Co-written by Hoc Poeng
The long awaited premiere has finally arrived and to my surprise, it was actually entertaining. Ever since the Live Audition episode, I was disappointed with a lot of the crews. None of them proved to be any where nearly as talented as last season’s which even the judges have said. However, tonight a lot of the crews stepped up their game while the others were just a big let down.
This week’s challenge was Crew’s Choice which is basically last seasons first challenge “Master Mix”. Each crew was given the chance to choose their music and dance style. The show began with the South and West crews: So Real, Distorted X, Supreme Soul, Super Crew and Fanny Pak. The only two to make it to the top 5 after a week of voting was So Real and Supreme Soul. I was surprised Super Crew was in the bottom 5 because they were actually a favorite.
The first crew to perform is So Real from Houston, Texas. The crew actually had some drama back in the South but like their name “so real”, they stayed true and left a dance company they wanted them to change their name. They’re pretty funny in that whenever they cross a reflective surface they just break out into dance. SoReal used Omarion – Entourage as their music which featured a slow, “swag” R&B beat. Like last week’s performance, they again resembled Kaba Modern with their smooth liquid, pop and lock routine. It received high praises from the judges who mentioned the Kaba Modern parallel. Interestingly, Lil Mama can’t pronounce Ailyn (Aileen). Not everyone has an easy to pronounce stage name whose real name is Niatia Jessica Kirkland.
Next up is Supreme Soul from San Francisco, California. Their background video didn’t really say much other than “we’re cocky” and that’s our thing. Confidence is good but not if you can’t back it up and um they didn’t. Their routine was to Bustra Rhymes – Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See and it was a let down. They did one trick that was really impressive which was a ripple that went back and forth. Other than that, it was forgettable. The judges were disappointed as well and said that they need to clean it up. Actually the judges’ critique was pretty harsh and deservedly so. They sucked it up this week plain and simple.
Next were the 5 crews from the Midwest and East: ASSID, Extreme Dance Force, Sassx7, Boogie Bots and Phresh Select. Both Mid West teams, ASSID and Extreme Dance Force, made it to the top 5 along with the Boogie Bots leaving Sassx7 and Phresh Select in the bottom 5.
Extreme Dance Force from Chicago suburbs were the next to perform. What a bunch of girly men. They say they have a lot to prove by being a bunch of “white boys” but so far they haven’t proved anything other than that their a bunch of rich white boys who go to the spa. There’s a difference between metrosexual and closeted gay. At this point, I’m leaning toward the latter. Their routine was to Lil Mama – Shorty Get Loose where they didn’t really get loose. I noticed a few members were off by a few seconds throughout their entire routine. Lil Mama liked how they took risks but Shane and JC weren’t. Shane even called their routine wack and that his 10 year old could choreography it better. Ouch OMG did that must hurt. That’s easily the harshest criticism on this show. Shane channeled Simon Cowell there and I’m going have to agree.
Next is ASSID from motor city Detroit. Their background story focused on Joey, the deaf member, and that they always at his house. I could see why, his house was huge! Out of all the teams, this one seems the most tight-knit. They danced to Nicole Scherzinger – Whatever You Like which was very suiting for their sexy routine. There was a lot of bumping and grinding in addition to a “dog trick” that left judges and Mario in awe and entertained.
Boogie Bots are up next from Washington DC. They talked about one of the member’s comatose father taught him how to dance. Good job MTV for milking the sentimental stories. They bounced off to Zapp And Roger - More Bounce To The Ounce. It was really old school with a lot of hand tricks - definitely one of the cleaner routines. JC said there was contradiction between the song and the dancing while Mama and Sparks praised their cleanliness.
The top 5 crews performed and up next to be announced were the bottom 2: Fanny Pak and Distorted X. I figured Sassx7 would make the bottom 2 but I guess having a pretty face gets you somewhere.
Las Vegas’ b-boying Super Crew was the first of the bottom 5 to perform. For those of you who’ve seen Planet B-Boy, Super Crew has actually competed at the world wide b-boying competition Battle of the Year in 2000. They went old school with James Brown – Get Up in ninja outfits. It was a really theatrical and entertaining routine. Can we say JabbawockeeZ anyone? They did a lot of tricks that went with their ninja theme. The judges enjoyed it and highlighted that they actually entertained everyone. Shane Sparks said they “shitted” on everyone this and last season. Yes, if Shane said that, I’m posting that! But I fear that they can never top what they just did. I mean Ninjas and break dancing. What other combination on this planet is cooler than that?!
Philly’s very own Phresh Select was next and to my surprise they’re quite the saints. This crew does a lot of community work for the Philly area by participating in a lot of Beacon programs. As true Philly citizens, they danced to Boyz 2 Men – Motown Philly. Again a lot of old school with their jack swing inspired routine. The judges enjoyed their various tricks and thought that the bottom 5 crews so far should have been the top 5.
The supposed non cheerleaders Sassx7 from New Jersey were up afterwards. A rose by any other name is still a rose and cheerleaders called Sassx7 are still cheerleaders. That’s just how it is. They choose Danity Kane – Damaged as their song. While it’s a hip hop song, they still couldn’t take all the cheertastic movies out of their cheertastic routines. Unfortunately, for them, we don’t live in a cheertocracy, so I don’t see them moving far.
Last but not least and definitely worth watching were the bottom 2 crews: Fanny Pak and Distorted X. Surprisingly these two crews did really well. Like, really surprisingly.
Fanny Pak from L.A. brought their 80’s flavor to the show which worked out well when they performed their routine to Kylie Minogue – Speakerphone. I honestly thought they would fall on their asses but they did really well. A lot of 80’s style with the liquid and pop and locking. It was decent but not better than Team Millenia. With that said, I can’t stress enough that they did better than I thought. I still hate the 80s and all things associated with it, but these anachronistic, fashion catastrophes really know how to dance.
Distored X from Houston goes last. They have a goal of trying to break boundaries by proving that southern belles can also be hip hop. So noble and yet so not important. They danced to another old song Tweat – Opps Oh My. It was a very sexy routine and by sexy I mean they would have taken off their shirts if they could. It was cool but I wouldn’t watch it again. Most guys would though. It was the same dance moves over and over again: shirt lift, ass shake, repeat. If there was more of a male audience, who knows…
Judges thought that these 2 crews shouldn’t have been in the bottom 2 and that they brought it more than some of the other crews. Shane and Lil Mama had a little dispute over slow mo replays which lead to Lil Mama comparing Fanny Pak with Jabbawockeez. Yeah okay, one dance move doesn’t make you amazing, however, multiple stupid comments does make you look stupid. Anyways they were both actually good but someone has to go home and it was, Distorted X. It should have been Sassx7 but let’s hope next week they’re not around.
Speaking of next week, don’t forget to vote for your favorite crews America’s Best Dance Crew Voting. Voting is open till Friday 6PM. The challenge for next week is, what do you know the same as last season, Music Video Challenge.
These are hi-res videos, meaning they are big files. We’ll provide streaming version later.