*** Spoilers, derp. ***
Last week! LOL. Katy Perry? What? Yeah, I don’t know. They’re promoting her new movie about her life, etc. Overall a bit of a snoozer week, but the show is stolen unexpectedly by one crew (hint: they won last year). Instead of letting the Elektrolytes and 8 Flavahz perform by themselves, they’re performing with past champions Poreotics and We are Heroes, respectively. I.aM.mE takes the stage as reigning champions while the votes are counted or whatever.
Since my favorites have already been axed, I found myself in an unusual situation where I don’t really favor one crew over the other. Interesting. I normally have so many feelings about everything. Oh well. To find out if this activates total apathy or total bitch mode, read on after the jump!
P.S. All the times cited in the summaries refer to the full episode on MTV’s website.
Elektrolytes X 8 Flavahz Group Number – “Wide Awake”
Summary: Marcus’ push up clap from a freeze at 1:35! I like the little brushing movement at 1:39. Holding Ben’s wrists at 1:45? Cute little partnered section at 1:57. I like the glowing hands at 2:03, but not really sure how that happened… bet it looked better in person than on video, though. 8F lyrical business to more partnering. Really liked the Tamara X Marcus partnered bboying section starting at 2:30. Slo-mo cheerleader toss at 2:38.
Thoughts: Decent opener to the finale, considering it is Katy Perry & I’d never heard this song before the show. Marcus definitely stole the spotlight on this one. The rest of Elek was basically just letting him do his thing, and 8F was having some timing issues with their stunts. Definitely not the cleanest 8F perf I’ve ever seen. Hrm. Also, how many times has the stage been dark this season while Elektro was performing? LOL.
Elektrolytes X Poreotics – “Part of Me”
Summary: LOVE the moment where Poreotics comes downstage and does a bit of waacking (8:47) for us :) I also liked 8:58, where the front group went down into shablams and the people in the back did flips; it was a cool multi-level group stunt moment. Gotta love the classic Poreotics section starting at 9:06 with the super simple iso walk, ending with a group femme moment. The modified Poreotics group arm wave at 9:20 with Elektro was really dope. The partner lift (9:36) that landed and initiated a ripple effect upstage into the krump kicks by Poreotics in the back. Nice. Lol, what is Poreotics doing at 9:39? Pow-wow circle? Not quite sure why the camera cut to an overhead shot during a popping/tutting section at 9:46. End with everyone striking their crew poses.
Thoughts: Ok, before we go into the performance… Poreotics ≠ underdogs. They were def favorites from the beginning, which made their season pretty boring overall. Talk about scripting. It also looked like Poreo was workshopping Elektro from the little clips they had of them all doing super basic movements like the dougie and tutting sequences. Not sure if it’s just the camera cutting, but I didn’t see Elektro doing the tutting section that I was talking about at the end of the summary.
On a related note, this performance was tight! The choreo was clean and a lot more intricate than typical Elektro choreo. Yeah, there were tons more people onstage than in the previous sets, but there was something happening on each part of the stage, even if it was just Poreotics goofing around. This also help distract from some of the set-up for bigger group stunts. For example, the bboying section at 9:15 helped distract the cameramen from the set up of the arm wave. Seems like collaborating with Poreotics helped Elektro fix some of the issues I’ve had with them in the past. But it also appears that Elektro was pulling their own weight as well. It might just be that there are more bodies for Poreotics to create illusions with, but that group arm wave was much more visually effective with more bodies; it also allowed them to snake around and travel with it, instead of just standing there. I also appreciated how Elektro actually got into the femme sections, which helped showcase a different side of themselves. Really great final performance from these guys. Nothing for me to pick on.
8 Flavahz X We Are Heroes – “Last Friday Night (TGIF)”
Summary: WaH enters under a large sheet of purple fabric, and starts at 14:53 with a popping-boogaloo(esque) section. Damnnnnn, those girls can hit harddd (at 15:15). Group waacking section at 15:30. Enter SUMMER at 15:36! Love, love love. Flips into 1/3 botched landings, into shablams starting at 15:45. Passing of victory cape.
Thoughts: So from what I can tell, it seems like these guys went with accentuating their femininity with all the cute big-sis-little-sis stuff, which I don’t think was the best call. They threw in a lot of sass and waacking, but Poreotics X Elektrolytes did the same thing and had better execution. It felt a lot like “Look! we’re girls that can do hip hop too!” instead of going hard, while still projecting femininity. There’s a difference between being something and projecting it. The only time where I felt that they actually projected that balance of intensity and femininity was Summer’s island section. Those mad hip rolls, that little quick tilting of the head, and those smooth arm motions while being that low to the ground all while projecting this cool, collected, island girl demeanor. Fabulous. Perfection.
I think We are Heroes got a little bit shafted with the whole cape concept. I think the glittery excess fabric distracted from their technique, making it look messier than it was. Though I do have to say the whole performance felt a little frantic and disorganized. There was a lot of stuff on the same level and pretty basic use of the stage. The levels thing is actually kind of surprising considering they have built-in levels due to height differences. Most of the routine was everybody doing the same choreo, albeit, many different styles of hip hop.
I give the girls props for going for trying so many styles, but I felt that they were cramming in a lot and not really excelling at any of them. I will agree that their hits during the popping sections were really hard, but they were literally just standing there popping, and not really doing too much with it. The tiny tutting section was technically good too, but they were far apart from each other, and it wasn’t doing anything visually… which is essentially what tutting is about. Going through the movements, is again, not the same as doing something with them. It doesn’t matter how well you execute movements if you’re not actually using them for a greater visual effect. It’s something that people have been pointing fingers at all season; 8F dances to counts without actually LISTENING to what’s happening in the music, or what Ninjaboi called dancing on top of the music instead of moving through it (see ‘Choreography’ under Elektrolytes).
tl;dr – I wished that they had done what they performed last week. Seriously, I would have rather seen that performance again.
I.aM.mE – “E.T.”
Summary: I refuse. Just go watch the entire fucking performance. If I tell you anything, you’d think you can get away with not watching it. NO. WATCH IT. NOW.
Thoughts: Oh right! This is why I was upset with everything this season. I.aM.mE reminded me that it’s possible to do your own thing while completing challenges and entertaining the crowd. Wow moments don’t have to be stunts, they can be intricate choreography, insane creativity, and great showmanship. Seriously though, they all have solid technique in every foundational style allowing them to basically do whatever they want. They don’t really have limitations. ALSO, they have more stage presence even though they’re a smaller crew. UGHH. Honestly, if MTV producers are short on money, they should keep it and just recrown I.aM.mE. No, but seriously. These guys just shat on season 7. YUP.
Final Thoughts: TBH, I wasn’t invested in this finale at all. ABDC is kinda dead to me at this point after axing RNG & MWC. However, I do think if you judge on tonight’s performances, Elektrolytes definitely deserves the crown. Congratulations, boys. 8F probably didn’t need the title anyways. Half of them were already doing lots of things in the industry, and they’re certainly guaranteed tons of commercial work post-ABDC. So… kinda an everyone wins finale. LOL at Lil Mama getting no reaction from the crowd for favoring 8F.
Straight up, I’m glad the season is over. But really, I’ve been frustrated almost every Wednesday night to Thursday evening for the past two months. I actually sighed when the show ended. In all seriousness, as frustrating as this season’s been, I’m really excited to see what all these crews do after the show. Even when crews got eliminated, my Twitter feed was blowing up with axed crews doing workshops all over the LA area and people loving it. Overall, this was the most talented season by far, and the show didn’t do a great job of showcasing that. Now that everyone has gone back home to regain their sanity and start doing their own thing again, I’m sure all the fans will be much happier. I know I already am ;) See below.
FINAL Final Thoughts: Thank you to everyone who’s read any of my reviews these past two months, especially those of you who have been dropping in every week. A really big thanks to Blogging ABDC for linking to my posts every week. I couldn’t have done this without you guys (especially Nancy! thanks for all the advice). This originally started as a modest blogging project for improving myself, but quickly exploded into a monster that took over my life. Okay, I might be exaggerating… but it’s kinda accurate. I don’t regret a single minute of studying I sacrificed for getting these out in a timely fashion. I hope you’ll keep reading Intersections, now that this project has come to an end. I’ll keep writing about dance, but there are lots of other writers on this blog you should follow! We’ll keep rolling out new stuff through the summer, and all year long. Hope to see you soon.