Howard and LeKeith Talk About America’s Best Dance Crew – Season 7, Week 1

It’s April! Which means it’s time for ABDC to return! This season brings a block of new crews and some returning favorites! Does it live up to the hype? Read on to find out…

Howard: LeKeith! It’s the Return of the Superstar! Which means it’s the return of our reviews!

LeKeith: Huzzah! Did you see the Dance Signal in the sky like I did?

Howard: Actually, I was drunk and watching the Pauly D Project when the trailer came on.

LeKeith: Oh, well that works too. So your eyes didn’t glow like a ThunderCat like mine did?

Howard: I literally had to rewind the Tivo to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. Like the time you saw Will Smith’s video for “Switch”

LeKeith: I really did think I dreamt that video

Howard: Little did we realize that Big Willie Styles had returned.

LeKeith: like the return of Fanny Pak?

Howard: Exactly! But let’s hope that Fanny Pak’s return plays out a little better than Will Smith’s second go-around as a musical artist.

LeKeith: Based on this episode, it’s so far so good.

Howard: Or is it third? Do we consider the Fresh Prince and Big Willie Style eras distinct?

LeKeith: I think it’s third.

Howard: Word. And we’ll get to Fanny Pak in a bit. Let’s start with that opening number.

LeKeith: Wait. Hang On. First of all, all this discussion means that 1) Clearly, Will Smith needs to make another album and 2) Will Smith needs his own Season of the Superstar Episode. We have the Fresh Prince Era, the Big Willie Styles Era, the Willenium, the Attitude Era and so forth

Howard: I think Big Willie Styles/Willenium/Born to Reign all encompass the same era. Because Willenium has the Wild Wild West song on it. And Born to Reign has the MiB2 song.

LeKeith: “Nod Ya Head,” correct?

Howard: Yup.

LeKeith: “Hollywood” Will Smith let’s call it.

Howard: It’s 2005′s Lost & Found that’s the third phase of his career, I think. The Unsuccessful One. That’s where “Switch” comes from.

LeKeith: Gotcha. Depending on whether or not he does a song for MiB3, he still warrants an ABDC episode.

Howard: Agreed. Will Smith totes belongs on the Season of the Superstar 2.

LeKeith: Can’t you just see the crews performing to Parents Just Don’t Understand? It’s apropos in every season.

Howard: It’s true. But at the end, their parents would gaze upon them approvingly. And everyone would clap.

LeKeith: HAHA!

Howard: OK, so the opening number?

LeKeith: Honestly, I thought it was a big setup to re-introduce Fanny Pak. I thought the other crews were fine but then Fanny Pak showed up and I went all fangirl.

Howard: Yeah. It’s kind of unfair to the other crews. There’s a crazy level of disparity in stage presence between Fanny Pak and the other crews.

LeKeith: Exactly. I think the other crews did a good job and it was a fun routine to start the show though. I though the stage looked more like a giant USB Hub than a vinyl record though. I never really noticed it before.

Howard: HA! It’s all part of the new exciting set redesign.

LeKeith: It did feel like there were a lot of new things. What else did you notice?

Howard: I actually have no idea. I was just being facetious.

LeKeith: Oh, I thought the stairs were a little different or something.

Howard: I was mostly busy throwing things at my television once another group of children pranced their way on stage.

LeKeith: HAHA! They kinda made me feel bad.

Howard: Because they made you feel like Humbert Humbert?

LeKeith: No. Not at All. I want to make that clear on all records.

Howard: HAHA!

LeKeith: They made me feel bad because they are WAY more organized than we are. Putting together dance routines and practice through webchats? Damn. I felt downright lazy. Just wait to you guys have real problems, like jobs. See all the webcamming you’ll do then.

Howard: It’s true. I still have a box of presents to send you. From Christmas. And your birthday.

LeKeith: HAHA!

Howard: Summary: I am lazy. But back to Baskin Robbins.

LeKeith: That name’s amazing.

Howard: HA! Thanks. I thought their routine was OK, but I have two main objections.

LeKeith: That they were doing gymnastic and/or cheerleader moves?

Howard: No, I was OK with that, kind of. But my first problem is that same problem I had with the Lil’ Broskis – tiny people doing basic big people moves is adorable, but has no place on a show about America’s BEST dance crew. They’re great for their age, but we shouldn’t have to put a qualifier on their performance. I repeat my request from last season for an ABDC Juniors show.

LeKeith: I think it’s no longer America’s Best Dance Crew. I thinks it’s just ABDC. Like how Kentucky Fried Chicken became KFC. They no longer have to explain their affiliations to Kentucky or Chicken anymore.

Howard: Somewhere, the Colonel is crying. Probably on his plantation. So we shouldn’t feel too bad.

LeKeith: That’s because Popeye’s got him in a headlock. But, to your point, I agree. Their routine was fine but you feel like you’re grading on a curve. I would like to see more of their Hawaiian influences in their routines going forward though.

Howard: Like the Kona Krushers!

LeKeith: Yes!

Howard: When the judges said that they set the bar for the show, I had to reply, “Yup. Real low.”

LeKeith: D-Trix is really mastering the vague compliment.

Howard: D-Trix has really grown as a judge. And he has officially stolen the Perv Hat from Shane Sparks. But we’ll get to that later.

LeKeith: I like how Lil Mama implied that she’s not above knocking out a toddler though.

Howard: HA! I would like to see Lil’ Mama punch a baby.

LeKeith: I should clarify, in a competition, Lil’ Mama’s not above punching a baby. But yes, I too would like to see that. Almost as much as I’d like to see JC wear a properly sized shirt. He went one step beyond the Simon Cowell tight black t-shirt and added a collar.

Howard: HA! That was pretty phenomenal.

LeKeith: I think he’s accepting his role as the Simon of ABDC. And I have no problems with that.

Howard: Agreed. So here’s my second problem with the group. Call me sexist, but I find it vaguely uncomfortable when very underaged girls start doing sexualized dance moves.

LeKeith: No, I agree. I remember you had the same problem with Lil’ Jersey. They shouldn’t know how to point those things in those directions. But we’ll see how that progresses. Maybe it was just the Britney tunes. What did you think of Mix’d Elements?

Howard: Oh, one last thing about Baskin Robbins. There’s one girl who has an adult head.

LeKeith: HAHA!

Howard: And it totally freaks me out.

LeKeith: I know exactly what you mean. I thought that was only me.

Howard: Maybe it was the sandwich I had eaten before the show, but it was completely freaking me out. That being said, I’m sure she’s a lovely girl.

LeKeith: I. Don’t. Know. How. To. Respond.

Howard: Let’s just move on to Mix’d Nuts.

LeKeith: Wait, before we do. I was worried that I wouldn’t like this season because they have backstage interviews with one key element missing. Layla Kayleigh.

Howard: Yeah, I missed your girlfriend too.

LeKeith: Don’t we all? She needs to be back on TV, being all English Accent-y, asking awkward questions.

Howard: It’s true.

LeKeith: Bring It Back, MTV! You Brought Back Punk’d! But yes, Mix’d Nuts. You know what I did like about them?

Howard: Their Pan-Asian flavor?

LeKeith: Nope. Supportive Father. He built a stage for his son!

Howard: Oh yeah, that was great.

LeKeith: There isn’t enough of that on the show.

Howard: Take note, future families! I thought they had the most unfulfilled potential of the new teams.

LeKeith: I thought so too. I thought their routine was too fast, trying to show too much.

Howard: They had some interesting choreo, but nothing really grabbed me. Also, their b-boy needs to put some more power in his power moves.

LeKeith: Yeah, that’s true. I didn’t even notice the slo-mo that D-Trix pointed out.

Howard: His tricks felt too slight. There wasn’t enough weight to his movements.

LeKeith: But I think they could get there, if given a little time. Weirdly, I liked the Suspenders.

Howard: Yeah, that was a fun prop. They utilized them well.

LeKeith: I guess Britney wore Suspenders at some point? I sorta ducked out on her during some of the crazy years.

Howard: Yup yup. Assuming they can survive elimination next week, I think Mix’d Nuts will be on track to be eliminated in week 5 or so.

LeKeith: I could see that.

Howard: They’re a solid mid-range crew, but they don’t really grab your attention. They’re the Rick “The Model” Martel of dance crews.

LeKeith: because they’re a good fixture in the midcard? But not really main event caliber? Or because you expect them to wear pink shorts next week?

Howard: All of the above.

LeKeith: The first crew to spray another crew with Arrogance will get the FIIP seal of Approval.

Howard: Agreed.

LeKeith: Also, I don’t appreciate JC making a bad pun and then somehow blaming it on the crew – his “Cliff Dive” joke.

Howard: I have to shamefully admit that I came up with the same pun in my head.

LeKeith: Listen, I love puns. I have no problems with them. But if they fall flat, that’s on you, not the crew.

Howard: HA!

LeKeith: You know what I do approve of though? Lil Mama making up the names of moves. With “Spin Top” you could tell she thought it wasn’t going anywhere so she stopped midway though.

Howard: You could see the little hamster in the wheel in her head getting tired and slowing down. I want her to call the play-by-play at the Super Bowl. I think it would be epic.

LeKeith: I approve! MTV, get on it! Lil Mama: Sideline Reporter.

Howard: What did you think of Oh! Canada?

LeKeith: Their video package worried me. I couldn’t tell if Chandni’s dad was disappointed in her dancing or in the group’s “Business by Day, Lady Business by Night” mentality.

Howard: So I didn’t really get a good look at them during the opening routine. I just saw that one girl was super jacked. And then Mario said that they were leading a double life in the lead-in to their video package. I can’t lie. My mind immediately thought, “ABDC found a tranny dance crew?!” But then they showed us more of them.

LeKeith: HA!

Howard: I’m going to blame that thought process on sandwiches as well.

LeKeith: Actually, the tranny idea makes a little sense since their moves reminded me of the ABDC crew that had a transgendered member.

Howard: Vogue Evolution! I miss their fierceness.

LeKeith: They were pretty cool. Yeah, I thought Oh! Canada had a little Vogue-y movements in their routine, which made me think more Gaga than Britney. I wouldn’t mind seeing them again though. But you should convince you’re dad that your “hobby” isn’t hooking, unless you play hockey as a hobby in addition to dancing.

Howard: HA!

LeKeith: They’re Canadian. It’s a possibility.

Howard: I really liked that one move where they all bent 45 degrees backwards and slowly sidestepped forward.

It was a great visual.

LeKeith: Yeah, that was a cool move. I thought they were all over the place otherwise though. And I didn’t notice the ‘model face’ JC pointed out.

Howard: Yeah, there was a lot of meandering around the stage.

LeKeith: I thought that was their faces.

Howard: HA! At least they weren’t duck facing.

LeKeith: Oh man, Duck Facing? Remember when that was thing? ABDC, you missed so much.

Howard: Also, can we officially call a moratorium on the “everyone get in a single file line and peel off” maneuver? Because I’m real tired of seeing that.

LeKeith: Okay. I second it. Oh, I noticed one thing though. Wherever they were rehearsing, the wall said “8-Count” instead of Irratik. So I was thinking “Who’s 8-Count?!?” during their routine.

Howard: Maybe they killed them Highlander style. There can be only one Montreal Dance Crew!

LeKeith: Is that what happened to Blueprint Cru?

Howard: Yup.

LeKeith: Well, then this isn’t a hobby.

Howard: Can we discuss D-Trix’s epic assumption of the Perv Hat?

LeKeith: I think when the Hat touched his head, it morphed into a crown. He is the new Perv King of ABDC.

Howard: Oh yeah.

LeKeith: It’s like the Lion King, but with penis jokes.

Howard: I’m pretty sure he sexually harassed the entire crew. “If you want to win, make me happy in my pants!”

LeKeith: He was just saying what he, JC and Mario were thinking.

Howard: HA!

LeKeith: They mind-melded before the show.

Howard: Also, I think Mario should be forced to use that French accent the entire time he introduces Oh! Canada.

LeKeith: HAHA! It was amazing, wasn’t it? I’m pretty sure he booked a ticket to Montreal after the show. “That’s how they do it in Montreal” was code to his assistant.

Howard: HA! So let’s move on to Stepboys – aka the Asian B-Boy Crew that Howard Desperately Wants to Love, But Will Ultimately Be Disappointed By.

LeKeith: Is ABDC ready for an ironic crew? Because they lost me at “slacker”

Howard: I can’t decide if I hate or love his hipster mustache. I think I’m mostly jealous.

LeKeith: Hipster Mustaches take work. Therefore he is not a slacker. Well, to be fair, it takes a certain level of laziness to not shave but then it takes certain dedication to groom and pomade just part of your face.

Howard: It’s true. I loved the bit in the intro segment where the guy started talking about his sincere wish to touch the audience. And then realized mid-sentence just how perverted he sounded.

LeKeith: Yup! I feel like this crew was hurt the most by the Season of the Superstar. I wanted to see what their audition piece was, for example. Because when they said “You don’t want to see us do Britney” I thought they meant it.

Howard: HA! I feel like they want to replicate the success of Poreotix. Where they leveraged their personality over their dancing to win the competition. But the difference is that Poreo had some amazing techniques that hadn’t really been showcased on ABDC before.

LeKeith: Exactly. Also, taking moves from Beavis and Butthead isn’t a bad idea. They’re surprisingly spry dancers.

Howard: HA! A lot of their humor is real Asian.

LeKeith: Beavis and Butthead or Hipster Crew?

Howard: Hipster Crew.

LeKeith: Yup. Just checking. I seemed to like them more after their routine than before.

Howard: Me too.

LeKeith: Like when they shook in fear from JC’s critique? But like you said, Poreotix did that already.

Howard: I’m glad that one dude’s horror face got highlighted though. Because it cracked me up.

LeKeith: HAHA! It was funny, with or without sandwiches.

Howard: Agreed. Overall, I want to see them step it up next week. Show me them b-boy moves.

LeKeith: Just show me something.

Howard: Or at least show up in a velocipede or something hipster-y.

LeKeith: I think the idea of calling yourself a slacker in the face of all the crews that you did beat out really bothered me. I would complete me change my tune if they incorporated any of the following lame dance moves into their next routine: the lawnmower, the grocery shopping, the sprinkler, or the moss covered three toed credenza.

Howard: I concur. So let’s discuss the main event.

LeKeith: I kept chanting WELCOME BACK! WELCOME BACK! WELCOME BACK! the whole time. Among other chants.

Howard: YES! YES! YES!


Howard: I have to give them credit for stealing the show without using any stunts. It was all attitude and technique. Just so much fun to watch.

LeKeith: I know! It was amazing. There was no wasted movement. There was no wasted placement. They acknowledged the whole crowd, not just the camera. And their Britney moment was way better than the other crews Britney moments. That was their only stunt, if you’d call it that. And that’s how a routine should be: set it up for that one BIG moment. Oh man, BEST IN THE WORLD!!

Howard: What was great about that moment was the way they broke out of it. I had to rewatch it just to watch their footwork as they did those tiny little backwards steps. Just insanely in sync.

LeKeith: I know.

Howard: I like that the expansion of Fanny Pak was basically the addition of three Asian dudes.

LeKeith: Get those votes!

Howard: “Our Asian factor is upped! We’ll win ABDC for sure!”

LeKeith: Were all the other crews on par with Fanny Pak in Season 2 and has the quality diminished that much, or has Fanny Pak always just been that damn good?

Howard: Well, the gap was a little closer in Season 2. But let’s not forget that Season 2 gave us the Hulk Hands dance. Which, while hilarious, was a temporary low point of the show.

LeKeith: The Hulk Hands, symbolically, created the Rift.

Howard: HA! They were the Superboy punch of the ABDC Universe.

LeKeith: Nice.

Howard: So what would you like to see next week?

LeKeith: Oh, so many things. I haven’t been able to get “I Gotta Good Feeling” Out of My Head Since Wrestlemania. So I would like to hear that to get it gone.

Howard: I like that ABDC has come full circle. Flo-Rida returns to give us another live performance.

LeKeith: You mean they’ve spun “Right Round”? (I’m not proud of myself)

Howard: I see what you did there.

LeKeith: I’m not proud of myself.

Howard: HA!

LeKeith: Also, in the circular nature of ABDC, in Flo Rida’s “I Get a Good Feeling,” he uses an Etta James sample. During his live performances, it’s sung by 2 different singers (depending on travel). One of those singers is Alice Tan Ridley, mother of Gabourey Sidibe, star of Precious and ABDC Audience Member.

Howard: You just blew my mind. And with that, we out!

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