'America's Best Dance Crew': And the winner is ...
Whether it was Beat Freaks or Quest Crew, season 3's "Randy Jackson Presents America's Best Dance Crew" winner was going to be a hard-working, talented, extremely popular, local (to Los Angeles) group.
Each crew fit the description, and you can add athletic to both, high-flying to Quest, and female to Beat Freaks. The female tag became a big thing, but there was still the little matter of dancing it out.
In the finale show, all of the crews were brought back, and each performed in groupings decided by the judges. Shane Sparks got to be up first, picking Quest Crew, Dynamic Edition and Strikers All-Stars. With two precision squads like Dynamic and Striker, you knew this would look good. Everyone got a spotlight, and in the end, clogging ruled as the three crews got into it. A fun and energetic performance that also put a spotlight on one of the most blatant sponsor placements ever when crew highlights were shown on a T-Mobile phone. It was so off-the-wall that it was actually funny, as I hope it was meant to be.
Don't watch the video if you don't want to know who wins yet!!
Next up was JC Chasez' crew mash-up: Beat Freaks, Boxcuttuhz and Team Millennia. JC noted their creativity as being the main reason he picked them. The Beat Freaks provided the only really memorable sections of this performance, as it was not as exciting as the first grouping.
Oh, look -- stars in the audience. We see Lil Jon and Lil Kim, Shenae Grimes ("90210") and Shannon Elizabeth. I guess that's cool, but the star quotient this season seemed to have dropped. Back to the dance ...
And Lil Mama's chance to showcase her three crews: Ringmasters, Fly Khicks, and GOP Dance. You remember them, right? Breakers/latin dancers from Puerto Rico (ho!). They helped bring the Latin flavor to the stage with Fly Khicks. As Ringmasters and Fly Khicks hung off of the side of the stage, GOP did a nice little break dance routine. The crews played off of each well, and the Fly Khicks/GOP Dance Latin number was memorable.
The last joint performance of the night was Quest Crew and Beat Freaks together. It was what you thought it was: the best performance of the night for both crews. Teaming with Beat Freaks gave Quest a more old-school vibe, and, as it's been noted, for Quest their performane rise when their competition does well. For Beat Freaks, they got to, again, show off their b-girl skills.
Then came the moment of truth. Mario milked it for as much drama as he could. Then QUEST CREW was named America's best dance crew. A lot of us were a litle surprised, but anyone who watched knew that Quest's las two performances helped them surge ahead at the end of what was probably a tight race. The judges and others had hyped Beat Freaks all season, but when the vote went to the people, the charming (as Lil Mama called them), talented crew got the win.
Great group, great champion, great season. More diversity than ever, and in terms of the taent level of crews, may be hard to ever top this. Who knows if they'll even try since there's still no word on season 4! But somewhere, some crew is flexing, krumping, threading, clogging, line-dancing, stepping, waving or doing a dance we haven't heard of, and hoping for their chance to shine. After three seasons of talented crews battling it out, they'll have a lot to live up to.
-- Jevon Phillips