'America's Best Dance Crew': This was for charity, but ...
So, it took a while to get my thoughts together about Thursday's "Champions for Charity" episode of "Randy Jackson Presents America's Best Dance Crew." We've already mentioned the charities that the crews were dancing for, but now, post-show, we can discuss what we saw.
No need to wait to get to it: I think Super Cr3w came out on top, just barely eking by Quest Crew because of its unveiled member. Totally just my opinion after being there then watching it a couple of times, and I even had Quest on top at first. No, it wasn't a battle. Yes, everyone was actually really good. The show wasn't approached by the crews as any type of competitive event either, which I'm sure would make a difference. There was no fight, just a desire to show that they've grown and to entertain the crowd (while, of course, performing for a cause they each respected).
Poreotix's strong suit was always its humor and storytelling ability. The troupe showed that to the fullest with its "Alvin and the Chipmunks" routine, with some awesome tutting sequences and fast movements. Sometimes too fast to see all of the intricacies that the members put into performances. Also, the "Alvin and the Chipmunks" music was cute, but maybe it should have been mixed with a heavier beat/bass line. They were performing, but the crowd couldn't really get into it with them.
We Are Heroes was great. Really great. Its presentation was the best of the night from the action figure boxes onstage to the costuming. Nichelle in that Catwoman suit and Hiro as Barbie and Riquel as Wonder Woman and ... well, they were all awesome-looking. The dancing was great as well with pretty good formations and intricate arm movements. That drop into the splits was awesome and painful at the same time. The athleticism displayed by Aly and Nichelle also just goes to show why they came out on top in a season in which many tried to lay claim to the title.
Quest Crew. Oh, Quest Crew. The cleanliness of the tricks that this crew does -- the no-hand headstand, the air flairs, the tutting and popping -- has to be the envy of crews worldwide, and even on other planets. Steve turns a simple flip into an event with bicycle kicks. Hok's finger-tutting has very few, if any, rivals. And even with all of that, they just put together a great, highly entertaining routine. They're funny, but not as funny/goofy as Poreotix. They breakdance, but not as much as Super Cr3w. Their presentation is smooth, but not as cool as We Are Heroes or JabbaWockeez. But put it all together, and Quest Crew was a step above almost everyone.
Jabbawockeez put on a heck of a show. That's what these folks do. They've transcended just dancing or just battling to be a group that interprets music through dance better than anyone has ever done on the show, and off it. They vibed with Shaq, they know what "G" is, and they can even command enough respect in the industry to headline a Las Vegas show. Their performance was pretty flawless. Not big with tricks or difficult moves, but smooth, together and just a Jabbawockeez experience. They had the loudest sustained applause that I think I've ever heard, drowning out poor JC Chasez. They are a phenom.
If you had a favorite crew of these champions, your view of them was probably just reinforced with this charity event. I'd really like to know what everyone thought of the performances, though we all know that it's really secondary to the great causes that the crews dance for. Everyone played to their strengths, and like Omarion said of Quest Crew, they were all professionals. Even newly crowned Poreotix, who I assume had the least amount of time to come up with a routine, did OK. And the dance cypher at the end of the night? It wasn't too over-the-top when Mario Lopez called it the greatest one yet. And the TV audience was cut off. After the broadcast ended, Nichelle did two or three backflips into the circle and threw in some duck walking. Hok came in and performed, Charles and Matt Hguyen of Poreotix, and on and on. It's a lot for the next champion to live up to.
-- Jevon Phillips
Photos: We Are Heroes backstage with actor Quinton Aaron ("The Blind Side"); and Super Cr3w presenting a check to Marvelyn Brown, an activist for HIV/AIDS prevention. Credit: Mark Davis / Warner Bros.
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