Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ninjaboi's Review of ABDC5's Disco Challenge

Reminder of grading scale scale:
Choreography = Togetherness, Intricacy, Styles, Execution
Wow = Athletic stuff, defining moments, humor, extreme isolations
Showmanship = Energy, stage use, formations, transitions, facials, attitude, highlighting
Challenge = Meeting the challenge
Improvement = showing us new parts about yourself while keeping the old aspects intact. 

As always, I take 10% off of Poreotix cause of personal bias.  However, looking at cumulative scores, this range may be getting too big (a variation of 20 points or so between a possible minimum and maximum value of their real score).  Comment if you think I should keep the 10% discount, or if I’ve learned how to judge them objectivelyish, and I’ll lower it to 5% next week perhaps.

This week, the challenge will have three parts to it I’m looking at.
-How well they did the lifts
-How well they executed the task given them
-How well they captured the overall funky disco theme.

BLUEPRINT – Do the Funky Guitar
Choreo – 8 – Is it just me or was their a bit less of their typical choreography than last week?  There was more of a groove type quality to their movements.  Still dope nonetheless not to take away from it.  but overall a bit lacking compared to past weeks in terms of preciseness.  While I know that was their challenge, I hope they go back to it next week with Usher.
Wow – 7 – Bboy Hero at it again.  That Afro-windmill reminded me of the Jabba Hanky-flare.  I do get the sense though, that they’re limiting the wow-moves like that to him only.  While I don’t expect someone who hasn’t been training in bboying to get it in one week, surprise us a bit perhaps, like with the Chart Topper Challenge.
Showmanship – 7 – The Afro bit was pretty funny, as was the Soul Train explosion.  Facial expressions were pretty good.  Formations seem a bit limited to this one with Bboy in the middle and the Soul Train and one diagonal at the end.  Transitions between these were good though.  The energy was great, and the ending was like an exclamation point.
Challenge – 10 – I cannot complain about anything here.  Perfect Disco-era feeling to the whole routine, especially with the Soul-explosion.  The Funky Guitar was on point.  The lifts were excellent.  
Improvement – 7 – This is what I was afraid of.  Given their great performance last week, this one’s seemed  a tad bland, though only after watching it a bunch of times.  Also, like I said I really miss the technical Blueprint.  Can we see that next week please? But overall, they didn’t take a step back at least.  Just make sure to improve each time
Highlight: Bboy Hero’s freeze.  If you look at what everyone else is doing on the ground while lying down, you’ll see why.  Just having them do that added a whole level of dimension to this.
Notes:  Along with Poreotix, they’re pulling away from the rest of the pack. Hopefully America (as in the US) wakes up to this and votes for them given that Canadians can’t.  And woo for smooth Usher next week!
SALTARE – Do the Hustle
Choreo – 5- Here’s the problem.  Like with Xtreme Motion, their dances are starting to become showcases of jump roping, rather than an integration of jump roping with dance.  The only real rope free stuff were more tricks or posing/funky guitar by itself. And there was the goof up…
Wow – 10 – While some may say I’m just giving it to them for the fire (which is a huge part of it), I must explain why.  It’s sorta funny, cause the “trading ropes” part when there are three ropes, is real similar to something I’m currently *trying* to teach my dance crew, only using pounding bamboo sticks on the ground.  And it’s tougher than you think.  To do that outside of two dimensions and to add that added level of danger (not just difficulty), not only could they have a burning behind, their hair could catch on fire.  I know how hard it is to get that trick without fire with simpler props. So I can appreciate that fire. And as always, the various tricks they did (aside from the one mess up) were good.  
Showmanship – 7 – Fire is always a crowd pleaser, and good job for tying it (no pun intended) to the lyrics.  The facials were a bit meh for some points, but they used the stage better (new rope formation!)  And when they messed up, they recovered quickly without letting themselves be held up.  I wil
Challenge – 6 – Again, like last week, there wasn’t much of a sense of the overall mood of the theme being there.  Last week, very little Gaga.  This week, not much in terms of funky disco, aside from a few generic poses.  As for the hustle… I only saw the one at the beginning outside the ropes and one short one in the middle.  So they got it, but only with 2 same people twice.  As for the lift, they got one (outside ropes), but messed up the other, which I’ll have to penalize them for.
Improvement – 6 – Last week was better, but overall they’ve been declining.  Sure the fire itself was a step up, but the routine as a whole felt very similar to what we’ve seen.  And they messed up again, although props for recovering really quickly.
Highlight – What else but the fire?  Still hella amazed by that.
Notes: Guys (and girls).  I want to love you guys.  And I do.  In all honesty my own dance style IRL is probably the closest to ya’ll’s.  But crews in the past who have otherwise have had perfect performances the whole season have been sent home for a single error.  Just because the ropes are there doesn’t mean they should be an excuse that “it’s more difficult so it’s okay to mess up occasionally.”  To be frank, blow us out of the water next week if you want to stay.
POREOTIX – Do the Robot
Choreo – 9 – Together for sure.  Even in the large movements they act as one giant movement.  Kept that funky groove of the disco era while still being precise as always.  Upped the difficulty level of their big movement stuff a bit.  And the small stuff was dope as always
Wow – 8 – Definitely pulled out more tricks from the Bboying part of their resume.  Dolphin Wave was sweet, as was the Law-pressing.  I also have fallen in love with Jet-Li’s animation moments.  
Showmanship – 10 – Wow. They had the humor.  They built up to all their moments.  They used the stage well, had the great facial expressions, and the right attitude with the whole thing.  They used the whole stage and had really great transistions.  They played the crowd and gave them what they want. The opening let us know that something new was up. The ending was just the icing on the cake – like a lot of the best performances, they kept going even after the music ended.
Challenge – 9 – Disco feel was there, very “funky” feel to the whole thing.  For the lifts, the first one was okay, they got it in there.  The second lift wasn’t as disco as the rest of the routine, but it was very impressive, especially for Charles being the bench having to carry both guys on his back.  I know that they got off easy cause they do the robot every week.  And to be honest, while their set this week was dope and all, it was, compared to some other robotics in the past, very short, left me wanting more.  In all honesty I could give them a 10 here, aside from that fact that they really could have killed the robot even more.  
Improvement – 8 – In America’s eyes, they redeemed themselves by getting JC back.  I personally hope they never forget to throw in the Popping and Robotics in there as they originally planned, because they would lose half of who they are that way (the humor is the other part).  But definitely a step up in America’s eyes.
Highlight – This was a very very small thing that not many would highlight I think.  But during the part right after the windmills, when there are 2 guys on either side of whoever’s doing the bboying (sorry, couldn’t tell), the two guys are going up and down in a manner that was sort of like soundwaves on an oldstyle radio.  Very small, but the coordination was perfect.  Really stood out to me more than a lot of other things.
Notes:  This reminds me a lot of the Jabba’s MJ performance.  They both sorta outshone all the other routines they had done up to that point, like a second breakout performance (the first being Taylor Swift to get the votes).  The similar costumes and the sexy moves and the music helped.  This really helped Poreotix break away from the rest of the herd.  While I may prefer the slower Poreotix personally, they gave America what they want.  They rode the “tik tik tik” wave as long as they could in order to get as far as they could while conserving their energy, but like a master chess grandmaster they waited until the opportune moment to pull out just a little bit of all the other stuff they can do to sorta say “oh yeah? We can do this too.”  Just don’t ever lose that robotic part of yourself guys, there are still people who love that.
TOTAL: 44-10%=39.6

HYPE 5-0 – Do the electric slide
Choreo – 9 – As always the Choreography was dope.  It had that disco feel.  Missing your “dangerous” style a bit, though it was still there to some degree, so hopefully that can return next week.  Still sexy at times.  And always together.  Not as much as in past weeks, it seems you were trying to focus on the wow stuff a bit more, though.
Wow – 8 – You, like a lot of crews this episode, showed a new side to yourselves by bringing out your bboys.  They could have been integrated a bit better I think (perhaps hiding whoever’s gonna be doing the tricks behind a person screen in order to hide the set up for the tricks a bit.  And mansplits ftw.
Showmanship – 7 – The formations were a tad stagnant.  14 seconds with Duey in the center (though he was doing a tricks), 25 seconds with Ramones in the center (who wasn’t doing a trick all the time), with people in symmetrical formations on either side doing the same thing mirrorwise.  Highlight individuals, but keep it moveing still.  Transitions when you had them were good.  Energy was off the charts.  You obviously were having fun, which helped.  Facials were perfect.
Challenge – 8 – Pretty good, got that disco feel for sure (I expected ya’ll would).  The electric slide is a typical Wedding move, and as BJHayPinoy said, Filipinos everywhere should know it (it’s one of the few disco moves I can pull off successfully -__-).  However, I will admit it took me a few times of watching it and having my sister help me to find where it was.  Bring it out to the front next time I think, and sorta shove it in our faces so there is no question.  As for the lifts, I think ya’ll had more lifts total than any other crew, so good job on those.
Improvement – 7 – While you guys DID improve this week by showing us something new, I will say that perhaps you might want to raise the bar each week by a little bit more.  You improve, but I will say that this was not your best performance overall.   
Highlight: In the back during Duey’s hand hops, the girls and 2 guys do some tumble thing where they change positions and I’m still watching it over and over to try and see how they did it.
Notes: An excellent crew overall.  They bring different elements to the table and a pretty good sense of humor as well.  I seriously get the sense they’re holding something back from us, and I better see it soon.  Just work on fixing up what the judges tell you in the event that you somehow end up in the bottom again so that they are impressed and save you.  
HEAVY IMPACT – Do the Strut
Choreo -7 – Finally after weeks of begging I get my krumping! Aside from that, the choreography was pretty cool, groovy as always.  To some degree it was repetitive from previous weeks, in that a lot of the moves seemed a bit similar.
Wow – 7 – They toned down the number of flips in this one, but the krumping, while already mentioned, was great.
Showmanship – 7 – I love their concept of the audition.  It may have been better suited for a last chance challenge, tying in to their original problem of not being able to audition.  But this is essentially what that was, right? Anyway, they had better transitions, though the sign I felt forced them to stay in the center of the stage in terms of formations.  
Challenge – 7 – They delivered I think.  The strut was fun, if simple and the whole disco theme permeated.  I will say that while I didn’t expect them to lift some guy above each other’s heads, and that the lift was pretty cool with the death spiral at the end, It did seem a bit underplayed to some degree.
Improvement – 9 – They went out with a bang, with this being their best performance of the season.  I feel that if they had done something more of this energy earlier on, they would have turned out differently
Highlight: Did I mention I love their krumping section?  But aside from that, the strut followed by the guitar, while simple, was done with a groove/swagger that only you could pull off I think.
Notes: Sad to see you guys go so soon.  In all honesty, most of the performances this week were REALLY CLOSE TOGETHER, and any crew could have gone home.  I love the way you pulled out your personal selves and put it into this performance with the attitude of first “bigger is better,” and later the way you left us with a final message with the crew garage door.
Total: 37
STATIC NOYZE – Stayin Alive
Choreo – 8 – They always do well here.  And they seemed to accent this more.  A lot of styles here, so it was overall good.  Though, I did notice Peter being a bit behind during the ballet section.
Wow – 6 – With Enrique gone, these guys suffered due to the fact that he was the one who was able to bring the most solo tricks to the table.  Sure there were the lifts, but aside from that, it was more or less pure choreography.  
Showmanship – 9 – In a way the music sorta let them do this.  The classical composer theme I meant, with Goose playing the conductor and the rest his music.  The energy was pretty good, as if they were trying to project enough to fill in that missing spot where Enrique was supposed to be.  The facials were perfect.  Formations were good, and
Challenge – 7 – In a way I think the music also killed them this week.  Even with Enrique, the music was much more classical and less disco than others this week (remember the judges saying they could dance to Mozart?  They did, in a way, kinda).  But overall, while they had the great lifts and the staying alive, the disco wasn’t really there, I felt.  More classical/contemporary than disco.  Maybe that was a function of the music, but there were only about 2 of 3 moments that shone as disco to me.  Heck, I felt more ballet in there than disco.
Improvement – 7 – I understand its hard to match their past performance when one of their members is out of commission.  And I’m considering that in this score. Overall, they didn’t get better from last week (who could top Baby Gaga?)  or Whatcha say.  But they didn’t get worse.
Highlight: Suzette’s smile (not the legs open part, the face).  Perfect cherubim.  Captured that moement perfectly.
Notes: First off, Enrique, get rested and get therapy.  And then, don’t beat yourselves up for being injured – these things happen and we can only deal with them as they come.  It takes great courage to keep going.  It takes even more courage to not go one when you really want to.  This is sorta like with BreakEFX… if they were to pass on, what would Enrique do?  Stay on the sidelines each week?  How’s that for torture?  And if he pushed himself again, who’s to know if that 3rd collapse would be what causes him to never be able to dance again?  Secondly: I will miss this crew because they had choreography with a purpose in mind – to tell a story.  They really did turn dance back into a classical Artform.  Finally, Suzette better try out for SYTYCD.  Forreal.  
Total: 37
Jungle Boogie – Do the Bump
Choreo – 7 – It was a lot less of their cranking style, but given their name, I get a feeling that they all really know this style as well.  Definitely kept the energy, though not sure about the raw cranking.  Felt sorta silly dancing to me, though so long as they had fun with themselves, I had fun.
Wow – 6 – Not much this epsidoe really, aside from a RAQI STRONG lift, and the final human log roll, which was a bit cumbersome to set up imho.
Showmanship – 7 – For one thing, the transitions and formations and energy were pretty excellent.  They mixed in a lot of different styles.  I will say that at some points the choreography lost me as an audience member.  But the overall attitude and stage presence were there.  The opening let us slowly ease into the mood of the whole thing while the ending left us satisfied.
Challenge – 10 – Of all the crews in the bottom, and indeed for most of the night, they had the most disco feel to them.  I don’t know whether or not its because their name comes from the song or what.  
Improvement – 7 – Not better, not worse.  In all honesty, I didn’t get the sense I get when I watch them cranking hard (maybe I just don’t catch it in here?)  So they better go back to it, I think.  But they met their challenge for real here.  Right up there with the rest of their great performances.
Highlight: The hand movements near the beginning between partners.  Sorta reflects the overall playful nature of this piece.
Notes – Finally they look like the person in their banner lol.  But seriously, who didn’t expect them to get this song?  Now, I will say one thing I’m not digging is the disappearance of the zoo.  Keep that up guys, please!!! I caught a few animal sounds, but like last week couldn’t pinpoint a specific animal theme for this.  But, overall a lot of people keep forgetting this crew.  A few more beast performances and they could easily get top 3.
Total: 37
In short… the way the numbers turned out, any of the bottom three crews could have gone on, I think.  Let the conspiracy theorists say what they will, but I can justify the results this way.

-Static Noyze had the least disco to them, which was the challenge.  Plus, this may be a blessing for them in disguise, as they don’t want to aggravate Enrique’s back any more than they need to.
-Heavy Impact has been getting a lot of flak from fans (no thanks to you guys xP)
-Jungle Boogie has been as consistent as other crews, and definitely embraced tonight’s challenge
So there you have it.  Overall, this was the best episode of the season I think, with an average score of 37.65, compared to last week’s 36.04, or the week before’s 34.91. Should the crews that went home have been in the bottom?  Two of the three yes.  Is there anything we can do about it?  No, life goes on.

Power rankings (Judges, This week’s Score, Total Running Score, Youtube views)
A range given in brackets means that their real score is probably somewhere in between, given my various adjustments.  I’m not sure how well my Poreotix handicap is doing.  Is 10% too much still, or should I start to reduce it, meaning am I being more fair of them now?

1)Poreotix – (+, [39.6,44], [166.5,185], 10797) – This week pretty much set the pecking order with the order of performances this week.  Poreotix has got the huge fanbase, so they’re pretty much safe from elimination until possibly week 7, and even that’s a stretch.  They won the judges back over I think, so unless they fail their routine they may go through.  This week was pretty much one that shut up most, if not all haters.  For those saying “why couldn’t they pull all this out from the start” I ask you, why do countries not pull out all their best weapons in the first wave of war?  Strategy.  By keeping these moves now, they have successfully forecast how long they can ride the tik tik tik wave, and when they needed to show us something new to breakout.  Knowing a lot of moves in chess does not make you a grandmaster. Knowing when to show off your best moves and when to keep the others hidden does.  My advice:  Keep the momentum guys.  Tease us with some hints of the best you can do, and then show them to us at the end.

2)Blueprint – (+, 37, [176,178.1], 3901) – Coming off of Gaga week, they didn’t perform perhaps at the same level exactly, but they are scarily consistent.  Definitely expecting them to reach top 2.  Just sucks that Canada can’t vote. My advice is to perhaps have other people do athletic stuff aside from Bboy Hero, and keep showing that you can improve and that you haven’t peacked

3)Hype – (-, 39, [174.175/95], 3584) – While the judges seem to not like them for whatever reason, they have shown themselves to be high ranking and fairly consistent.  I’d say perhaps finding a balance between tricks and choreography, with a touch more emphasis on the choreography that won our hearts in Regionals.

4) Jungle Boogie – (0, 38, 170, 2597) – Just below Hype because of their overall lower score and the fact that people could be sleeping on them.  If they are saved by judges if they go to elimination, I think they can get really far.  Just please bring back the part of you, the creativity, that shows deeper thinking in each routine.

5) Saltare – (+, 34, 149, 2485) – I want to love this crew, and I respect what they do, doing something similar myself.  But please learn to integrate hip hop choreography with the jump ropes more smoothly. And the mistakes need to stop, otherwise more hate will come your way.  But still, respect.
Other stuff:
-Don Campbellock in the audience! Mad props to all the crews that
-I want Charles’s shirt from the package.  Not his shirt exactly, but that design.
-Lol at Poreotix doing the robot while waiting for the results.  Equal lulz to Heavy Noyze or Static Impact giving us one last thing to think over as they left.
-Judges were surprisingly on point for most of the episode, with a few exceptions to certain crews.

-With regards to what Chris had posted a few days ago about haters…
These crews on the stage are not getting 5th, 6th or 7th place out of 9 crews.  They are getting it out of hundreds that tried out.  Maybe they got on due to producers wanting to reach a certain demographic or market.  Maybe.  But nonetheless, they are all human beings just the same as you and me.  Don’t make unnecessarily cruel remarks about how you want to burn a crew or shoot them or hope they get sick and die.  These crews go through enough each week trying to do their best to improve and show us what they got.  They don’t need that extra stress.  I will be the first to admit that at times, I can come off as a bit harsh to one crew.  But let me say that I also totally respect all these crews and what they do.  They have sacrificed so much to be on this, and are doing their very best to try and provide us entertainment every week.  They are doing what they do best, and they do it for the fun of it, and to express who they are to the best of their ability.  No one needs that inner happy place and ability criticized by someone else.  Winning the whole competition may be why they’re here, but do we need to make it an ordeal with trolls rather harder than what it is already?

So, looking forward to Usher week, even if I’m not the R&B sort of guy.  Hopefully things get better and better, as they did this week.  Shoutout to the jokers and BABDC FUZION!!!  -Ninjaboi

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