Sunday, March 7, 2010

Del's Review of ABDC's Lady Gaga Challenge

This week was the uh, “Goo Goo for GaGa” challenge I guess and we were treated to many GaGa related song puns by Mario Lopez. Always a good treat, right? We didn’t really get one for our first crew though, which is the lovely and characteristic STATIC NOYZE, a group that definitely had the pressure on them this week.

Creativity: 8 – I liked a lot of their transitions. They all were very fun and every time they transitioned into a new section of the routine it was entertaining and I never really got bored with any bit of the performance. Of course the much praised by the judges ‘table tut’ section was also a very distinctly fun move.
Showmanship: 8 – Unlike last week I actually got to see a lot of the crew’s facial expressions this week, but much more like last week I feel the same about them in this category. They’ve always been great at expressing emotion in their routines, but I think what really helps Static is the attitude that their members have. Some have more than others sure (Suzette being the most charismatic of the crew in my opinion), but they all hold their own and the choreography gets its point across almost all the time. Huge props to ‘Baby GaGa’ for his fierceness out there on the stage as well!
Entertainment Value and Crowd Appeal: 7.5 – Good, but not great. One problem I’ve had with these past two Static Noyze performances is the fact that they have these huge freaking props pretty much get in the way for no reason. The table being in the middle of the stage served well for Enrique’s flip, but besides that it didn’t leave them much room to play to the audience. They did well for what they were dealing with but besides that it didn’t do anything to catch my attention.
Musicality: 7 – There wasn’t much performing to the music this week. I think they had a lot of spots in which they were in sync with the music, but a good portion of it was sacrificed to set up some of their tricks. I felt as if some of their set ups were kind of off, but they as a whole didn’t mess anything up. They just didn’t necessarily have much room to compliment the music.
Execution and Synchronization: 8 – Looking at the entire routine everyone was in line, but you could catch probably once or twice throughout some of their set ups some members not giving it as hard as others or being a step off here and there. At the end they had to play it safe with the huge table and chair, which I understand, but doesn’t help them when it comes to having everyone together.
Difficulty: 7 – There wasn’t much difficulty this week. I was kind of surprised watching it back and realizing that I thought the routine’s moves were fairly average for them. I think that they can come a lot harder than they did and might of held back for whatever reason. Maybe it was incorporating the ambience of the challenge into their routine.
Wow factor: 6.5 – Meh, I wasn’t too wowed by them this week. The flip was alright, but besides that they didn’t really do anything else. The end was alright, the tutting was something okay, but that’s nothing to get that excited about. Not a good “wow” week for the SN6, but they should be alright going into next week I’m sure.
Overall average – 7.4: Worse than last week in my rankings actually, and honestly I feel that this was a bit worse than last week even though it was still a good routine. They’re still on the same level at face value, but I think they were more creative with their prop last week than they were on Thursday with a huge immobile table. I doubt this’ll put them in any bad positioning going into disco week in the end, but that’ll be determined by how the other crews do.
Next to the stage comes our neighbors from up north, the Canadian BLUEPRINT CRU.
Creativity: 9 – Similar to Static I was loving the transitions this week. Couple those with the choke lift they used and their very eerie and powerful ending and you have a great great creative week from Blueprint. The only real problem I have was that I think they could’ve done something better than that the lift they had with Nathalie. I thought it was a little dry and didn’t really add anything to the performance, but the rest was great.
Showmanship: 9 – They had the element down. I think the ladies were the all stars in this performance, and even though the guys held their own the women really got into character. What I liked most about this routine is the way that they kept the entire performance strong and creepy. Watching it multiple times I could actually feel a lot of it throughout, right up until the girls got out of the chairs the second time.
Entertainment Value and Crowd Appeal: 8.5 – Despite not having that many tricks or big moves in the routine, they somehow captured my (and the crowd’s) attention with the whole performance. The element of drama was a big factor and I think getting ‘Bad Romance’ was a great pull for BP. Even still they added even more to that to get people talking.
Musicality: 7 – Despite it being their strongest dramatic and entertainment wise performance, I think that this is probably Blueprint’s weakest strictly musical performance. It had its moments just like SN’s did, but besides those moments it played a lot more into the theatrical aspect of the show rather than their usual raw musical approach.
Execution and Synchronization: 8 – I thought they did a good job, but I noticed some spots toward the end where Blueprint was not fully together. Mostly between their little “GaGa arm movements” and the end sequences, they weren’t as clean as they usually are, but they weren’t off in any of the other sections either, which bumps them back up some.
Difficulty: 7.5 – It was a bit of a challenge for Blueprint to kind of break away from their moves, yeah, but they were kind of stuck into GaGa mode a little too much. The moves weren’t as precise as they usually are and were pretty toned down. Not much improvement in their difficulty this week.
Wow factor: 8.5 – I think purely to the drama aspect of the performance they got a chance to wow the audience. It worked for them moreso than straight up choreo and the tricks and illusions they added in were also a nice touch.
Overall rating: 8.2 – Great routine this week. A bit stifled by the risk of taking the GaGa moves in to replace some of their own. I liked it a lot, but I don’t quite agree with it as “the best performance of Season 5”. I mean holy hyperbole Mr. Chasez, that’s not a statement you make in the top 7. Not at all. Still, it was great and they deserve credit so go BP!
Here is the sexy part of our show. A routine to ‘Video Phone’ by JUNGLE BOOGIE.
Creativity: 8 – They took a lot of risks. A lot of it was sex appeal and was a little too risky for my tastes, but they still brought a lot of creativity to the table.
Showmanship: 7.5 – A lot of JB’s moves this week were really awkward. I think it was a bit oversexed and while they still had the same spunk they usually have, the routine came off as forced.
Entertainment Value and Crowd Appeal: 7 – It was average. I liked them bringing the cranking into the fold again, it was used pretty well but the rest of the performance was pretty lacking.
Musicality: 6.5 – Not as good as the other two crews off the bat tonight in their musical choreo. They didn’t have as much timing as they did in the previous weeks either.
Execution and Synchronization: 6 – Their worst area this week. They were way off with their chair work and then toward the end (as it was pointed out by the judges one of the members) was totally off. They had some nice sections but all things considered it wasn’t their best.
Difficulty: 6.5 – Besides the crankin’ it’s hard to understand what most of it was going for. It was pretty sloppy for most of the routine and they didn’t have much going on.
Wow Factor: 6 - There were moments like the chair booty poppin and the 180 rotation booty poppin, along with the double 540s. The problem is that the chair stuff was very sloppy and it takes them down a notch.
Overall average: 6.7 – A large step down from last week. I feel like Jungle Boogie could’ve went harder if they didn’t try to go as far outside of their comfort zone as they did. It was forced and wreckless and resulted in their weakest routine so far.
Creativity: 5 – I have a big problem with what JC had to say, and it wasn’t to Heavy Impact, but it was to Hype 5-0 later in the night. He said something to the effect of “I’ve seen you guys re-use some of your transitions from past episodes”, but after watching some of Heavy’s routines from the earlier shows I’ve noticed that they do exactly that, even going as far as having a number of moves redone in this routine. This is a critical mistake that I think is being missed out on during the show, and if they don’t fix the problem then it’ll sooner or later bite them in the bottom.
Showmanship: 8 – Their sassy-sexy-tough-HeavyImpactGaGa-ness came off well on screen. I liked it. I will say though that some of the members need to catch up with each other in that department though. There’s a divide between a couple of them in the ‘selling it’ department.
Entertainment Value and Crowd Appeal: 7.5 – Again, they’re always entertaining and the energy got the crowd pretty hot at a point, but I think that once it hit the middle part of the performance it dropped off. They picked it up a little bit by going for the patented ‘big guy belly’ move again, but after that it wasn’t too much for me.
Musicality: 6 – One of their weakest areas as well. They don’t have much choreo to the music and this week was more lacking than last. The stunts they pulled into the routine took too much of their time and they didn’t incorporate the music back into the number. They don’t normally perform with extreme musicality in the first place (usually it’s all showman based), but this week was more of a challenge than an opportunity.
Execution and Synchronization: 5.5 – If more of the moves were clean and complete then the routine would come out looking a lot better in the end. When they had the two guys slide up front and do some moves on the floor they kind of just flopped around and that was it. At first I didn’t notice it but it got pretty confusing to me the more I watched. The flip wasn’t that well executed, and maybe it should’ve been re-thought when taking the landing into account, but besides that and their connection issues I felt like the routine still held itself together.
Difficulty: 6 - No real diversity again this week. Just the same ol same ol really. I’d like to see Heavy step it up next week with disco, kind of get into the groove of the music and let their natural showman ability play up their moves. I feel like they haven’t been tested to a higher level at all this season.
Wow Factor: 5 – Nothing really. The flip and Issac taking the lead moments were all and that was all that it had. They need to work in more of the tricks that work rather than the tricks that didn’t like flipping off of that seat.
Overall average: 6.1– I think that Heavy has potential, but without the judges actually telling them what’s wrong then I don’t think they’ll improve their work down the line. Next week is crucial for them and if they make it past then they need to pick up the pace.
Our next crew, HYPE 5-0!
Creativity: 8 – I strongly disagree with JC’s critique. I felt as if this was one of their more creative routines of the season. All of their transitions and moves were fresh and I liked the intro with the dress having basically a mind of its own.
Showmanship: 8 – They went hard this week. It’s hard to draw contrasts between this and a routine like ‘Imma Be’ where they were kinda stiffed for not having as much energy as they usually do, because even when transitioning Hype made sure to give energy. I’m surprised the judges gave them credit for giving GaGa but then saying that that was somehow bad. It doesn’t really make sense.
Entertainment Value and Crowd Appeal: 7.5 – I don’t think it was as strong as the Britney routine in overall crowd pleasing, and while still strong in some areas it didn’t connect with everyone throughout. I think some moves came across dry with the audience and didn’t really get them, but the big intro they had and strong moves caught them up.
Musicality: 8 – Great subtlety in musicality in bits. When I first watched this routine I felt as if there was something that I’d have to catch again and you really have to look into how they used their upper body and the way their synching was consistent right before moving into the final section of the performance.
Execution and Synchronization: 7.5 – Some of the members had trouble keeping up with the fast moves in the performance. I caught that a couple of times near the end, but otherwise they all stayed together for the most part and I give them credit for making the final product still look good overall.
Difficulty: 8 – Improvement over their choreo from the Chart Topper Challenge for sure. Seeing as how that was the last time they had their choreo on the stage that’s most of what I can go off of. I enjoyed this week’s choreography and hopefully they keep Josh’s choreography as the main stuff they use from now on. It works for them.
Wow Factor: 6.5 – Nothing big this week. Not like last week where they had off the charts type attention grabbing moments, but still not boring at all. Some people may say that the routine didn’t excite them but I think they’re missing a couple of details from the end product.
Overall average: 7.6 – When first seeing this I wasn’t too sure about it. I thought that they focused too much on the challenge and didn’t get into what they did with the Britney challenge and bring everything up a notch. The reaction from some of the public was “bleh” at first and I honestly didn’t understand it either at first view, but once I got down into watching it I enjoyed it more and more. I thought this was a good week for Hype but I fear for them because of the judges reaction. It might spell the bottom for them and unless they have that battle fire that they did the first two weeks then I think they might get “surprise eliminated”.
Almost to the finish line, with our robotic-tic-tic crew from the west region, POREOTIX.
Creativity: 8 - The judges knocking was a little…different. It was interesting as were the crew shout outs that they did when they went into the crutch-roping. I have no idea what the crawling stuff was but it was interesting so I give them props, but I’d like an explanation on that.
Showmanship: 7 – The goofy faces were kind of out of place and I thought they didn’t really serve any purpose to the routine. Yes, Poreo is funny and they’re entertainers, but they kind of do that every week. I think that if they would’ve played up some of the angst in the song and actually built up more to their ending rather than going “haha funny” to “serious tutting. we r srs tutting nao” and getting their heads cut off, it would’ve come off smoother. It didn’t fit that well this week.
Entertainment Value and Crowd Appeal: 8 – While their facial expressions didn’t fit the routine as well they still played to the audience like they usually do. The judges stuff was a funny little thing and they got people into it afterward. It was performance quality sure, and did a better job getting them reception than last week.
Musicality: 8 – When they weren’t taking breaks in the routine to show off their funny bone or do that weirdo wagon stuff, the choreography was definitely on point. The tutting was the highlight of course, but there’s not much to say besides the fact that they had a great musical transitioning into their whatever it was thing.
Execution and Synchronization: 8.5 – Besides a moment where I saw the crutch-roping off from one another and the way they worked in and out of them not being perfect, the only other real criticism I have is that crawling section in that I don’t know if they were supposed to be together or not. The rest of the crew kind of slowed up to keep the pace under control while I think the two in the front went a little too fast.
Difficulty: 7 – We didn’t see much improvement out of them this week. Of course last week’s Umbrella was a step down from Poreotix, but I’m not going to use that as an excuse to bump them up this week. What I wasn’t feeling was the fact that they had the distinct challenge of working in the crutches and all they did was jump rope with them. They didn’t work them into the routine at all and it was kind of just getting them out of the way. They had a real opportunity to step up the level of difficulty and they kind of just settled. Not good.
Wow Factor: 6.5 – The crutch-roping and the ending were nice, but they weren’t all that spectacular. It was pretty “eh” altogether as they’ve had much better ways to go through the routine. I felt like their slightly more average than usual moves.
Overall average: 7.5 – I think this routine deserves more credit than a number of haters will give it, but it deserves less than a lot of Poreo fans will give it. It was slightly above the average sure, but that’s not going to say much in the end when this crew should be at the top of the mountain. I feel as if the Poreotix expectations are going to lead to their largest shortcoming. The hype will bite them (not talking about the crew here folks) unless they get back to giving top notch routines and stop being middle of the road.
Last, but not least, the crew that everyone wanted to ‘Just Dance’, SALTARE!
Creativity: 7 – I liked their rope creativity, but the dancing moves really dragged them down in that department. Their choreography isn’t up to par with the other crews and what they catch with jump roping they drop off in rope-free dancing. The flips were amazing and I give major props to Saltare for that.
Showmanship: 8 – They give a lot of energy and feeling in their routines. I think that’s what I like most about them is that they can get down and have fun when the moment calls for it and that happened this week. Seeing as how ‘Just Dance’ was basically GaGa without GaGa I can’t say that they didn’t do much of her justice because that song and video were kind of lacking in eccentric style.
Entertainment Value and Crowd Appeal: 8 – Saltare is the crowd pleaser of the show. They’re the hottest act to put in front of a live crowd and that’s what they do best when they hit their mark. Everyone was into them and I applaud the amount of different crazy tricks they have in their bag. The only knock I have though is that when dancing there’s an obvious disconnect. It doesn’t register as largely as it does when they get into their comfort zone.
Musicality: 3.5 – This is a hard category to judge them on because essentially they’re not designed to hit the music at all in most of their routines. They catch it in spots most of the time, but besides that they don’t hit specific parts in the ropes.
Execution and Synchronization: 6 – In the ropes they’re fantastic, but out of them they get a bit off synch. Most of the members have to catch up with each other before they go into the rest of their moves and I think as a whole it makes them drive toward more simple choreo.
Difficulty: 4 – Speaking of simple choreo, the stuff they had this week was very, very, simple. It was more like a fitness routine than I would call a straight up performance routine. And while a lot of that is cool for the judges I think that the simplicity is going to end up holding Saltare down in the public’s eyes. I believe that they have more difficult moves in their moveset so I’m not saying that they as a whole are absolutely dreadful, but this routine in particular wasn’t difficult or an improvement from their past stuff.
Wow Factor: 7 – As good as they are at entertaining I think that their performances are starting to wear on the audience. I’m not as wowed as I was when I saw them in East Regionals and quite frankly I’m starting to expect more dancing from them.
Overall average: 6.2  - I think that while Saltare is the most entertaining of crews in the pool, they’re not getting their with their rope-free moves. An issue they’ll have there is that they’re going to be expected and sooner or later encouraged to move away from the ropes more and more, and that’s not something I see them doing too well with. However, we haven’t seen every surprise the ropemasters have for us I’m sure, so we’ll just have to tune in and see where they take us next week.

With another week in the books it’s time to see what the night’s rankings are at the end of the show:
Blueprint Cru (8.2)
Hype 5-0 (7.6)
Poreotix (7.5)
Static Noyze (7.4)
Jungle Boogie (6.7)
Saltare (6.2)
Heavy Impact (6.1)

According to the rankings here it looks like next week’s bottom three that will meet under the disco ball would be Jungle Boogie, Saltare, and Heavy Impact. But that’s not factoring the fan support and all, just the pure statistics. What I think will be the bottom three next week unfortunately is Hype 5-0, Heavy Impact, and Static Noyze/Jungle Boogie. Depending on where the fans of Jungle Boogie and Static Noyze are, I’m just going to assume that there’s a toss-up between them in support, with JB getting the edge in having a backing in Atlanta due to the other crews getting early exits. Hopefully I’m just retarded and that doesn’t happen, but if either scenario does I’ll be sure to point such out right here next week! Until next time, it’s been quite the pleasure.

Click here to return to the first page and to leave comments. Thanks again, Del!