but it’s pretty much all that stops them from being basically perfect with the entire number.

Execution and Synchronization: 8.5 - Honestly besides the headstand mess up there was nothing that they didn’t hit with precision and synchronization. They were all on the same level and no one was that off, so that bad spot on the routine kind of puts it down, but it doesn’t ruin what they managed to accomplish with the rest of it.
 Difficulty: 8 -  The way that they made sure to have everything fit is remarkable sure, but the fact that a good portion of their routine was the Omarion steps kind of doesn’t give it much more in difficulty than they would usually have outside of it. While the Omarion steps were fairly hard and the headstand is nothing to scoff at I think that this was just above average in the difficulty category rather than “oh man I could never do that”.
 Wow Factor: 7 - Their moves being so hard hitting and precise was the wow factor here. The chest popping and the headstand were pretty much the highlights and besides that it wasn’t really packing any heat here. The other areas kind of make up for this however.

Overall rating: 8.1 – While I did have a lot of good things to say about Blueprint, they didn’t take overall best performance of the night because of one thing and that’s the “wow factor” category. Is it a little surprising to have Hype as my #1 performance? Maybe to some, but the fact of the matter with BP is that I think that them adding the much needed wow factor into their routines will only catapult them to the very top in every week in the end.
Anyway, let’s get into the overall standings of all the crews after seeing all of the scores.
1.    Hype 5-0 (8.2)
2.    Blueprint Cru
3.    Royal Flush/Static Noyze

4.    Jungle Boogie
5.    Poreotix
6.    Heavy Impact
7.    Saltare 

Thanks so much to anyone and everyone who reads this. I really tried to touch up on everything in the performances and I might have been a little light in some areas and a tad harsh in others, but after all it’s just my opinion. If anyone disagrees then just try to tell me so without wishing ill will upon me please lol. I’ve had a lot of fun doing this and the live blogging with everyone during the show. Hopefully I can continue to provide some interesting feedback for the site and you guys enjoy it. Thanks again!

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

BJHayPinoy ranks and reviews ABDC's Music Video Challenge

There's a near-tie for the #1 spot:  

a.HYPE 5-0  I honestly believe that Hype 5-0 was the biggest step up from last week. They were so amazing. They brought the sexiness of Janet week from Season 2 because it was honestly a flashback to the sexiness that Jackie Lautchang/Ailyn Isidro and SoReal Cru brought with a sweet reminiscent mix of Fanny Pak's girl on girl kiss. It wasn't an overdo either because the girls are pretty damn good looking. Ahh.. they even brought their energy and fire to a sexy Britney song. Overall, I was thoroughly satisfied with their performance and it was to me, an equal performance with Static Noyze.
WOW Moment – Oh jeez.. I loved how Britney and Casey started off on top of the bars in the back of the stage, but my favorite moment was when they used Jon Ramones as the bar pole and how Allen and Will really connected well to finish the end of the bars.’
Word of Advice – Not too much here, but I think just fix up some timing issues, but otherwise great performance.
b. STATIC NOYZE – Oh wow, I felt it. Even though it wasn’t as theatrically powerful as their Whatcha Say performance, I honestly feel that the performance was a great show that brought everything. The use of the shopping part was great and I loved how they incorporated Peter Veth with a flip over the shopping cart. There is just something about Static Noyze that clicks for me and I love their choreography on top of the theatrics that they were able to bring. They say they barely do tricks, but they did do some great tricks and teamwork. Overall, great top performance.
WOW Moment – Peter Veth’s flip, and the ending.
Word of Advice – Add a sense of difficulty. I didn’t see TOO much difficulty, but otherwise GREAT performance.
3. BLUEPRINT CRU – Ah Blueprint, you never cease to awe me with your choreography and I honestly felt the emotion from the crew, especially from Derek as Omarion. He shaved his head just to look like “O” for this performance! That is sportsmanship and great showmanship! I love the popping part and the use of the headstand. They were perfectly in sync as usual, and the bboy portion and the end was a nice icing to the cake. Overall, this was a great performance for Blueprint.
WOW Moment – The popping stuck with me throughout the whole performance. Another great moment was the beginning, the perfectness to the hand wave out.
Word of Advice – There wasn’t too much use of levels this week and I believe that they can really branch out into other styles like having high energy. I’d love to see a high energy type performance from Blueprint.

4. JUNGLE BOOGIE – Jungle Boogie placed higher than Poreotix for me this week their energy and innovative use of the wolf theme was great. I FEEL their energy so much and I respect for being the last crew from the South, but they’re DEFINITELY DEFINITELY represent the South so well at the level that Strikers All-Stars and SoReal brought. I love how they created the bridge run-up for the wolf and I love how sexy Raqi got. Great performance from them too.
WOW Moment – When Raqi is on top of the platform held by two of her members, being sexy and doing her thing. Also the ENDING where she sat like the queen holding her pet wolf was eye-catching. LOVED IT.
Word of Advice – Bring out your energy a bit more next week and be more synced together and try to bring out styles that you are not familiar with even harder.
– Poreotix being my favorite crew, I knew this week would either be a AMAZING or OK week. This was an okay week for them. I loved use of the umbrellas at the beginning and I would not have hit them too hard because of the fact that the umbrellas being off while spinning them. I like the use of the stage this week because while highlighting Lawrence as Rihanna, the crew was able to add a little bit of breaking and choreography(Lawrence’s flip to the front of the stage where he seemed like he would fall off). I would say.. they had a weak beginning also and that they could have use the umbrella better. Also, if Justin Valles was able to pull off that bboy spin with the umbrella, that could have been HOT.
WOW Moment – The peel away to the hits of the music. I LOVE their facial expressions and sexiness that they brought which was neglected to be brought up. LOL, they brought sexy body rolls and a funny faced ending holding onto Charles.
Word of Advice – You guys are giving your fans and America mixed reviews. I’ll ALWAYS love you guys no matter what, but I want to see your breaking and choreography and let Lawrence and Justin’s choreography break through.
6. ROYAL FLUSH – Overall OK performance. I don’t remember too much about this performance, but I love how they were well together and that they played off their biggest strength, which is always bringing a little bit of every style. I also admire their floor-work. I am happy that Giselle was able to pull through and do the floor work and that they were able to use the swipes in a consecutive order and eliminate the fact that it could be sloppy if not all members were able to hit the swipe to the ground all at the same time.
WOW Moment – The floor-work and the ending where the cards spilled out of the guys mouth.
Word of Advice – I’m sad to see you guys go already, but it is was it is. I’m not going to say who deserved to be in the bottom, but I am happy that they did so well. They had potential.
7. HEAVY IMPACT – I do love me some Heavy Impact, but I think they could have brought more this week. I did like the flip to the front by Leon, but I think that they need to bring it HARDER on each move that they use. I wish I could say more about them.. wait I think I can o_O.. I love that they are always so in sync with each other and that they hit their choreography so well. I do NOT believe they are a gimmick.
WOW Moment – The ending, the bow for some reason stuck to me and the flip from Leon.
Word of Advice – Never say that you don’t look as good. Some of the best poppers in the world were big and I want you guys to HIT America in the face if you so can.
7. SALTARE – This performance made me jerk a little after the beginning car crash. I honestly respect Saltare for what they do, but like the judges honestly said “it is what it is.” If I don’t see beautiful choreography I won’t gain any respect anymore for them because the car crash with the two girls was a big no no. I don’t know if other people noticed that one of the girls also somewhere in the performance got her foot caught in the jump rope while getting out, and the choreography was out of sync in the beginning until the end. They didn’t look like they were trying to bring out the energy of Shake It, and the concept behind the video was not well represented either.
WOW Moment – Perfectly synced back flip with the video in the jump rope, but that’s it.
Word of Advice – Pretty much all of what I said above. BRING IT NEXT WEEK, or else America will begin to think EVEN MORE that Saltare was one of the biggest jokes to be on ABDC because those three mistakes honestly made me link their choreography even lower than Sassx7.

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Friday, February 26, 2010

"The 4th ABDC Judge" weighs in on Music Video Challenge

First off,  I’d like to thank everyone who read my reviews and commented. I got over 80 comments (of course, some were from me replying, but still) I never thought people would actually like it. So thank you. Also, I have read your opinions, and I will try to incorporate them into my review this time. So, let’s get started shall we?

POREOTIX  Yes, this was what I was hoping for! You are shutting people up, the people who think you're aren’t doing that good. I don’t know what it, maybe the fast movement, but I loved it. The fast popping in the beginning was sick. I thought it was very clean. I also liked the fact you used a prop. That’s not something quite easy to do, but you used it masterfully. My advice, like what JC said, it was still kinda easy for you guys, I know you can bring it, so please do. But overall, fantastic.
Slo-mo: Like what JC showed, that whole wave thing with you guys. It was so fast and so precise and I loved it. Good job Guys. 

JUNGLE BOOGIE: Wow, that was sick. Your performance was awesome. Personally, I was glad you got this Shakira song. I thought they’d give you She wolf because of the animals, but this was perfect. I love how you really used Raqi. For someone who doesn’t normally play sexy, I know that everyone here loved you. Also, you getting on the board, and dancing. I thought that was pretty cool. Also the wolf, showed which animal you were this week. And, what Lil Mama said when you combined stepping and cranking (I’d call it crepping or stanking) but it was hot. My advice, you guys still had a lot of energy, but I thought it went down just a tiny bit.
Slo-mo: When Raqi sat on the throne. It did show us that Raqi is in fact queen of the jungle. Loved your performance.

STATIC NOYZE: Static Noyze, you guys are still keeping it theatrical and that is great. I applaud you for using a prop, especially a big prop like a kart. But, like Omarion said, maybe you could have incorporated more. The ways you did incorporate it though were great. Like when (hope the name is right) Juan was flipped over the kart, sick. And how Suzette came out of the kart, shows once again her flexibility. Also, you highlighted a different member this week. Normally it was Suzette, now it’s Juan. Keeping doing that. My advice, when using a prop, use it in more ways. But overall, good job.
Slo-mo: The beginning when you were telling us the story. I think it was that your homeless, but you still live in the life of luxury. Once again, good job. 

 SALTARE: Once again, blowing the stage up with what you do. You once again wowed us with you stunts. The split over two guys into the ropes, the flip over the people to get into the ropes. You did mess up with the ladies. But, you still came back in and gave a great performance. And hey, doing all those moves in ropes is impressive. I feel however, it wasn’t your best performance. But it’s okay, it’s early in the season and you’ve got time to improve. I think you guys will go very far and just good job. (And, Thank you guys so much for answering my question! 
Slo-mo: When Tyler was going under Chaz while jumping rope, sick. Good job Saltare.
HEAVY IMPACT:  You guys are still bringing the groove and showing us what big boys can do. The whole splits and the flip over the head was nice. I feel like however, you used the video too much. I mean I know the challenge was to use the video, but when that was all done, I was hoping to see Heavy again. But, it was still great. You guys can still pop and lock. Don’t ever doubt yourself because you're big. You said that’s why people never picked you and you’re here to prove them wrong. My advice to this crew, Just don’t let challenge completely take over your choreo. I still wanna see that Heavy, I did your groovy style during the video part, just wanna see it more when you do the challenges. Just saying in the future, show more of heavy, when doing the challenges. Other then that, good job.
Slo-mo: When Leon blew a kiss to the crowd, playing to the ladies and I think the ladies like. Great job Heavy.

HYPE 5-0: Wow, this group always brings a surprise. The first one was when the ladies were on the railings and that was good. They reminded me of Fly Khicks during their group performance. I also liked how both girls were Brittney. You also played the sex appeal which is good because everyone knows Brittney for her sex appeal. The booty grooving and the guys grinding on the floor and the kiss. However, I also think that was your problem, you played the sex appeal a little too much. I can understand the booty grooving from the video, but what about the grinding and kiss? My advice, just cut back on he sexy a little.
Slo-mo: When you actually dismounted from the split. JC said you were sloppy, I disagree I thought I was good and for you to be in a split in the first place, that’s impressive. 

Bottom 2: I was actually excited for this bottom 2. I felt like these crews were flying under the radar and now they were forced to come out.

ROYAL FLUSH: I like you for your diverse dance styles. I did like your video, I thought it complemented  you well because I see you guys as a club crew. I liked the way you put your girl in the front. Gissette, I thought you did a much better job at your front of the group part. I know your challenge was breaking, but I think you did well. My advice, you’ve highlighted Gissette now 3 times. It’s not that you're bad Gissette, but other members in your crew need the spotlight as well.
Slo-mo: The card trick. You pulled off a magic trick with them and it was dope. When I see cards, I think magic (or poker). Good job.

BLUEPRINT CRU:  Hey Omarion, I better see these guys in your next video. Let’s start with you guys in the beginning with you all jumping around and what not. You were very excited I could tell and that was good. The whole Omarion part was good. The head stand was nice. But, 2 people did go down early. That was the only bump in your performance. Other than that, it was good.   

Slo-mo: Nick’s hand stand b-boying moves. Also, the group popping to the music. You were together and I thought it was good.

Walk it out: Best thing was the spins. They were cool. I will miss Royal Flush. The way they incorparted so many styles was nice.
Final Comments: Now a 5 in 7 chance a co-ed crew will win. Also, most of the crews actually used a prop.   Just thought I’d point that out. Hope you liked the review, leave a comment. Also, get ready to get your Gaga on.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Preview from the Pressbox - Chris Trondsen on ABDC5's Music Video Challenge

Here's the rest of Chris' preview:

Most of the crews’ performances were solid, but the two crews that ended up getting the most votes gave (in my opinion) the two best performances of the night.  It really showed why these two crews earned the most votes from the viewers.   

One crew ended up messing up a few times and struggled to get back into the rhythm of things.  They are a fan favorite and it will be interesting to see if their fans rally behind them to support them moving on even though they weren't as strong as in earlier weeks.

Here are some behind the scenes things that you will not see watching tonight’s episode:   
The crew that ended up getting sent home stuck around for interviews.  What this means is after they find out they are going home, they still stuck around to talk to press.  This is impressive because most crews end up saying they don’t want to talk to press and just leave early. They worked hard and had so much to prove so they took going home pretty bad.  However, they showed professionalism by sticking around and speaking to press.  

One crew ended up getting a song and a prop from a video that they didn’t like.  Watching the show, it was pretty obvious which crew got the short end of the stick for this challenge.  It was much more difficult than any other of the crew’s challenges.  The song was more difficult to dance to and the props were very hard to dance on stage with.  They still had a great performance and made the best of it, but behind the scenes, they didn’t like what was given to them. 

One thing I was told by all the MTV staffers is that this is the season where the members of each crew have become the closest.  They all stay in a hotel close to the studio in Burbank and many of the crews will go into each other’s rooms and watch movies or sit in the lobby and talk for hours.  They are genuinely disappointed when a crew goes home.  This, out of all the crews, is the season where each crew has become super close to the other crews and a huge family.  When a crew goes home, backstage we see all the other crews hugging them and consoling them and doing what they can to help them keep their head’s up.

This Week's Guests:
This week’s guests included Supreme Soul from Season 2.  They are close friends with Hype 5-0 and some of the member’s of Hype are actually part of Supreme Soul’s extended dance family.  They came down from Northern California to support.  Also, Josh aka Hazmat’s older brother Jason came all the way from Hawaii to surprise his brother and support his crew.  Jason designs clothing for the clothing company Kallusive clothing, and the other two owners of the company were all there wearing Hype 5-0 shirts a clothing designer from Hawaii made for them!

Also, Mario Lopez’s friend and Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao showed up to watch the show.  He arrived with a whole entourage following him and sat in the audience to both enjoy the show and support Mario Lopez who invited him.
DaShaun from last season’s Vogue Evolution flew out here from New York and hosted for  He sat in the press room with us and experienced what is was like to be there.  He really enjoyed it and is going to try to be back next week before he heads back home.

The crew Klaamation was also in attendance.  Some may know them as one of the crews that were in contending to be on the show representing the West Coast.  Members were also in Omarion’s two music videos for “I Get It In” and “Hoodie” and responsible for the choreography.  They watched the show and also talked to Chris Stokes, and Romeo and Marques Houston from Immature/IMx because members have also worked with Chris Stokes’ T.U.G. label.  Also, backstage was Cameron Hobbs and Christa from BreakEFX.

Overall, I felt last week’s episode was much stronger, however, this weeks was still a must see.  This season really has a lot of talent and it’s pretty hard to decide which crews are going to end up in the finals.  The music video challenge was great and they actually played the music video while the crew was performing and when they do the part of the video they had to recreate for the challenge, it shows them in comparison to the actual video and just how close the crews come to performing it just like it’s being done in the video!   It was really impressive!  So make sure you watch tonight and keep voting to keep your favorite crew around!

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tanooki's take: Predictions and advice for ABDC's Music Video challenge

Hype 5-0: Alright so last week I said that Hype would need to come up with more wow factor to put them in the spotlight. I think that what they did was alright, but they need to establish dominance now or else they will be gone early. If they can incorporate stuff they had in the battles like the boat or police car then they might reclaim a high spot

Heavy Impact: They showed again how versatile they were with the unexpected flips and flexibility. Their vibe is very smooth, but to earn more votes I think they should incorporate more of their strength which is their size. Their choreo needs to improve and add some  strong-related aspect like krumping or lifting. A high energy performance would change a lot of people's minds

Poreotix: The only knock on their performance is that they need to spread out and show they can outdance other groups at their own thing, such as choreo and "flips". Most of the people who knew them before the show know they have backgrounds in choreo and bboying, and if they add that to their set, they can show their dominance.

Jungle Boogie: AND YOU GUYS WANTED GHOST TO MAKE IT...Haha but seriously they had the highlight of the night. Great enthusiasm and overall performance. People need to realize that this crew can be just as clean as the others. This definitely put them at the top of the crew standings for now, but to make sure they stay there they need another repeat performance

Royal Flush: do not sleep on this crew, there are two ways this crew can go

  1. They can't get an audience because they become too generic and become an early vote off, OR
  2. Their versatility will allow them to cover almost any challenge, which will snowball the support of the crew and make them a top contender. If the other crews don't "take them out" in the first few weeks, expect them to be in top 4
Blueprint: Again very clean in their choreography, but they need to find a "personality" other than being the clean crew. Static Noyze will always out-quirky them when it comes to story and creativity and Royal Flush has bboys as well as people who flip. So unless they have a strong showing next week, expect them to not make it far

Static Noyze: I like the different approach they had to the challenge. Their uniqueness probably gained them a lot more time. They should keep it up, but must make sure that they can still connect with the audience or else the public will see them as just that "artsy" crew

Saltare: Tons of stunts again. I loved their ability to switch ropes on the fly, and they showed a nice attempt at adding choreography. They most likely have enough stunts to last for weeks and wow new viewers. So their main job is to show that they can dance enough to be considered a "dancing" crew by those critics. If they are able to actually do a surprise dance, they could go much further than other people think

Side Note:
Biting- it is very hard to bite a "move" unless it's something specific like a flip to a headspin combo where no else expects it from anyone else but them. Biting is usually choreography. As long as they can help moves progress into more creative ways then it's not biting, it's called dancing haha
At the same time, I always thought it would be scary awesome for a crew to do a sort "Shoot the Moon" (Hearts anyone?) where they just look at a crew's choreo during a performance and can copy it on spot, just to show how simple their dancing was and how experienced the mirror crew is
Comments, feedback, and overall love, or hate, is appreciated (^^^)  <---facebook shark

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ninjaboi's Review of ABDC5's Chart Topper Challenge

This week being an actual “challenge” week, I’m rolling out 2 new categories to my scoring system, both 10 pts each:

Challenge – how well does the crew incorporate the challenge, and put their own twist on it?  Do they just dance to it and throw in the challenge at the end or is it fully integrated throughout the routine, and even in a way you wouldn’t have expected.  This category is defined each week.  It is also adjusted base on how difficult the song was. Example of 10: Beat Freaks’ Magic Ball routine, We Fly High by Supercr3w, VMA challenge by Massive Monkees
Improvement – how well the crew builds on things that they need to improve on. Mostly based on judge’s comments from previous weeks, and seeing if they address those issues. However, crews that begin to improve to the point where they lose “who they are” as a result will be penalized.  If a crew didn’t get any real critiques, then they get a default of 7.  Example of 10: Quest Crew learning how to do transitions

As a reminder, the other three categories are
Choreography: How intricate, how complex, but most of all how TOGETHER everyone is. Not limited to footwork either. – Example of 10: Kaba Modern’s Technologic Routine
Wow/Tricks: Is there something that makes you remember the routine? Usually athletic tricks, but insane tutting, or humor also works – Example of 10: Jabbawockeez’s 3 minute headspin
Showmanship: Is it an overall performance, and not just a showcase of talent?  Faces, energy, stage use, formations, highlighting of individuals, comedy, story telling, to name a few. – Example of 10: Orquestra 


HYPE 5-0
Choreo – 8 – The choreo itself was pretty good.  Not quite as good as last week’s but it was decent.
Wow – 6 – They had their moments.  That body throw and the jackpot moment. But nothing to special
Showmanship – 7 - I don’t agree with the judges about the energy.  But they used the stage well, and nice facial expressions. Good formations, clean as always, and transitioned well. Overall, pretty entertaining to watch.
Challenge – 6 – Not all that great, challenge wise.  It more or less dancing to the music, and finding beats and rhythm and how the body corresponds.  Good choreography in itself, but undirected.  The song itself wasn’t really a “give it to me” song, though I’ve seen their choreography to it before, but it wasn’t too difficult either.
Improvement – 6 – Not much improvement over last week, to be honest.  The only thing that makes this one memorable was (for the fangirls out there), the men taking off their shirts.
Notes: The thing I notice with this crew is, while their choreography is sick – is choreography for choreography’s sake, I think.  While that’s alright and all, that puts them at a distinct disadvantage against crews that have directed choreography – either to a theme or to a story line.  But, if they can do that, I think they’ll be in good position.  On a side note: Thanks to Hype for the shoutout in this week’s interviews!
Total: 33/50

Choreo – 7 – Not the most difficult choreography to the world, they can definitely dance and I think excluding them based on their size is unfair. It was a bit sloppy though, like that pirouette.
Wow – 7 – We’ve seen the backflips last week, we get that they can fly.  But that tunnel of love was new, and pretty interesting.
Showmanship – 6 – Facial expressions were pretty good, and their transitions were a tad, though not much, better.  But I think the novelty of bigger guys grooving is starting to wear off.
Challenge – 7 – This song was more or less given to them.  It’s a very grooveable song, and they did groove, on the floor, while upright. 
Improvement – 5 – The flavor of this routine was that it wasn’t really that distinguishable from last week.  It was new, but there wasn’t much aside from the tunnel where I could go “First week, this crew did this.  Second week, they did this new thing.”
Notes: Overall, I like these guys.  But they have to bring something new next week that we’re not expecting.  We get that they can be light on their feet, but is that all they’re trying to show?  I’d be pretty impressed if they can throw their weight around while krumping.
Total: 32/50
Choreo – 7 – I know JC says that they need to do more footwork type choreography, and not just isolations.  But this was still an overall TOGETHER piece, which I see as most important.  However, I’m docking them major points, cause I’m not sure if anyone else say this, but I think Can messed up during the glide.  Instead of pointing up, he almost lifted his shirt up and just waved his hands.  Aside from that though, pretty sick.
Wow – 7 – Not as impressive as Taylor Swift’s Kanye moment, but I like the knuckle wave and the tats. And again, their isolations are so impressive that they get points here.
Showmanship – 9 – Definitely their strong point.  They told a story (not wanting to wake up between the day and nite), and that was pretty insightful to have the moon and sun tattoos.  For some reason, I get the same impression I did with Jabba – that every routine of their’s is like its in a mystical, dreamlike state.  Maybe it’s just this song, the shades, the glitter from this week.
Challenge – 8 - Not the easiest song to dance to, Day and Nite.  If anyone in this competition were to dance to it though, the dreamlike sound of the song fits Poreotix the best.  And they did use the song itself as a theme throughout the routine, which is good.
Improvement – 7 – Nothing from the judges to improve on from last week.
Notes: I expect that they’re holding back. They’re in Pac Modern, and some from Sickstep.  Thus I know they can do Choreo and Breaking.  In fact, this is just like Kaba Modern in season 1 – First episode was mostly isolations (remember the robot?).  Second week was a music video challenge, and they pulled out the hard choreo then.  So I’m sensing that that’s what’s going to happen.  Also, like Hype, thanks for the shoutout in the interview!
Total: 39 – 10% penalty = 35.1

For the West, Poreotix definitely should have been saved.  Between Hype and Heavy Impact, technically Hype should have been said.  But it’s a one point difference, and Heavy Impact has that story MTV wants to sell.  So it wasn’t entirely unexpected.

Choreo – 7 - It wasn’t bad… but a far cry from Regionals.  Idk, it was missing that swag
Wow – 6 – I don’t know if anyone noticed with the lights, but there was a flame in there, which given Croom’s story about his burned out house seems appropriate some how.   And there were a few freezes, but nothing memorable, really.
Showmanship – 6 – I feel that they showcased Elizabeth too much.  I mean, she is supposed to be the Rihanna, but then that took away from some of the stuff the other guys were doing.  Their energy was great too, but it came off as more of angry than confident.
Challenge – 7 – I actually got this routine – playing off the army theme in the music video (salute, binoculars), and Elizabeth was supposed to be Rhianna.  Pretty interesting.
Improvement – 4 – Swagger said that they were laid back when other crews were sweating because they had practiced beforehand?  But I got the sense that they were trying too hard here for the simpler moves, as opposed to the laid back Swagger Crew we knew.  Plus they had two weeks to rest up, so we were sorta expecting more from you.
Notes: I really really honestly love this crew.  But this performance was, with no excuses, much less than what we were expecting from you.  Sorry guys.  I will say I wish I could have seen the full fire trick, given what I heard about the original not being permitted by the fire marshal. On a side note, you all pulled a no-no.  Any crew that mentions the possibility of marriage on this show will go.  Rhythm City (Dominique/Alonzo messing around with it), Massive Monkees (Lil Lazy’s wedding), and now you guys.  But by all means, good luck and many blessings to Caba for his coming marriage.
Total: 30/50
Choreo – 8 – Energetic, and pretty fun to watch.  Not as intricate as other crews, to be honest, but their unique style just fit.  I dig the African section as well.
Wow – 8 – Wow.  That backflip on the edge of the stage was cool.  And this wasn’t as impressive athletically as it was memorable, but that whole group grind just made it stick in your head.
Showmanship – 8 – I think they got lucky a bit – the four crews before them had been pretty low energy, so when these cats come out, it, as JC said, woke us up.  But even then, they used the stage well, had decent facial expressions, highlighted members, etc.  Bonus using the cat theme.
Challenge – 7 – Of all the crews, I think they got the song that best fits them, given the high energy song.  It just seems like a song they’d be good with.  But I saw only a little bit of them “getting low.”  I mean, the song was given to them, and they killed it.  But for me, they could have at least thrown in a bit longer section with them getting “low” like in the music video.  It was there, and probably taking a bit more away from the other stuff would have been bad.  Idk.
Improvement – 7 – I don’t remember anything distinct for them to work on,
Notes: Some call this the best of the night.  It depends on what you’re looking for, but the energy of this crew is seriously contagious.  It seems the judges want more energetic crews this time round, so they’re getting a boost there.  Hopefully that energy gives them enough momentum.  I also wonder… what are they gonna use next week as their animal?
Total: 38/50
Choreo – 6 – For all you naysayers saying they’re only a trick crew: In Your Face.  While it wasn’t the most spectacular choreography, it took up the majority of the routine.  Some of the isos/tutting near the beginning were a bit sloppy though.
Wow – 7- Again their forte, though not as much as last time.  Flips, and threading.  And of course their cards.
Showmanship – 6 – They timed their tricks well, and used the stage well.  Overall, their formations were okay, if a bit sloppy at times.  Also, Gissette took center light, which was okay, not great, though I think Tyrone may have been a better choice, as at the end.  Overall, pretty good.
Challenge – 7 – Honestly, I think that this crew had the hardest mix relative to what they do best.  Poreotix at least got the song that, among the rest of the crews, they had the best chance.  This song would have been a better fit for a choreo based crew like Hype or a lyrical story crew like Static Noyze.  Even the music video’s choreography seemed more like something JC would do back in the day. The only decent choreography not based on lyricals or isolations I could find was from some crew in Japan, and even then it was the whole song, heavily remixed.  Props to District 78 for fixing the song.  As for what Royal Flush did, they got in with the music.  When it said “Let’s fly away,” they flipped into the sky.  When it said “Great Escape,” they did threading, which reminded me of escaping a knot.  When it said “Let’s run away,” they ran into position.  When it said to get down, they got low to the ground.  Excellent
Improvement – 9 – Most improved crew.  Without a doubt.  They did choreo and did a new card trick (Btw, I totally called that they’d throw them up in the air last time).
Notes: Now that I look back at it, it was one of my favorite performances of the night, given what it meant for them to show that they could do choreography while still showing their tricks.  I got a feeling they can fly under a radar.  Personally I’d love to see a battle cipher cause apparently they have mad bboy skills.
Total: 35/50

So, Swagger Crew going home was obviously the right choice, much to my disappointment in a larger sense that they wouldn’t be able to show us all they had, which I know is a lot.  But so far, the South is showing up the West. 


Choreo – 7 – They’re trying to move outside the jumprope only stuff, showing us some isolations and some salsa-type moves.  Which is fine and all.  But with the isos, make sure they’re really really clean, as if they’re compared to other crew’s, they’ll fall short as more crews get weeded out.  In terms of hip hop type choreography, still lacking.  In terms of using jumpropes together, as I said last time… it’s still good.  But it’s starting to get somewhat old.  I appreciate how hard it is to hold the jump rope for someone who’s holding your jump rope, and how they’re crossing, and am duly impressed.  But it still feels like showcasing more than choreographing.
Wow – 7 – You can’t deny that the choreography adds that wow factor.  But compared to last week, the only relatively athletic thing we saw was the monkey roll. 
Showmanship – 6 – Used the whole stage, but was sort of a given, seeing how long their ropes are.  Transitions were pretty good, though I did note a sort of dead moment when they’re waiting for a beat.  Also, they repeated one trick – the jumping through members.  Energetic yes.
Challenge – 6 – the only real embrace of the challenge I noted was the salsa bit, given that it’s a Pitbull song.  Other than that, nada.  Next week will be interesting to see, unless there’s a video with jumpropes in it.
Improvement – 6 – like Heavy Impact,
not much was different from then to now.  You even lost the athletic flips and stuff.  Though I will say I appreciate you moving toward a non-jumprope position.  But still, give us some defining moment years from now we can say “Saltare’s week 3 performance was defined by [insert defining moment].
Notes:  All I’ll say is that it’s going to be interesting to see these guys do a music video, especially if its one without jump ropes.  Can they do it?
Total: 32/50
Choreo – 7 – Pretty good, though it was interrupted from time to time with the story telling moments, I think.  Overall though, it was pretty good.  I will say that the cat fight segment was a bit hectic… though whether that was intentional or not, I don’t know.
Wow – 7 – They live up to their motto of art before tricks.  Not many tricks here.  They get some points though for major creativity, especially with the full circle story telling.  Plus give some props to Enrique for catching Suzette with a hurt back.
Showmanship – 10 – It’s a battle between this crew and Poreotix in terms for this category.  This week, they had a better, more coherent story.  Energy and facial expressions were on point.  Suzette has taken the limelight twice though, they may want to let someone else shine next week.
Challenge – 8 – This song was more or less fed to them.  It has a clear storyline, which they excel at delivering.  And they did deliver alright.  Clear story line, and very well thought out.
Improvement – 8 – Omarion told them they needed to show more soul last time (major disagreement).  They definitely did, whether you agree with him last time or not.
Notes:  They seem to epitomize what I’m talking about with choreography with direction – every routine has some directed purpose to it, and is not choreography for choreography’s sake.  I would want to see them dance to Mozart, as the judge’s said.  Though, to be honest, if they get another romance song, it may get old to watch that story repeat itself.
Total: 40/50
Choreo – 8 - Not quite as precise I think as last time, but still impressive and they came hard.
Wow – 7 – They had more of this, with throws, some theatrics, and the bboy highlight again.
Showmanship – 8 – So many different styles… and they also made good use of their bodies as screens/curtains to reveal members… that happened about 5 different times from what I saw.  Energetic for sure, and made good use of the stage and facial expressions.  Nice attitude at the appropriate moments.
Challenge – 7 – It wasn’t quite on point… but I could get something along the lines that “That’s not my name” is about mistaken identity.  Here, you have so many different things about this crew that you couldn’t point out any one thing as the defining moment, since there were so many things in here.  A bit of a stretch I think, but they did alright.  Matching the lyrics was pretty good too (“Chicks standing up against the wall”)
Improvement – 7 – They threw in that wow moment as suggested.  Aside from that, not much else to improve on
Notes: All I’ll say is that watching them dance in Canada in thick overcoats was extremely entertaining to watch.
Total: 38/50

So, as for the crew to go to battle, I was extremely disappointed that Static Noyze went.  For crying out loud, they had the best score of the night.  But what’s done is done.  I suspect the judge’s were more wowed than I was.  I’ve had a few days to mull over these, while they had to make a decision in a few minutes.  But still… get it right.

Hype 5-0:  Guys, why do we have to wait until battle to see this stuff?  This definitely was better than your regular routine, though there were some dead moments during the police section.  But that was pretty clever, using those lights.  Though ya’ll have some affinity for vehicles?  Try it in a regular routine maybe.
Swagger Crew: I like the way ya’ll came in.  But overall, it seemed like ya’ll were sorta tired by that point.  And ya’ll pulled an Afroborike, with Elizabeth, which distracted from the rest of the crew.
Static Noyze: That clock was genius and alone probably saved you, again.  The rest of the routine wasn’t too shabby either.

In the end, we ended up having the lowest scoring crew go home, although it pains me to accept that fact.  Also, what were the judges thinking sending the other two crews into battle?  Oh well, next week is the return of fanbased votes. 

Hype 5-0 – I’d suggest having a direction with your choreography.  Let the choreo have a point to it, rather than being for choreo’s sake
Heavy Impact – Give us something more than just grooving. Don’t lose the groove, but augment it with something else.  I’d totally dig a krumping section.  Make the camera shake, that’ll get someone’s attention with your energy.
Poreotix  - Pac Modern or Sickstep – dig up something from your other crews and use it.
Jungle Boogies – Keep the energy, not much else to say.
Royal Flush – I wonder what card trick ya’ll will pull out next.  Also, keep the choreo, fix your lines, and maybe even the balance between choreo and tricks.
Saltare – work on some really strong hip hop choreography, without ropes.  Or maybe have the choreography with the ropes going.  But don’t showcase jump roping for a third week in a row.
Static Noyze – I don’t know what more the judges want from you, but keep the story telling. Maybe spread the limelight to another member aside Suzette, because she’s overshining some other members.  Also, get better, Enrique.
Blueprint – It’s clean still, but some points weren’t as precise as I think you all would like.  The throw was a tad awkward.  But overall, not much to say. 

I’m adding a new dimension to this.  First, I’m taking the judge’s views of the crews – which they seem to really rave about right now. (+ = favors, 0=neutral, - = seems to not understand) Then, I’m taking the score I put up this week, and a cumulative score to show potential.  Finally, I’m looking at one channel with youtube views of the routines and seeing who has the most views, as a guideline for which crews America likes.
Format: (Judge’s opinion, this week’s rating, cumulative score, total views)

1.Blueprint (+, 38, 62, 5407) – The judges seem to really like them, and they have been very consistent.  They also have a decent following in terms of people looking them up because they were good, though how much this is of Canada not being able to watch until Sunday I don’t know.
2. Poreotix (0, 35.1/39, 59.4/66, 13429) – Despite being called out for not having as much choreography, they have the foundations for it.  Like I said, this is a lot like Kaba Modern’s situation.  Plus, I doubt they will go to battle, given this much interest in them.
3.Static Noyze (-, 30, 61, 6859) – While the judges don’t seem to understand them, sending them to battle two weeks in a row, they’ve impressed a LOT of people, so I don’t think battle will be an issue for them.
4.Royal Flush (0, 35, 57, 3259) – While some call Static Noyze the dark horse, I think this crew is one to watch out for – they’re receiving a decent following, and definitely show that they can improve.  Plus they have the underdog side being that they’ve tried for so long.
5.Hype 5-0 (-, 33, 55, 3861) – While having a disappointing week, America (or maybe it’s just Hawaii checking up on their routine before it airs), is following them.  Hopefully they won’t go to battle though, because the judges seem to not understand their regular routines as much.
6.Jungle Boogies (0, 38, 60, 2992)  - While they had one of the better performances tonight, America doesn’t seem to remember them as much.  But they show that they have the ability to provide consistent routines.  While they probably will sneak by under the radar, they have to get a better following.
7.Saltare (+, 32, 55, 3386) – A lot of people on here don’t like them, and I can see why (no issue with them myself).  The judges seem to love them though, and they do have a sort of base with jump ropers – (a lot more people than you would expect)
8.Heavy Impact (+, 32, 52, 2559)  - Personally, I really like this crew and their grooving style.  So do the judges.  But America has graced them with the least interest, and to be honest they have provided two routines that are very similar, and markedly below the performance level of a few other crews (they even scored cumulatively lower than Swagger Crew [53]).  Step it up guys, or you’ll be going home soon.

-Swagger Crew’s walk it out – good job keeping a positive face guys, and even being able to have some fun with it. I know I’m going to miss you all.  And again, good luck to Caba!
-Judges – on point for some critiques, wild off the mark/controversial in others.  JC so far has been the best so far.
-Props to District 78 for mixing these tunes sickly.  I recommend that you go to their site and find the thought process behind all these mixes.
-Best Behind the Scenes moment: Saltare’s mix getting changed for the word “gushy” for Hotel Room Service.  Either that or, according to Poreotix’s blog, going to watch Valentines Day and then doing a flash mob freeze with the other crews.

So, can’t wait until next week, when we see if youtube views correspond to how America votes, if the crews you want to stay stay, and how they deal with the Music Video challenge.  Good luck to all the crews!
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