'America's Best Dance Crew': Final face-off
SoReal Cru vs. Super Cr3w. The smooth vs. the B-Boys. The Dirty South vs. the Wild West. The fists vs. the fingers.
It had built up for a week. The Fanny Pak letdown had subsided (a little), though they were on hand to witness the final battle. During the show, Fanny Pak shouts often filled the Warner Bros. warehouse where the show is filmed. If the group was bitter, they didn't let it show, and despite earlier assertions, they also didn't let any bias toward either crew play out. They wore supportive shirts for both squads and cheered them on.
A real task this week for the crews: three challenges. A world beat challenge, a create-your-own-dance task, and a crew choice selection. This is what they do, yes, but coming up with three routines in less than a week has to be difficult, and it has to produce a letdown.
Super Cr3w came out blazing. Their world beat performance showed that, more than any other crew, these B-Boys have grown and adapted. The criticism is always "Oh, all they do is breakdance." Definitely not true, though they do incorporate it into all that they do. They're style (and Fanny Pak's) was the most recognizable when melding challenges.
SoReal Cru came out extremely flat. They were offbeat and at times could not maintain the rhythm, and Ailyn and the others often just looked lost. Lil' Mama said they "struggled" and needed to pick it up. Shane Sparks brought up how the African, Brazilian, Indian and other dances showed a natural internal rhythm, and people with a "and one and two" dance sensibility would have problems. So as of now, it seemed to be Super Cr3w -- 1, So Real Cru -- zero.
In the create-a-dance segment, Super Cr3w was not crisp at all. A few flips were mistimed, Mike's elbow slide was pretty disastrous, and though Super Cr3w supporters would probably like their "S to the chest" dance and song, JC Chasez pointed out that it wasn't all-inclusive. Lil' Mama told them to step it up and Shane thought their created dance was cool, but that it could've been the weakest performance they'd ever done on the show.
SoReal Cru's fist-pump "Smash it up" dance and song was not as elaborate as the "S to the chest," but they performed it with so much energy. They got the crowd involved, brought out Hulk hands for maximum "explosion" power and generally looked like they were trying to have fun. Brian's enthusiasm and athleticism in this challenge, and throughout the season, was infectious. On the dance creation, it's a draw, but SoReal's routine probably helped them edge closer. SoReal Cru -- 1, Super Cr3w -- 1.
In the crew selection, many thought Super Cr3w would rip it with some crazy, spectacular, death-defying stunt -- but they didn't. Back to the beginning they went with James Brown ('Give it up, turn it loose'), spotlighting some visually simple B-Boy moves, then coming together for some floor work. More thematic than flashy, the routine did what the challenge called for: showed what this crew is all about. Many pigeonhole them into being "just breakers," but this crew has been paying homage to a lifestyle within dance (B-Boy) that even throughout the show, with or without tricks, was always questioned as being a one-trick style. Hopefully that mentality has been broken.
SoReal Cru came into their last challenge wanting to shed light on the Dirty South, using Lil Wayne's "A milli" as the vehicle. Shane said this performance may have been their best of the season and JC said that the group came out and showed that they wanted to fight. That's how it played out on stage too. Lots of energy, a little bit of a chip on their shoulders, the crew performed a routine that wasn't spectacular in terms of moves. But again, the energy, the bit of showmanship with the straitjackets, Hannibal Lecter masks and 'grills', showed that this crew came to win. They helped prove it when performing the uncomfortable sexy duets in the Janet Jackson portion, and they showed lots of spirit here.
It was a close battle, and though Super Cr3w is popular and has been extraordinary throughout the season, I don't know if they've got enough vote support to overcome SoReal Cru (unless the Fanny Pakers and Supreme Souljahs support the West Coast). Super Cr3w didn't break out that over-the-top trick, and SoReal did more than enough to make this come down to voting for your crew.
A great season, filled with high-flying moves, wildly creative dancing, the suburbs representing, voting disappointments and more. With the tour dates announced and even extended, most will get to see some of their favorite crews from this season and last season performing somewhere near them starting Sept. 18th in Miami. Here's a final plea for votes from both crews.
Who should win? You tell me. Come back today at noon PST to chat about your favorite crews.
-- Jevon Phillips
(Photos courtesy MTV)