ABDC: Season 6 Episode 10 Finale!

The finale is upon us and it is time to learn who will be our winner. But first a performance from the top two crews, I.aM.Me and Iconic Boyz. (I defy anyone to say that the better technical dancers on the stage are the Iconic Boyz.)

Over 50 million votes came in last week (comparable to American Idol actually, that’s impressive) to decide the winner but before we find out the results, we will be seeing the five winning crews perform (So You Think You Can Dance, consider this–bring the winners back for an all star dance!)

Poreotics comes up first and put on a performance that sort of reminds me of I.aM.mE with all the shapes and pictures. Ha and they turned “Friday” into an ax murderer story. Very nice. JC loves their humor.

We Are Heroes, the only all-female group to ever win is up next. (Interestingly, getting the recaps of their season reminds us that crazy props was common then and completely absent this season.) There are some impressively fast moments with this crew. Lil Mama loves their passion and heart.

Season Three winners Quest Crew (which D-Trix is part of) is up next. Will the resident judges be performing with them? It doesn’t look like it. Even so the performance is fun and exciting. D-Trix tells his crew that they’re his favorite crew, “not that he’s biased or anything.” He gets all teary about how much he loves them and their brotherhood.

Super Crew of season two are some of the best b-boys in the world. As expected, the crew has a number of pretty exciting stunts. Lil Mama (who is in a weird superhero outfit this week) says they HIT and are inspiring.

Lastly, we have the first winners of the show, the Jabbawockeez, who now have a show in Vegas (pretty awesome for a bunch of dancers really). Was this crew always so huge? I absolutely hate the camera angles during this performance, it makes it really hard to watch, but the crew itself is pretty much as awesome as always though perhaps not as stunt heavy as we have seen them at times. The fast part at the end is particularly impressive. And who is the mini-jabbawockee? So cute. JC finds them captivating. The mini is a little girl.

Iconic Boyz have one last hurrah before the winner is announced. It is a fun performance that, for the first time, gives each member a bit of a solo piece.

I.aM.mE are next and from the very start we get their big pictures and fun tricks.

The judges have some final thoughts:
D-Trix is so proud of the crews. The Boyz have probably grown the most.
Lil Mama feels that the youf (not youth, youf) has made a statement this season.
JC thinks both crews were excellent. The Boyz were a great surprise. I.aM.mE is intelligent and impassioned.

There can only be one winner and the crew that reigns supreme is…I.aM.mE! (I can’t tell if the audience is only cheering for I.aM.mE or if their name is just easier to hear over the Boyz, but I.aM.mE has continuous, obvious chanting throughout all of Mario Lopez’s speech.)

Randy Jackson graces us with his presence to present the winners with their trophy (how helpful is it to give six people a single trophy?) and announce that they will take home $100,000. (The poor Boyz aren’t old enough to know how you have to smile for the winner despite being sad about losing.)

I think you know how I feel about the winners. What do you think? Did the right crew win?

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ABDC: Season 6 Episode 9

The final battle starts now. I.aM.mE and Iconic Boyz face off one last time in an attempt to secure America’s votes to become America’s Best Dance Crew.

The judges select a challenging performance for each of the crews to recreate.

For I.aM.mE, the judges choose to have them recreate Rihanna’s “S&M”. I don’t really remember the specific details of the original performance to compare, but this one is just as excellent.
Judges’ Say:
JC: Wonderful job of elevating the routine and expanding the concept.
Lil Mama: You made it relatable to everyone. Creative.
D-Trix: I could watch you guys over and over again.

Funny to hear Phillip Chbeeb say this is one of the most emotional things he has been through, considering that he did SYTYCD too. The crew likes to videotape themselves to help build their performances.

Iconic Boyz are asked to redo Justin Bieber’s “Baby”. (It seems unfair that the judges chose their weaker performance while they chose the other crews’ strongest performance but maybe it will give them more to work with.) They definitely improved on a few moments but of the two performances, I.aM.mE definitely felt stronger.
Judges’ Say:
Lil Mama: Likes their attitude. Likes how they added stunts and new elements.
D-Trix: They have made their own names now. They made the choreography more advanced.
JC: You are balancing your schoolwork with your dancing (as does Chachi but no one else). You changed the routine not just added to it.

The Boyz joke around a lot and are getting on each others’ nerves a bit.

The Boyz start off the battle which is a little funny because they are so tiny compared to the I.aM.mE. They have no good answer to Phillip’s craziness but neither side is crazy impressive otherwise. I must digress though, to point out Lil Mama’s dinosaur pajamas. She and Lady Gaga should discuss.

Final thought: Iconic Boyz are talented but they never brain bang the way I.aM.mE does.

Who are you rooting for?

ABDC: Season 6 Episode 8

We’re down to the final three this week (Theme: Kanye West) and only one group will be safe. This means that two will have to battle it out for a spot in the finals. Who will it be?

But first a group number, I wonder who choreographs these. I also think it is interesting to see how much better the crews choreograph routines then whoever did this bigger number (whereas on So You Think You Can Dance, the weakest performances almost always come from the solos). Not that it is bad, it is just not quite as impressive as the things we have seen on the show.

The first and only crew that is safe this week is…Iconic Boyz. Really? They have improved a lot, but better than I.aM.mE? Ok, if you say so Mario. Instead of the single challenge, last season’s winners, Poreotix demonstrates three different styles which they must incorporate in some way–the Dougie, Boogaloos, and Isos. The Boyz are not used to these styles and have a tough time in practice but by performance time they seem all right. They do the challenge in fairly typical fashion (which is to say, straight out with no frills) with the exception of the Dougie. After a few particularly strong weeks, I think this is one of their weaker performances.
Judges’ Say:
D-Trix: Had some good moments but a little sketchy with the movement at times.
Lil Mama: Wants to establish that they’re not just cute (stop yelling Mama!)
JC: Entertaining but not your best. Don’t lose cleanliness.

Phunk Phenomenon must fight for a place in next week’s finale. Like the Boyz, they struggle with the isos but are familiar with the music. Solid opening, frame stunts well. (Deserve the finale more than the Boyz.)
Judges’ Say:
Lil Mama: Amazing. You are the underdogs.
JC: Fantastic performance. You threw some nitro into your tank.
D-Trix: This routine had zero downtime.

I.aM.mE is last to fight for the finale. They have a harder time with the Dougie than anything else. They are as exciting and interesting and surprising as ever. The crowd is screaming for them.
Judges’ Say:
JC: I could not ask for more. Outstanding creativity. Nothing you do is expected.
D-Trix: ……..temporarily struck dumb. Every move was yours. You’re supposed to be all out of tricks. Brain banging.
Lil Mama: Shout shout shout I agree shout shout.

The judges have decided and not surprisingly, I.aM.mE is moving on while Phunk Phenomenon is headed home. Now we get one more performance from the finalists to help America make their final decisions. There are no challenges here, they get to choose their own music and moves, with a big theme.

Iconic Boyz aim for “The Boyz in Hollywood” theme which is cute if not unexpected. it opens with them walking the red carpet which is maybe a waste of a few seconds but not entirely detrimental considering how much time they have. They do a good job but again their moves are somewhat repetitive with few shapes/pictures/formations, etc.

I. aM.mE has gone a different route, creating their own superhero routine using the elements–fire, water, earth, wind, electricity, and machine. Wait, machine is not an element. Neither is electricity but at least that is not manufactured. They also create their own music (at least in part) for the routine. The interesting thing here is they showcase each member’s unique dance style, creating their usual unique shapes but still doing something new. The judges actually give them a standing ovation (allowing us to see the ridiculousness that is Lil Mama’s outfit) with JC clapping about as enthusiastically as he can manage. And he’s usually the serious judge.

I would be surprised if I.aM.mE did not win. What do you think? Are you happy with the finalists?

ABDC: Season 6 Episode 7

The Final Four crews are given the task of performing to Nicki Minaj’s music. (I’m not sure I consider her a superstar but ok. Let’s get some N*SYNC in the house! Or Backstreet Boys. I would even take NKOTBSB.) She at least deigned to show her presence to the crews instead of those lame video messages. Before we get to that though we have a pretty awesome group number. Perfect for our krumpers and it felt like this was the first time where viewers could Really get what krump is all about. Is anyone else wishing the judges would get onstage for a performance of some sort?

Over three million votes came in (which could seem like a lot until you consider Idol’s 95 million+ votes) and put I.aM.mE in the number one spot. They have to recreate a childhood game within their routine to the song “Moments Alive”. They struggle because they have a number of different nationalities on the squad and I feel the need to point out that this is AMERICA’S Best Dance Crew so they should do something Americans will get. They opt for some hopscotch, the limbo, leapfrog, wack-a-mole, and a swing. Great choices. This might be the winning crew. They’re solid every week and always exciting.
Judges’ Comments:
JC: This is a group of professionals. Sometimes we could see you thinking about the next move.
D-Trix: I was trying to look for mistakes but didn’t see any.
Lil Mama:You had these moments in between the choreography.

The net crew safe is Iconic Boyz. America, I know they are cute, but really. They’re tasked with becoming living dolls and be marionettes while dancing to “Check It Out”. They really are a bunch of Justin Biebers. I think this is their best performance yet.
Judges’ Comments:
D-Trix: You used all the elements to create a good show.
Lil Mama: You’re expanding on the show.
JC: I see you evolving but you need to frame things a bit.

Phunk Phenomenon and Street Kingdom need to duke it out for their spot in the finale.

Phunk Phenomenon must do belly dancing with rolls and hip isolation, to the song “My Chick Bad”. They’re fun and entertaining but I like the SYTYCD dance from Nappy-Tabs better.
Judges’ Comments:
D-Trix: That is how you fight.
Lil Mama: You had such funny moments.
JC: There were fast and slow moments just like Nicki.

Street Kingdom battles last. They have to do military drills to “Get It On”. Strong opening. This is a tough competition. They’re IN IT TO WIN IT.
Judges’ Comments:
Lil Mama: You guys broke out but started slow.
JC: You wasted the beginning but it got nice.
D-Trix: So buck once you got there.

It is time for the judges to decide who will be going through? Phunk Phenomenon. I guess Street Kingdom was just in the bottom one time too many.

ABDC: Season 6 Episode 6

Tonight is the Justin Bieber challenge (did everyone hear that he was egged in a recent performance?)

The first crew safe is…Iconic Boyz. There is no more appropriate group for this challenge than this group. Their challenge is to use some basketball moves in their routine, danced to “Baby.” This might actually be their strongest performance yet and for once I have no real complaints.
Judges Say
JC: The problem I had is that it was simple and easy.
Lil Mama: I got it. You guys were on. Step it up more.
D-Trix: I thought you guys brought the heat.

The second crew to be safe is...I.aM.Me. I am just surprised they weren’t first. Their challenge is to do the Usher Glide to “Somebody to Love.” As always, this crew is awesome despite having no fancy tricks or big flips. (I’m going to assume they didn’t notice the swastika they formed early on.)
Judges Say
Lil Mama: I’m impressed with this crew. When you get a challenge you really take it on.
D-Trix: I love it. Brilliant entertainers.
JC: You spent a lot of time in the middle but your opening was so tough and clean.

The last crew safe is…Phunk Phenomenon. They have to create an intricate beat using step (which works because their only girl captained a step team). They dance to the song “Eenie Meenie.” It didn’t really feel like they accomplished the step part of the challenge but the actual dance was pretty impressive.
Judges Say
D-Trix: You did a great job with the stepping. Be careful not to repeat too many backflips.
JC: There was a great balance of stepping and cuteness in the showmanship. You handles the tempo change well.
Lil Mama: I love all your different styles of dance.

Street Kingdom and Instant Noodle must fight for a spot in next week’s competition.

Instant Noodles is up first. They challenged to use a chair (specifically, to lift it up and flip it around) while dancing to “What Do I Love.” this hardly seems fair. Everything always seems cooler when you add a chair to the mix.

Street Kingdom should have an interesting time meshing their krump with Bieber. They are challenged to incorporate martial arts and high hitting kicks to “Never Say Never” which seems less difficult to incorporate into their style than any of the other challenges. Plus, a battle two weeks in a row as their challenge? Really? Was that mess in the back accidental or on purpose? Sometimes it felt sloppy and it seemed like they barely used the high kick part of the challenge.

Judges Say
D-Trix: Every week I become more of a fan of Instant Noodles.
Lil Mama: Only one word to describe that performance–growth. (Not exactly a ringing endorsement for winning.)
JC: Thinks Instant Noodles gave good theater and had the most difficult challenge by having a prop. Street Kingdom showcased all the little moments.

The judges have deliberated and only one crew will be continuing on to become America’s Best Dance Crew. The crew back next week is…Instant Noodles Street Kingdom. (So much for what I want/thought.)

ABDC: Season 6 Episode 5

This week’s Superstar is “the hottest R&B singer in the game” Rihanna. To help, they bring in Tanisha Scott, Rihanna’s choreographer, to show them their specific challenge. Six crews are left.

The first crew safe tonight is Instant Noodles. Their challenge is the “Head Top” which they have to make groovy. For the first time, Rihanna doesn’t tell them their challenge, which is to the song “Hard.” The performance is prettty fun. Not particularly impressive but not bad. (Is anyone else sick of their noodle-eating hand thing?)
Judges Say
Lil Mama: you could have brought more style but you stepped out of the box. You should study Reggae more.
D-Trix: I think that was your best performance yet.
JC: It was clever to switch from dance hall to b-boy to dance hall style but you got sloppy at points.

The next crew safe is…Iconic Boyz, which means 787 Crew is in the bottom. (People, I know they are cute, but really?) They have to do “Give It A Run” to the song “Only Girl In The World.” I like how high energy they are from the start. I think this was their best performance yet, though it still leaves a little to be desired.
Judges Say
D-Trix: you brought adorable, stunts, comedy, and really good choreography.
JC: I love that you are pushing yourself. It did get sloppy at times but it was a very strong showing.
Lil Mama: You guys were amazing. Your transitions are phenomenal.

The next safe crew is I.aM.Me. Their challenge is “The Spiderman” which doesn’t look anything like what I imagine it would be based on the name. They are given the song “S&M” and I have decided this group is my favorite. They have really strong images and jokes and really different looking stunts. (Without using flips and spins as their main recourse.)
Judges Say
JC: I like everything about this group. Once it got going, this was mindblowing.
Lil Mama: Perfect combo of doing what you do and opening up to your challenges.
D-Trix: This routine couldn’t have been any better. Blew me away.

Also safe is Street Kingdom, which means Phunk Phenomenon is in the bottom with 787 Crew. They are challenged with the “Dutty Wine” to RIhanna’s “Rude Boy.” i like this performance of theirs much better than last week’s.
Judges Say
Lil Mama: Y’all represent the streets and people without a chance. (Through tears.) Step it up as far as your performance goes.
D-Trix: It was sexy. I love your duets and make more group visuals.
JC: It was fun but the dancing was a bit elementary.

Time for the battle of the bottom two.

Phunk Phenomenon gets “Don’t Stop the Music” and must do “The Chaplin”. This routines starts with a bang. It sort of felt up and down for me. Some great moments and some just ok ones.

787 Crew is given “What’s My Name” and have to incorporate “the Gallis Step” all the way down to their heads. I found this performance a little less exciting overall, though it had a pretty great final moment with the entire crew backflipping off the stage.

Judges Say
JC: Phunk Phenomenon is really good. This group has a lot of heart.
Lil Mama: 787 really embraced hip hop and locking.
D-Trix: Phunk Phenomenon is brilliant every week, there is not one weakness in the crew. 787 knows how to blend the stunts and the dances.

The judges have made their decision and the crew that will be remaining is…Phunk Phenomenon.

ABDC: Season 6 Episode 4

Tonight we get Katy Perry as our Superstar of the night which should be fun. We have seven crews left.

The first two crews safe are: Phunk Phenomenon and I.aM.Me. (Phunk Phenomenon was one of the two crews voted to safety last week too.)

Phunk Phenomenon is challenged to create a roulette wheel while dancing to “Waking Up In Vegas.” It’s another action packed performance that never stops.
Judges say:
D-Trix: I love you guys even more this week. You created a whole story to it.
Lil Mama: The energy slowed down a bit, you are one of the most powerful groups.
JC: If you’re going to get low, get low. Gets a little cheesy.

I.aM.Me is tasked with the song “Peacock” and thus have to fan out like a peacock on stage. I like the way they tackled their change in the first second of their performance and then again later. I don’t love the small dancing its between their bigger scenes.
Judges say:
Lil Mama: this group always cease to amaze me. (I don’t think she said what she meant to say there.)
JC: Good for the asymmetrical finally. (JC is surprisingly the toughest of the judges.) Got a little clunky in the end.
D-Trix: Your challenge was hard, I thought it was awesome. This crew has an authentic style.

The next crew safe is…787 Crew. Meanwhile Request is once again in danger.

787 Crew gets “Hot N Cold” and need to create a rollercoaster. I like how sharp their moves are though I’m less impressed by some of their basic moves. Great tricks though. It is nice to see how they found a way to incorporate their injured dancer into the routine despite his wheelchair.
Judges say:
JC: You took a negative situation and turned it into a positive. Love the levels.
D-Trix: Puerto Rico brought the heat.
Lil Mama: Tremendous formations and high energy.

Iconic Boyz and Instant Noodles are both safe, meaning Street Kingdom are in the bottom two with Request.

Iconic Boyz get “Teenage Dreams” and need to create a wall that they knock down. They start the performance already in wall formation which seems like cheating but it is enjoyable to see their Glee-inspired gear (maybe it is just me but it makes me think of Finn and Sam).
Judges say:
D-Trix: It wasn’t that good. Being adorable isn’t enough. They aren’t as clever as the older kids. (such as with the wall)
Lil Mama: you’re my babies. You’re choreography is clean. You have swag. They’re like a boy band.
JC: Disagree with D-Trix. The wall was a bit ABC. The rest of the routine though…was high performance.
(JC and D-Trix begin arguing and LM stands up at one point to reveal the CRAZY tutu that is her outfit.)

Instant Noodles receive “Firework” and have to create a chain reaction that passes through the entire crew. Some of the moves were funny but strange (such as ballet) and perhaps a little slow at points (almost like they needed a moment to compose themselves). I didn’t really see how they incorporated the challenge.
Judges say:
JC: It’s fun but there seemed to be a lot of pauses.
D-Trix: I love the comedy.
Lil Mama: Utilized the stage well and opened up.

Time for the final battle between Request and Street Kingdom.

Street Kingdom are tasked with creating a spaceship while dancing to “E.T.” I didn’t love it this week. Not bad but didn’t blow me away either.

Request are given “California Girls” and must ride a wave on stage, which could be a cool idea if they manage it well. it wasn’t what I was imagining ultimately but it was interesting. The tough thing with this crew is they have no one who can do anything super exciting so while they are clean and sharp, there isn’t really a WOW moment.

Judges say:
D-Trix: That for real was the best performance I’ve ever seen in my life (he’s actually crying and I want to shake him and say “really?” I know they are the originators of krump but seriously).
JC: Great battle. THis is a perfect example of perseverance. You’re showing up and fighting off the competition. You show many styles and I love the visuals. Top notch.
Lil Mama: Street Kingdom boosted the energy in the room. Request definitely held it down. Both came out and were ready to put their hearts on the floor and say lets go.

The judges put their heads together to deliberate. It is pretty clear where D-Trix’s vote is going but what about the other two? The crew that will be staying is…Street Kingdom, which means Request will be heading back to New Zealand.