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!