Monday, February 28, 2011

Teldon's ABDC Rewatch Review - Season 4, Episode 6: VMA Challenge

Please note: I did my best to track down legal copies of the original routines and was not able to find them.  I originally was going to link the original video to this and have us watch it first then the crews interpretation of it.  Since I could not do that I am not judging them against the  original performance but against the spirit of the original performance.

Group routine:
AfroBoriké, Massive Monkees, Rhythm City, and We Are Heroes dancing to "Smooth Criminal" by Michael Jackson
My thoughts- While this is not the best top four routine (Season Five has that honor to date), it was the first one that felt like all four crews were one unit.  Except for the extended solo sections, the four crews worked very well together and made a good routine.  I put this one above season Three's group performance and just below the ones for Seasons One and Two.

Note- Costume designerKara Saun really outdid herself this episode for all four crews' wardrobes.  I love how she took the classic look of the original performance costumes and modernized them.  I know a lot of the people behind the scenes don't get enough credit for their contributions on the show but she really does good work for these crews.

We Are Heroes dancing to "Vogue" by Madonna
Was it clean? For the most part, they stumbled here.  They had been getting better week by week in this department, but there were many small timing errors in this set.  Add in a almost messed up ending where Nichelle almost didn't hit her mark.  With that said, they did add more oomph and energy to this routine than the original. 7 pts
Was it well thought out? Yes it was.  This is another great example of a routine that constantly builds on itself.  Really good transitions and framing helped them to have some great moments. 8 pts
How well did they do the challenge? They really shone here.  They not only captured the spirit of the routine -- they made it better, from the amazing visuals they did with the fans and the couch to just the attitude they brought to it. 10 pts
What were the highlights? the couch sequence
What, if anything, took away from the performance? the near-slip up at the end.
Total points- 25 pts

AfroBoriké dancing to "I'm a Slave 4 U" by Britney Spears
Was it clean? Not that much.  While they delivered the sexy and brought energy to this, they had numerous timing and formation errors. Most of these happened with the guys in chains and in the middle of the routine.  The challenge level of the routine did help them to a degree, but I think it may have been too much for them. 7 pts
Was it well thought out? Not so much.  While the individual sets for this piece were lovely, the transitions were clumsy and took away from the overall effect. 7 pts
How well did they do the challenge? They did okay.  It was not perfect, but they at least brought the spirit and attitude of the original routine to this set. 8 pts
What were the highlights? besides the guys starting off chained up there was really nothing memorable about this routine.
Total points- 22 pts

Did America get it right? Gimme a second to get my jaw off the floor.  I fully expected either Rhythm City or Massive Monkees to be in the bottom this week -- but not both.  We are Heroes definitely earned their pass to the top three but Afroborike really should have been in the bottom.

Massive Monkees dancing to "Tearin' Up My Heart" by *NSYNC
Was it clean? For the most part but, like the other two crews who already performed tonight, timing errors hit them throughout the routine.  Granted this was mostly in the first 16 seconds and after that they rallied and everything was on point and fun.  8 pts
Was it well thought out? Extremely well thought.  The transition were dope and the framing work helped make every little thing stand out for us. 9 pts
How well did they do the challenge? They were flawless in this area.  They brought the spirit of the original and incorporated aspects of many of NSYNC's famous routines into this performance.  They really had a ton of fun with this routine and that added alot to it. 10 pts
What were the highlights? The puppet section.
Total points- 27 pts

Rhythm City dancing to "Wall To Wall" by Chris Brown
Was it clean? All four crews tonight had trouble with this tonight.  Their timing issues were present throughout the entirety of the routine.  In addition, their formations were not on point as they had been in past weeks.  I appreciate the added challenge they did, but it could have been a bit more together. 8 pts
Was it well thought out? To a degree.  The moves were hot and the challenge made things harder but the transition didn't connect well to what they were doing.  Add in more of my biggest pet peeve of stunts-for-stunts-sake and it was just okay. (8)pts
How well did they do the challenge? Okay, I know I just ripped them a new one in the other categories but they were simply amazing in re-imagining this set.  The use of the set was well done and they yet again raped the huge set pieces that were given to them. 10 pts
What were the highlights? The prop work
Total points- 26 pts

Did the judges get it right? Despite what my ranking says,  this one was too damn close to call.  There was no right call in this bottom two and I think the fans are the ones to suffer for it.
Thoughts on the eliminated crew- A good crew that was apparently the' chosen one for this season.  I think this elimination is what pissed most folks off about Season 4.  Personally, I could take or leave them.
Tonight's Rankings (based on tonight's score)
1. Massive Monkees 27 pts
2. Rhythm City 26 pts
3. We are Heroes 25 pts
4. AfroBoriké 22pts

Power rankings (based on placement average)
1. We Are Heroes (7)
2. Massive Monkees (6.7)
2. Rhythm City (6.7) eliminated
4. Vogue Evolution (6.3) 5th place
5. AfroBoriké (5.3)
6. Southern Movement (4.3) 7th place
7. Beat Ya Feet Kings (4) 6th place
8. Artistry in Motion (3.6) 8th place
9. Fr3sh (1) 9th place

Click here to return to the first page and to leave comments. Thanks Teldon!