Monday, January 17, 2011

ABDC Rewatch - Season One Audition Special -- what really happened!

Each week I am going to be looking for the following
- How well thought out was the routine?
- Was it sloppy, in sync, timed well?
- Did they frame the solo/duo/trio sections of their routine in an appropriate fashion?
**Note framing is a term I picked up from ballroom dancing.  Generally the male is the picture frame.  It is his job to "frame" the picture (generally the female dancer) and make it look good.  I apply this to hip hop dancing by seeing if the rest of the crew is making the solo (or duo/what have you) part of routine look good.
- Did the routine show you that it was a (insert crew name here) performance? (only after week 3.  watching them for what would have been a month will give us a feel for their style)
- How well did they handle their weekly challenge?
- In addition I will be a bit tougher on the five crews (Kaba Modern, Fanny Pak, Fly Khicks, We are Heroes, and Blueprint Cru) that I supported.  The only exception to this will be season one.  I came in late for it and will start this on the week I first watched the show.

I write up my comments on the performances before the judges say anything and after I watch the routine twice.  The only time I will comment on what the judges say is if I feel they were to harsh, to free with their praise or being hypocritical (looks at Shane). So, here goes.



Status Quo
First Impressions- I honestly just felt these where no name street kids way out of thier depth.  However, in the mini interview they gave you could hear the hunger in their voice, like they wanted it so badly.  Despite all of that they also came across as humble and extremely thankful for the opportunity that the show gave them.
What I liked- A very high energy and fun routine.  You could tell they knew it was make or break for them and they were having fun doing what they loved to do. A few of the stunts were timed very well and flowed into the routine as a whole.
What I did not like-An amateur level degree of sloppiness.  While I thought the flow was there at times, their timing throughout most of the routine just was not there.  To many times  it seems like they waste most of their time setting up some of their stunts and the rest of the crew just looked lost while waiting.  The judges were right when they called this a very gutter performance and no it is not a compliment.

First Impressions- OK what is the AV club doing here.  They looked like that group of nerds from your high school that just sat around and talked about the great Star Wars vs Star Trek debate.  They did show some confidence in their interview but I got the feeling they were just scared. 
Perrormance -What I liked- When I was told they were going to marry hip hop dancing with traditional Broadway styling I laughed.  After watching the performance I was entranced from beginning to end.  The opening was very clever as they all synced up with each other to get into a pose and they do a small free style.  Next making good use of the all of the stage helped them as well.  Though the biggest shocker was when the tempo of the song changed and they went into hard hitting choreo.  A very clean and well thought out piece of performance that did what any good performance does.  Makes you want more.
What I did not like- a few times one of the girls just barely missed her timing.  What hurt this performance the most was the weird camera angle.  The beginning shot should have been pulled back more and left there.  The side shots were not needed as well.  While it was a great performance you did get a feeling you were in the cheap seats and did not see the whole show.

The Movement-
First Impressions- These guys seemed like a nice bunch of young men.  No real sense of personality was given off by them however.  Not sure if I would remember these guys after their performance.
Performance: What I like- A very clean and smooth performance.  They had no problem in any of their transitions.
What I did not like- While they did do a good job with no real mistakes to speak of it was a boring performance.  There was nothing in their routine that said we are The Movement.  It just seemed they were playing it safe and it showed.
Did they get it right? Yes and no.  They really should have picked out ICONic to go ahead first.  SQ may have had memorable moments they were out-shined by ICONic.  They did make the right choice in sending The Movement home.  While SQ may have been sloppy and unfocused most of the time they did entertain us more and gave us more of a performance then The Movement did.


Live in Color
First Impressions- Wow their style just jumped out at you the moment they walked onto the stage.  It seemed like they could barely contain their energy as they came out. Though they gave off a goofball vibe, you could tell that they wanted this.
Performance: What I liked- The second half of their performance is when they really came together for me.  The entire performance had a level of high energy I had not seen before.While they did no stunts or tricks their style made it impossible to forget them.
What I did not like- While it seemed the first part of the routine was planned chaos, it was just a hot mess for me.  Major timing issues in formation and everyone was out of sync with each other in the transitions.  Also the first half seemed like masturbation, fun for them, not so much for us watching (I smell a catch phrase!).

Enigma Dance Kru
First Impressions-Wannabe street kids.  Mouse just gave off a greasy vibe and it seemed like these kids thought it was all a joke.
Performance: What I liked- Ten seconds in and I could tell this crew was not a joke.  They had tightly controlled energy which they used to frame the members that were doing tricks.  Unlike the groups before them, the tricks that were done, were blended well into the routine and did not distract you from the performance.  The tricks were used like you would add a spice to a dish instead of it being the main course.
What I did not like- Again same thing with most of the crews.  Timing issues in the beginning and the towards the end.  While the crew could effectively frame a member or two for the tricks I felt the ladies in the group were holding them back.  Also transitions were just too slow and took way too long.

Full Out
First Impressions- ICONic comes to mind when this group came out.  Though instead of the AV nerds I am reminded of the goth kids.  Unlike Goth kids these guys were perky and likable.
Performance:What I liked- For the most part it was a clean performance.  They took their time and showcased all six members of the crew.  There were some good formations thrown in for good measure as well.
What I did not like- Their energy level was not up to the previous two crews.  It was meant to be a silky smooth performance but timing issues hampered them through out the process.  Similar to Enigma, I felt the guys were the ones holding the ladies back.
Did they get it right? I don't know.  While they were right in calling Enigma first, I felt either LiC or FO would have been a worthy addition to the cast.  I think it was somewhat off putting when Shane praised LiC for booty shaking yet told FO not to be cute b/c a male member brought the sexy.  Kinda of a double standard if you ask me.


Break Sk8
First Impressions- Okay don't judge me.  I love skating and I love disco and these guys reminded of of all the fabulous roller disco performances of the past.  They seemed like a bunch of low key guys, however.  Nothing about them stood out for me.
Performance: What I liked- Their foot work in the skates was impressive.  When they got into their groove they were on fire.  They made everything they did on stage look easy.
What I did not like- Say it with me everyone.  TIMING!!!!!! Quite a bit of early and late starts in the beginning.  Besides the skating and footwork there was nothing reallymemorable about the performance.

Femme Five
First Impression- Compared to all the other crews that came out before them I thought this group had made a wrong turn somewhere.  Just too sweet and perky to be considered a real threat.
Performance: What I liked-  Unlike all the other crews these ladies took a chance and went slow.  The gamble paid off as it was a fun and flirty routine that showed how strong they were as dancers.  Their transitions were flawless and seemed very natural.
What I didn't like- Minor formation errors.  When they were lined up they seemed to be out of step from where they should have been.  Only one or two minor timing issues that I really had to look for were found.  Also as much as I liked the slow vibe they could have added a bit of an extra oomph!! to it.
Did they get it right?  Yes they did.  While F5 may have been low key and a bit oversexed, BS came off as a one trick pony.  However, it wasn't until their interview backstage that we learned that F5 used outside help to make their routine.  I am not sure how they would have done with out it and it wasn't until the show really began that we learned that they would have no outside help with coming up with routines.  It still seems like a controversial call even today but I feel the judges did select the right crew to go forward.


First Impressions-I felt like when they came out that the masks would be a gimmick.  I did like their reasoning for wearing them.  They came off as thoughtful and professional young men.
Performance: What I Liked - They were right, the masks did force you to pay attention to the entire performance.  They had some great moments in the middle and they knew how to frame their b boy and each other very well.  They were the first crew with no timing issues what so ever.  They were the only ones on point for everything in their routine.
What I did not like- (I know I am going to be flamed for this but keep in mind I am only judging what they did that episode.  Not what they did before or after the show or what happens after this episode)  Having a few few good moments is ok, however, these guys took to long to get anything going.  Not only was I lost at parts of it, I was bored.  While everyone got a chance to shine, what was the point when you get lost trying to tell who is who.  In addition, they also seemed to focus to much time on their b boy and showcasing him off rather then the crew as a whole.

Automatic Response
First impressions- They seemed like a bunch of low key people.  Nothing really memorable about them to be honest.
Performance: What I liked- They looked like they were having fun and enjoying what they were doing.  The had some clever formations and frames for their b boy sections.
What I did not like- Minor timing issues in the middle of the routine slowed them down.  I felt they focused to much on their individual b boys and not to much on working together.  Like The Movement, they played it safe and it did not seem to have the difficulty that some of the other crews brought earlier in the night.

Fysh n Chicks
First Impressions-Completely different from any of the other ladies that came on stage.  They seemed like strong and fierce women.
Performance: What I liked- This was the first truly FIERCE performance of the night.  There was a lot of good energy and clean lines.  They hit their moves hard and strong.
What I didn't like- As much as I liked it, it was also one of the sloppiest of the night.  It seemed like at least one member at all times was out of sync in some minor way.

Kaba Modern
First Impressions- HIGH ENERGY!  These kids came bouncing out onto the stage.  They seemed like genuinely goods kids.
Performance: What I liked- Their beginning was the best of the night.  They synced their moves to each sound effect perfectly.  They showcased each other effortlessly and flawlessly. Good energy throughout the number kept it fun for everyone watching.
What I didn't like- Only a few minor timing issues brought done the middle part.
Did they get it right?  Yes.  While I was surprised FnC was called first, they should have not made KM wait that long.  Despite what I said about Jabba, they had an overall better package and
more to offer then AR had.  I know it was a hard choice for the judges to make and I think they made the right choice.

FOUR-WAY SHOWDOWN I thought this was a good idea.  I liked the fact they did not know before hand about this and had to freestyle.  What seemed out of place was they were gonna let the audience help decide who moves ahead.  The Movement came out like they wanted to win it but they lost the cohesion that they had earlier.  It could have been a touch better and it was more entertaining then their audition piece.  Next, I loved how Full Out got in the other crews' faces during their set.  Only problem I had was they had some members standing still during parts of it.  Break Sk8 came out after them and did a performance piece.  While it was entertaining but they really did not do anything except the same type of tricks they did before.  Automatic Response was the only one of the four to really use the stage.  However they got super sloppy at the beginning and it fell apart from there.
Did they get it right? No.  All this seemed like was just an excuse to get BreakSk8 back in the competition.  It was only logical that they would want to give each region at least two crews per region.The Movement or Full Out did better and I feel that one of them would have been a better addition to the final roster.

My Rankings based off this episodes performances
9. Break Sk8
8. Live in Color
7. Jabbawockeez
6. Status Quo
5. Femme 5
4. Enigma Dance Kru
3. Fysh N Chicks
2. Kaba Modern
1. ICONic

What I know from the future:
I am honestly shocked at my reactions to these crews.  Groups I liked in the past did not make a favorable first impression on me.  For example, if I had started at the beginning I most likely would have thrown my support to ICONic or Fysh and Chicks instead of Kaba.  I really can't wait to see how all the crews grew or fell apart to get where they got to in the season.

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