The competition picks up in Week 4. Did America make the right choice and send the worst crews home? Read on to find out…
Howard: Katy Perry Week!
LeKeith: She is your California Gurl, after all.
Howard: I do love her. I wasn’t sure how her music would work out. But for the most part, I liked it.
LeKeith: as did I. I was pleasantly and unpleasantly surprised for the most part.
Howard: As was I. Let’s jump straight into the groups!
LeKeith: P-Funk Phenomenon!
Howard: I was glad to see that they survived.
LeKeith: Did you think they weren’t going to?
Howard: No, I figured they were safe, but I’ve learned to never underestimate the ability for America to disappoint me.
LeKeith: Fair Enough. Always look behind you, Kofi.
LeKeith: As for their routine, I really liked it.
Howard: I thought it was solid, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as their routine from last week.
LeKeith: That’s fair. I actually was bummed that it was over so quickly but I got that sense from most of the performances.
Howard: Definite kudos for their storytelling.Which is an element that a lot of the other groups lacks this season.
LeKeith: Oh man, yes! And you know how much I love storytelling. Also, not just the storytelling but how they left the stage to let only 2 members complete the story.
Howard: Yeah, that felt like a little bit of cheat, only because the ABDC ADD Cam wouldn’t let me really see whether everyone else was still dancing. But it set up the great spot where Bebo jump off stage and then got thrown back on. So it worked for me overall.
LeKeith: And the wink!
Howard: Yes! Great showmanship.
LeKeith: Between the ADD cam and the Sky Cam, I really don’t know what is going on in Production. Did everyone have an aerial shot this week because it felt like it.
Howard: More or less. There were moments where we actually lost the impact of certain moves because the ADD Cam was out of control.
LeKeith: I felt that way about the Sky Cam.
Howard: Oh, I lump the Sky Cam as part of the ADD Cam. That’s part of the Total Package that forces them to jump cut every 6 seconds.
LeKeith: True. True.
Howard: I mean, they tape this show! It’s not airing live! Is there no one in the editing bay that stops and says, “Hey, I really have no idea what’s happening?” Or is it possible that the footage we’re seeing is the best possible option?
LeKeith: Listen, I’ve had this complaint about another show that airs on Thursdays opposite ABDC. I try to roll with the punches but sometimes I get knocked down.
Howard: Fair enough.
LeKeith: The Sky Cam knocked me down this week. Also, we know from personal experience that the Master Shot is a perfectly acceptable way to see 90% of the performance.
Howard: To be fair, the Sky Cam did do a good job of capturing Beantown Boogie’s roulette wheel. Which I thought was cleverly put together.
LeKeith: As did I! Way to handle the challenge, Beantown Boogie!
Howard: And good on them for rotating while Bebo did his windmills. The easy out would have been some basic footwork or even just standing still. It was a smart touch.
LeKeith: I also felt like this was the week of Bebo until I realized that last week was also kinda the week of Bebo.
Howard: Yeah, he’s their biggest strength and weakness.
LeKeith: That’s not a knock on the crew, by any means. It’s just that he’s a really good performer.
Howard: It was my complaint early on that every setpeice seems to center around him doing some b-boy moves or something crazy athletic. But it works for now. Mainly because the rest of the crew is doing a good job of framing him.
LeKeith: Until next week. What did you think of the Judges?
Howard: They were fine early on.
LeKeith: I’m glad you said ‘early on’
Howard: This might have been their most coherent critique. But we’ll get to them in time. Let’s jump to the next crew – Dirty Cheeb and the Boys.
LeKeith: Can I comment on one thing?
LeKeith: If Dirty Cheeb and the Boys got to go see Peacocks, Why Come Beantown Boogies couldn’t get to go to Vegas? I feel like half the crews got a kinda cool field trip this week. At least get the Boogies some Fuzzy Dice or let them watch the Hangover!
Howard: HA! Or at least send them to San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino so they can go meet Manny Pac!
LeKeith: HA! But yeah, I liked Dirty Cheeb this week as well.
Howard: As did I. I liked their peacock formations.
LeKeith: I also like how they take critique and apply it as many times as possible. They came from the right, they came from the left, from the center, from the Sky Cam possibly.
LeKeith: Also, they had really good choreography this week.
Howard: Yes. I liked the peel away in particular. But it also seemed like every group did that this week, not that I’m holding it against them.
LeKeith: I liked the Popping segment. That was new. But I have to agree that I didn’t like the finish because I felt it slowed down.
Howard: I think it felt slow only because they were really good about getting into formations quickly before that. But that last one seemed to take a little longer to link up.
LeKeith: That’s entirely true.
Howard: Without any discernible additional visual pop.
LeKeith: Well, the blocked the handstand, which was probably the hardest part. Also, it made it look like they were forming a messed up Human Centipede.
Howard: My favorite peacock bit though was where the guys used the spots painted on their gloves to make the “eyes” on the peacock fathers.
LeKeith: Oh! I didn’t notice that.
Howard: It was a small touch that I wish the judges had called out. BUT SPEAKING OF THE JUDGES. Let me say that I love Lil’ Mama.
LeKeith: You do.
Howard: At least 30% of my enjoyment of any given episode comes from her.
LeKeith: Do you support her Driving Glove Look that she’s working on?
Howard: Of course.
LeKeith: and the crazy Necklaces of Power?
Howard: I hope she has a rhombus shaped one next week.
Howard: The best line of her critique to the Dirty Cheeb: “This group always ceases to amaze me!” Followed by happy clapping and cheering by the audience.
LeKeith: Yeah, it was clearly a flub but no one gave a gosh darn. I really wished they had showed a shot of the crew, especially Mail Order Bride.
LeKeith: I bet her grasp of English was better than Lil Mama’s at that moment. But yeah, I caught that. There’s a segment of every ABDC episode that my brother calls “And then LeKeith got Sad.” This was that segment.
Howard: HAHA! Well, her insanity did not stop there. Because that wasn’t even her most ridiculous comment of the night. That came with her critique of Status Que, so let’s move onto them.
LeKeith: Yes, Status Que. Again, I thought this was a better routine than I was expecting. And they got to go on a Rollercoaster! What the hell?
Howard: Sorry, Beantown Boogie.
LeKeith: Also, I’m kinda glad that I had to eat crow when Mr. P got to Dance on the stage.
Howard: It was cool that he got to be there. But it also made the performance seem like GLEE for a moment.
LeKeith: That’s what I thought too! It’s like booing Artie. Or judging Artie, rather.
LeKeith: At the same time, it’s did help justify their levels. So turning a negative into a positive?
Howard: True. Plus, his presence did give us the greatest Lil’ Mama line of the night.
LeKeith: Go for it
Howard: Where she proclaimed that he represented for DISABLED PEOPLE EVERYWHERE. Really, Lil’ Mama?! REALLY?!
LeKeith: I’m not going to lie. I just started yelling.
Howard: There was a point in the routine where he STOOD UP AND DANCED!!! C’MON!
LeKeith: Well, also, he’s not ACTUALLY DISABLED. He’s temporarily inconvenienced. And that’s not me being a dick; his leg will heal / is healing.
Howard: I mean, Artie isn’t actually disabled, but his performances on GLEE are occasionally inspirational. But that shit doesn’t work when you fucking get up and dance!
LeKeith: Well ‘Artie’ is Disabled. Kevin McHale isn’t.
Howard: Don’t Mosby me when I’m ranting!
LeKeith: Sorry. I thought I was helping. Just like a Mosby…
Howard: Anyway, back to the dancing. I thought it was a better performance than last week. The chain of suicides was a great last image to go out on.
LeKeith: It was!
Howard: But there’s something about their choreo that I still don’t like. I think it just feels too sloppy. But I will give them credit for putting that in their routine.
LeKeith: I also liked their first stunt, the flip off the next member’s back.
Howard: Yeah. Hopefully their execution will continue to improve.
LeKeith: Yeah. I think across the board there was an increase in choreo this week. And narrative for the most part.
Howard: Agreed. Well, let’s move onto the biggest disappointment of the night. Once again, America has let me down.
LeKeith: The Little G-Words?
Howard: HAHA! Yes.
LeKeith: I have to say, I agreed with D-Trix on his critique of the FBI: Funky Bunch of Italians.
Howard: Yes, I am 100% in agreement. And while I can see JC’s point that performance and audience reaction is important, sometimes the audience is just wrong. They’re popping for the FBI because they’re kids.
Howard: And that’s a terrible reason to give them praise.
LeKeith: Or they’re kids doing more adult dances.
Howard: Exactly. I mean, I’m pretty sure that if I taught a bunch of puppies to breakdance and brought them on the show, the audience would blow up. That doesn’t mean they should progress over crews with higher talent levels.
Howard: “Well, Sparky’s pop and locking wasn’t super tight, but man, the crowd sure loved it!” No. That is shenanigans.
LeKeith: But there was more to D-Trix’s point than that. Or at least what I took from it. Every crew up to that point was able to take the challenge and incorporate it into a routine that kept referring to the theme or challenge.
Howard: Very true.
LeKeith: the FBI just did the challenge and went into a bunch of dances. Granted, some of the ideas they conveyed went along with the “Teenage Dream” idea overall but it could have been easily stronger. So it just bugged me
Howard: Oh, I totally agree. Plus, I question the appropriateness of giving “Teenage Dream” to the young boys.
LeKeith: And they’re not the first crew to just “get the challenge out of the way” like JC has said.
Howard: Plus, their execution of the challenge was by far the weakest of the week.
LeKeith: That’s the other thing! If they had made a wall and let Lil’ Studly break through it to drop his sexy Dance, that would have been WAAAY Better.
Howard: YES. Chubs McGee should be the star of every segment.
LeKeith: He is in my book.
Howard: I will say that D-Trix had me totally fooled. I thought he was going to swerve us again. “That wasn’t very good… It was fantastic!” Thankfully, that’s not where it went.
LeKeith: Oh, I totally thought he was going to do that. At the same time, I’m glad that D-Trix’s comment was so Ill received because it brought back Vintage Lil Mama. Remember when she would disagree with Shane or JC and not refer to them by name?
LeKeith: She would just go “Somebody said…” Lil’ Mama! There are ONLY 3 OF YOU! Is it really that hard to remember who said what? You’ve got a 50/50 chance of getting it right. And that’s only if you go last. But you went SECOND
Howard: HA! That’s the Passive Aggressive Lil’ Mama coming out. She so mad, she won’t even acknowledge you by name.
LeKeith: That fact that she has anything passive about her is remarkable. She’s wearing Driving Gloves and a Flashing Tetris Piece around her neck. But her logic made so little sense, JC fell over. Apparently paying rent occupies the same part of your brain that choreography does. Which explains why I can’t dance. Rent’s due on Monday.
Howard: That was so phenomenal. She was on a roll last night.
LeKeith: She certainly was. I think we’ll have a few more weeks of the FBI, if last night was any indication. Unless D-Trix’s comments got through to anybody else.
Howard: Hopefully America listens. The thing is that their performance was fine. They were pretty smooth and in sync on their choreo. But at the end of the day, you and I could probably learn that routine in a week.
LeKeith: After I pay the rent.
Howard: Which means that it shouldn’t be good enough to stay on the show.
LeKeith: I mean that’s the thing. Their fundamentals are good. Clean Lines, Clear Framing and Playing up their Showmanship. But is it enough? Previous seasons seem to say no, it’s not. Okay Moving onto the next saved Crew.
Howard: Oh Top Ramen. Why are you never as awesome as I want you to be?
LeKeith: Because You Want Them to Be Poreotix.
Howard: Eh, I want them to be SuperCr3w.
Howard: Well, they’re a b-boy crew, not a pop and locking crew.
LeKeith: What did you think of them not wearing Purple this week?
Howard: I’m glad they switched that up. New Unis = Championship! Or at least a moderately better performance.
LeKeith: I did comment that their Suits look like they Mrs. Doubtfire’d themselves.
Howard: I think part of their problem is that their movements are almost too smooth. They don’t really stick those power moves as hard as I’d like to see.
LeKeith: I know what you mean. They always leave me thinking that something was missing.
Howard: Especially in a challenge where you’re tasked with making fireworks. But the ballet comedy sequence was fun to see.
LeKeith: It was.
Howard: Overall, it was a baby step up from last week.
LeKeith: I think also their penchant for doing humor prevents me from seeing them as a B-Boy Crew. Or as solely a B-Boy crew, which is both a plus and a minus. I expect comedy from them now, as opposed to being surprised when the comedy comes.
Howard: Fair enough. Well, let’s jump down to the two crews in danger.
LeKeith: This was an interesting Battle.
Howard: I agree. I thought both crews did a good job.
LeKeith: As did I.
Howard: But unlike last week, there wasn’t a clear winner in my eyes. Let’s start with Rize Against
LeKeith: I think they made a more conscious effort to have spaced out choreography this week. To give more significance to the moments when they did come together.
Howard: Yeah. I thought it really worked.
LeKeith: As did I!
Howard: Because there were things happening in each distinct group.
LeKeith: I have to admit that there were parts in the routine where I was lost though. Also, on a night of super poppy songs, they got the least of the group, which took me out of it.
Howard: See, I thought that was perfect for them. And it would have been great for the Kiwis as well, in fact.
LeKeith: Sorry, I’m not saying it didn’t fit. It fit Rize Against. It took me out of it, which may be why I didn’t connect with this routine as much as the audience did.
Howard: Both groups have the problem that when the musical style doesn’t mesh with their dance style, things don’t click as well as they should. As we saw in Week 1 with the Kiwis, when they got the really poppy Lil’ Wayne song. And last week with Rize Against, when their BEP song wasn’t hard enough.
LeKeith: I see what you mean about the musicality of RIZE Against and the Kiwis and the conflict they have with the music sometimes. But I think they did a great job with ET. I could see the work and the effort even if I didn’t quite feel it. Also, they did an Alien bit, which, thanks to you, I understood.
Howard: HA! Even the absurd spaceship challenge actually came together.
LeKeith: It was absurd, right? “Hey, Urban Dancers, make a spaceship. Don’t worry, We’ll Wait.”
Howard: The only thing better would have been a Leprechaun challenge.
LeKeith: “You must produce a pot of actual gold through the combined efforts of your dance. In a phrase: Make Magic.”
Howard: Please no magic. What did you think of the Kiwis?
LeKeith: I absolutely love this crew. To the point that I dubbed them I Love Lucys. I thought the multiple ways they conveyed Waves was well thought out. And their performances have a flow to them that I really enjoy. It rarely feels like their moving through a series of set pieces like some other crews.
Howard: Agreed. I think their biggest problem was that they didn’t get to be grimey with it.
LeKeith: HA! You like it when they get Grimey. But there was Ample Booty Shaking
Howard: That’s the part of their performances that I really click to. Because it makes them seem so unique. Last week’s performance had that perfect balance of technical excellence and personality.
LeKeith: See? I thought the lack of personality this week had to do with how they morphed into the California Gurl pinup. Plus, they got to go to the Beach!
Howard: HA! I think the judges made their decision based on future viability with this one.
LeKeith: How so?
Howard: They knew that there was zero chance of Rize Against’s voting block moving over to the Kiwis.
LeKeith: Oh, fair enough.
Howard: And being in the bottom two after last week’s killer performance did not bode well for the Kiwis. Since both performances were solid, I think they went with the choice that had the best chance of progressing in later weeks.
LeKeith: I looked at it from the notion that Rize Against made a significant Improvement after last week’s performance while the Lucys didn’t make as big of a leap. Is it fair to hold it against them that they had less to improve on? No, but hey, it happens.
Howard: That’s a fair analysis as well. Either way, I think they made the right choice. As sad as I was to see them go.
LeKeith: But I see your point as well. Speaking of, I feel like this is the first season in which I think a California Team may not win it all. Will the Streak Be Broken?
Howard: Well, SuperCr3w was from Vegas. Really, it’s been an issue of West Coast dominance.
LeKeith: Okay. West Coast Then.
Howard: But the last two West Coast crews are Rize Against and Instant Noodles. So I wouldn’t bank on a six-peat.
LeKeith: Neither would I. I dunno, it crossed my mind this week and I wanted to get your thoughts.
Howard: It’s sad, but it had to happen sooner or later. It just find it amusing that it didn’t happen during the season that the producers specifically tried to make it happen.
LeKeith: I also have a haunting sense that the FBI will make it to the finals.
Howard: Lord, I hope not. I’m pretty sure I threw my shoe at the TV last night when they announced that they were safe.
LeKeith: HAHA! I’ve never seen you shoe-throwing mad before.
Howard: I might hate them more than Afroborike.
LeKeith: Well, yeah, I could see that
Howard: At least they gave me some eye candy.
LeKeith: And guyish maneuvers.
Howard: But I don’t own a white panel van, so the FBI does nothing for me.
LeKeith: I wonder if you’ll throw an umbrella next week. Or if I’ll be a Rude Boy
Howard: Possibly! Unless America does the right thing.
LeKeith: Well, We’ll see
Howard: Do it for my TV, America!