Saturday, December 10, 2011

DirtFaceX's Steelo 444 Fundraiser Review

As soon as I saw the initial lineup for the show, I bought a plane ticket to L.A. without hesitation. I knew that it was going to be a historical night and I didn’t want to miss it. Plus, I was really eager to see Team iLuminate live. Then, as the event got closer and closer, more and more big names were being added to the bill. Finally, on the night of the show, I get to the venue an hour before doors open and already there were a bunch of people waiting on line to get in. I stood on the red carpet with the crew as I watched all the remarkable talent attending the show. Other than the performers of the night, the “who’s who” of dance came out in support. We interviewed members of the Rock Steady Crew, most of the LXD cast, the Beat Freaks, Nigel Lythgoe, I.aM.mE, Poreotics, Instant Noodles, The Groovaloos, and many others. Whether they personally knew Steelo or not, everyone was just there to support a well respected member of the dance community. One of the last interviews we did was with The SUPERwockeez- the collaboration of the first two ABDC champs. They were also accompanied by the BabyWockee, Ariah. Many of the dancers not only expressed their support for Steelo, but also the lesson learned from Steelo’s incident in that life can drastically change at any given moment.

The show started a little after
8pm with spoken word poetry from VZion8ink (Charlie from the Groovaloos). The warm reception Charlie received was a good indication of things to come. My seat was the best in the house. I sat in the center of the stage, second row- directly behind the talent- mainly the JBWKZ, Super Cr3w, and members of Killafornia. The night was hosted by comedians Affion Crockett and Anjelah Johnson. What really surprised me was finding out Affion started his career as a Groovaloo before making it big in comedy and Anjelah is actually best friends with Steelo’s wife, Penelope. So it was truly a family affair. The vibe in the room throughout the night was just an outpouring of love for a friend in need. Words can’t describe the emotions and positive energies in that room. It was just amazing that everyone who performed there did it for FREE- with all the proceeds going to the Steelo’s family. Next Generation (featuring the two members of Future Funk) tore it up with their b-breaking skills and youthful energy. The Beat Freaks performance was fantastic in that it started off with an emotional vocal solo from Keeley. The routine was accompanied by DJ Angie Vee and beautiful Ashlee Nino on drums. It’s always different (in a good way) to see dancing to live music (as opposed to a track). Cloud amazed everyone with his piece to a MJ medley. Killafornia had everyone in awe with their b-boy set accompanied by a unique rap solo. I looked around during their set and everyone was just wide-eyed thinking “that was crazy!”. Gustavo Vargas choreographed a piece entitled “Steelo Rico” featuring Blueprint Cru member, Vincent Noiseux. tWitch had everyone’s head bobbing as he did a solo piece to Shaq’s rap classic, “What’s Up Doc?”. The LXD amazed as usual featuring two members of the Ringmasters and Kaba Modern’s Mike Song. Wayne Brady kept the good times rolling, doing a little comedy bit with Affion then tearing the house down with his own “Back in the Day” song and choreography. Is there anything in entertainment that he can’t do??? Anjelah and Affion played a hilarious joke on the audience by having everyone take our cell phones out in honor of Steelo... and telling us to turn them all off as we get ready to see a special performance by Team iLuminate. I went bonkers for the contemporary routine with a centipede illusion being the most memorable moment for me. These guys really need to get their own show going....

There was a short intermission with Crazy Legs (of the Rock Steady Crew) DJ’ing outside in the lobby. I walked around and said ‘what’s up?’ to many of the dancers. I saw ChiTown’s Finest Breakers, JD of the Massive Monkees, Mami from We Are Heroes, Myron Martin, stars from the Step Up movies... anyone who was anyone was there! All hanging out in one place. We come back from intermission to an AMAZING set by David Garibaldi. Look him up, he is an amazing artist- combining music, painting, and dance. That night as he painted a portrait of Steelo right before our eyes. Then came the Pledge Opportunity, in what I thought was one of the most touching moments of the night. Our hosts projected a live, online pledge drive encouraging the crowd to text their donations in hopes to reach the goal of $20,000. Everyone took their phones out and started donating away. The screen posted live, real-time pledges and the crowd went crazy whenever a big donation was made. It only took a few minutes to reach our goal, thanks to the help of several big donations made. Afterwards, it still kept on going. We had reached just under $40,000 just before the screen came down. It was amazing that a room full of people just donated over $30,000 in less than 5 minutes. If that wasn't enough, a Jabbawockee then came out and presented a giant check for another $20,000 made out to Steelo Vazquez. After a prayer from Pastor Anthony Powell, Penelope Vazquez came out with her husband and man of the night, Steelo- who was brought out on a wheelchair. The entire place erupted as there was a long standing ovation for the dance icon. I admit, I became a little teary eyed myself when I saw the look of emotion on Steelo’s face and the little popping moves he did in his chair. Everyone was just soo amazed in the progress Steelo has made in the short amount of time since the incident and his strength was an inspiration for us all. Afterwords, Penelope surprised everybody, including her husband, with a dance routine of her own. All the hard work everyone had put in preparing for the show had certainly paid off. Everyone did a fantastic job! Up next was the SuperWockeez. The set started off with music producers, the FingerBangerz dropping heavy beats and heart pounding sounds. The masked champions then came out and did a combination of their Devastating Stereo routine (complete with BabyWockee, Aria- who had extended her ABDC Finale piece that night) and their Robot Remains piece. Everyone rose to their feet, giving the champs a standing ovation. A wrap up video was played, followed by a huge cypher closing out the show with dancers jumping on stage from the crowd joining in. It was an amazing night with the show’s hosts closing everything out by putting up the pledge screen. The total was now over $50,000! The entire show was documented by a film crew and can be viewed in the weeks to come -- details will be available at Afterwards, EVERYONE gathered in the lobby and partied it up. I got to meet and chat with a lot of the talent there- including Wayne Brady. Everyone appreciated my support for making it out all the way from NY- and I told them... "There was no way I was going to miss that show." In those 3 hours of the show... I went through a whole gambit of emotions. I've never met Steelo, but the fact that the whole night was just for him... that speaks volumes about who he is. It was truly a once in a lifetime event, and I’m sooo glad that I was there.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Videos: The Bridge Competition 2011 - Instant Noodles, Choreo Cookies & some winners

More highlights from 2011 The Bridge Competition:
2nd place winnners Barkada Modern:

3rd place winners Common Ground

Choreo Cookies 

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Monday, December 5, 2011

More Prelude EC videos:The winning crews - Concept Artists, Midas Touch, Rhythm Addicts

Here are the performances at 2011 Prelude EC. Click here to return to the first page and to leave comments.

Second Place winner: Midas Touch

Third Place winner: UFP

Monday, November 28, 2011

World of Dance Chicago Competition winners: Design and Po.Go.

Here are the second and third place finishers at the 2011 World of Dance Chicago Competition.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Videos from Pride 4 Competition

RAPS Dance Troupe  won 2nd place at Pride 4, and third place went to Project D. Here are the performances, from ChronoPaladin92 Youtube. Thanks for the links, BSG!

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Videos from WOD San Diego: 1st place SGBM; Instant Noodles, Elektrolytes, Acad. of Swag ++

More from World of Dance San Diego 2011:
Academy of Swag took 2nd place in the Adult division. Video from ART8AROXXX Youtube Channel:

Elektrolytes performance, from Dance21 Youtube.  Thanks for the tip, Anid!

Elelektrolyte's youth group called Elektrolyttlez took 3rd place in the Youth Division. From jrobert01x2 Youtube:

Instant Noodles performed in exhitibition. From Instant NoodlesCrew Youtube:
Many other great performances that day, including Choreo Cookies (not publicly available video). If you were there, what were your favorites?
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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Freeze Report: World of Dance San Diego

What’s good BloggingAmericasBestDanceCrew! This is Freeze here recapping what was probably one of the best World of Dance's I’ve been too. They just seem to be getting bigger and better every year!  Of course the moment I got there I blew through my money buying as much stuff as I could and as much as it hurt my wallet it was worth it. I grabbed my seat and got ready for the show to start, Ricky Cole from MWC and Charles Nguyen(Whose Birthday it was) from Poreotics came on to host the Youth Division.
Freeze and Can Nguyen
The Youth Division seems to be getting stronger and stronger every year, its amazing how dedicated and passionate these kids and teenagers are. 3 of the 5 Culture Shock crews performed in the Youth Division that day including Mini Shock whose members are no older than 6! My favorite performances had to come from ILLmaculate, Elektrolyttlez, and Jacob and Jill. But the overall talent level from all the crews was just astounding. Unfortunately I was unable to hear the winners for the Youth Division as I went out to get a slice of pizza from the vendors. 
Freeze and Instant Noodles
The Meet and Greet commenced during the intermission and boy were ALOT of people. I was lucky enough to win the Verizon contest and was given Front of the Line Priority at the Meet and Greet :] The line started with Chi-Towns Finest Breakers, onto RAF Crew from France, Instant Noodles, MWC, and then I.aM.mE. We were allowed to take pictures with everyone BUT Chachi which I found hilarious, Luckily she still remembered me from the ABDC Finale so I was able to come by her booth and take a picture with her. After the Meet and Greet the Upper Division began.
Freeze and Chachi
Now let me say this, dubstep dominated the entire show. From the Youth Division to the Upper Division almost every crew had a dubstep routine, which was actually a pretty good idea because the crowd got twice as hyped every time a piece came on. The Upper Division was insane. One after one the crews kept on killing it. Then the time came for Chi-Towns Finest Breakers to perform, I've seen them before but seeing them in person was just jaw dropping. My favorite part was Spinderella did her headspin for almost 4 min's nonstop. But that wasn’t the best part, her brothers threw two hoola hoops on her and she began hoola hooping WHILE doing the headspin. Then to top it all off CL put the mic on the floor and she grabbed it as she was turning and began talking to the crowd while still headspinning. I was speechless.
Freeze, 747, and Moon
Right after Chi-Town went up SB of the Jabbwockeez and Nick Ngo of the Bangerz were set to perform, while they were setting up the DJ station in the back TK Nguyen called back Chi Town for a little freestyle session on stage for 30 seconds. Then CL came out and did a freestyle rap for everyone which was really cool. SB performed and as a surprise brought out the entire Jabbwockeez crew. Because of scheduling conflicts with their show in Vegas they were unable to claim there Dancers of the Decade Award at the World of Dance Awards this past December so Myron came out on stage and gladly gave them their award. He also called out Keone and Mari to give them the Choreographers of the Year Award.
Freeze and Bam Martin
Freeze and JP Goldstein
When the awards finished the Upper Division continued on with Electrolytes and Choreo Cookies coming out in full force. The upper division ended on a massive yet hilarious note with Academy of Swag, Instant Noodles, Super Galactic Beat Manipulators, and RAF Crew closing it out and Sexy Boy Special doing a hilarious dance routine that had the entire crowd laughing out of their seats. Charles from Poreotics was with me during the entire routine and he was laughing like crazy. Before the Awards were handed out they had their Industry Solo Performances from JP Goldstein, Ricky Cole, Lando Wilkins, Chachi Gonzales, Brandon 747, Can Nguyen, and Charles Nguyen. Finally at the end of the night Super Galactic Beat Manipulators took home 1st Place with Academy of Swag coming in at a narrow 2nd and Electrolytes in 3rd. All I can say is it was one hell of a night.
Freeze and Charles Nguyen
Thanks to Freeze for this write up and for the shoutouts! Even if you have made us all extremely jealous. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ulimate Showdown of ABDC Superiority Nomination Results

Also please do not get upset at the quality and length of some of these videos. I tried to use the best quality one I could find. Sometimes that meant I had to use videos that contained rehearsal footage. In addition, since I had a master list of season 4 and 6's performances off I used those as opposed to YouTube videos.

Finally, both Fanny Pak and Blueprint Cru were the two crews chosen to receive byes into the second round. If you would like a sneak peak at the tournament bracket please go here.

Season One

Enigma Dance Cru- Live Auditions

Femme 5- Week 2: Video Star, "Hollaback Girl" Gwen Stefani

ICONic- Week One: Crew's Choice, "Cyclone" Baby Bash

Live in Color- Week One: Crew's Choice, "Watch Them Roll" Sean Paul

Fysh n Chicks- Week 4: Movie Character. "Maneater" Nelly Furtado

Br8 Sk8- Week 5: Thriller, "Beat It" Michael Jackson

Kaba Modern- Week One: Crew's Choice, "Technologic" by Daft Punk

Status Quo- Week 4: Movie Character."Hey Baby (Jump Off)" by Bow Wow

Jabbawockeez- Week 7: Evolution of Street Dance

Season Two

Distorted X- Live Audition

Sass x 7- Week 2: Video Star, "I'm A Slave 4 U" Britney Spears

Extreme Dance Force- Live Auditions

Phresh Select- Week 1: Crew's Choice, "Motownphilly" by Boyz II Men

A.S.I.I.D.- Week 1: Crew's Choice, "Whatever U Like" by Nicole Scherzinger

Supreme Soul- Week 6: Bring The Beat, "Church" by T-Pain

Boogie Bots- Week 3: Rock the Title, "Game Over" by Lil' Flip

Fanny Pak- Week 7: Missy Elliott, "Get Ur Freak On"

SoReal Crew- Live Auditions

Super Cr3w- Week 1: Crew's Choice, "Get Up Offa That Thing" by James Brown

Season Three

G.O.P. Dance- Week 1: Sudden Death, "Rompe" by Daddy Yankee

Boxcuttahs- Week 1: Sudden Death, "Bonafied Lovin'" by Chromeo

Team Millena- Week 2: Fit Test, "Disturbia" by Rihanna

Ringmasters- Week 4: Whack Track, "Macarena" by Los Del Rio

Dynamic Edtion- Week 1: Sudden Death, "My Humps" by The Black Eyed Peas

Strikers All-Stars- Week 3: Britney Spears "Gimme More"

Fly Khicks- Week 6: Battle of the Sexes, "Pon De Replay" by Rihanna

Beat Freaks- Week 5: Illusion, "Freeze" by T-Pain featuring Chris Brown

Quest Crew- Week 7: Hip Hop Decathlon

Season Four

Fr3sh- Week One: Crew's Choice, "Ante Up" by M.O.P.

Artistry in Motion- Week One: Crew's Choice, "SFM" by Basement Jaxx

Southern Movement- Week 3: Martial Arts, "Ugly" by Bubba Sparxxx

Beat Ya Feet Kings- Week 4: Bollywood, "So Fine" by Sean Paul

Vogue Evolution- Week One: Crew's Choice, "Took the Night" by Chelley

Rhythm City- Week 3: Martial Arts, "La La La" by LMFAO

Massive Monkees- Week 6: VMA, "Tearin' Up My Heart" by *NSYNC

Afroborike'- Week 2: Beyoncé, "Beautiful Liar" by Beyoncé and Shakira

We are Heroes- Week 7: Last Chance, "Ichiban" District 78

Season Five

Swagger- Southern Regionals, "Ice Cream Paint Job" by Dorrough

Royal Flush- Week 2: Music Video, "Evacuate the Dancefloor" by Cascada

Static Noyze- Week 1: Chart Topper, "Whatcha Say" by Jason Derülo

Heavy Impact- Week 1: Chart Topper, "Say Aah" by Trey Songz

Saltare- Week 1: Chart Topper, "Hotel Room Service" by Pitbull

Jungle Boogie- Week 1: Chart Topper, "How Low" by Ludacris

Hype 5-0- West Regionals, "Drop It Low" by Ester Dean

Blueprint Cru- Week 3: Lady GaGa, "Bad Romance"

Poreotix- Week 4: Disco, "Dancing Machine" by The Jackson 5

Season Six

Eclectic Gentlemen- Week 1: Lil Wayne. "Fireman"

JAG6ED- Week 1: Ke$ha, "Sleazy"

FootworKINGz- Week 3: The Black Eyed Peas, "I Gotta Feeling"

Request- Week 3: The Black Eyed Peas, "The Time (Dirty Bit)"

787 Crew- Week 4: Katy Perry, "Hot n Cold"

Instant Noodles- Week 6: Justin Bieber, "Runaway Love"

Street Kingdom- Week 4: Katy Perry, "E.T."

Phunk Phenomenom- Week 3: The Black Eyed Peas, "Don't Stop the Party"

ICONic Boyz- Week 2: Ke$ha, "Your Love Is My Drug"

I.aM.mE- Week 5: Rihanna, "S&M"

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Ultimate Showdown of ABDC Superiority!

Guidelines are nominating are easy.

  • One performance per crew
  • No performances that feature two or more crews
  • Any performance done during the regular season may be used. This does include weekly challenges, audition round performances or victory performances
  • Any time a crew was asked to come back and perform is also allowed. This includes the VMA special, The live VMA performances, Champs for Charity, and the Season six finale (excluding Jabbawockeez because of the addition of other crews in their season six performance).

Also note, because of the 56 participant format, the six winning crews from each season get a bye for the first round and advance directly to the second round. In addition to that I need to give two more crews a bye to the second round as well. So when you post your nomination please include which two crew you would like to receive the bye.

Finally the following crews are those that need no nomination because they only had one performance

Eclectic Gentlemen (S6)
Fr3sh (S4)
G.O.P. Dance (S3)

Nominations will close at 12:01 Saturday September 10th. Voting will open on Monday September 12th.

To help you with this process please copy this form to nominate your favorite performances

Season One

Enigma Dance Cru-
Femme 5-
Live in Color-
Fysh n Chicks-
Br8 Sk8-
Kaba Modern-
Status Quo-

Season Two

Distorted X-
Sass x 7-
Extreme Dance Force-
Phresh Select-
Supereme Soul-
Boogie Bots-
Fanny Pak-
SoReal Crew-
Super cr3w-

Season Three

G.O.P. Dance-Week One
Team Millena-
Dynamic Edtion-
Strikers All-Stars-
Fly Khicks-
Beat Freaks-
Quest Crew-

Season Four

Fr3sh-Week one
Artistry in Motion-
Southern Movement-
Beat Ya Feet Kings-
Vogue Evolution-
Rythum City-
Massive Monkees-
We are Heroes-

Season Five

Royal Flush-
Static Noyze-
Heavy Impact-
Jungle Boogie-
Hype 5-0-
Blueprint Cru-

Season Six

Eclectic Gentlemen-Week one
JAG6ED-Week One
787 Crew-
Instant Noodles-
Street Kingdom-
Phunk Phenomenon-
ICONic Boyz-

The two crews I wish to receive the bye to the second round are

Friday, August 26, 2011

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Results for World Semi-finals at Hip Hop International - Varsity and Junior Divisions

Varsity Division semi-final placements and scores:  
1. (7.12) IDK, USA
2. (7.05) Sorority, New Zealand
3. (7.02) Star Team, Japan
4.(7.02) Zero, Japan
5. (6.86) Legit Status, Philippines
6. (6.84) Freshest Nutz, Singapore
7. (6.82) Rough Diamond, UK
8. (6.73) Freshh, Canada
9. (6.73) Funk Beyond Control, USA 

Junior Division semi-final Placements: 
1. Bubblegum, New Zealand
2. Star Team, Japan (Defending Champions)
3. Cookies N Cream, Canada
4. Lil Saints, New Zealand
5. Onizawa Ikka, Japan
6. Lil Hustlers, Ireland
7. Lil Phunk, USA

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Zekeish's Review of ABDC's Finale

Now for my grading scale, I’m not a big numbers fan, so I have decided to do this review with words serving as my ratings. My scale is as follows
OH MY TITS= A perfect performance. Their transitions were on point, their choreography was squeaky clean, and they had wow moments that made you want to disrespect the nearest replay button. Basically the performance that makes a season
FANTABULOUS= Close to a perfect performance. There was just one thing that kept them from being perfection incarnated.
FREAK A LEAK= A great performance. Definitely an eye catcher, but had some problems with some aspects of their performance
GOODISH= A good performance. Had some noticeable problems but still had an overall solid performance that has rewatchablitly
MEH= An okay performance, nothing outside the ordinary. Had some glaring problems or provided no real wow factor.
INCREDIBLY MEDIOCRE= A very average performance. Worse than okay, but good enough to where I could sit through the performance, Barely.
WELL, THAT SUCKED= A less than average performance, nothing really went right here. Had some concepts that could have been executed better, but nothing really made you like the performance. You wanted to find the nearest dark place and hide there until the performance is over. And maybe binge eat your feelings. Whatever floats your suck fest boat.
ID RATHER WATCH A JUSTIN BIEBER CONCERT= A horrible performance. You’d rather be subjected to Bieber and thousands of 11 year old girls screaming in your ear… Like seriously, the crew might as well incorporate taking a dump on the stage into their choreo.
So let’s get right into it…
(By the way, you might be wondering why I'm not reviewing the battle episode. It’s because, like season 4, I am trying to forget it existed)

*Group Performance* I'm not going to go in-depth with this, mainly because I don’t like group performances to begin with, but this one was boring. Didn’t really show anything crazy or new. The best group performance of the season was ALL the way back in week 1 with the Lil Wayne episode. But, that’s about all for the group performance, As Jay-Z would say, On to the next one.
-POREOTICS/POREOTIX- Is it just me or do they always troll the hell out of ABDC every chance they get. Anyway, I wasn’t overly excited to see what Poreotics was going to do on the ABDC stage, mainly because they have been so busy doing tours and what not, I didn’t think they would come with a brand new routine. But they did, and it included dancing to “Friday” by Rebecca Black. They started off pretty slow, doing some basic popping choreo paired with a dubstep track. Things pick up a bit after a voice over goes “WE STILL HAVE DA SMALL EYE”. They do an interesting waving visual (If you have been watching them recently, you have seen this move a lot) subsequently followed by a well framed gainer and a changing tempo backspin. They got right back into some chain reaction robotic choreo then topped that off with a duet sectioned that enhanced the routine a lot. The paired up, one behind the other, and made shapes with their arms to the “Pop” of the music behind them. Each shape giving a new and interesting visual. Meanwhile, the end pairs were moving downward as the middle pair was moving upward. At this point, it’s a good performance, but like 3/4ths of the routines they did on ABDC, it’s not really exciting me at all. Anyway, this part of the performance was hilarious, mainly because who knew they could put choreo to the song Friday. Out of all the songs. But they did, and it wasn’t bad at all (much better than the song itself I assure you). This time, their visuals matched the lyrics to the song. When the song said “go downstairs”, they had a visual where Cam, Went down stairs. Another thing I kind of noticed, maybe I'm looking too much into this, but I think Poreotics gave Instant Noodles a shout out during their “eating cereal” section. The bottom 4 guys do the Instant Noodles hand gesture during that part. But after that, they go into their supposed funny moment, by anal sexing their crew members. Dumbo sexes up Law, and Dumbo then receives the sexing from Jet Li. All the while Cam is putting a Jason mask and coat on. He then murders 2 of the members, kicks the 3rd one in the leg and spares the last two (Jason would never do that, how dare they). But they end on some beer pong action and I feel like I'm left wanting a bit more. I have seen them do a 6 minute or longer set where I was excited for all of those 6 minutes. This performance was not exciting at all, mainly because it had no real flow to it. It felt much spaced out and no one moment really excited me at all. I know they can do better, and they will continue to kill the stage outside of ABDC. But overall.  I DUB THEE… GOODISH
-WE ARE HEROES- I (As most ABDC watchers) feel that season 4 was the worst season to date. We Are Heroes won that season, and compared to the other winners, they haven’t done much with the title of ABDC. Don’t get me wrong, they are a good crew, but the finale night showed some of their major flaws. They started with a bang. They were fire on those ropes, and the starting splits and the flips were well placed and a great start to the routine. They got down off the ropes, did some “diva” walking that looked more awkward than it should have, and got right into a whacking/locking section. This was a good section followed by a sexy section, the sexy section didn’t do much for the routine but it was there. They capped that sexy section off with I nice visual though (of course, using their hair (They seem to like to do that a lot)) Now, remember me saying that this routine showed some of their major flaws? Well here we go. This whole next section was one of the worst sections from a past champion ever. Harsh, I know. But it’s true. They got to the dubstep section of the track and did nothing with it. It was tailor made for one of their tutting/whacking visual pieces, but they did some sloppy body roll popping thing. This part completely ruined the flow of the routine and somewhat diminished what they had already done. They then did some posing and standing around. This is what really killed the routine, the posing/standing. There was a good 7 second section where they did basically nothing. They pointed at each other and stood there. It was all filler for what was to come (and if you have read my reviews in the past, you know I hate non purposeful filler choreography). They tried to pick the pace back up by some more sexy moves to get ready for their finale moment. This performance was saved solely because of the ending. The ending featured two members doing backflips in a circle around the other three members who were gliding in a similar circle. The two girls that were flipping then top this incredible moment off with some splits. This was a fantastic moment, and saved their performance. We Are Heroes is a great crew, but their flaws are so noticeable that it takes away from them as a whole. They need to make sure that the whole standing/posing section that they did in this routine never EVER happens again. THUSLY… I DUB THEE… MEH
-QUEST CREW- Last year’s Champions for Charity performance was one of the best performances of all time. But, I would be lying to you if I told you that D-trix not being in Quest anymore hasn’t affected my view towards them. I hoped that they would still deliver an awesome performance, and they kind of did. To be honest though, I really didn’t understand the theme of their performance. The whole sleepover thing didn’t make sense. The song is party rock, ya know? “Evurryy BODy just have a good time! I wanna SEE you SHAKE THAT!”. It’s a pump up, let’s go out and get wasted during our party and wake up to find ourselves next to someone we don’t know type of song. Not a, let’s have a sleepover and pillow fight each other. 

The way they started the routine played into the sleepover story. They did this on time SNAP when they were on their backs, and Ryan and Steve got up and hit two other members with pillows. They then went into a series of flips and freezes until one of the members went into this weird frog-freeze looking thing and started hopping forward on beat, he then flipped himself out of the frog impersonation, did another flip into some cheater splits. That whole little frogger section was great, and showed their crazy athleticism right from the get go. Hok and Ryan did some back rolls into the next section. Ryan was late on those rolls or Hok was early, either way, they got off timing a bit. They did a pillow transition along with some partner side flips and got right into their best moment of their routine. The TERADA FLIP! He did a round off back handspring to a leg grab THEN did a 360 degree twist still in midair. I couldn’t believe someone (Besides a professional gymnast) could do anything like that. Maybe Steve is a ninja, or a ninja-dancing-gymnast. Who knows? All I know is that was awesome. 

Back to the performance now, the rest of it was just okay. It wasn’t anything to go crazy about. They did their shuffling choreography featured in the LMFAO video which was good filler until they got to that chain reaction foot N leg move. That move was well executed and well framed. This next part I really didn’t care for too much. After the chain reaction part there was a really big lead up to Ryan’s solo move, which wasn’t as impressive as it could have been. After seeing Exclusive’s back drop suicide move, Ryan’s really wasn’t that impressive anymore. The problem was you could tell what was coming the whole way. It was either the half flip to no hands headstand move, or the back drop featured in the video. They chose the backdrop. They then did some jumping filler choreography and Steve randomly stopped jumping up and down and just stood there waiting to do his 2nd solo trick of the night. Both of these moves surprised me because normally Quest has excellent framing and blocking. These two moves featured none of that, and they weren’t the most impressive moves I have ever seen either, so it didn’t really do much for their performance. Their ending was okay as well. They spun around to their spots and went back to sleep. Performance over. The craziest part about their performance was having Dtrix judge it. You could tell he was almost crying already, and he had to muster up the man-courage to speak his mind about the performance. I know exactly how he feels though. Even though my situation is completely different and probably a lot more serious than his, I know the type of feeling he had watching the crew he had done so much with for years perform right in front of him. Anyway, with room for improvement…I DUB THEE… FREAK A LEAK
-SUPER CREW-I have never been a huge fan of Super Crew, it’s not that I don’t like them; it’s more along the lines of “I liked Fanny Pak and Supreme Soul more and you eliminated both of them. *Angry face*”, and last year’s Champions for Charity performance wasn’t that good. To sum things up, I wasn’t expecting much. 

They started out running on the stage like ninjas (maybe because they were dressed like ninjas) and got straight into a Bboy solo while the other members behind them were setting up for some sort of a throw move. The solo was good, but what followed was amazing. The double backflip throw. The ninja that got thrown did a DOUBLE BACKFLIP into the other members. The other members didn’t even need to be there, he would have landed it perfectly anyway (I do get the reason they were there. Over-rotating a double back could prove to be fatal). That trick was incredible impressive, and gave the start of their routine a huge bang. Right after that trick, they exploded outwards and made room for another trick solo. They then grouped together and did one of those “LOOK over there!” moves towards another member, that member did a trick, and then slid back into the formation as another member on the opposite side slid out in a head freeze. Again, well framed but nothing I haven’t seen before. After this they had six members in a formation while their seventh member just sat behind them, chilling there. Those six members then did some level choreography, three members doing some floorwork while the other three members standing up did some choreo. They then partnered up together and three members did a one handed freeze while the other three went underneath their legs. This would have been a much better moment if the duo on the right didn’t mess this part up. The guy that went underneath the freeze slipped and didn’t get out in time, making the guy doing the freeze mess up on the landing.
They recovered well, and went right into the next section. Remember that guy who was just chilling in the back? He kept chilling throughout the entire thing and got back in line when they got into that floorwork circle formation. I thought they would at least give him a trick solo or something, but nope, he just chilled there, although, the circle formation floorwork was a good visual. The next part was a bit disappointing though. They got up off the ground with a solo freeze from one of their members, and then went into some corny ninja poses. After this (and this is the most disappointing part) 6 of the members get on all fours and lets the last member run across them. Why was that disappointing? Because they could have had a flip or some sort of trick off of those other guys backs. It wouldn’t have been too hard for them to do that. I was let down by that whole part. After that section, they got back into some solos. The guy who had just ran across the others backs got down and did a baby to a double baby while the others posed behind him. The double baby was great, and it once again showed how good they are individually. 

After that small solo section, they went into yet another solo section where the 6 members who were just in the middle went out on to the end of the stage and threw up their super crew sign while a member in the middle did some flares to air flares to a backflip to a freeze. The member who just did that solo called his fellow ninjas and went back to the center for them to “disappear” (and by disappear I mean to fall through a trap door, which was easily seen). This performance was okay. It had some amazing moments but nothing really with substance. Thus the reason I'm not a huge fan of theirs, between their amazing moments, they don’t really have much, which bothers me more so than if a crew had great choreography but not so good tricks. Anyway I DUB THEE… GOODISH
-JABBAWOCKEEZ-The OG champs of America's Best Dance Crew return to the stage once more. Last time the champion got together, JabbawockeeZ had a less than spectacular performance, this time, they had easily the best of the night.  They included every west coast crew in this performance to add some more “awesome” to their routine and even included a KRUMP SOLO from none other than Tight Eyez himself. It even featured a LITTLE KID JABBAWOCKEE! That little girl's 20 seconds of dancing murdered Iconic Boyz’ whole season, seriously.

Anyway, The JabbawockeeZ started with a Jabba-Army using all of the west coast crews this season. They marched down the steps, one after the other, to form 4 rows of 5. They did some “In N out” choreography and went straight into some slow-mo walking effect. Even though it was simple, this was an incredible way to use all of those people. They sped back up and spread out to reveal none other than TIGHT EYEZ doing his awesome krump solo. Tight eyez’ style always intrigues me. Something about the way he Krumps always catches my eye. After Tight Eyez’ solo, he threw down the Street Kingdom sign and walked (Along with the rest of the Non-wockeez) to the back of the stage. Although, they had Tight Eyez stay on the stage to move and subsequently stand by the boom box thru ought the entire performance (He was the one that opened to door to reveal the kid inside the giant boom box).  

Anyway, when the actual-wockeeZ were revealed to be the ones left on the stage, the crowd (and myself) went NUTZ! They started by turning around and doing a bobble head type move, then went straight into some sort of flip, moving, purposefully sloppy yet visually stunning chain reaction series of events. It’s really the only way to describe it. They then had one of the members grab a smaller boom box from the front of the stage and act like he turned to music off. The rest of the JabbawockeeZ froze on that cue. Another stunning visual from them. When the music picked back up they flung a guy over the head of another. That guy went and grabbed the guy who was until that point the “Boom box master” and they went right back into a line formation. What they did next I'm not even going to attempt to explain thoroughly. Basically, they did some crazy sequence of events that included spinning and waving and chain reaction stuff, it was incredible. I honestly stood up out of my seat and stared at the TV screen like “People cannot do that, you are lying”. But TV’s don’t lie, so I had to accept that my brain was melting. Anyway, After that whole section (Including the waving and them getting back in the line and bursting out at different levels), they had one member do a sort of stomp/pop solo, and after a couple of stomps, the rest of the crew joined right back in. They then did some more (yet completely different) chain reaction stuff and went to their HUGE reveal. The camera panned to the boom box (which tight eyez opened) and revealed a babywockee. This young girl killed the stage with her popping ability. It wasn’t the fact that she was incredibly tiny that made it awesome, she was legitimately good at popping (take notes Iconic Boyz). During her solo, the rest of the Jabba-army got back up on the stage and they ended with the regular (and baby) JabbawockeeZ standing there while the rest of the army, who are circled around the stage give a salute. This was honestly one of the best things I have ever seen. I even went to see their Mus.I.C performance in Las Vegas, and that blew my mind. This right here blew my mind even more, and contributed to my love for them. Call me a fanboi or whatever, but I love the JabbawockeeZ, and it’s because they put together amazing performances by turning small details into major events. No one else is like them, and thank god they are around in our lifetime so we can see their greatness over and over again. Thusly… I DUB THEE… OH MY JESUS LIGHTNING TITS minus 2 tits for bias. FINAL DUB… OH MY TITS
*I'm not going to be very thorough with the last performances of Iconic Boyz and I.aM.mE. Mainly because they are both very burnt out by now that they couldn’t have put together anything spectacular in that amount of time. I will grade them though.

-IAMME-Very nice visual performance. They really put their mark on the show and made the final statement that said “HEY! We win”. It’s nice that they got a decent song to dance to as well. I remember Moon stating in an interview that he would like to dance to Far East Movement, so he got his wish. *Highlights- Super Mario visual, starting jet back visual and floorwork section*

-ICONIC BOYZ- Meh. Nothing really special, as always. I love the fail flare that one kid tried. That was nowhere near a flare. They also tried their go at tutting in the beginning. It was okay, nothing really great. They weren’t clean and had no WOW moment.
*Highlights- None* I DUB THEE… WOW, THAT SUCKED
1) We Are Heroes Circle Backflips
2) Quest Crew’s Steve Terada Flip
3) Super Crew’s Double Backflip and Double Baby’s
4) JabbawockeeZ Whole Performance

I liked this season a lot. It had great crews, even better performances from those crews, and even though the voting was horrible, the right crew still won in the end. Hopefully season 7 can come out and provide the same type of BANG that this season did. I want to see a lot more from Phunk Phenomenon, Street Kingdom, Instant Noodles and of course IaMmE in the future, and I hope all the crews from this season go on to do great things. Who knows, you might see a crew from Columbus Ohio on there sooner or later. =P

Thanks to all my readers for reading, and thank you to Nancy who posted all of my reviews. Shout out to all of the other reviewers and my bestie Maxxann (Just cause).  BBDC is the best! I hope to see you all next season.

Click here to return to the first page and to leave comments. Thanks Zekeish for the oh-my-tits reviews all season!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Byeynyn's review of ABDC6's Finale!

 It starts out with both IaMmE and ICONic Boyz performing together to a master mix of Pink’s “Raise Your Glass.” The setting is the streets, which have little to do with glasses being raised, but whatever. Actually, it’s more like a “West Side Story” Broadway setting, and those streets are ruled by jazz hands. ICONic Boyz is wearing orange shirts with leather vests, while IME is wearing purple jackets with some sparkles. Chachi pirouettes in the beginning, and is featured in the middle a lot. Think she’d be good on SYTYCD? They both go off to separate fences. IaMmE tuts while in a rectangular formation, and ICONic Boyz does some choreo as well. Some of the boys are carried off by the IaMmE members during the “dirty little freaks” lyrics. Hee. Members of both crews tut on the steps, and Moon slides to the front to rock out and do a popping solo. The kids are banging on the trash cans. They all go into more group choreography, which is very fun and very appropriate for a show opener. They all raise their imaginary glasses filled with imaginary juice because most of them are too young for imaginary alcohol. The routine is high energy and pretty catchy, and having the two top crews work together is much better conceptually than last season’s Top Two Dance, when both crews were separated and forced to do the entire routine to a dance style they were unfamiliar with. Remember that? Good times…
Poreotix is the first returning champion to perform, and both of the current finalists share their positive thoughts and favorite performances from the robotic poppers. They will be dancing to Rebecca Black’s “Friday.” The setting is a college frat party, if the discarded red cups and Greek letters are any indication. The first half of the song is all robotic sound effects, because the less Rebecca Black, the better. The audio says, “We still have the small eye!” Well, it’s kind of pointless to mention that when you’re all wearing sunglasses, boys. And all Asian. They get into two rows and do some arm waving. Someone does a gainer, while someone else spins on his back. They do a lot of robotic choreography. They go into pairs and make Xs and other shapes with their arms. Charles waves his thumbs. They sleep and the alarm goes off and, gasp, it’s Friday already?! They stick their butts in the air and wiggle their legs, which is how a lot of people react to Fridays. They’ve also changed to regular glasses too. Also, butt jokes. Somebody comes out as Jason (from “Friday the 13th”) and kills some of them, but not permanently. They do some locking and grinding, and then “Jason” wins the easiest game of Beer Pong ever. Also, somebody does a brief kegstand but the camera cuts that off.

For now, only one judge will talk about each previous crew, and this time it’s JC Chasez. JC compliments them on their Friday-related humor and congratulates them on doing stuff with Bieber and Usher. He praises their intricacies, their power moves, and their humor.

Now it’s time for We Are Heroes, the only female champions so far. WAH gets their compliments from both sides, and Moon was actually at the taping of the Season 4 finale. It’s kind of neat how they had some footage of him (he’s right next to some Quest members). WAH is dancing to "Run the World (Girls)" by Beyoncé. They’re in leather S&M outfits, ponytails, and high heels, and they start out on aerial dance trapezes. Yeesh, it must be difficult to dance in high heels; it’d be like being saddled with two props. They whip their hair. They do some fast choreography, and stick out their butts. They do some booty-shaking, and they’re the only winning crew that can do that and still have it feel natural. Two of the girls do headstands. They split into two sides and have dueling body rolls with each other. They hop around a bit. Again, I have to think the heels play some part in their limited range of motion. They get one hand on the ground and do pelvic thrusts in the air. Nichelle and Ali do backflips in a circle around the stage and immediately go into splits while the three in the middle do some waving. In the end, they all bust out whips and make sexy poses. Oh, it’s definitely S&M. And ever since this show played the Rihanna song titled “S&M,” I don’t feel guilty constantly referencing it here.

Because we don’t need to hear about D-Trix’s hard nipples, it’s Lil Mama’s turn to talk. Wearing a Lady Gaga-like wig, she calls them passionate. She loves how athletic and inspiring they are. She appreciates their charity work, “We Are Heroes: Pray & Hope for Japan.” Then she babbles for a bit.

Quest Crew is next. I notice that in these segments, usually it’s IaMmE who talk about what they like about the crews, while ICONic Boyz talk about what performances they liked. Anyhow, this routine should be interesting, considering they have Aris instead of D-Trix. They’re performing to "Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO, because nothing screams a party like wearing matching pajamas. Their theme is a sleepover. Ryan and Steve get into pillowfights. Well, they are the two most boyishly cute members. They lean into other people’s feet and get pushed into backflips. Victor does his best impersonation of a human crab. Two of them spin the pillows and then spin themselves over two guys who are bent over. Honestly though, the pillows and blankets are a distraction on the stage at times. I don’t like seeing random polka dots everywhere. Plus, usually Quest does well enough with just having no frills performances. They shake their booties, and Steve does a flip on the stage that he invented (according to D-Trix). They go into fancy footwork, and Feng gets a solo. Steve swipes a pillow, causing Ryan to do a suicide jump and fall on his back. He bounces back up and winces in fake pain. One of the pillows is loaded with feathers, which the camera captures in slow motion as Ryan uses it to smack Steve, who flips in the air like a cartoon. They hear a knock on the door, so the entire crew grabs their pillows and pretend to sleep.

D-Trix talks about the fun times with his former crew. He loves them and misses them and talks as if he wants to write them sappy poetry. He praises their moves and tricks, and I’m curious as to what his current status is in relation to the group. Is he still invited to the next Quest Crew picnic?

Now it’s Super Cr3w’s turn to perform. The two crews talk about the world class b-boys and how it’ll be an honor to perform on the same stage. Super Cr3w is performing to "Power" by Kanye West, and they’re dressed like ninjas once again. And they gained a ninja too. They also earn bonus points with me for taking down Mario as he’s announcing them. They leap onto the stage. A guy does jackhammers in the middle. They throw a guy in the air and he does TWO backflips. A guy does a sidechair spin. They do headslides, freezes, and if you were to close your eyes and randomly pick from a list of breakdancing moves, they probably did that too somewhere. They do some downrocking and a lot of floorwork. One of the guys walks on the other’s backs and goes into backspins. I wish I could identify them by name, but they’re all dressed the same and their faces are covered, so bleh. A guy does air flares, which leads into a backflip and a freeze. They are certainly very businesslike when it comes to representing the b-boy style. In the end, there’s a puff of smoke, and they “disappear.” And pay no attention to the suspicious looking device on the floor!

Lil Mama (who I now noticed has a logo on her chest labeled “VYP”) is amazed by their stunts and probably thinks they actually disappeared. She praises Ben for hitting those “double babies,” which sounds kind of violent. And much like Quest Crew, it looks like a few of the crew members decided not to shave anymore.

Finally, it’s JabbaWockeeZ turn, and their presence is given the most hoo-hah. They’re headlining in Las Vegas, and much respect is paid to them. They’re performing to "Devastating Stereo" off their new album, MÜS.I.C., pronounced “Muse I See.” They start out entering from a giant boombox, and there’s a lot more of them than I remembered. Were there always twenty-five of them? Oh, but then the real JabbaWockeeZ show up to perform as the rest march off the stage. They’re all wearing masks and red outfits so it’s kind of hard to tell who’s real or not. No idea who that mysterious krumping FakeWockeeZ member was. Certainly nobody famous from this season! The real Jabba members pause for a bit when one of them shuts off a tiny boombox. Then they go into intricate choreography that I am hard-pressed to describe with mere words. It’s fast. It’s precise. It’s theatrical. They fall to their sides and slide back up. And then they bring out a kid from inside the medium-sized boombox. The kid, who is probably six or seven years old, steals the scene with her intricate moves. Like it or not, it’s been a pretty big year for children. For the finish, the rest of the ImpostorWockeeZ step back on stage and salute the original Jabbas, who stand in the front with their arms crossed, all serious. Well, they could be making goofy faces behind those masks for all we know, but let’s pretend they’re serious.

JC credits the Season 6 West crews for showing up to dance in the beginning, and praises the Mini-Jabba performer, who is adorable. Between her, B-boy Jalen, and those kids from Future Funk, there are some really talented pint-sized dancers out there. JC calls the JabbaWockeeZ a real inspiration and wonderful ambassadors for ABDC, which I’d say is the perfect way to describe them.

And now it’s back to Season 6. Oh, right, those guys. IaMmE vs. ICONic Boyz.

ICONic Boyz gets their very special season montage first, and appropriately the montage is played to a Bieber song. And then… they get another dance? Oh, wow, that means this episode has nine dances altogether. This episode is much more densely packed than the previous episode and I love it. Anyhow, they are dancing to "Yeah 3x" by Chris Brown, because nothing charms the ladies like a song sung by an abusive unapologetic ass. They have an interesting and creative formation in the beginning. There’s pairs on the sides and a trio in the middle. I wonder who taught them that one. One kid does half of a flare. They stick out their arms and make chopping motions. All of them get their own solo moment, which is a nice touch. They do some choreography, and it’s slightly better than their usual stuff. It’s a little faster and intricate than their stuff in the early weeks. It’s still not great and I can still do it at home without hurting myself, but there’s a little more complexity in the routine. They end by pointing to their banner. I’m so glad they know which banner is theirs. That way, they know where to look if it falls.

Now it’s IaMmE’s turn. They get a montage too, thankfully not to the music of Bieber. They’re performing to "Rocketeer" by Far East Movement. Their opening formation has them in halves, with a guy leaning on another’s feet, with the girl underneath their legs. Then those nearly triangular-shaped-formations start moving across the stage as the guys do backstrokes and the girls roll on the floor. They do some choreo and go into a Brain Banging formation, where they punctuate the usual tutting and waving with some popping by Philip. They throw in a Super Mario reference by having Moon mimic the Mario pose as Philip carries him to the sound of coins. Brandon does a backflip. They do some more choreography, and it’s very groove-based. Sometimes I forget they’re from the South because it’s usually their Brain Banging that I remember the most. Three of them get on the ground as the other three stand over them and do mirrored choreography. While the girls grab onto the guy’s legs as they step forward in slo-mo, Emilio does a round-off into a backflip as the audio states that it’s “one small step for IaMmE, one giant leap for ABDC.” The end. It’s not their best, but it’s a pretty good routine that shows what makes them stand out from every other crew- dancing with clever visuals, sharp techniques, and a strong Southern influence.

The judges get their final say on both crews, not like it really matters what they say now. Nobody says anything juicy or negative anyways. As for the Season Six champions… IaMmE wins! Woo! Yeah! The South gets its first victors!

IaMmE’s victory dance, where each member gets a moment to shine, is to "Written in the Stars" by Tinie Tempah, AKA the song heard in the beginning of each episode. And as IaMmE was the first crew to perform this season, it’s fitting that they are also the last. We’ve gone full circle! What a wacky season this has been, and I still have many issues with it, but it’s been topped off with a worthy winner, one who easily stands up with the previous champions. America got it right during the week it mattered the most, and I can sleep easier now. Goodnight, everybody!
Click here to return to the first page and to leave comments. Thanks Byeynyn for your commentary and humor all season -- it's been fun watching along with you!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Byeynyn's Review of ABDC's Battle Challenge

Both crews have their members introduced one by one, in a time-wasting ceremony that hasn’t been done since Season 2. The only interesting thing here is that Jaja’s hair looks like it could poke someone’s eye out. The video package “helpfully” reminds us that ICONic Boyz and IaMmE are fighting for the championship, and only one can win. Yeah, I really needed help figuring that out. They talk trash to each other and sling generic insults. ICONic Boyz all have the same haircuts! The members of IaMmE are ancient because they’re 20 years old! I know this is all tongue-in-cheek, but I still dropped my dentures in anger. Some of these kids are younger than Y2K! The best trash talk goes to Moon, who says, “Please do not subtitle me.” (They do it anyways.) I think Moon might be the funniest person on this show. 

Tonight, the judges have chosen one routine from each crew that they want to see performed again, only with a few improvements. The judges talk about how much IaMmE has grown this season and how they were underrated (specifically, slept on, or “schlepped on”) and I disagree with that second part. They were saved by the voters every week except for the last one. That ain’t being “schlepped on.” IaMmE is redoing their “S&M” performance from Rihanna Week, one of IaMmE’s best routines and personally in my Top Five this season. It starts out differently, with Chachi held in the air by the others. She does the splits while they’re in another formation. Most of it is the same as before until they reach the dance hall section, which is extended for a period. Then it’s like normal right to the part where Emilio is flipped. There’s some fake fighting in the middle between Emilio and Chachi while the others get back on their feet. They all run smack-dab into each other, leaving Chachi as the only Spidergirl left standing once again.

The additions were nice, but I kind of feel sorry for the audience members, since this episode was one of the most unsubstantial and unimportant episodes ever, since about two-thirds of it is old stuff. The judges, whose robotic controls will be permanently stuck on the PRAISE switch this evening, compliment IaMmE some more. The behind-the-scenes footage for IaMmE has them admit that it’s a grueling experience, and everybody’s gotten injured. Jaja was hospitalized at some point, too.

Now ICONic Boyz gets a chance to rehash a previous performance.  For ICONic Boyz, the judges have selected “Baby” from Justin Bieber Week. It’s not their best routine, as the judges and the kids both admit, but it’s probably their most buzzed about performance in the elementary school classrooms. Anyhow, their beginning has a few tweaks, like adding a millisecond of locking to the jumping jacks, and adding an Iso section where their heads go “down, down, down” a diagonal line. The rest is mostly the same, at least as far as I care. Their tutting to D-Trix’s comment about the dancing Biebers is slightly modified so that they’re doing it at several levels, so that’s kinda new. The basketball slam dunk (which I kept mistyping as slam junk) is extended so that it’s blocked at first and then someone does a behind the back “dunk.” Way to needlessly dilute the best scene in that routine, kids.

And the judges compliment them some more, and I cringe whenever “clean” and “advanced choreography” is mentioned. JC points out that these kids have to balance their schoolwork on top of being on this show (Lil Mama interjects that the same applies to Chachi on IaMmE). That’s definitely an inconvenience, but I don’t think it would have made much of a difference in their routines. In the video package, they whine about wardrobe and make-up. Yes, yes, I’m sure it’s SUCH a chore having other people make you look pretty. They talk about being a little sick of each other after being together for eight weeks, which I totally understand. I mean, I only see them on my TV one hour a week and I’m a little sick of them too.

And now, even more video filler. IaMmE came together in Houston, Texas. Philip misses his mom, who the other members call Mama Pacman, and there’s an adorable picture of Philip at age six as a Blue Power Ranger. Chachi’s friends call her a goofball. Moon tells his parents about him making the finals, and I’m sure they’re happy, but they’re probably also, “Ohhh, now we have to buy plane tickets.” Brandon chose dance over a college scholarship. Then the show decides to air a bunch of fan videos. Ugh, these are so boring! A deleted scene shows an utterly exhausted Philip almost ready to vomit on Mario after the “Moment 4 Life” performance. That would have been awesome if he did. “I put everything I had on the dance floor, including my stomach contents!”

As for ICONic Boyz, they talk about New Jersey and how it all began at ICON Dance Complex, so I now know who to blame. They talk about how girls have slumber parties just to see their performances, so if you had any doubt about who the target demographic was, you really shouldn’t at this point. Vinny’s dad owns a pizzeria and hosts ICONic parties. C’mon, Vinny’s dad, pizza and America’s Best Dance Crew do NOT go hand in hand. Pizza and childhood obesity go hand in hand. The fan videos for ICONic Boyz includes one from The Situation, the only male in that clip, possibly the only male fan of ICONic Boyz, period. In the deleted scene, one of the kids does an “impression” of Mario. It’s not even an impression, just him reading from the same cue cards.
Swizz Beatz shows up so he can add bleeps and bloops for the soundtrack of the “Ultimate Battle.” 

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for this episode that only took about forty minutes to get to. Geez. ICONic Boyz, dressed in blue, will be battling IaMmE, dressed in red. ICONic Boyz start the first round with a little booty-shaking and some taunting gestures. They assist a kid doing a backflip. IaMmE retaliates with quicker and cleaner choreography. Jaja pretends to reject them, and she and Emilio go into a stunt in the middle. Emilio does more solo stuff while the others pop, and he finishes with a kick.

Round two. One of the ICONic Boyz does a brief handstand freeze. Whoop dee doo. The ICONic Boyz ape IaMmE by going in two rows of three (like the formation made in IaMmE’s Kanye West performance). T-Money comes out holding a brain. He passes it along to the others, while the last guy rubs it on his ass. Out of context, this scene would suggest that kids think learning is stupid. IaMmE’s turn, and this time Chachi and Brandon are in the forefront. Brandon retaliates by whipping out a pacifier. There’s really not much for IaMmE to riff on, as there’s NOTHING ICONic Boyz did that was remotely distinctive dance-wise. So they just do another Brain Banging formation because they can. Brandon lifts Emilio the same way they did in their Black Eyed Peas performance, only holding him in a cradle position, as Emilio’s got a pacifier in his mouth.

Round three.  ICONic Boyz copies the head-spinning move from IME’s Kanye routine. One of the kids tries to show off his nonexistent abs to Chachi, and Emilio fires back with some actual abs. Moon and Philip do a waving/tutting formation together, and Philip does some bone-breaking move. One of the kids tries to imitate Philip in the background. Nice try kid, you’ll only hurt yourself. ICONic Boyz does some more new choreography, as does IaMmE, and as they separate to their sides and do a final battling pose, it’s over. It’s finally over. That was a disappointing episode.

So Sunday, all five previous ABDC champions will return for a “once-in-a-lifetime” event. Well, if you completely disregard last year when they did exactly that. So “at-least-twice-in-a-lifetime” is more accurate, really. Either IaMmE or ICONic Boyz will be crowned, thus answering the important question, “Will we take this show only half seriously now, or not seriously at all?” I guess we'll find out soon.

Click here to return to the first page and to leave comments. Thanks  Byeynyn -- this episode might have been filler, but the next one most assuredly will be full of ABDC goodness!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Freeze's Review of the taping of ABDC6's Finale

Poreotics - Loved their performance, The theme was "College Frat" and it began with a good amount of dubstep mix using some of there Tron Legacy performance, THEN the mix goes into Rebecca Blacks Friday. YUP, never thought you'd see that song on ABDC but Poreotics danced to Friday, but they redeemed themselves by having the masked murderer "Jason" (Halloween fans should know who I'm talking about) come out and kill the entire crew (Who I'm assuming were "Rebecca Blacks" haha).

Quest Crew - Performance was so high energy, the theme was a "Slumber Party!" The entire crew came out in purple Pajamas and pillows. Before I continue let me make a note, Aris performed, Lydia and Dtrix did not. Dtrix was the judge who commented them and told them that they formed a brotherhood on this show and he misses them so so much. He even began to get glossy eyed, and I didn't expect anything less from his critique. Now back to the performance. They performed to Party Rock Anthem (Which most of you know they were a part of the music video) They had their Quest style dance with Steve's flips, Ryan's back drop, etc. And of course to complement the song they had a shuffling section! They ended with a pillow fight which got the entire stage messy and had pillow fluff flying everywhere :P

We Are Heroes- They came with a sexy sass tonight, from their outfits to their performance...Rihanna S&M esque. They began with Hiro in the middle and the other 4 members in ropes.  After the dismount they went into some nice isolations and did a little 2 vs 3 iso body battle. After two members went around the stage doing back flips and landed in splits which made the crowd go crazy (The guys especially) The ended with none other than whips haha in which they ended with that *SMACK* to the ass. (While they were prepping the stage for WaH to get on the ropes they were playing music and WaH kept the sexy groove on, i don't know how many guys I heard in the audiences yelling during there freestyles haha)

Super Cr3w - They started with Ninjas and came back as Ninjas. Holy cow this performance was explosive. They brought Bboying to the max tonight. I had a hard time keeping up cuz everything was moving so fast! They started from the audience and exploded onto the stage. One of the biggest highlights of the performance was when one of the members went into the hands of the others and was launched into the air in which he did two back tucks before landing. I couldn't even register  what happend after that. The performance ended with a cloud of smoke in the middle of the stage and Super Cr3w disappearing(a trap door opened and they fell through)

Jabbwockeez - Holy crap the crowd went EXTREME with this performance. Every West coast crew from this season, Electic Gentlemen, Jag6ed, Instant Noodles, and Street Kingdom, performed with Jabba in Jabbawockeez masks and uniforms. I couldn't tell which crew came out first but there were crews in the stands and behind the stands while some performed on the stage, then they all came out together and performed. Tight Eyez had a krumping solo in the middle of the stage, and then out of nowhere a small Jabbawockee was pulled out from under a prop. At first I thought it was Bboy Jalen but turned out it was a little Asian girl, I don't know who she is and I couldn't make out the name cuz there was tooo much cheering going on. Its the loudest ive ever heard in the place.  It was just an amazing performance from all the crews.

The entire YouTube Fam was there tonight: Ryan Higa, JRA, Chester See, David Choi, and Dtrix wore his YTF jacket as well. Brian Puspos and Pat Lam made a guest appearance in the audience...And to answer you guys' questions. IaMmE looked really anxious all night, when they filmed both crews winning they didn't say who was getting called first. When IaMmE got called their reaction was REAL. It wasn't fake they really let it out like they really won. ICONic Boyz on the other hand, you can tell they faked their reaction. 

Also some highlights of my night: 
Chachi and IaMmE were sitting across the way, I was by the stairs and kept holding up the picture i drew of her. She saw it and got up and came to me! I handed it her and she said "Wow!" and gave me a hug :] Omg never gonna forget that  

Click here to return to the first page and to leave comments. Thanks for the review Freeze -- you definitely earned your 1iota tickets with this review!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Ninjaboi's review of ABDC's Last Chance Challenge

A lot of people will go on about technique of a performance.  I do that myself in my reviews usually.  However, for me, technique comes secondary in a LCC.  Why?  Because it’s also about making a statement.  About bringing a message, or of sharing something.  Like E-Knock said in the package for his LCC, there needs to be a CONCEPT behind it.  Half the battle in this routine is to find a concept that not only shows that they are dancers, but that they are artists. That they are performers.  That they are showmen (and showwomen). 
That being said (and to procrastinate even more) Here’s a rundown in order of past LCC’s in how I rank them (not including 3rd place LCC that were revealed)
1)Jabbawockeez – Red Pill:  Most people think this is a weak performance.  I see it as a magnum opus.  Why?  First, consider the link with who they are. The title itself is a reference to the Matrix, where reality is not what it seems, but the Red Pill brings you to reality (ie it’s the end to fantasy).  Jabbawockeez’s style is to try and make you question reality – their name comes for Lewis Carroll’s mythical beast that has come to represent your imagination and dreams.  In short, the Red Pill was a closer on the imagination of the Jabbawockeez. How did they do this? By bringing it back to their deceased member Gary with their ending pose.  This sobering reminder of who they were dancing for brings an end to their story.  They also did the clever tie in with the rest of their whole routines by starting and ending the same way.  With technique that was average to above average, and emotional content that was cranked up to 11, it really hits home.
2) Quest Crew – Orquestra: Not quite as somber as the Red Pill, nevertheless Quest delivered a powerful message here.  Knowing Quest, they’re all artists outside dance as well with their different pursuits.  Going by the title and the integration of a live piano into the routine, as well as their costume, they convey the fact that they are artists, not just dancers.  Each member is highlighted (though simultaneously) with signature moves from several, including Locking from Hok, Victor’s hollowback, and Dtrix’s headspins.  The final emphasis on why they should win comes with a surprise flip push from Steve.  A powerful ending to a strong run on the show with a good message too.
3)Tetriotix – I know a lot of people prefer Ichiban, but hear me out.  Poreotix is probably the first crew to really win the show because of a pre-existing fanbase they had before the show thanks to Youtube.  I see a more appropriate title to this being Retrotix. Why? Because they brought out all the signature moves they had made over the years that had won them fans and gotten them that far, and that they had saved for this moment as a “thank you” to their fans.  It’s almost a full circle that their winning performance be the one that they first came up with – the Tetris set.  They also fully exemplified the “hold nothing back” mindset of this routine.
From here it’s sort of indistinct but 4-7 in no order) Ichiban, Super Cr3w’s James Brown, SoReal’s A Milli, Come to Life 8) Freak the Dream –
Despite having a poor structure and message, very technically able locking.
9/10) Raices, Jack in the Box

Now that I’m done blabbering about the past, what about the present?  Note: I will use rough numbers, but these won’t factor into the score for the season.  Just a sense of how I would rank them.
I.aM.mE – Ill-Mental I’ll say that this was a very predictable performance if you knew about the crew before they actually appeared on the show.  Pacman has done spoken word performances , and in a pre-show interview by our very own Del, they revealed their concepts of Elements.  And given their interviews, it was pretty clear they’d have that concept of “Who are you? I am me!”  About the only thing I didn’t know going into this routine was the order of elements and that cool ending pose they did.
Did they do a  good job?  Pretty much.  I’d put them on par or above Poreotix’s LCC.  Could it have been better?  Yeah.
Pros: Even if you know spoken word is coming, it’s still pretty powerful.  Not a lot of non-percussive crews dance a capella or to spoken word, so props to them for that.  Each solo was okay, showed a lot of styles, although Pacman’s, 747’s stood out a bit more than the others to be honest.  The ending grid was pretty cool, and the final IME pose from the aerial view was really powerful.  Everyone backing each other up was also pretty cool.
Cons: I will say that I expected a lot more out of the solos.  Sure Chachi brought fire-swag, but it could have gone a LOT harder based on her past youtube videos.  Emilio’s was okay, but I’ve seen better “Earth” element dancers.  Jaja’s was good, but pretty short.  Same for Moon who really should have gone OFF (why deprive us of moon tuts =[).  Also for the Tron: Off the Grid section (which is what 747 called it on Facebook), there as a bit of trouble right at the end.
Conceptually, I think it was a good idea.  Not the most unique, as it’s totally been done before [insert link].  I will say that this felt more suited for a Victory Lap performance which traditionally have been individual showcases, as opposed to a last chance challenge.  Given their message though, it fits, I guess.  I feel like it could have been presented a touch better, maybe with them all wearing black and acting as one multi-man brain bang unit in the beginning, and as each element comes out, they somehow incorporate a costume color change to “come out” of the larger whole and celebrate their individuality.  But that’s just me.
Presentation: 7
Message: 9

ICONic BoyzICONic Dream Where to begin.  Maybe I’ll start with the fact that their mix is purely a remix of a pre-existing song.  Part of being a good dancer is having a good understanding of music.  After all, most of the time the crew is the one mixing their own music.  Yet, they chose instead to go with some mainstream stuff, rather than displaying any true understanding of how movement and dance interplay with each other, if they ever had it.
Then on to the choreography.  So much for them being the cleanest crew on the show.  There’s barely a 5 second segment in there where any of them are totally in sync with each other.  As for the actual choreography, it was not different than anything they had done all season, barring their chauffeur and large set piece.  I don’t know about you, but to me it seems like the Last Chance Challenge is an opportunity to do something crazy to make yourself stand out.  If you just do the same old same old, it’s not fulfilling the purpose of the routine.  It was simple, almost on the same mediocre level that they showed in the very first episode, except instead of sprayed on abs, you have white suits, and a bit of acting with the lyrics with one guy pretending to be a girl.  Even the tutting wasn’t smart.  If you’re going up against a crew that are arguably the best whole body tutters, not to mention with one of the best finger tutters in the industry, you don’t give them material to smoke you with.
Finally, the actual concept.  ICONic Boyz in Hollywood.  Let’s compare it to some others: Jabba’s tribute to their fallen friend.  Quest’s declaration as artists.  Poreotix’s gracious tribute to the fans who got them that far.  It just doesn’t stack up, either in gravity or deeper thinking.  Instead it shows them to be materialistic, and egotistical. Maybe that’s what the MTV generation desires and aspires to. But as a dance  who sees this as a pursuit as an artform, I was deeply insulted.   We try to create something beautiful with all our hours of work and practice, and this is the supposed “best” that America has to offer?  I’m done.
Technique: 5
Message: 1

Well as you know, I’ve been compiling data from the start of the season.  Here’s the breakdown for tonight out of 50
1)IaMmE/Phunk Phenomenon - 46
2) ICONic Boyz – 24

And then lets look at total scores for the season, out of 340
1)Phunk Phenomenon – 273.5
2)IaMmE – 273
3)ICONic Boyz – 208

And weighted, so that more recent are more valuable, out of 241
1) Phunk Phenomenon - 195.05
2) IaMmE – 194.4
3) ICONic Boyz – 148.8

Given that Phunk Phenomenon is gone, the crown should fall to IaM,E, no question.  Even if you go by their last performance, I’ve made it clear above that IaMmE had the technically, conceptually, and overall better performance of the two.

Now, one thing that frustrated a lot of people this season were great crews going home early, despite strong showings.  I decided to take each crew and “freeze” it in time at the average score per performance when they were eliminated.  You see the results below, out of 340
1) Phunk Phenomenon – 273.5
2) IaMmE – 273
Hypothetical) Instant Noodles (without my bias reduction) – 269.17 (absent 2 weeks)
3)Street Kingdom – 268.48 (absent 1 week)
4) ReQuest – 264.71 (absent 4 weeks)
5) Footworkingz – 260.67 (absent 5 weeks)
6) Instant Noodles (with my bias reduction) – 257.83 (absent 2 weeks)
7) 787 Crew- 241.58 (absent 3 weeks)
8) Eclectic Gentlemen – 212.5 (absent 6 weeks)
9) ICONic Boyz – 208
10) Jag6ed – 187 (absent 6 weeks)
Obviously crews that were eliminated earlier would have more speculation and less reliable in these scores. I’ll let the numbers speak for themselves.
In any case, it’s been a great season writing these reviews.  Shoutouts to my BABDC Fam, to Phunk and Noodles for keeping in touch after the show, and to Nancy for running a great site! If I don’t write a review for the special episodes, see you next season.  Keep dancing!

Click here to return to the first page and to leave comments. Thanks Ninjaboi for this ABDC exegesis. I love that we can try to bring some rigor to dance appreciation.