Saturday, April 23, 2011

Byeynyn's review of ABDC6's Black Eyed Peas Challenge

ICONic Boyz- Their challenge is to have all their members connected for a part of their routine while dancing to "Just Can't Get Enough.” They’re dressed in neon yellow jumpsuits, each attached with glow sticks, making them look like giant glowworms. Aren’t they a little too young to rave? They start out cleverly, with three kids leaning forward with their legs held in place by three other kids. They do some robotic movements, the chubby kid (I’ll remember his name when I feel like it!) gets a solo, and they connect again by “electrocuting” the kid in the middle. They finish with their glowing arms forming basically the shape of a giant asterisk. They’ve got a lot of the fundamentals down, such as staging and musicality, but once again I don’t see much complexity. They met the challenge though, and I’m predicting they’re safe for another week.

Phunk Phenomenon- Their task is to dance to "Don't Stop the Party" while doing a slo-mo section. I gotta say, the costume department (i.e. Kara Saun) had fun this week. Black with shiny green and orange. Yes, I’m going to comment on all the outfits. They throw “Bboy Bebo” into the air and then he flips. A couple of the members do flares, and then the group gets into some locking. They use the slo-mo to have Bebo do a handstand and have his legs slowly spin around, while the rest do the same motion, except in an upright position. Slackers. The music speeds up, a guy wriggles on the ground, and they get into some high-energy moves, including what may or may not be footwork by X-clusive. Unlike the song title, they actually do stop the party, though crew member Devon doesn’t get the memo and keeps dancing like a goofball. All in all, it’s a versatile performance.

IaMmE- Their song is “Meet Me Halfway" and their challenge is to create a group robot, which hardly seems like a challenge for these guys. They were probably going to do several group robots before they even knew what the challenge was. Now they have to tone it down. They start out with a formation I can’t even pretend to describe, acting all mechanical. They’re also dressed kinda like pilots. They go into some locking, and then Philip waves his noodle-like arms while the others form a circle on the ground. They spread out and use the stage, but it’s pretty obvious they did that just to please JC. They form a robot, but it’s the fattest robot I’ve ever seen. It’s a fat grooving robot. The routine finishes with Brandon pulling Emilio out from under his legs onto his shoulders. I kind of wish their routine had played with the song lyrics more, but I’d never heard the song before. It’s probably as repetitive repetitive repetitive as this sentence.

Street Kingdom- Their challenge is to use light sabers in their routine while performing to "Imma Be." Honestly, I have no idea which is more challenging for them, the prop or the song. They’re wearing a bunch of protective pads (as if the light sabers hurt), which is appropriate because they’re only one person away from being a football team. They start out with a double-sided light saber, and they do some non-krump choreography (half of which the camera doesn’t catch because there are too many of them), and then they grab some more sabers. Rather hilariously, it appears there’s not enough light sabers for each of them, so they’ll have to share. They use the sabers to imitate a clock. Tight Eyez does more solo stuff, and they use the light sabers to frame him. I like the idea of framing, because I think using the weapons for fake battling has been done to death on this show, but their framing could have been better.

787 Crew- These guys have to “teleport” to "Boom Boom Pow,” which is a little tricky because they don’t even seem to know what teleporting is. In the rehearsals, “Pery” is present despite still being in a wheelchair, so he’s pretty much there to guide them like he’s Professor X. In case you were concerned they used up all their flips for the first performance, no need to worry, because they do another buttload here. They accomplish the teleporting by splitting the group in two halves, with the first group setting it up and having the second member on the other side actually flip. They use glowing mouth guards at some point, but one guy keeps smiling and ruins the effect they’re going for. Dang it, Smiley! They do backflips followed by frontflips followed by ninja swipes, so it’s not like they’re always repeating their stunts either (which was how I felt about Status Quo). They finish with some butterfly twists. Their choreography, once again, isn’t terrible, but it’s obviously not their driving force.

Instant Noodles- These guys have to dance to "My Humps” and make video game-like visuals. This is so NOT the right song for them. They’re in shiny purple outfits, which is so NOT the right look for them. Chuck gets a chance to shake his booty, and his hump is indeed shaken. They do some solid downrocking that Ninjaboi would do a better job of explaining. They have a guy act like a video game character while the others turtle crawl across the stage. They throw in some freezes and more b-boying here and there, and they finish with the same turtle crawl, plus more eating of noodles. Not to act like some angry video game nerd, which I totally am, but what video games were they trying to emulate? Other than a few thrown punches and that section where they imitate a platforming game (which I will assume for legal purposes isn’t Super Mario), it’s the sound effects doing most of the work. In terms of meeting the video game challenge, I felt they had a lot more potential that they didn’t live up to. What I do notice is that they go hard on the bboying throughout the routine, probably in response to what D-Trix said last week.

FootworKINGz- They have to create the illusion that someone is floating to "I Gotta Feeling." I hadda feeling that ReQuest would be in the bottom, but not these guys. They start out with lifting a guy, then they go into footwork. A guy flips. And then some more footwork. They act robotic while Lil Bit “floats”, but the camera does a bad job catching it. They use a break in the music to have members dramatically fall backwards. One of the guys tries to do isolations (by doing a turtle or something) which… nope. More high-energy leg stuff. They finish with some people on top of each other in a 3-4 pyramid. This was way too much like last week’s performance in terms of structure, except with shiny silver outfits. And the problem with this footworking, similar to Dynamic Edition’s clogging, is that it moves so fast that while it’s probably true that they’re doing something different every time, to my untrained eyes it’s too fast to register as anything but street Riverdancing. It always appears like their feet are on fire.

ReQuest- These ladies have to pretend they’re cloning while dancing to "The Time (Dirty Bit)." Does this song even have a dirty bit? Why do they even say that? Anyhow, ReQuest’s outfits look more suited to a Katy Perry performance, mostly bubble-gum pink. Even their facial expressions are more suited to Katy Perry (you know, the blank face she makes when she reacts to something). They achieve the cloning effect mostly by having members hide behind each other and pop out. They get a little grimy during the “dirty bit.” There’s a section where they do a ripple effect with their moves, and there’s a lot of sharp movements in this entire routine. They make me hate this song slightly less, so kudos to that. The group ends with Parris taking off her wig and they all pose. Has anyone told them that their hand signals make them look like a bunch of moose? A bunch of flamboyant cross-dressing moose?

And the judges save ReQuest over FootworKINGz, though from the sound of it, they were pretty impressed by both groups. It was a decent week for all the crews, though none of the performances were really worthy of a standing ovation. And it’s interesting that the judges save ReQuest (the last crew saved in the first week) over FootworKINGz (the first crew saved in the second week). It might have been too soon to boot FWK, who weren’t the worst last week and whom the judges have given nothing but praise, but I’m thinking the judges did this partly because they’re more interested in what they want to see in the future from ReQuest instead. The show’s very reluctant to get rid of decent all-girl groups. Next week is Katy Perry, so put on your cherry chapstick and get ready for that.

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