Howard and LeKeith Talk About America’s Best Dance Crew – Week 9

Our least favorite ABDC challenge makes a surprise return. That’s right – it’s Magic Week. Did the crews pull a rabbit out of a hat or was it just another pile of sadness? Read on to find out…

Howard: So… Magic Week. Yay…

LeKeith: My question is: Who did we anger? Who did we cut off in a car or step on the toe of to resurrect magic week?

Howard: I don’t know. Dear ABDC Producers: We’re sorry. We’ll be good.

LeKeith: HA! But Magic Week happened and so, we must discuss.

Howard: Indeed. Let’s start with the group intro.

LeKeith: You know what was the first magical surprise?

Howard: The dance stylings of Lil’ Mama?!

LeKeith: YES!

Howard: Her lip gloss was poppin’. As well as cool.

LeKeith: She was good. She had her footwork down.

Howard: She did. And she was holding her own with the other female dancers after the magical costume change. Her initial dancing section was a bit underwhelming. But then came the reveal and she cranked it up a bit.

LeKeith: I kinda dug her Poison Ivy dress. Though I don’t think Poison Ivy approves of hair extensions.

Howard: HA!

LeKeith: She definitely turned it up after the trick was done, which may be the running theme of this week’s show.

Howard: She opened a can of Swaggosity and used it to power up like Popeye.

LeKeith: She was swagalicious.

Howard: Oh Lil’ Mama, you were in such phenomenal form last night. The absurd pink rhinestone bib dress thing. The random slurring of words and phrases. She’s like Joan Collins for a new generation.

LeKeith: I think my theory holds up. Her “rhinestones” are some sort of crazy crystals. The more she wears, the crazier she acts. But let’s get onto the crews!

Howard: Alright, let’s start with the Kona Krushers. And their stick magic trick. Yay…

LeKeith: HAHA!

Howard: Honestly, I can’t even remember what the original remit of this trick was.

LeKeith: They had to make an inanimate object move. Remember, they thought of making a dancing scarecrow?

Howard: Yeah. You could kind of see remnants of that dancing scarecrow/puppet idea in their routine.

LeKeith: All I could think about was that Australian guy and his bad MJ routine.

Howard: HA! Ah, here it is. “Make an object come to life.” Thanks, Wikipedia!

LeKeith: That’s some real magic They did a ticking section this week though. That was new for them.

Howard: Yeah. As JC astutely noted, it sure was there.

LeKeith: Yeah, good call JC. Though that’s normally my line. Thanks for reading!

Howard: HA! I like that they’re trying new things. But that was not the cleanest execution.

LeKeith: No, it wasn’t. And that was the problem with the whole routine When they were making the poles lean, they never leaned together and it never looked tight.

Howard: Yeah.

LeKeith: It was crisp-less, if I may take from JC.

Howard: I think that tends to be their biggest weakness – their lack of synchronization on a lot of their moves.

LeKeith: Yes. and this week made it more apparent than other weeks.

Howard: Sometimes they compensate for it by putting together choreo where everyone is doing something a little different. At least, I think that’s on purpose. But it just didn’t work out this week.

LeKeith: I don’t really have a problem with that, but the people who they are highlighting need to be perfect.

Howard: Exactly. Also, the poles were just stupid. They didn’t add anything to the routine. Whenever they were used it felt like the just stopped dancing to make the poles lean. Magic!

LeKeith: For a second, I thought they were going to do some Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon type stuff with the poles. But then I realized that the TV was on Starz and not MTV

Howard: HA!

LeKeith: But yeah, they didn’t incorporate the poles into the routine. They just stopped and went to the poles. Which were sometimes guns because they shot the banners?

Howard: Yeah, that was weird too. Overall, it was a very weak performance.

LeKeith: The under/over was nice though, despite what Omarion said.

Howard: Yeah, it was probably the standout moment of their performance.

LeKeith: It was a “Look! No Strings” kind of a moment.

Howard: But I think Omarion was correct in noting their need to show the audience, or at least the judges, something different.

LeKeith: I agree with that point. And if the Kona Krushers hadn’t done the Over/Under before, it would have made the move more impressive. It was a part of their routine that actually made sense with the magic trick.

Howard: Yup.

LeKeith: Next week will be better.

Howard: Well, let’s move on to Poreotix.

LeKeith: And the return of the spinning silver ball!

Howard: As much as I’m a fan of the group, I have to call shenanigans. They clearly got the best trick. It’s the most visually stunning.

LeKeith: It’s true.

Howard: And the easiest to really incorporate into a routine, I think.

LeKeith: That’s fair. I think Blueprint’s was easy to incorporate too.

Howard: Well, we can discuss that when we get to them. But I would respectfully disagree. The beauty of the flying sphere/cube/whatever the hell it is next season (I vote for a replica of Shane’s head) is that the person executing the trick isn’t taken out of the performance. They can dance while they’re manipulating the object. Or do what the Poreotix guys did and pass it off. Basically, no one is every really taken out of action because of the prop.

LeKeith: Wait. Hang On. I can’t overlook your idea of a Salome inspired dance routine with Shane Sparks’ head.

Howard: HAHA! You know it would be brilliant.

LeKeith: It Would!

Howard: I would assign it to the crew with the hottest females. And it would be up to them to come up with the logical routine.

LeKeith: I like it. Would this be during Magic Week or would there be a new theme week?

Howard: Bible Stories Week!

LeKeith: Nice. That’s what I figured.

Howard: Botticelli week!

LeKeith: Oh my god! That would be Awesome!

Howard: Get on this, ABDC!

LeKeith: You Owe Us That Much!

Howard: I agree! But let’s jump back to Poreotix.

LeKeith: Okay. I think you’re right about the maneuverability of the magic prop. They were able to pass it off incorporate it into their routine. But part of that is the nature of the crew.

Howard: That’s true. They did use the prop intelligently. Much like Beat Freaks did with the flying sphere.

LeKeith: Yes! But your claim of shenanigans was validated when the flying cube made the same motions as the flying sphere.

Howard: Yup. We’d also be amiss if we didn’t mention JC calling out the audience. Which was appropriately hilarious.

LeKeith: Oh yeah! It wasn’t the best Poreotix routine ever. Right, Audience? JC: 1, Audience: 0.

Howard: HA! I think his criticism was more constructive this week though. Because it’s true. Their routine wasn’t up to the Disco Week or Urshur Week levels. It wasn’t Umbrella bad, but they’ve done better.

LeKeith: Yes. I agree.

Howard: I think that comes down to the prop though.

LeKeith: They did the best they could with the prop they had.

Howard: I’d be curious to see how much prep time is needed to work with the prop. And how much that kills the amount of time they have to come up with a routine.

LeKeith: They handled the cube better than they handled the umbrellas.

Howard: Definitely. And I think they did a good job of distinguishing their routine from BeatFreaks’. Which was essentially considering the extreme similarity between their tricks.

LeKeith: Also, what I think is essential to Magic in general is proving the validity of a prop. Which is why I liked when they danced through the prop, because it let them used the prop in a way that wasn’t just levitation.

Howard: Yeah. So that takes us to the Bottom 2. Team Canada and Double Double Animal Style.

LeKeith: Both put on admirable performances. But Team Canada went first and what was their challenge?

Howard: They had to make one of their members float.

LeKeith: Which I think played into their French Canadian background. Because of Cirque Du Soleil!

Howard: HA!

LeKeith: They even pulled an “audience member” out from the crowd who happened to have the exact same accent as all of the other crew members.

Howard: I thought that they put together a cool narrative.

LeKeith: I completely agree.

Howard: Considering that the trick required them to isolate one member, it was a smart way to set it up.

LeKeith: Well, they’ve used misdirection a few times before in their routines.

Howard: That being said, the fake leg that was propping her up was pretty friggin’ obvious. HD does you no favors, Magic!

LeKeith: Yeah…

Howard: But as I was saying earlier, the need to isolate one member is definitely a shortcoming of this trick. Team Canada played it very intelligently by making it a reveal. And putting TL up in the splits while setting up the trick was another smart move. It was a phenomenal distraction for the audience and made us forget that the other members weren’t dancing.

LeKeith: Because who’s not looking at TL at that moment?

Howard: I mean, I know I wasn’t paying attention to anything else.

LeKeith: Me neither. And for a few seconds afterwards. One thing though: in the group routine, it kinda bummed me out that there was only one B-Boy left on the show. But he is a B-Boy Hero so there’s that.

Howard: That’s true. Also, I don’t know if he has a facial expression other than smiling.

LeKeith: He doesn’t!

Howard: Even in the end, when everyone else in his crew is a nervous wreck at the possibility of being eliminated, he was all smiles.

LeKeith: I think he was crying even!

Howard: Why so serious, B-Boy Hero?

LeKeith: HAHA! I did like his sweep under the levitating lady though

Howard: Yeah, that was a cool touch. Another “No Strings!” moment.

LeKeith: That’s Magic 101. Also, were the judges unusually somber in their comments?

Howard: They were for both crews! It was like a wake. “Hey, thanks for coming out. We’ll miss you.”

LeKeith: It was like the losing crew was going to be taken out back Old Yeller Style “You’ll finally get to have poutine again, Blueprint Cru … in heaven.”

Howard: HAHA!

LeKeith: Lighten up a little judges. We’ll see them again in 2 weeks.

Howard: It’s true. Well, what about the other crew on the chopping block? Were they Jungle Boogie this week or DDAS?

LeKeith: They were kind of in between for me. Like Double Double Boogie or something.

Howard: Hamburger Animal Style? Only one meat patty.

LeKeith: Yeah, kinda. They did have crazy energy.

Howard: They did. Except when they had to execute their magic trick. Which was, I think, the hole that Porky Pig jumps out of at the end of the Looney Tunes cartoons.

LeKeith: HAHA! It totally was! It was the “Th-Th-Th-That’s All Folks!” Hole

Howard: Yup. I also liked the mirror illusion at the beginning with the twins.

LeKeith: Yeah, that was good too.

Howard: Granted, we saw the Strikers All-Stars do it a few seasons ago, but it was still impressive this week.

LeKeith: They had elements of a great routine but it’s like you pointed out, their energy levels changed whenever they had to do the stupid trick. Also, to build on the Looney Tunes idea, if you’re going to generate a temporary hole, you then have to show that the object is solid again. But that might be just me That one guy did ‘knock’ on the mirror but I didn’t notice until the replay.

Howard: The other trick that I think got overlooked was the hand through the one guy at the end.

LeKeith: Yeah, definitely. I think unlike the other crews, they may have over-used their trick.

Howard: Yeah, it’s possible.

LeKeith: And how did they go through the wall in practice? The Magic of EDITING

Howard: HAHA! That was phenomenal. Overall, whenever they got hype, the routine was entertaining. Whenever they had to focus on the trick, the routine got stale.

LeKeith: Yeah, they became a little too static. Almost waiting for the trick to take place. Though I liked when they took the magic hole and spun it in place.

Howard: Yeah, that was cool. I think the judges made the right choice though.

LeKeith: I do too. and I was worried that when these two crews faced off, DDAS would prevail. But as you pointed out, Team Canada has been more consistent week to week.

Howard: And I think their performance this week was more entertaining.

LeKeith: Yeah, that’s fair. Also, Lil Mama broke out baby talk in addition to her drunken slur speech.

Howard: HAHA! It’s true. And it fit perfectly with her bib.

LeKeith: a Bedazzled Bib. Bibdazzled.

Howard: Indeed.

LeKeith: She, like a magician and has an endless bag of tricks.

Howard: I think DDAS’ elimination may have been a tactical decision by the judges. Since Canada can’t vote, Team Canada seems to always end up in the bottom 2.

LeKeith: You’re right. Team Canada needs to win over America every week. And it’s hard so they’re always in the bottom 2. Unless they win another immunity idol.

Howard: My personal theory is that they judges are going to push them into the finale.

LeKeith: I could see that.

Howard: I imagine the bottom two will be the Kona Krushers and Team Canada. And as much I like the Kona Krushers, they just haven’t been as consistent as Team Canada.

LeKeith: No, they haven’t. Unless they pull off some kind of crazy Master the Move challenge routine Also, I would have liked for the group routine to reveal the return of the Card Sharks, a.k.a. the AbraCaDancers. But we’ll have to wait until next season for that.

Howard: I did feel bad for the Card Sharks.

LeKeith: Right?

Howard: You know they were praying this challenge would come in the first week. Maybe ABDC will let them put on their own Magic Showcase at the finale.

LeKeith: That would be awesome!

Howard: And I will be reunited with my favorite dancer from this season, Secret Pakistani.

LeKeith: He was pretty awesome. Maybe he’ll comeback with his new friend, a breakdancing Gold Robot!

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