TV Recap: America’s Best Dance Crew, “Flo Rida”
Last week’s premiere kicked the season off right with five of the top ten crews battling it out to see who will survive to perform again. Mix’d Elements didn’t impress and now have to dance for their life against the crew that’s in the bottom this week. Now the remaining five crews have a chance to make a first impression, let’s dig in to see how each fared!
Song: Wild one
This may be an unpopular opinion, but that was probably the worst opening number this show has ever had. Not for lack of talent, but because the Superstar took over the show. I don’t want to watch Flo Rida rap, I want to meet these crews and get a sense for their style and moves. This was purely a rap performance with the dancers barely being highlighted. They probably showed the audience’s participation just as much as they did the individual crews. Let’s hope these crews can impress after a barely memorable group introduction.
Song: Club Can’t Handle
It’s the very first episode and they’re already down a man because of a trick gone wrong that ended up hurting his knee. To lose a man so late in the game makes it difficult – changing formations, compensating for that loss – it’ll be interesting to see how they handle it. They started off a little slow, but ended up pulling off some impressive flips while keeping clean formations and movements. That snake/domino move towards the end was definitely a highlight. JC thought it was a fun number, put together flawlessly but agreed with me that the choreography in the beginning “didn’t snap.” Lil’ Mama said they had highlight after highlight, but they need consistently clean choreo throughout. D-Trix highlighted the headslide leading into the butterfly twist, which is completely worthy of a slowmo. Flo Rida though they were worthy of the Capital E on their jackets and that they handled “Club Can’t Handle” so well that that the club probably couldn’t handle Elektrolytes.
Song: Right Round
Another young crew, these kids are all 13 to 15 years old. I knew they looked young, but I definitely thought they were a little older than that. Just want to point out, this song came out when they were roughly 10-years-old. Their choreography was solid, but not particularly highlight worthy. Lil Mama thinks they could be dangerous when their choreo picks up because they are so precise and hit hard. JC said that they’re “about 4 years older when their bodies start moving” but they need to add another layer to their moves. D-Trix doesn’t understand that they can have adult choreography when they haven’t even gone through puberty yet. Flo Rida said that they had his spinning “Right Round” – so I guess as a judge he’s just going to throw in the song title in every critique.
Song: Low featuring T-Pain
Crotch Rocket, Forrest Gump, This and That – apparently these are dance moves/styles they specialize in? Their name comes from a car accident they were all involved in on the way to a show – the car flipped 8 times and they all had some injuries, but they made it through and are stronger than ever. Their performance was sick! They had aerials, they had humor, they had a nod to the judges with that Lil Mama shirt – they had everything! D-Trix highlighted the limbo, slide under, front handspring, and then the flip in the back – now that’s athletic! It definitely had my attention. Excellent framing, isolations, pretty much everything. Lil Mama said their style is different and putting the South on the map in a new way. And Flo Rida dug them too, I’m so disappointed there was no play on the “Low” song title.
Song: Good Feeling
The first crew on ABDC from Mexico, they’ve got to set the bar high. They’ve got one gymnast who used to compete professionally, so they should have some good tricks up their sleeves. The opening piano move was cool, but went on a little too long. Their coupled moves in the middle reminded me of Afroborieke a bit, which is definitely not a good thing. They had some good levels and formations, but overall I was unimpressed. JC didn’t like that he could see them thinking through the moves, while Lil Mama thought it was fun and slick. D-Trix said they did an excellent job translating original styles into their own moves. Flo Rida got a “good feeling” from them and even threw out a mention that he’s filming his next music video in Mexico.
Song: In the Air featuring Will.i.am
A group comprised of dance teachers, these guys better be good. They specialize in a style called Movement Over Sound, where you choreograph to the lyrics instead of the beats.Their choreography was smart and crisp, but only a few key moves stood out for me and there were no real “wow” moments. D-Trix called their routine “the definition of great dancing” – they don’t need big tricks since they have strong training in hip-hop, street styles of dance. He highlighted the hands in the air part, which was a highlight for me, and thanked them for bringing “this alienated, futuristic movements to the stage because it’s exactly what the show needs.” That’s some pretty high praise that I’m not sure they’re fully deserving of just yet. Lil Mama pointed out that they were real chill, moving out to every other beat instead of every little drum. JC said that they saved the best for last with them. Wow, the judges were definitely feeling them way more than I was. Flo Rida said that they wanted him to put his hands “in the air” – damnit, he was so close to a perfect streak of title puns! He only skipped out on was Collision…maybe they were so good he couldn’t think of one?
Collision and Mos Wanted Crew were the first ones saved, so no surprise there. The next crew saved…Rated Next Generation. Damn, these young kids just pull at the judges’ heart strings! I thought they were one of the weaker performances and should have been in the bottom. Elektrolytes was saved, pitting Funkdation and Mix’ed Elements against each other in the battle arena.
Song: Turn Around
Round 1: I loved Mix’d Elements gunplay.
Round 2: Funkdation’s opening trick was one of the best things we saw this whole episode! However, the rest of their moves weren’t that together. I’m hoping that Mix’d Element sticks around so we can see their 7 different styles.
D-Trix was the only judge to agree with me, so it looks like Funkdation survives another week. I am very disappointed with this since their moves were solid and with the 7 different styles, they could have created new and creative routines week in and week out. I feel like Funkdation might be a one-note crew, but that could be my bias against Afroborieke showing. They just really reminded me of that crew and they stuck around far too long.
It’s hard to predict which crews will be in the bottom next week given that the Top Nine were split over two episodes, but I think Funkdation and Irratik had the weakest performances. Plus, given the fact that they’re the two foreign crews, they might not have as big a fan following in the states so it’ll be tough for them to drum up votes.
Who do you think will be in the bottom next week? Do you have a favorite crew already? Share your thoughts in the comment!