TV Recap: America’s Best Dance Crew – Championship Showdown

So, we’re finally down to the final two crews battling for the title of America’s Best Dance Crew: Super Cr3w and SoReal Cru. I think I’ve cooled off a bit since last week and accepted the fact that Fanny Pak won’t be here. Well, they are here, just in the wrong place: the audience, the last place in the world they need to be. But c’est la vie – this won’t be the end for them. They may not have proven themselves to “America” or the powers-that-be at MTV, but I love ‘em and that’s all that matters, right?

For the final week of competition, the crews must each perform three times and voting remains open during the show. The first performance is the Round the World Challenge. Dancing to the same master mix featuring African, Caribbean, Latin and Indian music, both crews must showcase different global dance styles while incorporating them into their own original routines. Fanny Pak could’ve killed this!

Crew: Super Cr3w

Super Cr3w chooses to put a little extra emphasis on the Latin dance styles and adds salsa and really nice capoeira moves to their routine. Shane Sparks is happy that they prove everyone wrong with their creative and well-choreographed performance. He especially likes the low back flips over the Afrocentric flag. Lil Mama is less impressed – she found their formations at the beginning very confusing – but still enjoyed watching them. She challenges them to bring more energy in the next two performances. JC Chasez recognizes that this is one of the toughest challenges due to the amount of differing dance styles to cover in a single routine. He feels they were stiff at the start but eventually improved as the dance progressed. He appreciates the full circle approach they took, returning to African styles at the end of the routine and thus telling a story about the history of dance.

Crew: SoReal Cru

SoReal Cru selects Caribbean moves for their focus in this challenge. Interesting choice. Even more interesting routine. Now, this is just my opinion…. They’re terrible! Sloppy, uncoordinated, inauthentic; just a hot mess. Lil Mama points out how much they struggled throughout the performance and is disappointed that the girls didn’t turn it out during the reggae section. Why? I wasn’t expecting them to. In previous challenges, this crew hasn’t proven to me at all that they can master any of these styles. JC gives a pretty weak criticism that repeats his prior observation that this is an especially tough challenge. He’s impressed with their use of stunts that are typically seen in other competitors, showing that they came to fight. But he doesn’t think it was their best performance. Shane says something very poignant that I totally agree with: this challenge exposes the crew’s central weakness, which is their ability to count off beats but not really feel the groove. They don’t have true rhythm, period. He was awaiting something spectacular and didn’t get it.

In this first mini match-up, I think the win goes to Super Cr3w.

The second performance is the Original Dance Craze Challenge. This is probably the most creatively demanding challenge ABDC has had on either season. The crews must create a dance craze from the ground up: they choreograph the moves, write lyrics, and visit a recording studio to work with music producers on an original accompanying song. Fanny Pak could’ve killed this!

Crew: Super Cr3w

Original Song: “S to the Chest” Points to Super Cr3w for already having the audience, Mario Lopez, the show’s cameramen and grannies in Boca Raton (yeah, they’re watching too) all throwing up their hand sign since the start of the season, way before they were ever assigned this challenge. The track’s a bit cheesy but very infectious (“If you’re feeling kinda fresh, throw your ‘S’ to the chest! If you’re feeling kinda fly, throw your ‘S’ to the sky!”). JC pokes a little fun at the Hammer-like vibe to the song and is a little concerned that the dance may have been too much about Super Cr3w (wasn’t that the point?) and not enough about what the public is able to do. It’s a pretty simple move; if folks can’t manage this, then how’d they handle the Roger Rabbit or even the Twist? Shane feels that “any dance [he] can look at and learn in 15 seconds is a hit” and this dance fits the bill. However, he doesn’t care too much for their overall performance. Lil Mama feels it was a smooth routine, but points out a clumsy elbow slide; she wants them to stop thinking so much and just perform.

Crew: SoReal Cru

Original Song: “Smash It Up”

SoReal Cru pays homage to the Dirty Dirty by crafting a hardcore fist smashing move based on their “explosion” theme. Shane thinks the move is hot and perfect for the ‘hood clubs. Lil Mama likes how the move was simple enough to follow but the crew kept it interesting by moving their lower bodies in various ways. JC declares the move a smart decision that’s executed well and thinks SoReal Cru has made a nice comeback. He also appreciates them staying true to who they are by representing Houston (wait a minute, I thought they were from L.A….).

JC thinks that after this challenge, it’s a dead heat for both crews. But I actually think Super Cr3w’s performance and overall job with the challenge was stronger.

The final performance is the Last Chance Challenge, an opportunity for the crews to choreograph a routine that shows hands-down why they deserve to win the $100,000 grand prize and the title of America’s Best Dance Crew. Fanny Pak could’ve killed this!

Crew: Super Cr3w

Song: “Give It Up, Turn It Loose” by James Brown

In their do-or-die last ditch effort to win over America and the judges, Super Cr3w returns to their musical roots by kickin’ it super old school to the Godfather of Soul. Lil Mama and JC recount their favorite Super Cr3w moments this season: “We Fly High” (Week 3) and the ninja towers (Week 1), respectively. Shane loves and respects how they gave their heart each every time they hit the stage; his favorite performance: the basketball-themed Bring the Beat Challenge routine (Week 6).

Crew: SoReal Cru

Song: “A Millie” by Lil Wayne

The opening in straight jackets and Hannibal Lechter masks is crazy (no pun intended…okay, maybe a little bit intentional)! Lil Mama shares her favorite SoReal Cru moment: snake charmer move (Week 3). Shane thinks their final performance of the night is “their best from a battling point of view”. His favorite moment: the head bobbles from the Missy Elliott Challenge (Week 7). Mario interjects and mentions his favorite: the whipped cream in the Janet Jackson Challenge (Week 5) – keep it in your pants, Lopez. JC gives props to Ailyn and Jackie for being the sole ladies to make it to the finale and picks out his favorite performance: Usher Video Challenge (Week 2). He states that all season long the crew danced for the love of it but tonight is the first time they approached it like a battle. Well, I think they’re fallen soldiers.

Winner of this performance: even.

Next Week: All season 2 crews return to perform at the finale and watch the crowning of America’s Best Dance Crew. My prediction: Despite SoReal Cru’s comfy seat at the top all season long, Super Cr3w will reign supreme.