We are finally into the National competition with the remaining 9 crews competing for a chance to be crowned America’s Best Dance Crew. This is where the season would usually kick off in the past, but I’m sure due to the success of the show, we were shown 3 regional episodes before getting to this point, but this is where it all matters. The final 9 crews all performed last night without any sort of assigned challenge, which we’ll be seeing in the coming weeks, so this was basically just a “show us your stuff” round. I guess it was a “Chart Topper Challenge, which was basically just having the groups use popular songs. And while some of the groups showed us exactly what they are made of, some of the other groups fell short. I was pretty disappointed in the group that the judges let go last night only because I was such a fan of them in the regional competition, but that’s how this show works, if you have a bad performance you’re going to be going home. So with that said, let’s get to the groups. Since this is the first round I’m going to keep my recap a little shorter for each group, otherwise this post will go on for days.
First up was Hype 5-0 performing to a master mix featuring Imma B by the Black Eyed Peas. They impressed me in the regionals, but only in their battle performance and while they were pretty good last night I didn’t think it was anything spectacular. Sure everyone’s nervous for the first show, but their moves seemed to be a little simple and while most of their stuff was clean there were definitely a few bobbles throughout the performance. The judges didn’t think they were that great either and sent them to the bottom 3 to battle for survival. Check out the other rundowns after the jump.
Heavy Impact was up next and I wasn’t really a fan of them going in so it may have swayed my impressions of their performance. They performed to a master mix featuring Say Ah by Trey Songz and Fabolous. Personally I was bored throughout almost the whole thing, the moves didn’t seem that difficult, but maybe they were more difficult because the guys are a little bigger, but I still didn’t think the intensity was there and their formations weren’t as tight as they could have been, but it could have been camera angles, which were annoying me quite a bit last night during some performances. I may be the minority on this group because the judges seemed to love them, but I still don’t see why, so they were obviously safe and will move on.
Poreotix came out and performed to a master mix featuring Day and Night by Kid Cudi and while I did enjoy the performance I do have to agree with the judges that the isolations for an entire performance became a little old. Don’t get me wrong, the group is amazing at what they do and I think they’ll only improve from here on out with the advice they recieved from the judges. So once they figure out how to work choreography into their isolations and popping and locking, I think they will be even more dominant than they currently are. Although I think they could make it pretty far on just the iso’s alone, I think the audience loves these guys, they were safe.
Swagger Crew came next and what a disappointment. They performed to a master mix of Hard by Rihanna and what happened to these guys? I loved them when we first saw them in the regionals, but their performance this week was just uncreative. The moves weren’t terribly difficult, they walked around the stage to get into different formations and it cost them as they ended up in the bottom 3.
Going from a huge disappointment to a huge surprise, Jungle Boogie crashed the stage next performing to a master mix of How Low by Ludacris and they absolutely killed it. I wasn’t a big fan of these guys in regionals, but they were incredible this week. The energy level was insane, they danced from the very beginning to the very end, it went with the music very well and they seemed to incorporate every type of dance into one performance. Overall I thought these guys did very well and were one of the best groups this week and the judges did too as they will perform next week.
Royal Flush hasn’t been one of my favorite groups so far, but they were decent this week. Performing to a master mix featuring Down by Jay Sean ft. Lil Wayne, everything was pretty well rounded. The energy was good, they were clean for the most part, there were a few sloppy lines, but I thought this was a pretty safe performance and they did what they needed to in order to stay in the competition for at least another week.
Saltare is probably my least favorite group of this season. I know everyone kept trying to say that what they are doing isn’t a gimmick, but who are you kidding, it’s clearly a gimmick. They performed to a master mix featuring Hotel Room Service by Pitbull and right from the start it looked like a jump rope clinic. I can’t get into these guys when I don’t really see dancing. I understand that the moves they do with the jump ropes are extremely difficult and I’m definitely impressed by their skills when it comes to that, but this is a dance show not a elementary school. I just didn’t feel they had any choreography this week. Sure they had the section where they stopped and did some “tutting”, but it was only for about 5 seconds and it wasn’t difficult. I really don’t see what the judges see in these guys and still think there were other crews better that should have made it to the finals, but I’m not a judge and the judges sent them through to next week.
Static Noyze was the 2nd to last group to perform this week and I really like these guys. They performed to a master mix featuring Whatcha Say by Jason DeRulo and I liked every minute of it. These guys seem more like dancers in the traditional sense of the word. Sure they have hip-hop and other stuff mashed into their performances, but the way they perform in a theatrical manner just seems like they are more classically trained, but it works. I loved the story they showed us visually, the moves may not have been terribly difficult, but the performance was highly entertaining and I hope these guys go far. I hate to make the obvious comparison to Fanny Pak, but they do remind me of them and I hope we get to see some of the same cool routines in the future. The judges however did not agree with me and sent them to the bottom 3 over Saltare, which I think is bogus, but whatever.
Blueprint Cru was the last group to perform this week and while they may have been my favorite going into this week I think they played it a little safe. They performed to a master mix of That’s Not My Name by The Ting Tings and while it was a good performance and I enjoyed the whole thing, I feel like they held back a little. Everything was clean, there were a lot of different styles and moves, but I felt that there could have been a little more energy and they could have upped the difficulty. I have no doubt that they will step it up in the coming weeks and they are still one of my favorites and the judges seemed to like them as they sent them through to the next round.
So in the bottom 3 we had Hype 5-0, Swagger Crew and Static Noyze performing to a master mix featuring Tik Tok by Ke$ha. Hype 5-0 was up first and did pretty well. I wouldn’t say it was the greatest thing, but it was decent. Swagger Crew came up next and completely dropped the ball. I don’t know what happened to these guys, they were just all around awful. Everyone seemed out of sync, a few of them forgot the steps completely and they just completely changed my mind about them. Static Noyze came up last and while they had a few sloppy moments, they also had their clean moments which were much cleaner than Swagger Crew. So if you couldn’t tell already (and didn’t watch the show) Swagger Crew ended up going home and rightfully so (although I would have like to see Saltare booted as I don’t think they belong). So we’re now down to 8 contestants and 2 annoying judges… ugh, Omarion really doesn’t fit in with everyone else. Lil Mama has actually gotten better, she used to be the worst of the 3, but I really can’t stand Omarion this season, bring back Shane!
So what did you guys think of this weeks performances? Did you guys see something in Saltare that I didn’t?[poll 4]