Howard and LeKeith Talk About America’s Best Dance Crew – Season 7, Week 5

Oh yeah! ABDC, yeah! 6 crews jump on stage to beat that beat, but only 5 survive! Who makes it out alive and who has to walk it out? Read on to find out…

Howard: So it’s week 5 and I was started feeling like I’ve had too much ABDC this season. But you know what I realized?

LeKeith: What?

Howard: There’s always room for J-Lo!

LeKeith: HA! Damn you. That was Lo-pez… I’m not good at this game.

Howard: HA! I love that J-Lo wouldn’t show up or even do a video package, so they just sent her choreographer instead.

LeKeith: Well she was busy liking every song on American Idol. Or driving a car through Fake Bronx or whatever.

Howard: HA! Dude, don’t be fooled by the rocks that she’s got. That is, by the way, simultaneously the best and worst J-Lo song ever.

LeKeith: I completely agree! Oh J. Lo night, why couldn’t you be Robyn instead? You know what J. Lo night did offer us though?

Howard: The return of full on crazy Lil’ Mama?

LeKeith: Well, yes. But also: another 3 Way Dance!

Howard: It’s true! But we’ll get to that later. I do feel like ABDC is trying so hard to make me love it. Why else would they bring in Pauly D?

LeKeith: To make up for the Disappointment Hipster Cru caused you?

Howard: HA! It was the greatest night of my life, right there.

LeKeith: What if Pauly D had a Mascot Pauly D head and then when he removed it, his hair was still perfectly in place?

Howard: THAT would be the greatest night of my life, right there.

LeKeith: HAHA! I have to say, I did not approve of Mario taking DJ K-Sly’s sayings: The Wheels of Steel, The 1′s and 2′s.

Howard: HA!

LeKeith: I’m sure that’s general DJ slang, but I associate them with her and the Hottest Dance Show on the Universe.

Howard: I was going to point that out, but I still think your interpretation is fair. So let’s discuss Baskin Robbins. Your thoughts?

LeKeith: I kept thinking “Howard won’t like this routine.” There was an awful lot of sass to go with that brass.

Howard: HA! You are correct, sir. I kept trying to look at it objectively and there were some really cool spots, but I just couldn’t get into it.

LeKeith: It was full of energy, which I think is what the crew needed after last week.

Howard: I agree.

LeKeith: And they flew all over the stage.

Howard: The opening spins were incredible.

LeKeith: Yup!

Howard: And I loved the concept of the handstand cha cha dancing.

LeKeith: Me too.

Howard: Though the execution left me cold for some reason.

LeKeith: Keyword: concept. It’s just really hard to do and make it look as smooth as the cha cha.

Howard: I’m glad they highlighted it though because I think the creativity deserves to be called out. But yeah, I just cannot hop on board the Tween Sexy Dancing Express.

LeKeith: Yeah, like a standing full split while holding a horn.

Howard: Yup.

LeKeith: It’s a physical feat but still… No!

Howard: HA! Also, the trumpets were a stupid prop.

LeKeith: HA! Yeah… that was kinda weird. I’d rather they mimed horns like Santino.

Howard: That would have been epic. But the physical trumpets seriously added nothing.

LeKeith: They matched their colorful outfits?

Howard: Yeah, that’s about it. Also! Did you catch D-Trix’s WTF face?!

LeKeith: No!

Howard: When Mario tosses it to the judges and calls them a bunch of tiny mamacitas, D-Trix is looking up at the ceiling with a total WTF expression on his face.

LeKeith: HAHA! That’s awesome Was that in response to the routine or Mario Lopez’s amazing mamacitas to the mamacita segway?

Howard: I wasn’t sure at first, but given his praise for the routine, I’m pretty sure it was in response to Mario.

LeKeith: Nice! You still got it AC, in more ways than one.

Howard: So let’s jump to M.O.S. Def! Did you think they brought their A Game this week?

LeKeith: I think it was better than last week, definitely. But I still think they can do better. So A- Game?

Howard: HA! That seems fair. I loved the play to the ceiling cam.

LeKeith: Yes! That was a nice touch. It made me think of Cirque Du Soliei though. Some underwater swimming or something like that.

Howard: There was a nice layer of surreality to their movements. I do agree with JC’s critique that they sometimes look like they’re thinking too hard.

LeKeith: Yeah, they got caught a few times. Their movements are so smooth and appear so effortless though. Also, when I see ABDC and Mechanics, I think of So Real Crew and that crazy hat toss. Remember that?

Howard: Oh yes.

LeKeith: So While I enjoyed this performance, it was missing that hat toss moment for me. Something random and unexpected.

Howard: Yeah. The floorwork was cool, but it needed a little extra flair, I think.

LeKeith: Also, I know they’re the teachers but giving them a J. Lo dance to teach the crowd kinda messed them up. I wasn’t sure what the move they were supposed to be teaching. I don’t think the crowd got it either.

Howard: Yeah, the crowd was definitely dancing along, but I’m not sure which part of the routine taught it to them.

LeKeith: Other than Lil’ Mama straight flirting with Ian, were there any other standouts?

Howard: I think that’s good enough, to be honest. She’s really embracing her role as the Paula of the group.

LeKeith: Yup! Middle aged and crazy, just like Terry Funk. Except she’s not middle aged.

Howard: HA! So let’s jump to Purple Stuff. I thought they killed it with this performance.

LeKeith: They broke my streak.

Howard: Which was?

LeKeith: I was 2 for 3 on my guess for tonight’s elimination. But, they totally killed it with this performance. I will say this though: never in the history of ever has the 6 train moved that quickly from station to station. If you’re On The 6, you’re going to be there for a while.

Howard: HA! What about Bleecker to Astor to Union Square? Those stops are all mad close.

LeKeith: They are. But still, the 6 finds a way to take a nap.

Howard: You know I love the 4, 5, 6 train.

LeKeith: I know you do!

Howard: They did create a great illusion of riding the subway, complete with the swaying.

LeKeith: I really liked that part. I was very much like “Looks about right,” when they did it, which is saying something since half the crew has never been on the subway.

Howard: Yup!

LeKeith: To be honest, I thought they were going to field trip to LA’s subway system for a second.

Howard: Little did you know that no one uses LA’s subway system.

LeKeith: Yes… They did a really great job with limited props

Howard: I concur.

LeKeith: And all their dojo training is really paying off.

Howard: Though the canes are much easier to incorporate than stupid trumpets.

LeKeith: Also, when Beau “Casper” Smart walked into the rehearsal, I though he had the old school subway straps at first.

Howard: HA!

LeKeith: I thought we were going Old School.


Howard: What I liked the best about this routine was that they finally incorporated a narrative.

LeKeith: Yes! You know I love Narrative.

Howard: It’s true.

LeKeith: And it made their whole performance have a weight to it. So this time when they did their Everybody Explode finish, it meant something.

Howard: HA!

LeKeith: Along with the Double Tuck flip D-Trix pointed out, they do that move a lot as well.

Howard: Yeah. I’d love to see them build on this and bring in some new tricks. I’m actually excited to see what they’ll do next week.

LeKeith: Me too. Plus, I like that Chris wasn’t the focus for this routine.

Howard: Yeah. Back to the party, Chris.

LeKeith: Even in the weeks where he wasn’t performing, he was still kinda the focus. So, if this is Purple Stuff moving forward, then I approve.

Howard: I want to clown Lil’ Mama for saying that they brought her back to NYC, but her statement was actually pretty accurate. So I’ll just give her a thumbs up instead.

LeKeith: Yeah… I mean, nowadays, they just dance in the subway car and don’t have a sign but it was pretty close. If Purple Stuff had done a human tumbleweed across the stage, it would have been exact.

Howard: HA!

LeKeith: Also, if you have 7 guys with canes, they’ll just take your money.

Howard: It’s true. Or you’ve walked into a remake of the Warriors.

LeKeith: HAHA! That would also be awesome.

Howard: So that brings us to the 3 Way Dance. Your thoughts on Final Destination?

LeKeith: They had possibly my favorite thing in the whole show. Kenny, I think had an elastic strap on his hat, King Harley Race style, so it wouldn’t fall off. Considering that Purple Stuff had problems with their Prop, this was genius.

Howard: HAHA!

LeKeith: What did you think?

Howard: I feel like they were handicapped by their challenge to some extent.

LeKeith: Yeah, I agree with that.

Howard: I think they performed it well, but they failed to really bring any Southern swagger to it. Like their Dirty South Tutting last week.

LeKeith: As did I.

Howard: It was still recognizable as tutting, but it had their own swag.

LeKeith: I agree. I think they were most transformed by their challenge. I would have liked for them to reach a sort of middle ground with their challenge. Maybe not as low or deep as their southern swag tut but maybe not as tight as the traditional moves. That being said, a Moonwalk on their knees? Dope.

Howard: YES. That was possibly the highlight of the night. But it was also the only thing that was really of note in their routine. The rest of it just felt like a really solid crew busting moves in the subway.

LeKeith: Maybe they got their challenges mixed up.

Howard: Which, to be fair, is an image that was probably fresh in my mind due to Purple Stuff.

LeKeith: Well, they were in really tight formations the whole time, which is not their usual style.

Howard: Yeah. I think it was the challenge bringing them down.

LeKeith: I think JC knew it too. “You represented yourselves well this week.” Translation: Start Walking It Out, Fellas!

Howard: HA! On the other hand, I think NXT did a great job of rising to their challenge.

LeKeith: Yeah. I think so too, kinda. First off, they made the WHOLE AUDIENCE (with the exception of Baskin Robbins) feel WAY OLD.

Howard: Well, let’s be fair. Most of the audience probably thought the same thing.

LeKeith: But then Bailey had the Vanilla Ice Gumby so that made up for it.

Howard: They probably barely remember Mario on Saved By The Bell.

LeKeith: Aw man. So they know him from Pacific Blue?

Howard: Yup. Or Extra.

LeKeith: I think they executed the challenge really well but to pull a Nigel, they didn’t sit in the pockets of the moves at times.

Howard: That’s true. But I think they did a much better job of utilizing the whole stage this week.

LeKeith: Oh, Absolutely.

Howard: Still not perfect, but definitely better.

LeKeith: They keep improving, which is always a good sign. I’m surprised they were in the bottom 3, to be honest.

Howard: I think maybe the youth vote went to Baskin Robbins.

LeKeith: I figured Baskin Robbins would get the Youth Vote but I didn’t expect Purple Stuff to get that much of a vote. Especially not over NXT.

Howard: Well, I’m sorry to say that I think they’ll be in the bottom again next week.

LeKeith: But that’s why we watch: Like Kat Graham in the Crowd, there are always surprises!

Howard: We need to discuss the moment when Mario made me LOSE MY MIND.‬

LeKeith: When he started dancing!

Howard: Mario doing the AC Slater was the greatest thing ABDC will ever bring us. It really cannot be topped.‬

LeKeith: I KNOW!

Howard: I did like that Bailey was the last man standing for once. He got out of the corner!

LeKeith: With the Girliest Move in the Whole Show!

Howard: The butt bump! They just better be ready to bring the heat again next week.

LeKeith: Yup! What did you think of Fanny Pak?

Howard: I LOVED IT. It finally felt like Fanny Pak Classic.

LeKeith: Oh, Thank Jeebus! I loved it so much.

Howard: I could gush about it for a while. I’m so happy that they highlighted the opening.

LeKeith: Yes! I thought of you for that one too.

Howard: It’s such a little thing, to have to people moving in the opposite direction as they spread out. But Lil’ Mama was right – it was incredibly innovative for the show.

LeKeith: That’s how you re-invent the peel off.

Howard: And the best part of it was that everyone was constantly in motion. The person who was standing still at the start ended up moving later on.

LeKeith: Yeah, that was a nice touch. At first, I thought they were out of position but then I saw it was a moving sequence. Plus, I can’t help but gush about how I thought they were Cybermen at first.

Howard: HA!

LeKeith: I was like, “What the Who?”


Howard: I also loved when Matt pulled off his pants and did it in a way that looked like it was in slo-mo. I had to rewatch it a few times, but it was definitely him and not the MTV Editing Machine.

LeKeith: Nice catch!

Howard: And thematically, there was a duality of meanings to their performance. You could see it as an ode to nonconformity and breaking out of societal norms.

LeKeith: Yup! Big Brother, 1984, Cybermen, etc.

Howard: Or you could take the more literal interpretation of the lyrics. And one by one, they’re shedding their work clothes to party because they’ve been Waiting For Tonight.

LeKeith: Yes! I think with the phrase “Robot to Rainbow,” we know which meaning Lil Mama took.

Howard: THAT WAS AMAZING. The best part was everyone just openly mocking her. JC, D-Trix, even Fanny Pak. People were just cracking up.

LeKeith: D-Trix with the snaps!

Howard: I also loved the way they slowly revealed everyone else’s colors. Tossing one person in the air. Then turning out of the group. Perfectly matched to the lyrics. And using the outfits! Unbuttoning their shirts so that the colors would be revealed through the spin!

LeKeith: Well, I like that on the heels of being dubbed a “prop” crew, they’re given the hardest prop challenge to do.

Howard: It’s true. But since “clothes” are the kind of prop that you can basically integrate into the entire routine, it worked out great. And felt like a classic Fanny Pak routine. Props that were used to accentuate the routine, not overwhelm it.

LeKeith: I completely agree. Also, they way they incorporated the lift challenge was done in line with both narratives. And there was a second lift!

Howard: Yes!

Now, I hate to ask this, but do you think that Fanny Pak is still a little too… alternative for America? Or do you think their low rankings in the past two weeks is more reflective of their less than stellar performances?

LeKeith: Oh, that’s a fair question. They might be too alternative for America still but I don’t know how many people in North Carolina watch ABDC. Bam! Topical!

Howard: HA! Hopefully Obama voted for them last night. Boom! Double topical!

LeKeith: Nice! I think it’s more the latter though.

Howard: Yeah, I hope you’re right.

LeKeith: But their performances have been different and arguably not as good as their last run so it could be a mixture of both.

Howard: Because if they can keep bringing us performances like last night, they would deserve the Season 7 crown.

LeKeith: Plus, I think the ABDC audience is even younger than it was before so with both Baskin Robbins and NXT in there, that youth vote will be tough to grab.

Howard: It’s true.

LeKeith: And I think Matt’s a handsome fella but he ain’t the pretty boy that Ian is.

Howard: C’mon, kids! Hop on board the Fanny Pak train!

LeKeith: Let’s all go from Robots to Rainbows!

Howard: HAHA! Yes! And on that awesome note, we out!

1 comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>