ABDC Season 7 Week 3 – Madonna Challenge Recap

Fanny Pak! – Photo by Frank Micelotta

Originally posted April 26th, 2012 on Intersections.

Week 3: Madonna Challenge – Photo at Super Bowl Halftime Show by Kevin Mazur

***Spoiler (n.) -A device attatched to a car- usually at the rear, that changes the aerodynamic shape of a vehicle, reduces drag- which does not add downforce- and acts as a rear diffuser, eliminating a vacuum effect at the rear end of the car and improving gas milage (thanks urbandictionary.com!) Alert***

While Madonna may not have been my first choice when selecting several dance-appropriate tracks, she is certainly a pop icon/superstar. At the beginning of the episode, we learn that there is a double elimination this week and the crews do a terrible job of acting surprised – sorry guys, but it’s fine because you’re all dancers, not actors. Each crew was given one of the Madge’s tracks and instructed to take inspiration from the corresponding music videos. Once again Lil Mama is lookin’ all normal and shit. I dig. Read after the jump for links to MTV’s videos of the performances, summaries, and commentary!

Men of Fanny Pak working dem heels – Photo by Frank Micelotta

Fanny Pak – “Girl Gone Wild”
Summary: Fanny Pak was supposed to incorporate waacking into their routine while donning a pair of high heels. They used a mirror which was pretty cool.

P.S. Did anyone spot Chachi in the crowd after the performance?

Thoughts: I don’t know if it’s all the camera action, but I didn’t get a lot from this performance. There was plenty of FP’s personality, but there were no moments that stood out to me. I’m not just talking about stunts and tricks, but also the fact that nothing felt unexpected. Props to the guys rocking the heels and killing the performance, but if any group were to pull that off it would be Fanny Pak, so even that becomes a bit too easy to anticipate. It wasn’t a bad performance, but it didn’t move me and I didn’t feel like dancing afterwards.

Krumping to Madonna. Yeah that happened. – Photo by Frank Micelotta

Elektrolytes – “Hung Up”
Summary: Elektrolytes had to include krumping somewhere in their Madonna routine. Unfortunately, Chris, the best krumper in the crew, was still injured and couldn’t perform this week. The video package included a clip with Chris teaching the rest of the crew basic krumping fundamentals. There’s a small moment of finger tutting at 0:08 and a short tutting section at 0:10 that is significantly better than last week’s duck pond. The butterfly twist framed by the rest of the crew dropping into push-ups (0:15) that starts the krumping section is mad dope. There’s a pretty cool hat trick at 0:20. At 0:34 one of the boys does a cricket hop, claps his hands in mid-air, and goes straight into a flare. Whut. The freeze at 0:38 wasn’t perfect, but passable. The ending pose was cool.

Thoughts: So. Much. Better. Than. Last. Week. I realize I was harsh on these guys last week, considering Chris was injured, but it’s because I was expecting this kind of performance. Last week, the technique wasn’t there, the stunts weren’t original and the performance as a whole was underwhelming. HOWEVER, this week is a completely different story. The technique was on point; the boys demonstrated they do understand tutting principles and that they can be sharp and hit things cleanly. The use of the butterfly twist to initiate the transition to krumping, followed by the rise was AWESOME and original. The krumping was solid and the guys looked pretty clean doing it. The hat trick was pretty damn creative and cute as well. LIKE.

All of the derps. – Photo by Frank Micelotta

Mos Wanted Crew – “4 Minutes”
Summary: MWC’s challenge was popping, lol. The rehearsal vid was filled with so much nonsense about how Bam Martin can’t pop.

Bam: I don’t get it, what muscles do you use?

But honestly, what was that about? You could tell all the boys were trying their best to not start cracking up on camera. There’s a cute moment at 0:13 where the boys walk their fingers on their own arms to the word “strut.” I like the cannon at 0:16, followed by the back row kicking the front row into a knee slide. The camera shifts to Ricky doing some waving that starts the absolutely filthy partnered clock-ticking section. At 0:33, the boys start moving in slow motion, but as Puspos passes by, the people he touches/approaches begin to move in normal speed doing the same choreography as he is, but when he moves on, they return to slow motion. INSANE. The boys doing some fast ticking outwards with their hands (0:45) until they kill the last beat.

D-Trix: I was trying to think about what it would be like if you guys weren’t on this show and I can’t, you guys were meant to be here.

Thoughts: It seems that D-Trix doesn’t recall that about half the crew has already been on ABDC before, but that’s fine… Anyways, the boys killed it. I’m glad they’re not compromising their creativity to cater to a general audience. In fact, they’re doing a down right great job of entertaining the crowd while demonstrating their absurd control and artistry. Even all the grooving is on point, providing a dynamic change from some of their more conceptual sections. And to top it all off, the boys are mugging up to the camera and keeping their game faces on. Well done.

Vogue. – Photo by Frank Micelotta

8 Flavahz – “Vogue”
Summary: The opening clicks (0:03-0:04) were super sharp and all of the girls were striking appropriately Vogue poses. Kaelynn’s face at 0:09 after kicking Camren out of the center at 0:08 sets the tone for most of 8 Flavahz’ set. The girls play around with levels throughout the whole set, making their performance visually arresting. Although Lil Mama was going on and on about Kaelynn’s triple pirouette into splits (0:34, look at her fanning herself after too), her best moment, for me, was the super fast waacking section at 0:26. More insane classical technique at 0:30 by Angel. End with perfectly clean group shablams. Nbd.

Lil Mama: W-E-R-K. WERK.

Thoughts: 8 Flavahz BROUGHT IT this week. Granted, they got a great song that was totally up their alley. It was pretty obvious the girls had waacking and voguing experience, so this week wasn’t a real challenge for them. No need to detract from what they put on that stage though, DAMN. This performance defines what I mean when I say that people need to watch out for these kids. Their technique is on point and they know how to translate it into choreography. They are strong dancers and dedicated, judging from the cleanliness of their sets. Probably tied for my favorite set of the night with Mos Wanted. On a separate note, it was nice to see these girls in suits and out of those absurdly pink costumes from last week.

Bailey gettin’ it. – Photo by Frank Micelotta

RNG – “Human Nature”
Summary: RNG really focused on reinterpreting the original music video where Madonna is getting all artfully groped by a bunch of dancers. In this routine, Bailey is at the center with the girls around him. RNG pushed themselves to try thrashing instead of the isolations and small movements that they’re more comfortable with. Bailey’s opening gliding section at 0:05 was siiiick. I also loved his face when he sat down on the throne at 0:09. Gotta love Neeks taking over the throne and shoving Bailey to the ground at the end.

Thoughts: It was a good routine by RNG, but they had the misfortune of going after 8 Flavahz who absolutely killed it. It was strong, but RNG was clearly out of their element here. Granted they got a slower song that was much more difficult to work with. I think they did a good job playing with the dynamics of the song and that they committed to what they were doing, but I still think we’re going to see a lot more from RNG if they can survive on the show.

The most normal these guys ever look. – Photo by Frank Micelotta

Stepboys – “Ray of Light”
Summary: The boys wake up and lick a lollipop creepily together at 0:09. The house step at 0:16 is pretty well executed. The breaking section at 0:22 is decently clean as well. Josh’s fish-out-of-water stunt at 0:27 is pretty dope. The Stepboys had me for a second, but then quickly lost me again at the repeated nose-picking and booger eating at 0:35. Not necessary. The hand hops? handstand? at 0:41 was messy and wasn’t executed well at all. The ending was kinda derpy too.

Thoughts: I think the costumes were distracting and made it even harder to take these guys seriously. I give them props for trying to do a lot more choreography this week, but it didn’t feel as genuinely Stepboys, as D-Trix implied. I’m just frustrated with these guys being on the show considering that I appreciate the dancing of all of the eliminated crews more. Blah.

Wheee – Photo by Frank Micelotta

Collizion Crew – “Don’t Tell Me”
Summary: Collizion stars off in a cool formation where Kidd Mogley pretends to be a banjo? guitar? The flip at 0:09 could have been cleaner. There was a cute tap section into the James Brown split at 0:28. The line dancing into the locking section with Joker’s leg drop was by far my favorite section of the performance (0:31-0:37). The routine ends with the boys forming a bull complete with a matador and bull whipper.

Thoughts: I agree with JC on the fact that Collizion got the toughest song this week and did pretty damn well, all things considered. Overall, I thought the performance was solid with some good moments. The routine was filled with simply good dancing, deploying tricks/stunts carefully while doing a good job of keeping the audience entertained. Not only did I like the combination of country and locking, but Collizion executed it extremely well. Considering how tragic the locking was on last week’s episode, I’m quite pleased with Collizion’s locking technique. Solid performance.

The moment. – Photo by Frank Micelotta/PictureGroup

Funkdation – “Give Me All Your Luvin’”
Summary: First, what was up with the subtitles in the video package? It’s not like Guillermo was unintelligible; it wasn’t at all difficult to understand what he was saying. Rude subtitles are rude. The routine starts off rather cheerleadery with a massive toss by Scarlett (who is a ridiculous gymnast/acrobat in Mexico, if I remember correctly). The cannon at 0:21 was pretty cool. The steam coming out of the ears at 0:27 was also fun to look at, but I’m not quite sure why it happened. The dubstep section was fairly messy; the popping is still not up to par (0:39).

Thoughts: I honestly don’t have a lot of feelings about this performance. I didn’t really see anything new or different in Funkdation’s routine and their technical deficits didn’t really improve at all. They relied way too heavily on Scarlett’s acrobatic abilities and spent so much time prepping/framing her stunts that I think it didn’t really give them a chance to do much else. The dancing that they did do was high energy, but I didn’t really feel it.

Fierce. – Photo by Frank Micelotta/PictureGroup

Irratik – “Express Yourself”
Summary: I’m not sure exactly what the costume department was going for with these outfits, but I was not digging them. Like honestly, what is this? There’s some cool technical shit at 0:12. The jump at 0:16 was really too low to be appreciated and therefore was a tad awkward, though that might have been due to the camera angle as well. The chains at 0:25 were intense, but didn’t really fit with the music for me. I did like the push ups at 0:41, though they did pause when getting into the formation.

Thoughts: I’m just a bit confused about Irratik’s performance. Maybe the costumes were distracting me too much, but I wasn’t sure how the choreography fit with the music. First, those costumes only “express” their midsections, and are otherwise restricting and tight. The chains seem a bit ironic to me as well. I associate self-expression with freedom and opening oneself, but chains have the opposite connotation. The girls did throw the chains away at the end, but that wasn’t the big moment in their choreography–the crawling around with chain leashes was. I’m a bit disappointed since I thought Irratik was going to do better, but considering they haven’t done anything to really define themselves on the show, I’m not that surprised that they went home.

Eliminated: Funkdation & Irratik

Final Thoughts: Bye, bye, international crews. America takes over America’s Best Dance Crew, typs. I’m actually happy with the judges’ decision to save Collizion, but I still wish the Stepboys weren’t on the show.

And that’s it for the week! Make sure you come back next week to catch the Week 4: Drake Challenge Recap!

To watch the full episode, check out MTV.com.

P.S. I’m stoked for Drake.

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