A Saturday afternoon is an unusual time to premiere a casting special for one of MTV’s better and more popular shows, America’s Best Dance Crew. Just as strange is the fact that it’s a two-and-a-half hour long episode in which we’ll meet the dance crews competing in season 2, followed by an hour-long special in which season 1 winner JabbaWockeeZ and Shane Sparks perform a dancing tutorial.
I’ll admit to not watching America’s Best Dance Crew (or ABDC) from the start, but many of my colleagues at BuddyTV raved about the amazing dance moves, so I checked out the finale and was simultaneously terrified and in awe of the JabbaWockeeZ. The most surprising part was how much fun everyone seemed to be having. It’s not a competition so much as an exhibition, a chance for people to do what they love and to entertain audiences.
Mario Lopez is back to let us know this live audition special will feature the top 14 crews that will be narrowed down to the 10 that will get to perform for your votes starting on June 19. To prove how big this special is, JabbaWockeeZ will perform and creator Randy Jackson is here to. There’s no change to the judges: Shane Sparks, Lil Mama and JC Chasez.
We get to see auditions from the four regions: New York City, Houston, Chicago and Los Angeles. According to Randy Jackson, season 1 was blazing, but season 2 is molten. With all these levels of hotness, he should really release his own Tabasco sauce line. Each region has four finalists who will perform, then the judges will pick the three moving forward to the show. First, the four crews from the East Coast at the NYC auditions.
Phresh Select: These are six rather cocky guys and we learn they used to be rivals, but are now proud to show a united Philadelphia. They have some entertaining moves with some cool flips, and Shane Sparks warns them to come harder with more creativity.
Sass x7: Seven cute Jersey girls who met on the Rutgers dance team. They’re kind of like air-headed cheerleaders, though the ladies attempt to explain the difference between cheerleading and a dance squad. Their performance is all cheerleading, and the judges call them out on it.
Shhh!: Yet another all-girl Jersey group, but they’re also the first all-Latin crew on the show. Their name’s origin is that, while brainstorming for a name, all the girls were talking over each other which prompted a “Shhh.” Their routine is kind of dull until they rip open their shirts and start dancing in their bras.
Boogie Bots: A Washington D.C. crew with a similar story to JabbaWockeeZ in that one member’s father recently went into a coma, so it’s all for him. They’re named for Saturday morning cartoons like Voltron and Transformers, because they’re better when they unite as one. They give a shot-out to a cop who pulled them over for speeding on the way to the auditions. They have potential, but it’s nothing too awesome and judges encourage them to keep going bigger and better because this is season 2.
The judges confer and decide that Shhh! is going home. The audience is quite vocal with its booing, and I’d agree, but neither would have made it past the first two or three weeks anyway. The mid-West is next with auditions from Chicago.
A.S.I.I.D. (And So It Is Done): This group includes a deaf guy named Joey, which is quite cool. They’re solid with tons of energy.
Full Effect: They’re dressed like homeless bums and look a bit like the kids from Fat Albert. They’re theatrical and like to do something call footwork. They live up to that introduction though there isn’t much difficulty.
Xtreme Dance Force: They complain that they don’t get respect, which is probably due to the fact that they look like the rejects from an Abercrombie and Fitch casting call. In spite of that, they deliver hardcore, with visually astonishing moves and tons of energy. Somehow, they’re the single best crew so far, and Lil Mama gives it up for the group of white boys.
Sadly, the judges have to cut one of the mid-West teams, despite the fact that all three are infinitely better than Sass x7. Full Effect is sent home. The South is on tap with auditions in Houston.
SoReal Cru: A second generation crew, they’re fond of fist-pound explosions. They have tons of creativity and humor in their routine, and basically all these middle of the country crews are putting my East Coast to shame.
History: These guys came from rough backgrounds, but are now in college and dressed in brightly colored dress shirts and vests. They also rock it out with the stunts, but the judges criticize them because they don’t think they’re particularly strong individual dancers.
Distorted X: Five girls and two guys, though when Shane Sparks asks about working with the guys, one of the ladies pretends she didn’t even realize they were male. Another female has a brother who is some MMA fighter. It’s just OK and Lil Mama calls them out on the lack of difficulty.
The judges cut History. Finally, it’s off to the West in Los Angeles.
Super Cr3w: These guys are all b-boys, and highly credentialed at that. Indeed, these guys bust out plenty of incredibly b-boys moves, most notable one where one guy does a flip off another guy’s back while another one slides between his legs. I’m going to enjoy watching these guys do some insane stuff.
Fanny Pak: They’re from the Valley, grew up in the ’80s and wear fanny packs. That’s all I need to know to love them. It’s funky and weird, but they have some very nice group stuff.
Supreme Soul: Wearing Varsity jackets, they’re rivals to the JabbaWockeeZ. Their performance has a wide range of skills, and I’m most impressed by a nice slo-mo routine.
Team Millennia: Yawn, a lot of their work is subtle and kind of dull. The most interesting part is one of them talking about her mother’s Filipino candle dancing, which I’d much rather watch.
The judges correctly decide to cut Team Millennia, and once again, the audience is unruly with boos, but I don’t understand how anyone can boo a fanny pack. With the top 10 crews set, America’s Best Dance Crew reigning champion JabbaWockeeZ come out to show these fools how it’s done and they’re as creepy, crazy and cool as ever.
-John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image courtesy of MTV)