Has America's Best Dance Crew Jumped the Shark?

8.4.11 ShaSha LaPerf 2 Comments



When America's Best Dance Crew first hit MTV I had my face inches away from the TV screen. The show presented itself as a hard hitting hip-hop influenced dance shows and introduces us to the awesome moves of groups like Kaba Modern, Status Quo and season 1 winners Jabbawockeez. I remember spending a good chunk of time voting for crews and crying when Jabbawockeez won. But as the seasons went on it was clear the show was losing steam. By the time the fifth season came around I found myself no longer voting and barely caring when the group Poreotix won. The show was focusing more on adding silly challenges, gimmicky crews, and trying to make the show fit into a more mainstream audience. When I heard the show would be back for another season, I was like, "eh" but decided to give it one more shot. But it seems the show is now just a hollow version of its former self.
And here's why:

The Season of The Superstars
ABDC has been touching the toes of pop music for a while but this season is poppier than ever. In previous seasons they would feature one or two artists for a challenge like Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Beyonce, and Usher. In terms of hip-hop we got a mix of old school music like MC Hammer to current people like Lil Wayne. This time they're poppier than ever featured music from Kate Perry, Justin Beiber and Kesha. KESHA!? The fuck!? The show that originally tried so hard to portray a hip-hop image is now using Kesha songs. Why didn't they tap into people like Timbaland, the Neptunes, Kanye West...what about TLC episode or a tribute to New Jack Music? I'm guess this is due to the show getting more popular over the years and now they're trying a reach a more "mainstream" audience. But with this new line of music, this show is just falling into the same old boringness of any other MTV show.

It's About About the West...And Beyond...
It seems that ABDC is having such a hard time finding good crews from the East, West, Midwest and South that they've given up on the idea all together. Most of the crews are from the west coast. I'm not too shocked at this since this given the fact that last season there were no Midwest crew and one of the "East" crews was from Canada. This year they've gone out as far as New Zealand to find a crew. Supposedly these girls won the World Hip-Hop Championship last year. Two international crews have made it to the final show but didn't win. Some blame it on the lack of voting options and support from their home countries. But thinking of the shows track record and watching the groups performance last night I have doubts again.

The Gimmicks are Getting Boring Now
I have to admit, I was a fan of BreakS8. I guess it's because I'm a general fan of roller skating and they guys did pull a lot off great moves. However, the gimmick crews have gotten progressively worst as the show has on. Last year the audience was subjected to a "jump rope" crew who actually did little dancing through their routine. This year we have to gimmick crews: pole dancers and kids. The problem with both crews is that as when you have a prop as part of your general routine it gets old fast. As for kids, it becomes an issue of are they good dancers or are they good dancers to be young? Neither crew has performed yet so I'll have to reserve judgement on their dance skills until then. Again, given the track record of the previous gimmick crews I already have low expectations.

The Disjointed First Episode

Last night we actually only saw half the groups perform. There was no explanation given or anything, the show just ended in an hour. This made the show feel a bit rushed. Plus voting is already going on but we haven't even seen the other 5 groups. So I don't know if there will be an elimination next week or a double elimination the following week or whatever. It's confusing. The episode just seemed to dive in; they didn't even have the banner raising they've had in previous seasons. Plus by immediately making the dancers choose Lil Wayne songs it feels like we didn't really get to see what the crews could do had they chosen their own music. It felt more like I was watching the second or third episode instead of the first one.

No Final Battle Before Eliminating Crews
The dance off usually happened in the first episode between two or three different groups that were in the bottom. The judges would decided on who would stay after seeing the battle. However with the new format, the dance off was eliminated. This added to the disjointed feeling of the first episode.

Mario Lopez Is So Over It

I always thought Mario Lopez is fucking hot since his AC Slater daze. But he was such a weird pick to host this show. At this point he's probably the oldest person working on an MTV show (of course he can't top Kurt Loder and John Norris). But in his too tight, trying to be hip outfits, even he looks bored with hosting this show. What happened to the female hostess that did the backstage interviews? I liked her a lot.

New Judge
when Shane Sparks was arrested he was replaced with Omarion last season. Omarion had a bit of an introduction before the show was introduced. This time around the judge is D-Trix who's known for being a member of Quest Crew as well as a contestant on So You Think You Can Dance. This was little news given about D-Trix being the new judge and anyone who didn't read any blogs about the show probably had no idea that he was added. It's hard to say how he will be as a judge and I like the idea of alumni of the show returning, however if he uses the word "nasty" one more time...

New Crews, Same Moved
So we have ten new crews and five of them performed last night. And I was hardly impressed. The Request, the female crew from NZ, were very disappointing given their win at the World Hip-Hop Championship. They was the standard tutting, back flips, dramatics, bad costumes. The only stand out crew to me was Street Kingdom who are known for starting the Krump craze. They came hard, but it was too many damn members in the group! In fact they crew in general seem to have more people know. Street Kingdom had 10 members and others had seven or eight. It's hard to keep track of all those mofos. But I'm still not compelled for vote for anyone just yet.

Alright I'm done ranting about the show. It was only the first episode so maybe things will get better when I see the other crews. Next week we'll see the pole dancers, the kids, and the all-Asian male group. I'm gonna give the show one more shot to see what will happen...

2 comments:

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  2. Debates about ABDC are welcome. Unfortunately, pointing out grammatical errors and not actually discussing points in the article does NOT count as a "debate." :)

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