Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Teldon's ABDC Rewatch Review - Season 4, Episode 7: Decades of Dance Challenge

Challenge #1: Decades of Dance
1960s     "Sex Machine" by James Brown
1970s     "Uprock" by Rock Steady Crew
1980s     "Cold Hearted" by Paula Abdul
1990s     "You Make Me Wanna" by Usher
2000s     "LoveGame" by Lady Gaga

Unlike last season I am going to be judging them on each individual song and how well they handle that section.  Points will be based on a 1-5 scale, with a minimum total of 5 points and a maximum total of 25 points.


Usher- I didn't get a sense of the smooth and sexy from them on this section.  Their opening into this part was good and thought out.  However, they really did not do anything that screamed Usher to me. 2 pts.
Lady Gaga- They transition into this set with some Gaga-like partner work and moved the sexy meter up similar to Gaga levels.  The moves were fairly basic in this set and besides the opening transition nothing stood out. 3 pts.
Rock Steady Crew- The clumsy transition into this set was made worse at a re-imagining of a windmill.  This section had no energy and it looked like they were not even trying. 1 pt.
James Brown- They came into this part with some great framework and a good solo by Miguel.  Sadly, the funk he brought was taken down by the rest of the crew at the end. 2 pts.
Paula Abdul- Really poor partner work transitions into the section that Afroborike should easily be the best at. They have members walk to their positions and deliver dead and lifeless moves. 1 pt.
Overall thoughts- I don't say this much about routines on this show because I know crews really do bust their asses.  However, this was a visual abortion.  It was poorly thought out.  There was none of this crew's normal level of energy in it.  Worst of all, it was boring as hell.  They are MUCH better then this.  Why does it always seem the crew that is saved every top three gives a pretty crappy performance in the extended mix challenge?  This crap needs to stop.
What were the highlights? That it ended.
Total points- 9 pts

Did America get it right? No they did not.  I can understand a vote getting split, but it is just mind boggling for Afroborike to be safe, as they are not nearly on the same level as the bottom two. 

Massive Monkees
Rock Steady Crew- They start out with the most familiar section for them and deliver big time.  It may have been basic b-boy moves but they were perfect. I also think they were smart and only used one of their short sections for this particular piece. 5 pts.
Lady Gaga- I loved that there was no extended transition for this part.  One second it was Rock Steady Crew, the next it was Lady Gaga.  They really surprised me in this section with how good they handled the moves and the sexy they brought (where was it Week Two?).  The floor work was a bit clumsy and took away just a bit from this section. 4 pts.
Usher- They had an awkward transition into this set, but it did pick up with the floor guides and gliding windmills. I really was hoping for this section to be a bit longer. 4 pts.
Paula Abdul- The clumsy transition started things off badly for this section.  I was getting no Paula vibe from it until something unexpected happened.  The framing of the jackhammers was a perfect homage to jer video.  While it was not something the singer ever did herself, it was something she would have used. 5 pts.
James Brown- The framing in this section was good and the transition into it sudden.  Sadly, the moves done did not have that much energy and seemed like a slowed down version of Brown's own moves. 3  pts.
Overall thoughts- This is how you do an extended mix challenge.  They excelled in what they know how to do and they were great in sections where you did not expect them to be great.You could tell being in the bottom last week made them hungry for the title and they brought it.
What were the highlights? Hands down --The Paula section.  It was very creative.
What, if anything, took away from the performance? No real energy for some of the sections.
Total points- 20 pts

We are Heroes
James Brown- Holy crap, they opened strong and with plenty of energy.  They not only brought the distinctive energy that James brown brought to his dance, but everyone in the crew got to be him. 5 pts.
Paula Abdul- Like Massive Monkee's first transition, this was powerful.  They turned down the energy just a touchm but throughout the entire piece they kept the signature style of Paula in there. 5 pts.
Rock Steady Crew- A clumsy transition leads into an okay section here.  The moves did have the right amount of energy and power to them, but they really came off as clumsy. 3 pts.
Usher- A quick formation transition leads to a slowed-down and smooth Usher section.  The moves are sexy and slow but there is power behind each one of them. Add in a group formation glide, and you have another great section.  5 pts.
Lady Gaga- The final transition lets them work back up to the right speed for this section. The moves are very Gaga in their weirdness and fun. The stunt to set up the floor tutting was nice, but I am taking a point off because Nichelle fell and that was edited out.  You may be my ponies this season but things like this must be taken into account. 4 pts.
Overall thoughts- This is the performance of a champion crew.  Despite how you feel about a crew, the true measure is how well they handle unfamiliar moves and make it look good and very easy, like they have done it forever.  I feel strongly this routine could have held its own against the likes of Jabba's Evolution of Street Dance and Quest's Hip Hip Decathlon. It might not have beat either of those two, but it would have been a close call.
What were the highlights? Amazing opening and ending to this routine.  Throughout the whole thing, you could tell they wanted it and wanted it badly.
Total points- 22 pts.

Did the judges get it right? Yes they did.  Both of these routines were amazing but We are Heroes really understood the challenge more, and it showed in their routine.
Thoughts on the eliminated crew- I disliked this crew the first time I saw this season, but they won me over.  You guys are simply amazing and the work you left on the stage was a joy to watch.  I wish you the best in the future!

Tonights Rankings (based on tonight's score)
1. We are Heroes 22 pts
2. Massive Monkees 20 pts
3. AfroBoriké 9 pts

Power rankings (based on placement average)
1. We are Heroes (7.2)
2. Massive Monkees (6.8)
3. Rythum City (6.7)
4. Vogue Evolution (6.1)
5. AfroBoriké (5.6)
6. Southern Movement (4.1)
7. Beat Ya Feet Kings (4)
8. Artistry in Motion (3.4)
9. Fr3sh (1)
Challenge #2: Last Chance Challenge

AfroBoriké performing to an original piece - "Raíces"
How well did this performance represent them as a crew- This routine showcased a different style than their normal moveset.  It was there the whole time, but it was always balanced out with everything else.  The only problem: this was so different then what we were used to seeing at this point. I really think this routine would have gone over better if they had killed their Decades of Dance routine.  Closing on a strong routine is a good thing but when you lead into it with an anemic piece, you are setting yourself up to fail.
My thoughts on the crew as whole formed throughout the season- This crew is not a bad crew.  The problem was their fans and the fact they were so far outside the norm for this type of show.  I am glad they got on but they really should have been cut Week 5.

We Are Heroes dancing to an original piece "Ichiban"
How well did this performance represent them as a crew- Okay, Beat Freak fans take note.  THAT is how you put everything on the stage.  Hiro scared me with the look of determination on her face throughout this routine.  You knew these ladies wanted this and were willing to take major risks to do it. They made everything exciting and each move was done well (if a bit sloppy) and done hard.  This routine actually got me excited.  I really think they earned the standing ovation they got and was one of the best performances to date.
My thoughts on the crew as whole formed throughout the season- I think these ladies would have been given a lot more respect if Beat Freaks never got on stage during Season 3. They are everything an all-girl crew should be:fun, flirty, fierce and not afraid to be tough and hard when need be.  The fact that they had only been dancing together as a crew for only 3 months at this point is also impressive and is a testament to their skill.
Thoughts on the episode as a whole- The tradition of the saved crew giving a weaker extended mix continues.  However, the two crews in the Top Two did deliver some of the strongest Last Chance Challenges in ABDC's history.  They may not be the best ones but they are definitely both in the top 5.  Also this season had another first: All three crews in the top three had to be saved from the Bottom Two before this episode.
Out of the two who should win and why- I think it is obvious who will win.  Traditionally the crew that is saved is the one that loses because the crew that had to fight for it wanted it more.  I really think it will be that way again because the fans of Massive Monkees and Rhythm City will unite against Afroborike.

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