It seems only right that since I love SYTYCD, I should try out America’s Best Dance crew. Hosted by Mario Lopez (yes, AC Slater–btw did you see the Saved by the Bell reunion?). I miss his mullet. Lopez promises that this season has more diverse and exciting groups than ever (so maybe the hop hop groups won’t dominate the way they have been in the past).
The nine groups are introduced but we only get a second with them so I guess we’ll learn their names soon. They each have their own distinct banners hanging at the top of the stage, the one left standing at the end of the season will be the winner.
The judges are Lil Mama, Shane Sparks, and JC Chasez. Unlike most reality tv competition shows, the judges barely get an introduction.
First crew up is the Beat Your Feet Kings crew. They say the key to their group is being different and they dance to “Go-Go” music. They don’t have studio space so they dance in a tiny room. (They a little remind me of Power Rangers, each on having their own color hats.) I think the one thing I would ask from their routine is more variety in their steps. Shane Sparks says he loves what they did with their footwork but it was sloppy. Lil Mama agrees, they’re very passionate but they didn’t keep their energy up. JC says clean it up but good energy.
We Are Heroes is an all girl popping and locking crew with women from around the world. I can’t pretend to be altogether impressed. Lil Mama says they’re talented and flexible. She asks for more confidence. JC says they did a great job, it started a little slow. Shane says they didn’t start slow, it was just a different style. They’re the epitome of what he loves in a female group.
Afroborhike, the next group is also made of some international members. They’ve combined hip hop, salsa, and other styles to create their own unique style. Well, it’s certainly different. JC says he likes the group for their depth. Shane says they have a ton of energy but they need to step up on the choreography front. Lil Mama says they need to be more together but the combination was cool.
Of the first three crews, two are safely moved to next week while the final group is put into the sudden death round. First through is…We Are Heroes. The second crew with a guaranteed spot it…Afroborike! Meaning Beat Your Feet Kings are in danger of elimination.
Massive Monkeys are a break dancing group from Seattle. They live and die as b-boys. So far they’re my favorite, with the most innovative and exciting routine. Positive reviews all around form the judges. They set the tone for the second piece of the show. Athletic and on point.
Artistry in Motion wanted to make sure not to use their artistry. The girls in this group all teach. They want to break stereotypes (body types, styles, etc.) on the show. I’m definitely liking this second group of three crews better than the first. Lil Mama said “their movement is in effect” and their performance was amazing. So far the tightest choreography yet. Shane says it was flawless and they’re inspirational. JC says he agrees mostly but at the end they fell apart a little.
Southern Movement is next. They do “Hick Hop,” fusing country and hip hop. Seriously I don’t know why the first three groups were so weak compared to the next three. I liked all three of these best. JC says “Howdy y’all,” they’re fun and animated. He says they should think about they’re levels more. Lil Mama says great energy. Shane says he wasn’t expecting it, they can dance. They were “whipping” the stage.
Now to determine which of this group will be guaranteed to the next round. The first group to be going through is…Massive Monkeys. Artistry in Motion is the second group to move through. So Southern Movement will be in the sudden death faceoff.
Rhythm City from the bronx is a hip hop crew of all types. I like the way they connect the music and sound effects with their movements and steps. Shane says it was all HOT. Lil Mama agrees, they’re off the hook and awesome. JC says that was the cleanest performance of the night. Easily his favorites so far.
Fr3sh from New Jersey is up next. They are all about friendship and fun. They’re an all Asian group but they say they aren’t the typical asian group. They’re loud and in your face. They too add the fun sound effects into their dance, through they aren’t as clean as the last group. JC says “New Jersey’s in the house.” He thought the hairspray prop was fun but don’t let it own them. Also they should make sure to keep their facial expressions matching the music. Shane liked their energy. They were street and used their body. Lil Mama agrees and loved the music.
On a mission to break down barriers is Vogue Evolution, a group made of of LGTBs who participate in the underground ball room scene. It’s so fast and they do a great job of staying in sync with each other, though perhaps some more variety would be nice. Lil Mama says tens across the board. It’s fun and daring. JC likes that they’re all battle tested, they’ve competed already. The levels of their choreography was well done. Wonderful drama. Shane says he didn’t know what to expect but they ripped the stage.
For a season all about diversity there sure are a lot of hip hop groups…
The first safe crew is Rhythm City. Vogue Evolutions gets the second spot straight through. Fresh is in the faceoff.
Time for sudden death. All groups were given the same song to choreograph to in case they ended up in this position. The song is Black Eyed Peas’ Boom Boom Pow. They get 45 seconds to take the stage. Beat Ya Feet Kings goes first. Then Southern Movement. Then Fresh. They all do a good job here. I’m liking Southern Movement best of these three. I’m not sure about the other two.
The first crew advancing is… Beat Ya Feet Kings. Which crew gets a new chance at life? Southern Movement! Fresh dances their way off stage as their banner falls.
Viewers can now vote for the remaining crews. (Don’t actually know how those votes are used, but apparently this show doesn’t explain things. It’s only for people who’ve already been watching the show…)