Last night was the season finale of season six of America's Best Dance Crew, with only two crews left after nine weeks of competitions, pitting some of the best dancers in the US (and the world) against each other. As I expected, the ratio of hype to actual dancing was way too high. But overall ABDC's finale was an entertaining show that delivered the best urban dance to the small screen ever broadcast.
The two crews were IaMmE , a pop-oriented team from Houston, and Iconic Boyz, an all-boys pre-teen group from New Jersey. We got to see one routine each from the crews, as well as two joint routines, and one final short performance by the winners. So for fans of both crews, you got a lot of things to cheer about.
In addition, ABDC brought back all of the winners of the previous five seasons to do showcase performances.
In reverse-chron order the past winners are:
- Season Five: Poreotix
- Season Four: We Are Heroes
- Season Three: Quest Crew
- Season Two: SupaCrew
- Season One: Jabbawockeez
All of the performances were tight, entertaining and well-delivered. Poreotix always bring the humor and great popping to the stage. We Are Heroes were sexier than I remember them being. (Damn, girls.) Quest Crew did the ridiculous tricks and funny sensibility that I love about them. SupaCrew had the dynamics and the synced breaking that make them stand out.
But no one can really hold a candle to the Jabbawockeez. They came out with what looked like fifty dancers all in Wockeez gear for an intro. Then they peeled back to reveal the "real" Jabbawockeez (how would we know?), who did a killer performance to their custom track "Devastating Stereo" by the Bangerz.
But the highlight everyone will be talking about was the "baby Wockee" who was pulled out of a boom box at the end to destroy it with a solo. Then they took of their masks to reveal she is an adorable little Asian girl! Wow. All they need is a labradoodle puppy Wockee to complete the adorable-ness.
Finally, after a lot of drama, we got to find out who is "America's Best Dance Crew" for season six. Thankfully, America chose skill and talent over cuteness and picked IAMmE. Whew!
While the Iconic Boyz had some good moments over the season and some inventive choreography, you could see that they didn't deserve (yet) to be on the same stage as Quest or Jabbawockeez. They just don't have the dynamics or the range of the other crews, or the maturity to create the kinds of mind-blowing routines that the others could. That said, they made a fine showing and I most likely will have big dance careers ahead of themselves.
But IAMmE was the far superior crew in every way. They had a unique take on popping and tutting that no one has ever seen before. And individually the dancers brought everything from krump to breaking to house to the table. They weren't trick or gymnastics oriented, unlike other crews, but they had enough to keep those who wanted that kind of thing satisfied. And they have a lot of charisma, particularly the girls ChaChi and Jaja.
I can't fail to mention that this was the most drawn out episode ever. There were probably 30 minutes of actual dancing spread out among two hours of drama, recaps, commercials and most annoyingly endless pre-show interviews and previews for the MTV Movie Awards immediately following the show. It reminded me of why I watched all of the ABDC episodes online instead of on TV, prior to this.
That aside, overall it has been a strong season for ABDC. I like the format where they had a different musical artist as the focus of each week, with each team getting a specific dance challenge related to the song. Well, except for maybe the Justin Bieber week. I wish they had at least one or two "old skool" episodes where they featured Run DMC or even James Brown, and had to do classic hip-hop moves in a fresh way. But overall you can't argue with the winningness of having current superstar singers and rappers alongside the best dance crews.
I'm so excited that IAMmE won, who were one of my favorites from the start. From their first appearance, I was intrigued, but wondered what new thing they would bring to the stage. Every week they consistently "banged my brain" and destroyed whatever challenge they were given. They bring something fresh to the show and seem to have a lot of heart and passion behind their dancing. I hope they go far.