Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ninjaboi's DGuetta Review

Real quick review of ranking system

10 points each for choreography, wow moments, showmanship, challenge, and improvement.
Special note on challenge: since there were 3 challenges, I’ll rate each one individually and take the average.
Bias: -1 for MWC for favoring their style of choreography. +1 for 8F for having little foundation (relatively) this past few weeks, which annoys/bothers me.

Mos Wanted Crew
Choreography – 10 – Now this is only the second 10 we’ve seen all season (the other being Fanny Pak’s International Love in the challenge section. But the longer time length of this section really played to their strengths here. So with three songs, each with a somewhat different feel (as different as you can be with David Guetta), you should expect three different styles of dance, right? That is exactly what MWC delivered, but each with perfect musicality, perfect technique, perfect execution, and a perfect fit for each song type. “Without You” song is a more emotional song. Correspondingly, they emoted with their movements, making them smoother and drawn out to match that tone. There was also a bit of contemporary base (though not overstated). “Turn Me On” is a bit more jilted/stilted, especially in the vocals of that song (and Nicki’s personality…) As a result, the choreography sped up, and became a bit more erratic (though still under control. “Memories” by Cudi is a bit more chill, but also more upbeat than Without You. Their movements had more of a chill, grooving vibe to it to match his drawn out lyrics (though drawn out for different reasons than Usher’s voice). However they also paid attention to riffs in the songs, and (de)accelerated as appropriate. They really were able to bring physical form to the music and showed how different songs look different from each other. That is why they earned a perfect score in choreography.
Wow – 8 – Obviously they wanted to focus on the choreography, but there were some really nice moments in here as well. Ignoring the challenges… The ripple effect at the start was perfect, as was the slow mo grooving. The glowing eyes thing. Bam’s pirouette. Lando’s housing solo that was beat riding so badly. I sort of wish they had just let Jawn or Rickey go off, but given what the music was, and their desire to just let the choreography speak for itself, its understandable. What they did was done well, and fit into the composition well.
Showmanship – 9 – Formation changes. Transitions. Levels. Energy shifts. Pacing. Filling the stage could have been done slightly better, but that’s about it. Blocking and such was done excellently, and they relaly had some creative concepts in there.
Challenge – (Gliding 10, Dolling 10, Gloving 8) – 9.33 – Gliding: First, they were the only crew where everyone did gliding.Even the first instance when they were just standing and extending their legs, they were gliding in place, without changing directions. That is mad hard to do. And then, as was pointed out, they incorporated levels, formation changes, and individual highlighting with Ian in front to do an inplace glide, 4 standing glides, and 3 kneeling glides, that were done so well. I couldn’t have asked for a better gliding challenge. Dolling – So technically this style *doesn’t exist.* At least by this name. The closest approximation would be some form of popping – robotics + animation, with dimestopping +hitting on the end of each movement. They did three sections of this. One was very briefly before the eyes. One is a time delayed effect where they all popped into a “puppet” position at different times. The final, most obvious one was when they did semi-robotics stuff. They even got the faces right (check out JP and Jawn’s face in this part). The subtle whiplash really completed the illusion. Gloving – so this is actually pretty complicated. The key parts to gloving are being able to create A) Illusions/images with your gloves, B)Moving them as fast as you can while still not losing clear sight of the points of light, C)Keep the movements sharp yet fluid (ie executed well and not stiff). Mos did the first two parts pretty well. The last part they got partway, but I feel like there could have been a bit more cleanliness. Maybe the lights didn’t go down enough. But the exact placing of the hands is important for the effect to be maximized. Still well done, with the human outline and the MOS at the end, and some good foundations with the circular movements.
Improvement – 7 – Honestly, they didn’t really add anything new to what we haven’t seen from them. It’s just the packaging of it all together is what made it amazing, to be reminded why they are master choreographers. They just kept coming all season at a relatively consistent level, which is more than a lot of crews can claim.
Total: 43.33 – 1 (bias) = 42.33

8 Flavahz
Choreography – 8 – Finally we see a lot more choreography out of them compared to the past few weeks. I particularly liked the contemporary moment during Without You, it really fit the emotional feel of the song. I will say that their choreography for the other two songs was relatively similar, (even for the second half of Without You was the similarly). Very high energy, hard hitting, and fast paced. If they had differentiated a bit more I would have given them higher score here, but as it is, when it comes to differentiating between the songs, their choreography was in a similar style throughout. Still done well, and executed well, and I really wish we had seen more of this throughout the season.
Wow – 7- In with their focusing more on choreography this time around, they spaced out their “moments” a bit. Again, ignoring the “challenges,” really standout moments to me included the contemporary section (even if it was more choreo focused), the pirouettes, some back handsprings from an indian position. I also saw some voguing right before the end. I think if they had just had a tad bit more memorable moments in here to complement their higher paced choreography, it would have fit well acdtually here. The extra time would have allowed them to do the same number of tricks they usually did in other routines, but spaced out and timed more appropriately.
Showmanship – 8 – No major complaints here, but nothing too particularly sophisticated here either. Blocking was nice, transitions were done better than in previous weeks. Energy could have varied a bit more with the music, but they def used the stage well.
Challenge (Gloving – 7; Gliding – 5; Dolling – 8) – 6.66 Gloving: So gloving isn’t about how fast you can move your hands while wearing gloves. You need to move it fast yes, but in a controlled enough manner that you can still make out the lights. Some of the images were grate, but the really fast frantic waving didn’t really fit in with the idea of gloving, nor did the fast crossings of the stage, which made it hard to see the lights. Gliding – So I saw like… 1 glide here. But it was done by one person, and it was basically a simple “square glide” that wasn’t even done properly. A proper glide is supposed to look like you’re rising off the ground and are moving a little bit above the surface of the stage. The illusion of gliding just wasn’t there. So bad execution + low quantity of gliding + no real creativity in how they completed the challenge (oh we’ll just have one girl do the most basic of glides while we surround her and distract from the gliding) results in a low score. Dolling – The miming of the dolls halfway through this song was pretty spot on. Some of the movements throughout were pretty stiff, and inspired by dolling, but the actual amount of straight up robotic animation was lacking. Still, using the ideas of dolling throughout the song is enough to warrant a pretty decent score.
Improvement – 8 – This is the 8 Flavahz I wanted to see all season. They can do choreo so hard that it’s just so impressive. They don’t need their acrobatics, and they showed that they can do a perfectly good routine and just come hard and still be impressive.
Total – 37.66 + 1 = 38.66

Choreography – 7 – It’s only in the past two weeks that we’ve seen Elektroltyes incorporate more choreography into their routines and spacing their tricks out more. I think this is a wise decision on their part. Frankly speaking, their choreography isn’t at the same level of difficulty or intricacy as the other crews, but it’s come that it’s solid dependable choreography that is above average difficulty, and still entertaining to watch. Like with Flavahz, they really could work on mixing up their style of choreography to work WITHIN the music as opposed as ON top of it (they have very athletic choreography, with simpler concepts and lines) that are easy on the eyes. Not much variation between songs, which would have taken it to the next level.
Wow – 9 – Always has been their strong suit. They spaced it out a bit better this challenge as well, which is great. Some bboy stuff at the beginning, Btwists, A spider pushup, a simultaneous push spin off someone. Nunchucks in the dark (which I didn’t see honestly because it was in the dark… More bboy stuff. My personal favotie is this krumping solo that has the rest of the crew reacting to the riff in the song. The slow-mo upside down kickflip. An assisted side flip. Again, a lot more athleticism showed than other crews, but I think they’ve gotten better at not making the set up apparent (ie helping the flow of the set), and making it fit in for a reason, rather than just putting it in cuz it looks cool.
Showmanship – 7 – Nothing out of the ordinary here. Blocking was okay, but again just variations on their standard fare. Transitions were better than usual, and energy was high as always (though some variation would be nice).
Challenge (7 – Dolling, 7 – Gloving, 6 – gliding) – 6.66 – Dolling: For not being a crew that does slower paced styles, they did pretty good. The stiffness as they were rotating in the puppet position, and the varation between members was intereting. The opening was also pretty puppeteer like. Gloving – It was mixed fare to be honest. The opening was great. Even that circular movement with the hands that was a bit faster still let you see the lights. The passing the light down line was good. Howver, some other effects made it hard to see the lights as the weren’t careful to keep from blocking it with the rest of their hands.bodies. The nunchucks are a good idea, but I didn’t get it till a week later because it was too dark to make them out and they were moving too fast to see the lights clearly. The Pacman bit was mad dope though, really creative. Gliding – Like 8 Flavahz, missed points here just cuz they didn’t have so much of it, with only one person really doing the challenge. At least here though, they mixed it up by having it on the knees (even if Collizion did it better).
Improvement – 8 - These past few weeks have been great for Elektrolytes fans. If only they had started out like this and just gotten better, I’d have no problems with them being in the finale. Great growth recently, especially with working more choreography in.
Total – 37.66

Now as for this battle, it’s interesting that they chose to reveal the bottom two “Based on votes” after the fact that they had performed, essentially making it irrelevant for whichever two crews had just gone that they even did this long form performance. Personally, I don’t see why they needed to go to a battle. Releasing who had been saved first, and then picking who would have gone to the finale from the bottom 2 based on the long form challenge would have been fine. Then we woulda gotten a LCC. But whatever.
I’m going to use Dyzee’s OUR system. 5 Categories  - Foundation, Originality, Dyanmics, Execution, Battle. I’ll explain what goes into each, and pick which crew did a better in each category.

Foundation – baseically it’s having good technique, good musicality. Having different styles in there done well helps. In this category, I’d favor Mos Wanted Crew. Even if they were doing choreography in a battle,they mixed it up with bone breaking, bboying, twerking, conceptual new style, some popping foundation, even some bboy, tricking, hat tricks and house, along with their typical grimy style. Elektroltyes brought martial arts, which was cool, but that and various tricking was the limitation of their choreography. Doing more styles in a battle well will usually help you win – MOS WANTED CREW
Originality – having unique concepts in a battle. I’d call this tied, though leaning toward MWC. The various solos were each really dope and creative, and some of the formation MWC had were pretty unique in how the utilized them in time with the music. ELEK also had some nice crew commando type things going on though. - TIED
Dynamics – Various qualities that affect how difficult the battle set it, requiring more skill. This involves speed, energy, control, complexity, danger, coordination, flexibility, etc. Mixing it up as well is also important. I’d call this tied. While Elek definitely takes danger due to their athletic flips (though MWC had some as well, like the over/under), MWC had body control down pat. MWC did bring some more variation, as noted above, but ELEK just came with so much energy. – TIED
Execution – Essentially completing  your moves and not messing up. This was also pretty close. Neither crew really messed up to be honest, and both came with confidence. – TIED
Battle – Coming with that mentality of taking out your opponent via dance. Note that touching is bad battle technique. Getting close and clowning though, are acceptable. Here, MWC takes it. Most of their choreo was directed facing or at Elektrolytes, whereas ELEK directed their flips in all directions. A lot of MWC’s concepts (a few of ELEK too, but moreso MWC) went after ELEK. Also when they weren’t going, MWC called out and reacted to ELEK’s choreo to show how predictable it was (relatively). – MOS WANTED CREW
With a score of 2-0-3, MWC should have won that battle.

This Week’s Rankings
MWC - 43.33 - 1 = 42.33
8F - 37.66 + 1 = 38.66
ELEK - 37.666

Some interesting things
So one thing I’ve been doing is keeping track of cumulative rankings throughout the season. However, a crew like 8Flavahz will obviously have a higher score than say Mix’d Elements due to being on for more weeks. However, I was wondering how the crews did relatievley on an average level. If you assume that a crew’s average score up to the point to their routine is the score they’d get from then on, and then you add those up, it becomes possible to compare crews objectively.

Note that in the first week, scores were out of 40. I scaled this to 50. SO a 32 on week 1 would be equivalent to a 40 on week 8.

So for example, (assuming each week had out of 50). If a crew on weeks 1 2 and 3 gave scores of 35, 40, and 45, and then getes eliminated, then for weeks 4-7, they’d be assumed to have a score those weeks of 40 (the average of those 3 numbers).

Thus, here are the rankings of all 10 crews based on their cumulative rankings, using the above method, and including +/- for my cumulative bias error

1) Fanny Pak – 319.3333 +/- 4
2) Mix’d Elements – 308 +/- 4
3) Mos Wanted Crew – 303.3300 +/- 9
4) RNG – 301.6071 +/- 3.1429
5) Funkdation – 298 +/- 2
6) Collizion – 294 +/- 2
7) Elektrolyes - 284.66 +/- 3
8) Irratik – 284.125 +/- 2
9) 8 Flavahz - 282.66 +/- 5
10) Step Boyz – 275.625 +/- 1

Note that an “average” performer would have an total of 273, so all crews did perform above average this season.  I won’t comment too much on these, and let you draw your own conclusions. However, I will say that Mix’d is probably that high due to a combination of being eliminated early + being an early favorite of mine. Regardless, that should not detract from them, and I personally do think they could have made it to the finals/taken the whole thing

Also, I’m including below two graphs. One of their relative rankings (with high/low indicators included so you can see where my error may place a crew higher or lower – for example MWC could be as high as 2nd theorhetically, or as low as 5th theorhetically if no other crew changed position, due to the large bias I had for them clouding the exact position. The second graph is a simple line graph plotting their effective scores throughout the week

Week By Week Rankings - Click to Expand
Relative Rankings of Each Crew - Click to Expand
Top Performanes
Based on the adjusted scores, the following are the top 10 routines throughout the season

1) Fanny Pak – Pitbull Week (45)
2) Mos Wanted Crew – David Guetta Week (42.66)
3) RNG – Pitbull Week (42)
4) Mos Wanted Crew – Flo Rida Week (33.5/40, or 41.875/50)
5) Mos Wanted Crew – Rihanna Week and Fanny Pak – Rihanna Week (41.5)
7) RNG  - Rihanna Week and Fanny Pak – J Lo Week (41)
9) Collizion Crew – Flo Rida Week & Funkdation – Flo Rida Week & Fanny Pak Drake Week & Elektrolyes (LMFAO Week) (32/40 or 40/50)

Top Episodes
Also, I averaged each episode and found which one had the highest caliber of performances based on what was given. Here are the results (Quality Rating out of 100)

1) David Guetta – 79.1
2) Rihanna Week – 76.8 (thanks to Pugdova for catching the error)
3) JLo – 76.67
4)Flo Rida – 76.25
5) Pitbull – 76
6) Drake – 75.43
7) Madonna - 74.33
8) LMFAO – 74.25
9) Britney – 74

Anyway, that’s all the math you’re getting out of me. Hopefully you get some insights into these dancers that you didn’t realize before. I really enjoyed working with Nancy on this site for this season, even with all the life changes happening that made things less than timely. But look out, this won't be the last you hear of me
Until next time