Wednesday, May 30, 2012

From Ninjaboi's Desk - Rihanna Week

10 - Choreography
10 - Wow
10 - Showmanshpi
10 - Challenge
10 - Improvement

If you're reading this, you know what these all refer to. 

+.5 for Props
-.5 RNG - urban chore bias
-1 MWC - style influence bias
-1 FP - utter fascination last week bias
+1 ELEK - consistently bottom routine bias

Choreo - 6 - Not a lot of it. Mostly "sassy" walking around, and posing. Something I'd expect out of a week 1 crew rather than a top 5 crew. They could have easily done maybe something African to this song because of the types of beat in the song. Mind you it's not as bad as say beginners children chore. But still, when I can't find a single consecutive 8 count that's not solid choreography back to back, without posing or running around, that's bad. Overall, it felt a lot like their first routine with the cheerleader bubblegum pop feel to it. Only with less dancing.
Wow - 6 - Normally I'd give them props for their stunts. Even if you consider that flips are pretty much par for the course for them, there was the no handed double side flip (not sure what it's called). But aside from that,you have horribly sloppy swipes, which I had to double check it a half dozen times to really see if that was what they were trying to do, they were that unrecognizable.  Poor execution, plus they really haven't come up with a REASON for having the flips in the choreography. It's one thing if they're placed in well like in OrQuestra, where it built to a crescendo to end with an exclamation of Steve's flip. Here, I see no compositionally-sound reason why they should be flipping everywhere.
Showmanship - 6 - Transitions were weak, largely consisting of prancing around. The hugeass birthday cake limited their formations somewhat understandably, but even then, overall this piece was simultaneously too cluttered and cramped, without a real reason for it. Energy felt muted, there were some levels (though minimal), and formations and blocking was just to the point where I start flipping tables. 
Challenge - 5 - Okay I get it, maybe they didn't have a say into what kind of sparklers they would use. But goddammit, at least move when you're holding the sparkler. Dance is MOVEMENT. and when you're not even gonna sway side to side or walk around holding your sparkler and deprive us of even basic movement, I can't really say you integrated the prop well into your routine. Standing there and holding a sparkler is not the same thing as dancing with a sparkler. 
Improvement - 5 - Pretty much in all aspects, they got worse. Choreography was weaker than we've seen. Completing the challenge was weaker. Wow factor was weaker in execution. Showmanship factors were all subpar. Overall a disappointing routine.
Total - 28 +.5 prop = 28.5

Choreo - 8 - Dope as always. THey really captured the grooving aspect of the song, with the drawl of Rihanna's voice and matching that with their bodies. They also really too the advice to let individuals do their own thing, and that they don't need to be in 2 rows of x people to do choreography. Such a dynamic performance and excellent top level choreography that many adults couldn't match.
Wow - 8 - Two really dope things here that other crews could learn from. One - you don't need super athletic moments to have a moment. Those slowed down body rolls? So much control and so on beat, and it really fit in well with the "theme" of the song so to speak. Second - they worked the moments in well. They didn't need to set it up, but at the same time, when you rematch it it seems natural for that moment to be there. And they used them for a purpose. The two solos highlight the characters in the story, the hat tricks create a human curtain for the"kiss" midway through, framing that well. The only complaint is that the glides at the end could have been a tad bit smoother, but other than that, excellent.
Showmanship - 9 - Great story. They really worked on blocking (keeping their hair under control with the hats really keeps it spaced out, visually. The opening diagonal transition to get Bailey across the stage without walking was really dope. They really filled out the stage, facing all directions without making it look empty. No real problems at all that were under their control *cough camera crew*
Challenge - 7 - Some cool hat tricks. Unfortunately camera crew decides to ignore said challenge so we can't see much except the tail end, but the formation they're in suggests something Brain Bang esque. Sort of stuck in, though they used the hats elsewhere in the routine as a storytelling prop (high level thinking there). So they did it. Yay.
Improvement - 9 - Think about what RNG was criticized for early on this season. Poor spacing. Lacking stunts. Lacking story. Having homogenous choreography. Could use better formations. Use the stage more. That is literally a checklist of things that they have accomplished in this routine compared to where they used to be. That is growth, ladies and gentlemen, and that is why RNG deserves respect.
Total - 41 -.5 bias +.5 prop = 41

Mos Wanted Crew
Choreo - 9 - Are people really saying that MWC has weak choreography? Really? There is no other crew in recent seasons (with the possible exception of Fanny Pak) that has as intricate, with as much musicality. Just as an example - The body rolls this routine. The song "Cockiness" has a motif of undulating beats. Beat-drawn out -Beat. That calls for a body roll, and they undulate their bodies in the same way and to the same intensity as the music moves. Even aside from the body rolls, they in general move between doing hits, then slow mo, then sudden acceleration. And then when Rihanna spews out a quick series of words, they move correspondingly. Even little riffs elicit quick footwork trills from Ian. No execution problems. they even play with the "cockiness" joke that's obvious, but in a classy manner. 
Wow - 8 - Aside from "jacket" related ones… Lando's roundhouse kick, Rickey's slow mo on beat 90, The aforementioned Ian quick footwork. JP'S TWERKING, Brian doing another puppeteer cannon thing at the end. All really dope, on beat, and a good mix of athletic and highly technical solos. None interrupted the flow of the routine. 
Showmanship - 9 - This is more like their first routine, which is a great thing. Formations and transitions were on point. The energy level for this slow, sexy RnB song was totally appropriate. If they had gone and flipped all over the place, that would have totally been inappropriate, but taking it slow and sensual really highlights the song. Framing and blocking of big moments were great. 
Challenge - 8 - They really used the jackets well. From opening them up and making them flow with their movements, it suited them. The jacket slide across the stage was dope. My favorite though is the fake arms with Jun - I needed to double check that, but it was very clever. They used it all the way throughout the routine, and like they said, upped the ante by adding trench coats on top of the regular 3 piece suit. 
Improvement - 8 - No execution flaws, working in more wow moments, yeah, I'll say they improved.
Total - 42 - 1 bias +.5 prop = 41.5

Choreo - 7 - Congrats Elektrotyles. This is the first routine that I really liked your choreography. Lines were sharper, there were some good house foundation in there, and there was almost constant movement. Props. A lot less posing compared to past weeks. 
Wow - 8 - They're doing a bit better job of maing sure that the moments they put in are there for a reason, and that they're blocked well. The hand stand during the dub step section, The mike-flip could have been set up a little bit better, I wills ay the dubstep Mario corkscrew jump was also done well, and gave them a good reason to reuse the same dub step formation again, so I'll excuse that.
Showmanship - 8 Good stage use, and they moved around it a lot. Some formations were weak (walking) but the subtle lean was pretty good. The biggest part was obviously the shirtless mike singing, playing the crowd, with that X factor. May not be dancing per se, but it was entertaining. 
Challenge - 7 - Mixed thoughts on this. Like 8 Flavahz, aside from the mike flip, it was largely holding the mike while dancing. That said, they did move around the stage and passed it around to everyone. So I'll compromise and give em a 7. 
Improvement - 8 - Overall a solid performance. I would have expected this somewhere week 3 or 4, but granted, improvement is improvement. 
Total - 38 + 1 bias +.5 prop = 39.5

Fanny Pak
Choreo - 9 - No it's not the typical urban hip hop that the majority of crews show. But they bring a certain… grace with them when they perform. Betweent eh hard angles, and then the soft turns and twirls of their movements, with gentle inflections that are oh so subtle. MWC and RNG may bring it hard, but RNG brings soft grace, in a great way. Their choreography really complimented their theme of being "free spirited" anti-war activists. When most people dance, they dance. When Fanny Pak dances, they create art. It doesn't have to be hit hit hit hit, one after another faster than anyone. But when Fanny Pak can emote with their body, you know there's something special.
Wow - 8 - With Fanny, it's almost never with having super athletic stunts, yet they blow you away when you watch it again and again. Aside from anything relating to the rifle, the bye-bye-bye section, with the floor work + the reference (I'm pretty sure they knew their fate). The knee spins when the rifles were being tossed. The sexy no handed bridge. Small things, with huge impact.
Showmanship - 9 - FIrst that message. Few other crews even try to tell a story, let alone spread a message with their dancing. So big props for that. I think musically this was hardest to dance to since its as so damn slow. But Fanny pulled it off. Formations were great. The levels were SUPERB here, with floor work all the way up to the tossed rifles. Great influence over that stage. Transitions were seamless. Attitude and facials just added to the whole thing.
Challenge - 9 - Props are always hard to use. Of all the crews with a non-clothing prop, Fanny Pak pulled it off the best, doing twirls and drills with those rifles, All throughout. They took the rifles and made it relate to their theme. The toss into the air. The ending sign. They owned that prop.
Improvement - 7 - if anything, Fanny Pak couldn't really improve on last week cuz it's so hard. But what's impressive is that that was at so high a level, and now they're matching that level consistently. Mad props for that
Total - 42 - 1 bias +.5 prop = 41.5

Raw Scores
42 - FP
42 - MWC
41 - RNG
38 - ELEK
28 - 8F

Modified Scores
41.5 - FP
41.5 - MWC
41- RNG
39.5 - ELEK
28.5 - 8F

Cumulative Scores
237.5 +/- 3.5 - FP
226.5 +/- 2.5 - RNG
224 +/- 7 - MWC
208 +/- 2.5 - 8F
205.5 +/- 3 - ELEK

Power Rankings
1) RNG - The perfectly set up ABDC crew at this point. They're young. They have the views. They've constantly grown and shed most if not all of their flaws pointed out early on. They can dance as good as, if not better, than most adults. Easily can see them winning the whole thing.
2) MWC - Fanbase is keeping them alive. They haven't given a badly put together routine yet, and the only black mark on their name so far are some execution errors, which realistically speaking didn't really detract that much from their routine, and they've shown they can recover. So long as they don't mess up in the coming weeks, they should be fine.
3) Elektrolytes - FInally a solid performance, which may convince people that they should stay in this. They got the heart, and somehow they got the fans. 
4) 8Flavahz - weak weak performance this late can be pretty fatal. Their fan base has been pretty strong, but will they stick with them after a weak performance such as this?