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'America's Best Dance Crew': The last quest for beats

February 26, 2009 |  9:50 pm

In its most diverse season to date, the viewers of "America's Best Dance Crew" finally got it right with their choice of the final two crews.  The best, most consistent and most popular crews all season long made it to the end.

Whether that makes it anti-climactic or not is up to everyone watching, but it has played out to expectations.  The last piece was put into place when the popular Quest Crew, having to battle in the bottom two for the first time, went head-to-head with the little dancers that could, Fly Khicks.  The Miami girls are used to the position, whereas Quest Crew members may have felt like they had something to prove.  And prove it they did.

The challenge was a hip-hop decathlon. A cool plus was bringing in members from past crews to demonstrate the styles needed.  Frost from Supreme Soul got wild with some krumping, Mike from Kaba Modern displayed tutting, No. 1 b-boy Ronnie from Super Cr3w dazzled with some threading, Taeko from Fysh 'n Chicks scooted around with some housing, and K.B. from the mercurial Jabbawockeez showed the crews how to wave.  One of the tougher challenges that concentrated on dance more so than coming up with some kind of concept or theatricality.

Beat Freaks was safe, so the group's members did the challenge knowing that they were going to the finals.  But they didn't slack off. A lot of energy, as it usually is for them.  Rino, Maryss, Keeley, Lindsey, Teresa, Lady Jules, and Shorty continue to bring it.  They had expressed some fear of the krumping section, but JC Chasez later said that it was their strongest part.

The problem for Fly Khicks is that we've seen Quest Crew do most of these, maybe not krumping and housing, but the other dances.  I don't know that we've seen Fly Khicks do it ... and it showed.  Quest Crew came out and performed one of the best sequences on the show, up there with Jabbawockeez's jazzy performance, Fanny Pack's "Get Your Freak On," and Super Cr3w's James Brown ninja.  The energy in the taping room was stifling, and their tutting and krumping sections had even the usually uninspired invitee section of the crowd on their feet cheering.  Judges Lil Mama ("Y'all. Want. It!"), Shane Sparks, ("I saw every detail ... sick!"), and JC Chasez ("You nailed every section.") agreed.

Fly Khicks didn't have a chance after that, but they came out and gave it all they had.  They're not tutters or threaders or wavers, but they are dancers, and they put forth a good effort with barely any mistakes.  It didn't inspire the crowd or pump as much energy in, though ... so Fly Khicks was eliminated.  In the video below, I misspoke.  Shane didn't say that he would take Fly Khicks to Carnival, he just said that they were the crew he would most like to do choreography for.

Then Quest Crew and Beat Freaks had the chance to give the viewers/crowd a final performance to woo voters in the last dance challenge, dancing to custom-made beats that the crews put together in a studio.  Beat Freaks came out and did what it does best, spotlighting each member of the crew, popping and locking, breaking and hitting robotic movements hard, all while a huge drawing of a boom box in the background.  Not as good as their previous two performances, but solid.  Maryss From Paris (who incidently is in the process of auditioning for "Step Up 3") will tell you why you should vote for Beat Freaks.

Quest Crew brought a piano on stage and proceeded to dance around it, do headspins on it and even play it (well) while throwing in numerous tricks and flips.  It was not as action-packed as the group's previous performance, but it still wowed the crowd, and Lil Mama enjoyed the crew's jazzy vibe.  The crew, mostly Hok and D Trix, explain why you should vote for Quest Crew.

Who will win?  It's a close one, with that age-old debate of whether you vote based on this show or the entire season coming into play.  Based on this show, Quest Crew should be your champions.  But if you're going for the crew consistently best, Beat Freaks takes it. I tend to believe that the last dance challenge is a showcase to pull votes, and not a competition entry.  But who knows?  Both of these L.A.-area crews would represent well.

-- Jevon Phillips

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