3 Houston crews make it to MTV
Houston, you deserve a hand clap.
I’ve only been here two weeks as an intern at the Chronicle, and despite my best efforts to not be dazzled by the city, you finally got me. It was the fact that three three dance crews from your fair metropolis are representing on America’s Best Dance Crew.
MTV and American Idol judge Randy Jackson had a good thing going earlier this year, pitting hip hop dance teams from across the nation against each other, and they wasted no time scheduling the second season.
The aforementioned Houston teams are the sole three crews in the south region. Auditions were held here, but teams came from all over the state and as far away from Atlanta. The catch: only two teams would move on from the live casting special in Los Angeles. So similar to American Idol, it’s great to make it to Hollywood, but the battle has just begun.
I must confess, I didn’t expect to be much of a ABDC fan, but the fandom hit another level after Season 1 favorite Live in Color was eliminated early. Ratings were obviously good enough for MTV to rush to Season 2, and with school out for summer it’ll likely give them more highs.
This season’s casting special showed that not much has changed since the March 27 finale. Chasez (of N’Sync fame), Lil’ Mama (rapper, “Lip Gloss”) and Shane Sparks (hip hop choreographer, sometimes seen on So You Think You Can Dance). Idol’s Jackson, as in the unnecessarily long titled Randy Jackson Presents ABDC makes the first of his requisite two appearances per season, and then the real action begins.
Auditions were held in New York, Chicago, LA and Houston, making up the East Coast, Midwest, West Coast and South regions, respectively. Choreographer Napoleon Dumo and casting director Michelle McNulty are back handing out casting special invites, Cheap Jerseys free shippingstarting in NY.
Phresh Select, Philadelphia: McNulty criticized these b boys for their cockiness right from the start, but were downright goofy before their performance. They started off harkening back to the Nick Cannon movie Drumline, and they went on to spin and flip as well. Sparks wasn’t impressed, telling them to step it up.
“Y’all need to come a little harder. I need a little bit more creativity,” he said. “You got to remember we just did this show, and lot of stuff y’all did we’ve seen before.”
Sass x7, Piscataway, New Jersey: These Rutgers University women some who graduated just last week hate being called cheerleaders (they’re dancers, mmkay?), but the judges don’t seem to care. Sparks basically gushes over them, sickeningly almost, and calls them “cute” cheerleaders both before and after they perform.
Granted, they did somewhat resemble Laker Girls with the cut up, numbered jerseys and volleyball shorts, but their dance experience is evident. Plus their age hopefully gives them a level of maturity, something that could make ABDC even more diverse. Ironically, they’re not very quiet about it, and throw quite a bit of salsa into their choreography.
They didn’t do much for me, but the judges seem to like ’em. They only advise them to be cleaner in their movements. Jabbawockeez distinguished themselves early on by dancing while masked, and Boogie Bots’ theme is that of their favorite shows growing up Voltron, Transformers and Power Rangers.
Now they’re not wearing wacky costumes, they just really believe in them being a team, and occasionally they combine their powers to become something even more amazing.
It’s not all that groundbreaking, but they were entertaining and are a lock to compete this season. Plus, crew member Joesar’s father recently fell into a coma. Sure to get some sympathy votes.
East Coast finalists: Phresh Select, Boogie Bots and Sass x7. Shhh! whimpers back home. And So It Is Done ABDC has it’s own Marlee Matlin. Like the actress who competed on this season’s Dancing with the Stars, the Motown crew has a deaf dancer, Joey.
Joey says he can’t hear the music, just has to learn the moves. His group members say they often have to catch up with his level of energy.
“What a find!” says the casting director in me. McNulty cried after telling the group the were going to LA. really did liven up the show, although I don’t know if it was just their moves of the compassion one feels for Joey to succeed.
Full Effect, Chicago: This theatrical group auditioned and performed on the stage with a homeless bum theme. Full Effect is big on “footwork,” which one member said started a while back with house music but is becoming real mainstream. Sparks made sure we knew that he knew what they were talking about although they did a great job of showcasing it and said the game went to yet another level.
Xtreme Dance Force, Naperville, Ill.: Xtreme made the Midwest region a tough one.
“It took a group of white boys to come turn it up, huh?” said Lil’ Mama.
The crew said they’re not respected for coming from the suburbs and because of their boy band looks, but they were on point and clean. This’ll be a close one.