With the regionals over, we should feel that this is the actual start of the competition that is America's Best Dance Crew. Last night the crews went head-to-head within their regions and the bottom crew of each had to battle. Unlike the regionals, two crews would survive the battle. The West crews performed first. Hype 5-0 was a let down. Imma Be is a great track but it's been used in SYTYCD and now ABDC. Maybe my expectations for that song are too high. Hell I even hated when BEP performed it on the Grammys. Hype's routine seemed to lack inspiration-- at parts I felt like it lost focus or maybe it just spastic enough to where I couldn't focus. Lil' Mama translated it as nerves which is valid enough for me. Heavy Impact came out with Say Aah by Trey Songz and kept it cool. The are fixated on letting us know they are light on their feet. I didn't notice the guy was doing the heel-toe while in the back bend. Crazy talk. They didn't blow my mind, but I feel that they are committed to their movement even when it might come off sloppy. Poreotix almost bored me. I agree with the judges when they basically asked them to do more. Their performance was cleaner than their region-mates, but the isolations really blurred together to me. Maybe they should have used the Crookers remix of Day & Night instead of the original. Song choice might make or break them more than anyone one else on the show -- especially if they don't show us more than robotic movements.
Swagger Crew led in the South regionals but crash and burned to Rihanna's Hard. It was sad. They looked so stiff! It was uncomfortable. All I remember was the chick pushing the "video honey" card. Jungle Boogie surprised me with a really go routine to Luda's How Low. It was truly a TV ready routine with a whole lot of love for the South and a not to African dance. The best routines of the show are ones filled with little moments that add up to fully entertaining routine. No overarching story, just personality and well paced stunts. When a routine hits you like a combo, it's great. Royal Flush tried to get down to Down by Jay Sean, but it was just okay. The judges highlighted the crew's playfulness and variety of movement. However I'm kind of a hater, so it was still junior high-ish to me. With that said, they were not the worst of the night in my book. If they could master the unified intensity of Heavy Impact, they would be solid.
Saltare made me giggle with their routine to Pitbull's Hotel. They had several good tricks, but I can't decide of the salsa & tutting moments were cute, patronizing, or just plain weak. Lil Mama defended their risky flirtation with those dance styles with a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" pep talk. Allow me to be the hater again. It was lame. Competition is about being the best not just stepping out of your comfort zone. I can't knock Poreotix for not trying something new, yet pat Saltare on the back for trying and failing. It's game time. No E's for effort! Static Noyze retold the story of Whatcha Say with a injured member. It was a solid routine and showed passion. I commend them in making a routine where it's hard to separate the choreography from the story. My only problem is that ends up being too "big picture." I have to examine it from a far. I can't just point out moments that left me with the combo-effect that I got from Jungle Boogie. Blueprint Cru broke off from the typical song genres and delivered to "Thats Not My Name" by the Ting Tings. This crew came with all choreo and put the boys in front to shut Omarion up. It wasn't until this routine that I remembered the word "musicality." I'm not saying they embody it more than the others. It simply easier to see when I'm not paying attention to a grand story. Sorry Poreotix & Static Noyze.
At the end, Hype 5-0, Swagger, and Static Noyze had to battle to KE$HA's Tik Tok. Hype 5-0 bored me. Swagger was sloppy. Static Noyze finally gave me a moment when injured guy was quickly rotated like the hands on a clock. I was so happy because it was clear Static Noyze would be safe. I have my fingers crossed that they don't end up in the bottom any time soon. Ultimately, Swagger crew was the first to have their banner fall. The YouTube that Shit award goes to Jungle Boogie. I didn't see that one coming. Next week is video challenge week. I think this would be a good chance for Poreotix and Saltare to shut me up. Let's see if they can do it.