It was a Tween Dream when ABDC made it Justin Bieber week! How did the crews perform to the Canadian Pop Prince’s hits? Read on to find out…
Howard: So, did you catch the Bieber Fever last night?
LeKeith: I didn’t break out into a full fever. I got a touch of the Bieber Flu, I would say. I think hearing “Baby” in my head will only be for a 24 hour period.
Howard: HA! As much as I don’t want to admit it, that little Canadian makes some catchy pop singles.
LeKeith: Oh, they are crazy catchy songs! And they contain 5 words: Baby, My, Girl, 1 Other to be Included Later, and Boo
Howard: Indeed. I appreciate that he actually decided to show up via tape. Unlike Rhi-Rhi.
LeKeith: But she sent her Choreographer!
Howard: I think the outtakes at the end of the episode showed exactly how seriously he was taking the task (Not Very). Also, I assume he tapes a challenge for every crew at the start of the season. Because one of the bloopers was for a mirror image challenge, which I don’t think any of the crews got.
LeKeith: Oh! You know what, that makes sense. All I was thinking at that part was that we weren’t going to see the crews come out at the end. Because there has been a serious lack of respect shown to the eliminated crew this season. Remember how everyone would run out doing the hand sign of the fallen crew?
Howard: Yup. Oh, those golden days. Anyway, let’s move onto the crews!
LeKeith: You know what’s been the best thing for the FBI?
Howard: The enormous number of tweens that watch ABDC?
LeKeith: Yes, but also they usually go first. So, instead of being compared to a crew that just went before them, they are being compared to a performance from 7 days ago.
Howard: Well, they do need to make sure they’re back at the hotel by bedtime.
LeKeith: Man, you know those kids are staying up playing Nintendo!
Howard: HA! It’s true. I agree with your assessment though. That being said, going first can also be a disservice. Because you can forget about the performance by the end of the night.
LeKeith: True. Very True. But as you pointed out, the Tween Army is in full effect and their memories are stronger than ours are currently. But about the routine, what did you think?
Howard: You know, once I got past my initial rage that they survived again, I have to admit that it wasn’t terrible. They told a coherent story throughout the routine. Had a couple of interesting choreo moments. And I can’t lie – if Quest or some other crew that loved had done the basketball dunk move, I probably would have lost my shit.
LeKeith: Yeah, I thought this was the most consistent performance they’ve done, especially with their narrative.
Howard: That being said, the set-up to that stunt took way too long and was a little sloppy. And the comedy moment with Chubbs fell flat for me.
LeKeith: When he was the girl?
Howard: Yeah. He tried to sell it, but I wasn’t buying.
LeKeith: First Off, Chubbs is Never the Girl
LeKeith: That dude is All Man.
Howard: He should only play the manliest of men.
LeKeith: Or All Bro actually.
Howard: Woo woo woo, you know it.
LeKeith: Exactly! My main sort of issue with the routine actually was they they didn’t use a ball. Which, on the one hand, if fine. Props = Death, etc. But when we’ve already seen crews use a ball while on rollerskates, it makes you seem weak.
LeKeith: Plus, even if you’re not going to use a ball, you have to make sure you’re still miming a ball effectively, which they didn’t do well. The one Lil Bro who could do the cross over did a good job but when Chubbs did the full press pass, I didn’t even see him pretend to throw the ball. It’s the Playoffs, Baby! Bad Time to Slack on the Ball Handling.
Howard: Yeah, I’m OK with them just pantomining the ball. That’s a relatively basic b-boy exercise. But they weren’t as sharp with it as I wanted them to be. They weren’t buying into the fiction, which means I wasn’t buying into it.
LeKeith: Yeah, that’s it. I honestly had a Flashback to Drama Class where we used to have to do exercises like that. Our Teacher would tell us if we weren’t selling it properly. That’s what I got from them.
Howard: I wonder if that one Broski had ‘Nam-esque flashbacks when they forced him to play basketball again. “I thought I left this in the past!!!”
LeKeith: I think he was having Withdrawals. “And It begins …”
Howard: HA! In all honesty, I think I’ve just come to accept that they’re going to win.
LeKeith: I have too.
Howard: Unless the Asian voting block shifts to the Dirty Cheeb. But I think the tweens have successfully Twilight’d ABDC.
LeKeith: HAHA! I’m going to use that term from now on. I did appreciate that JC seems to have taken his Rose colored glasses off. Too bad Lil Mama picked them up and put them on. Double Rose!
Howard: Or possibly passed a pair to D-Trix.
LeKeith: Yeah, I thought D-Trix just wanted to get his crackhead line in. That’s called Payback!
Howard: If he did it solely for that purpose, I’m OK with it. Sometimes, you have to sacrifice for comedy.
LeKeith: That was the justification I came up with. Also, sadly your theory fell apart?
Howard: Maybe. I think I can still salvage it, but we’ll hit on that later. Let’s move on to the Dirty Cheeb.
LeKeith: I’m a little upset at this crew, to be honest. I feel like this week, they took a step back.
Howard: How so?
LeKeith: I didn’t like their first Brain Blast. I felt it was an intricate series of movements for the sake of an intricate series of movements. Whereas last week, their Brain Blasts were connected to the overall theme. Aside from that, I thought the routine was really smartly put together, hiding those who were weaker at the glide challenge. And the Brain Blast into the Heart at the end was really well done and cute.
Howard: I actually liked the opening Brain Blast because it was strong, bold way to start the routine. Even if it was thematically isolated.
LeKeith: I thought it was very well done. but I think most of their stuff is. So I was looking for a little more, which is why it threw me off.
Howard: I also loved their comedy bit.
LeKeith: Comedy Bit?
Howard: Were Moon was running and everyone served as a moving backdrop.
LeKeith: Oh! That was awesome.
Howard: It wasn’t slapstick, but his face really sold it.
LeKeith: I like that he got a moment because he hadn’t had one before. Just like IamUsher
Howard: It’s true. But yeah, they slipped a little bit in terms of their stage use. Overall, I thought it was one of the better routines of the night. 2nd best, if I were to rank them.
LeKeith: That’s fair.
Howard: I’m kind of surprised that they never played on Olivia’s insane love for the Beeb.
LeKeith: Yeah, I kinda wished they had. They should have put a Bieber poster on a fishing pole or something and have her run after it. Or you know, something funny. I also really liked that kinda tutting body locking moment. The one that wasn’t in the Brain Bang. Like I said, there’s a lot that I really like about this crew but I keep wanting them to do more.
Howard: I think they’ve been showing a little more personality recently, which is selling me on them.
LeKeith: Good point. Is it enough to dethrone the Jersey Princes? Or am I asking for too much?
Howard: Likely not. But I don’t think the next saved crew will be able to do it either. Sorry, Beantown Boogie.
LeKeith: Yeah, it’s true. (I feel like a cloud of sadness just fell upon our houses)
Howard: Maybe the Dirty Cheeb can do a late season trade for Bebo.
Howard: They can send over their Mail Order Bride.
LeKeith: That should be allowed for next season. ABDC: The Season of the Hybrid. Or the Season of the Mash-Up.
Howard: It would be better if the battles to survive took place on the same stage, like in the first episode ever. They could have one crew member suddenly rip off his costume to reveal the other crew’s uni. And then go dance with them, leaving his former teammates in a state of shock.
LeKeith: You just described the WWE Draft Battle Royal. And I have no objections.
Howard: HA! Overall, I thought they had a decent routine.
LeKeith: Although, back to the Beantown Boogie, if there was a chink in Bebo’s armor, it was shown this week.
Howard: He did look lost in some of the choreo this week. The ADD Cam was doing them no favors.
Howard: There was one moment at the end of their routine where he did a headstand slide and the camera basically missed all of it. You caught the very start and the very end, but had to fill in the rest with your imagination.
LeKeith: The camera also caught one part where Bebo was kinda left standing in a transition. I mean, he was purposely put off to the side or in the back because his stepping skills were not the best.
Howard: Yeah, that was unfortunate for him.
LeKeith: Did you think the challenge was fair, compared to the others? I thought learning to step was on par with gliding but not with miming basketball. I would put stepping above gliding though.
Howard: Learning to step is kind of an absurd challenge. I mean, they’ve given it to other crews before. But it’s been crews where they have championship steppers happen to be on their rosters.
LeKeith: And considering that there was a crew of Steppers before?
Howard: I mean, you might as well tell the FBI that they need to do windmills as their challenge. Just because the movements seem simple, it doesn’t mean that pulling it off is simple. But you know what I really want to see?
LeKeith: Magic Challenge?
Howard: You shut your mouth.
LeKeith: I know it’s your Trigger Word. I can’t resist.
Howard: We’re almost done with the season and we’ve managed to escape that terrible curse so far. Unless they’re going to do it next week, based on the fact that Nicki Minaj has a supernatural ass.
LeKeith: She does. I could see them doing a scary or horror theme for Nicki Minaj though. Her ass is a terror.
Howard: It’s a Beautiful Disaster.
Howard: But back to my hypothetical, I want to see a week where the challenge is to do the gimmick of all the old gimmick crews. Can you imagine telling a crew that they have to dance on roller skates? Or use a jumprope?
LeKeith: Or clogs!
Howard: Or children! Wait, that doesn’t sound right…
LeKeith: Nope. That one is not right. To be fair, I almost said “A Touch Of Bieber” before self-editing. We walk a thin line.
Howard: Back to Beantown Boogie. Overall, it was not one of their best efforts. But I liked that they highlighted some of their other talent.
LeKeith: I also liked some of the more performance elements. Like when dudebro jumped into the sea of womenz. I feel like that’s a Superstar Move. Although, if the Beebs tried, he would be ripped apart.
Howard: That would be a glorious way to go out though.
LeKeith: HAHA! I did like how JC pointed out the effort the Beantown Boogie put into the tempo changes with their style. It’s stuff like that I would miss if not for the judging.
Howard: Yeah, that’s smart commentary from JC. I think he’s trying to garner votes for them based on technique that the casual viewer might miss.
LeKeith: He’ll dust it off on occasion, if only to balance out what Lil’ Mama says.
Howard: I was fairly disappointed by Lil’ Mama last night. She said some slightly crazy things. But nothing super outrageous. Step yo’ game up, Lil’ Mama!
LeKeith: I was admittedly distracted by her Brass Knuckles the whole night. Because I didn’t want to feel the Power of the Punch.
Howard: I think it’s because she didn’t go full crazy with the headwear. The Sparkle Hoodie is not good enough to channel the alien signals into her brain.
LeKeith: My brother said she was dressed like Foot Soldier. Admittedly, when he said that, I laughed until I saw Spots.
LeKeith: But it may have just been the light bouncing off the sparkles on her outfit.
Howard: It’s possible. Alright, so let’s move to the Elimination Round. The clock finally ran out on Top Ramen.
LeKeith: Which was shame, because I actually really liked this routine. They had to handle a Prop, first of all, which is always a bad sign. Then they had to throw said Prop in the air, which is like a Double Bad. And they did all this while wearing Bieber Wigs.
Howard: Which is why I think they got eliminated. Even more so than the FBI, they channeled the Beeb most of all. Which meant that they had to go
LeKeith: Did they enter the Uncanny Valley?
Howard: No, it wasn’t that unnatural. But my advice to the surviving crews is that no one should dress like Nicki Minaj next week. No pink wigs. No butt pillows.
LeKeith: No Frankenstein hair. Or that thing she did with will.i.am where they were in Future Mud or whatever.
LeKeith: Your theory holds up, which bums me out. I thought Top Ramen really did a good job infusing their Ramen-ness with the spirit of Bieber. They even did the poster pose at the end.
Howard: Yeah, it was one of their better performances at the start and the end. The middle dragged for me a bit. But when they opened, they really popped with energy.
Howard: And then they fell into their floorwork trap. I get that it’s very technically difficult and it’s pretty cool once or twice. But it kind of bores the audience.
LeKeith: Yeah, I understand your point.
Howard: Also, I did not love their use of the chairs.
LeKeith: How so? I didn’t really pay it much mind. Except when they slid the chair under the lead Bieber.
Howard: I just seemed very pedestrian. Like they tried to incorporate it into their tricks and realized how hard it was. And then decided to just let them sit on stage.
LeKeith: Ah, that’s fair.
Howard: I honestly don’t know what I would have done to hype it up, but that’s not a Howard Problem. That’s a Top Ramen Problem.
LeKeith: It was.
Howard: Maybe lifted people up, Jewish wedding style? L’chaim!
LeKeith: That would have been kind of awesome. But the person on the chair would have to be doing a dope freeze or something.
Howard: Yes! But even if they had stepped their game up, things were not going to end well. Because Rize Against came out with what was possibly their strongest performance yet.
LeKeith: Oh I completely agree. Rize Against didn’t have a Top Ramen Problem. As they indicated at the end of their routine!
Howard: YES! I loved the hand sign dis. That was possibly my favorite thing last night.
LeKeith: I think that’s what sold it for me too. Because not only did they put together a great routine, but they also treated the elimination like a battle, a nod the seasons of old.
Howard: I wish everyone did that. Make me feel like you want it!
LeKeith: EVERYONE SHOULD DO THAT
Howard: Plus, it helped that their routine was super tight this week. Great separation of the group and some interesting choreo with different levels in effect.
LeKeith: I liked their reverse waterfall uppercut.
Howard: In all krumping, there’s always this aura of a tightly wound energy. Like a rubber band that might pop at any moment. They kept that vibe going throughout the routine, but were amazingly in sync throughout.
LeKeith: Not controlled frenzy?
Howard: HA! Yes, that is the perfect way to describe it. It was Jamaican Me Crazy.
LeKeith: HAHA! I agree with your assessment though. In keeping it together and tight, we were finally able to see what the judges and I hope the in studio audience had been seeing. It was single direct force, a movement and it translated wonderfully.
Howard: And the karate kick at the end was a great punctuation on the routine.
LeKeith: I was a little troubled that their general idea of Martial Arts meant Mortal Kombat though
LeKeith: I was hoping that was more of a subtle plug for the new Mortal Kombat game, as opposed to the beat you over the head plug for Bieber’s DVD.
Howard: I love how some of the crews seemed confused when they were given the Bieber DVD. “What the hell am I supposed to do with this? eBay, I guess?”
LeKeith: “Is it autographed? Personalized? Where’s the Certificate of Authenticity? None!” Sorry, those would have been my thoughts.
Howard: My favorite part of the Rize Against routine came near the end. Where they had this epic build up to the one guy coming down the center of the stage. And the end result was his skipping over two guys on the floor.
LeKeith: Oh yeah!
Howard: If you look up Anti-Climax in the dictionary, you’d probably find that gif.
LeKeith: HAHA! I liked the Fist Punch through the stomach, because I thought back to their ET routine and thought, “Boy, they sure like punching THROUGH things.”
LeKeith: This week got me thinking about my favorite week of ABDC: the Hip Hop Decathalon Week. With the Added Season of the Superstar Subtitle, how are they going to do the Medley? Will it be One Artist, which could be boring, or will it be a Collection of a Season’s Worth of Artists, which could be un-boring?
Howard: Like a song from every artist we’ve heard already this season?
LeKeith: Possibly. Or part of one.
Howard: I’d rather that they just do a medley of all new artists.
LeKeith: But do any artists have enough songs to Medley like that? Madonna maybe? Janet? The Who?
Howard: Michael! But they’ve done MJ week in the past.
LeKeith: Would they do Michael again though?
Howard: Probably not. Maybe they’ll do Rebecca Black week! Every crew dances to FRIDAY. Highest rated episode ever – only because I’d break into people’s houses and tune their TVs to MTV.
LeKeith: I think Mario Lopez would say, On Camera, “Welcome to ABDC, Your Sweet Hell.” Also, is it wrong that I kinda wanted Mario Lopez to use a Justin Credible Pun? He used Justin Time and also an Usher Pun. Justin Credible had to be Next.
Howard: Somewhere, Aldo Montoya is crying. So who do you think will survive to be the Top 3?
LeKeith: Well, FBI is a lock
Howard: Yup. As loathe as I am to admit that.
LeKeith: Dirty Cheeb has never been in the bottom, which means that they’re either safe or due.
Howard: There is only one thing that would make me feel OK about the FBI winning.
LeKeith: If they danced to a medley of Kidz Bop songs?
Howard: YES. Kidz Bop versions of every song we’ve heard this season!
LeKeith: And upon winning, they sign an exclusive contract to dance only to Kidz Bop songs until they are Menudo’d.
Howard: HAHA! I agree that the Dirty Cheeb will also survive. I think it’s going to come down to Beantown Boogie and Rize Against.
LeKeith: I don’t know if the Judges will save Rize Against 3 Times.
Howard: I think Rize Against can bring something super grimey for Nicki. But yeah, their repeat visits are a problem.
LeKeith: I wouldn’t sleep on the combo of Beantown and Minaj though
Howard: I want Rize Against to survive so there’s still a small chance of West Coast victory!
LeKeith: Aw man! Once again I’m rooting for Boston this year. And we know how that ended… But I think that’s how it’ll break down. The Fresh Beat Italians are safe, as are Dirty Cheeb. Rize Against will face Beantown Boogie in the Elimination Round.
Howard: And that’s honestly a coin flip.
LeKeith: Yeah, it could go either way. Unless they smash together like Chocolate and Peanut Butter to form Rize Boogie!