ABDC Season 7 Week 5 – J. Lo Challenge

8F – Photo by Frank Micelotta

Originally posted May 10th, 2012 on Intersections.

Week 5: J. Lo Challenge


Week 5 of America’s Best Dance Crew Season 7: Return of the Superstars challenged the crews with the task of channeling Jennifer Lopez. MTV brought the superstar’s recently named lead choreographer and boyfriend, Beau Casper “Smart,” to help the crews learn a few of J. Lo’s moves.

DJ Pauly D was doing his thing during commercial breaks. Not a big fan of the camera panning around the audience capturing all the awkward non-dancers (side note: anyone spot Lil Mama X D-Trix or Chachi?). This week, the bottom three crews faced elimination, making the judges’ decision even tougher.

@chachigonzales: Did I totally meet Pauly D?? YUP! And guess who he did the fist pump with…ME!! Hahaha http://instagr.am/p/KO-vTOOccq/

Weekly Lil Mama Fashion Report: Not sure how I feel about Lil Mama’s hair this week. Also her bracelet kept making noises when she was commenting.

Read after the jump for pics, links to the performances, summaries, & thoughts!

Little girls should not be making these faces. – Photo by Frank Micelotta

8 Flavahz – “Let’s Get Loud”
Challenge: 1.) Salsa 2.) Incorporate trumpets into routine.
Summary: Angel didn’t perform this week due to her mother’s death. Costumes were yucky. Start off with crazy lift/spins (0:02-0:05), nbd. The spin at 0:08 was right on the beat. The cha cha step from 0:11-0:15 on the hands was dooope. Great partnering moment at 0:20-0:22. More ridiculous flexibility at 0:34. Cue acrobatics sequence at 0:45.

Thoughts: Considering the challenge was to dance a style that they don’t normally do, I say that 8F did an incredible job. I’m actually glad they got pushed a little harder this week because they were forced to downplay their peppy cheerleader side. This routine was a lot more mature than most of their past routines. I was a little worried that 8F might have peaked too early in the season with “Vogue,” but this routine is pretty much on the same level if you take into account the fact that voguing is totally up their alley.

Jun. – Photo by Frank Micelotta

Mos Wanted Crew – “On the Floor”
Challenge: 1.) Part of routine has to have crew lying down on the floor 2.) Get audience to participate in the J. Lo choreography.
Summary: MWC dressed as mechanics? Yes. I know Lil Mama was gushing over Ian’s sexy face, but I think Jun brought the intensity (see above & 0:07).

Lil Mama (to Ian): You sir ARE mos wanted!

Obtain knee drop from MWC dance vocab box, drop into routine, success at 0:15. The completely floor level section (0:19-0:24) was cute, and did utilize the aerial camera, but not as cool as I.aM.mE’s section last year. More of Ian seducing the camera/audience/Lil Mama at 0:25. Lando’s absurdly fast footwork at 0:40. I liked the dynamic change at 0:43. MWC grooved through the J. Lo choreography like it was a piece of cake.

@ChrisTrondsen: RT @erienoja525@ChrisTrondsen tell @Ian_Eastwood to cut his hair short, so we can always see that gorgeous face of his ahaha –> lolol

Thoughts: Top two irritating things: 1.) one of Mos Wanted’s challenges was to incorporate J. Lo choreo… which essentially means there was even less MWC choreo this week –> essentially MWC lost 10-20 seconds of their routine. I understand that this was an issue many of the crews had, but it bothers me the most with MWC because they take the full minute to develop their concepts and narratives. This week they couldn’t really do that; they spent the time before the lights went up and the first couple seconds to establish why they’re wearing what they’re wearing then go straight into the dancing. 2.) The camera cut away from Mos Wanted to the audience doing the moves awkwardly. NO. You’re already making them do someone else’s choreography, at least give them the full camera time while they do it.

This is something I touched on last week, but I think I’ve been underwhelmed by Mos Wanted’s recent routines because I expect nothing but the best from these guys. If anyone else was doing their choreography, we would all be amazed, but the fact is we expect so much more. Also, MWC is not choosing the music their dancing to, or the costumes, or the challenges. They’re incredibly limited in what they can do onstage, if they want to survive in this competition. While that pushes them to be more creative, there’s only so much they can do while being as true to themselves as they can be within the confines of ABDC.

P.S. Chachi has been flipping a shit on Twitter in regards to people trolling MWC on the ABDC hashtag. Lol.

@chachigonzales:…FOCUS ON THE REAL DANCING. Mos wanted kills in reality. cmon. you guys know better than that!!!! vote @moswantedcrew

@chachigonzales: Think about the challenge they were given. I know what it’s like to get a sucky challenge. So really think before voting for a “cute adorable” crew. Put a crew to the top that deserves it. Mos works really hard. Sorry just bothers me when people are so quick to say it was bad without really focusing on the performance and the genius behind it. It’s ridiculous.

BEN. – Photo by Frank Micelotta

Elektrolytes – “Get right”
Challenge: 1.) Build a subway. 2.) Use canes.
Summary: Huge (Elektro standard) flip (0:06) starts the dancing. Ben hits some pirouettes in sneakers (0:11) and then goes into vertical splits as someone else does a huge butterfly twist over him (0:14), nbd. Elektro takes their time to get into the subway section (assemble from 0:21-0:24), which wasn’t all that impressive. The groovy transition (0:29-0:33) after that was my favorite part of the routine – look at Ben go, he MURDERS this set. Sal (?) drops his cane, and looks kind of upset about it at 0:32. He does pick it up right away and doesn’t let it affect the rest of the performance. The fight choreography (starts at 0:49) was pretty cool, but Ben wasn’t as badass as Chachi on Season 6 – I mean, Chachi’s tiny, it’s awesome to see her beat people up. Elektro’s reactions to getting hit were more impressive though.

JC Chasez (to Ben): Those are some longs legs you got man.

Thoughts: I thought the routine was definitely entertaining. It was nice to see Elektro do something a little more conceptual and less stunt heavy. Again, Ben KILLED this set and definitely stood out from everyone else. While it was cool to see Elektro highlight one member, it felt as if everyone else was either unnecessary or underpar in comparison. Ben wasn’t just killing it with stage presence and theatricality, but his technique and confidence in the moves was above and beyond everyone else’s. If everyone could just get on Ben’s level, Elektro would become a serious force in this competition.

10:27 – Nancy (BloggingABDC): Is this the Occupy ABDC dance?

Atlanta swag. – Photo by Frank Micelotta

Collizion Crew – “Jenny from the Block”
Challenge: Bronx –> locking & bboying
Summary: Collizion starts off in old school bboy stances and go into a basic footwork section (0:00-0:04). Thank you stupid camera work for hiding the turntable/DJ set up Collizion created in the back (0:02-0:03). Cue locking section at 0:08. The boys transition to a locking section on the ground and move into another bboy section at 0:14 with old school bboy downrock. There’s a popping/boogaloo section/solo? at 0:29-0:32 (not sure because of camera), followed by a REALLY unimpressive butterfly twist (0:33). THE KNEE GLIDE (0:38-0:40). OMGAH. I can’t say that they killed the J. Lo section (0:42-0:48) after that though. Ending formation (0:50) was cool.

Thoughts: Lol “challenge”… at least that’s what I thought when it was first announced, but Collizion surprised me, and not in a good way. I assumed that they would kill it this week since their challenge isn’t really a challenge for them. They’re definitely supposed to be comfortable in all street styles, but I was surprised by how unauthentic it was. The locking section felt a lot more like choreography and didn’t have the spontaneity and true showmanship that’s essential to locking. There was no soul to it, just movement after movement. That’s how the routine as a whole felt, as well. In these older hip-hop styles, there’s supposed to be more funk and Collizion should definitely know what I’m talking about since they were founded as a battle crew. Honestly, I’m really disappointed with these guys and think they could’ve done much better.

Yes, Bailey. – Photo by Frank Micelotta

RNG – “Feelin’ So Good”
Challenge: Incorporate 90’s dance crazes.
Summary: From the beginning of the routine, RNG brings the energy. Really great musical section from 0:07-0:11. Marina milks the camera at 0:12. My favorite section was 0:25-0:30. Dope. I’m not really sure how to summarize this routine since it wasn’t really a set of moments, but a constant flow of hype and straight murder. During the judge’s comments, Mario Lopez relives his AC Slater days.

@ChrisTrondsen: I agree. @RNGDancers1 should’ve got called 1st. They were everything tonight. They did that. No one can deny that. #ABDC

Thoughts: Aside from making us all feel old for being 90’s kids, I agree with Chris Trondsen, RNG was my favorite performance of the night. In some ways their challenge was difficult, and not because they aren’t 90’s kids, but because they were told to do a lot of simple party moves that are difficult to make impressive. However, RNG brought it this week; their perfectly clean execution and energy level were above and beyond everyone else this week. There wasn’t a single thing out of place tonight. They killed it. LOVED their costumes as well. I see you, Bailey, rocking the Vanilla Ice hair.

STRIP. – Photo by Frank Micelotta

Fanny Pak – “Waiting for Tonight”
Challenge: Costume change in middle of routine.
Summary: TOTAL COP OUT IN TERMS OF THE CHALLENGE! Are you kidding me?! Stripping is should not count as a costume change. Sorry. FP starts with a robotic section, dressed in metallic dark grey suits. When Matt rips off his suit and mask at 0:23, he reveals a colorful outfit underneath (see above) and starts bouncing around with energy. As each member strips the robotic layers, they switch from restrained robotic movements into freer, more authentic FP style & sass. The house section (starts at 0:44) was dope.

10:49 – Nancy (BloggingABDC):Nice headgear. TV sets or beekeepers?

Thoughts: I really like the concept behind this routine, but I felt that the second half of the performance was too short. I wanted more! While I think it was cool for FP to start with more in-the-box choreography at the beginning of the routine, it took up way too much of their routine. I wished they had established that more quickly and transitioned into the lively section earlier. This routine was interesting because FP demonstrated that they’re fully capable of doing lifeless dimestops and popping movements, but that they choose NOT to and how much more fun everyone has when they just do them.

Eliminated: Collizion Crew

Final Thoughts: Between the bottom 3 crews, I would have made the same decision as the judges. I’m sad because I do love all 6 of these crews. However, Collizion has not made the same amount of progress that RNG and FP have been making in the competition. RNG gets better and better every week and FP has been pushing themselves to evolve as the competition goes on. Collizion has generally just stayed in their comfort zone – not that the challenge this week boxed them in or anything. Great run on the show, and I can’t wait to see what they’ll do from here.

Alrighty, that’s it for this week! Check back next week for the Pitbull challenge recap! Kbai.


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