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'America's Best Dance Crew': A Supreme shame

July 25, 2008 | 11:58 am

Does everyone understand the name of this show?  "America's Best Dance Crew." Yes, best is a relative term, of course, but common sense usually wins out, the cream rises to the top, etc. So WHY has Super Cr3w been at the bottom for two weeks in a row?  And why, oh why, was Supreme Soul at the bottom this week?

As in college basketball and football, we can only surmise that there's some kind of East Coast bias going on. We don't mean to pile on Boogie Bots. They are good guys and are probably feeling a bit low after Lil Mama called them out specifically in saying they they didn't excite her. But I have to wonder how they've escaped at least not being in the bottom two the last few weeks. Mario agreed. All the judges agreed. So America needs to agree.  It is still about voting, but it should also be about fair.  This week's challenge was to use objects to make musical sounds, and it was high-school themed.

So Real Cru

In this "Stomp"-style challenge, SRC got to be band members. They used the instruments and choreography well (not playing them, but making music with them nonetheless).  Not a particularly standout routine, but solid. JC: "The challenge was to use these props to make things sound musically, and you did it very, very well."  Lil Mama: "Y'all have a smooth way of coming so hard."

Fanny Pak

Now, the creative crew.  For their challenge, Fanny Pak was in gym class, and of course they made an interesting story out of it.  Using the whole stage, they created a nuanced performance. The fat kid.  the gossip girls. The mean gym teacher. The sleeper. The high school lovers. Great mini-story, but technically not one of their best. Good choreography, but not much actual dancing. It may catch up to them. Lil Mama said she wanted to "see more come out of their fanny packs." JC said that this was a time when "the props may have given them difficulty."

Boogie Bots

The DC crew was the volleyball squad. Not much memorable here. A spike here, water bottle coordination there. The "Flashdance"-type of celebration at the end was cool, but it wasn't a dance move. JC even spoke about the use of props by the group: "The big booms [in music] created by the little water bottles just didn't quite make sense." We hear you, JC.

Super Cr3w

Bottom two again, they came out firing.  Flips from all sides, including a crew member flipping off of the (7-foot?) rim on a basketball court. And that was their challenge, to be a basketball team. They did some break-dancing on top of basketballs, a lot of group choreographed moves, and ended it with a pose 'n' dunk.  Not as high-flying as their Superman or Ninja performances, but enough to cause Shane to say that he "was totally blown away" and that they "just blew my mind tonight." JC said that it didn't make sense that Super Cr3w and Supreme Soul were at the bottom.

And Lil Mama. Oh, Lil Mama. She went off a bit. A few choice quotes: "America, are y'all serious!?!"  "I do not get excited when I see the Boogie Bots!" "What are y'all doing? This is supposed to be the final show." Yeah, we're with you, Lil Mama.  And we saw you shed some tears after this episode.

Supreme Soul

I think that this was Lil Mama's favorite group, though she'd never say it. Their cockiness, their skill, their good hearts won her over. The group performed as a hockey team, and used their sticks well to pound out beats. Not many tricks in their routine, and not enough dancing to go with their game-time choreography. But enough to cause a huge cheer from the crowd when Super Cr3w's name was called. It was not just a cheer of triumph, it was one of relief because Supreme Soul had done enough to make it a disputed result. JC said that he liked both crews because when they dance: "They don't think in terms of boundaries."

Backstage, the director and producers were among the consolers and well-wishers for the emotional crew. They had definitely made an impression on the show's personnel. Lil Mama came back and hugged each member and told the crew members to hold their heads up and keep their "swag."

Supreme Soul's elimination also prompted this response from Shane Sparks: "Sometimes you get mad at us because we're judges. ... But you have to look at what y'all have at the bottom here." The judges all admonished America to be more balanced and cautious in their voting. 

-- Jevon Phillips