It's our Comic Con 2013 Recap! Constantine and I regale Russ with tales from the annual Nerd Prom festivities (of which there are many). We also gush over PACIFIC RIM and offer a reading of the Anthony Wiener/Carlos Danger texts by the We'll Fix It In Post Players.
Go download it here. Or you can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes by clicking here.
- This week's music breaks include the Wonder Woman Theme Song:
- And "Simon Says" (Remix) by Pharoahe Monch:
- Constantine In Tokyo can be found on Facebook and Twitter at @NonStopToTokyo.
- And don't forget to follow me (@howardhan)!
Monday, July 29, 2013
It's our Comic Con 2013 Recap! Constantine and I regale Russ with tales from the annual Nerd Prom festivities (of which there are many). We also gush over PACIFIC RIM and offer a reading of the Anthony Wiener/Carlos Danger texts by the We'll Fix It In Post Players.
Monday, July 08, 2013
We're back! Nevin's busy with his day job, but I'm joined by long time friend of the show Russ Gooberman and cosplayer extraordinaire Costantine in Tokyo as we offer a timely recap of the 1986 Transformers Movie and our recent trip to BotCon. Plus, we hear a pitch for the feature film, "Poop Mouth." Yup, I sure did just type that.
Go download it here. Or you can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes by clicking here.
- This week's music break is "Dare to be Stupid" by "Weird Al" Yankovik:
- Constantine In Tokyo can be found on Facebook and Twitter at @NonStopToTokyo.
- And don't forget to follow me (@howardhan)!
Thursday, May 17, 2012
It's Week 6 and Mr. Worldwide comes by to drop off some absurd challenges. What shocking twist did ABDC pull out this week? Read on to find out...
Howard: ABDC goes international!
LeKeith: Like Pitbull would say, "Uno, Dos, Tres, Cuatro!" And other Spanish words.
Howard: This may be my second least favorite ABDC theme night.
LeKeith: Yeah, it's not my favorite either. Even when it's on SYTYCD
Howard: At least when it's on SYTYCD, they're getting coaching from people who are practiced in those international dance styles. Here, it's basically, "Make yo' shit all Asian and whatnot!"
LeKeith: This is true. Pitbull is not known for his international flair.
Howard: Well, he is Mr. Worldwide. As he likes to remind you. AT THE START OF EVERY SINGLE SONG HE HAS.
LeKeith: HAHA! Is that what that was? I thought it was a ghost
Howard: Imagine if every artist was like that? "Hey Jude! It's us the Beatles! We'll take your sad song and make it better!"
LeKeith: I guess I'll have to buy the White Album again. Sorry, I got off track – back to the Dance. What did you think of the opening routine?
Howard: I thought it was well put together and some of the crews got some moments to really shine. It was not, however, a routine that I was eager to go back and revisit.
LeKeith: Nor was I. I felt like there was a lot of standing around by the crews.
Howard: There was definitely a lot of posing on the periphery with beach balls while choreo happened in the middle.
LeKeith: Yeah… That was weird. I didn't know ABDC could morph into Beach Blanket Bingo. Can I say that I was a little elated to see the Lil' Jerseys?
Howard: We can let that slide.
LeKeith: Here's why: 1) My Favorite Lil' Jersey was there: Mr. Chunk-o-Munk and he was rocking his big boy groove.
Howard: That's true. He is their single greatest member.
LeKeith: 2) They totally found the Justin Beiber of Jersey and threw him into the crew, complete with the haircut. So Lil’ Jersey has a Menudo rule.
Howard: OK, I'm glad that I was not hallucinating that random dark skinned kid. He's like the Snooki of the group.
LeKeith: No, he was definitely there. I like how no one acknowledged that there was something different though. It's like when they replaced Becky on Roseanne.
Howard: Maybe they're trying to perfect the Jersey Shore formula. "OK, we have someone from Chile that pretends they're Italian. What's next?"
LeKeith: Maybe! My other favorite part, Pitbull totally stole John Cena's salute entrance.
Howard: HA! In terms of their performance, I thought Lil' Broskis were at their same level of mediocrity when they had their solo. But I thought they were shockingly crisp and on point when they were part of the larger group.
LeKeith: Oh yeah, nothing's changed. Except the new kid.
Howard: HA! So let's jump to the first crew. What'd you think of Purple Stuff?
LeKeith: I didn't like it. First of all, everyone go rent and watch Only the Strong.
Howard: Agreed. It's Mark Dascasos' finest performance.
LeKeith: I completely agree!
Howard: I feel like Purple Stuff has seen it, because they were singing the song!
LeKeith: I know! that's why I got so excited for their performance!
Howard: Paranauȇ! Paranauȇ Parana! Sadly, who knew that would be the best part of their performance.
LeKeith: Yeah, I didn't enjoy their performance. I didn't think they got low enough
LeKeith: Also, Purple Stuff throws a kick or two into every routine: that part is expected. This was a chance to show off a different martial art on top of a different dance and it just flopped. Although it did make me want to go watch Only the Strong again. I will give them that. And the knee spin thing. That was sick.
Howard: Yes! I think that this is the season of the awesome Knee Shit. Knee Moonwalk last week. Knee Spins this week.
LeKeith: I wonder what's next week?
Howard: Knee Cartwheels!
LeKeith: That would be amazing. I'm pretty sure a kneecap would break though.
Howard: Oh yeah. This routine reminded for an 80s karate movie, where the awkward white kid learns karate and it gives him self-confidence. But he doesn't know how to dance, so he just performs karate moves at the prom. And everyone loves him!
LeKeith: Also, that's exactly it. It was like an 80's movie where the character "learned karate." Great, now I want to go watch Sidekicks.
Howard: Yup, I'm pretty sure I just described a scene from Sidekicks there.
LeKeith: I hope Purple Stuff does better next week. If the re-incorporate narrative, it may help them structure their routine better. Otherwise, they just become another flip kick crew.
LeKeith: Also, my brother pointed out that my dislike of them may stem from their signature pose being eerily similar to one of Hulk Hogan's.
Howard: HAHA! See, I actually love the pose. I may have to break it out at dodgeball tonight.
LeKeith: I am going to agree to disagree right now and promise to do my best to ignore this bias in future comments. However, I will say that so far the activities in their town seem to rank in the following order: 1. Karate; 2. Dance; 3. Getting Tattoos.
Howard: There's not a ton of things to do in the desert. We should really just be happy that #4 isn't cooking meth.
LeKeith: They still have another week to confirm.
Howard: HA! I'd like to see them step their game up next week too. Last week's subway performance showed what they were capable of doing.
Howard: Now they just need to meet that bar again.
LeKeith: And backflip over it.
Howard: It's also mildly disconcerting that Baskin Robbins appeared significantly more athletic than Purple Stuff about 5 seconds into their routine.
LeKeith: Oh man, yes! I noticed that too. I thought it was strange. The little ringmaster did a better capoeira kick than Purple Stuff did!
Howard: It was an epic move though! Also, something that you can only really do with sub-90 pound girls.
LeKeith: No, that was amazing! Also, when they did the standing kick flips so that the dresses overlapped?
Howard: It's nuts.
LeKeith: Such an impressive visual move. That was also really good camera work for those shots. Let's give credit where credit is due.
Howard: Yeah, the ABDC ADD Cam calmed it down for their performance. Overall, I thought they did a good job of incorporating the can-can without letting it overwhelm the performance.
LeKeith: Yes, they did. Quick Question: Do you think about Shoprite when you hear the can-can music or is that an East Coast thing?
Howard: I think that's just an East Coast thing, buddy.
LeKeith: Ah, well, good to know.
Howard: I again raise my objections to giving the little girls the routine that's designed to be scandalous. And, as if to highlight this point for me, MTV did a cutaway to Teen Predator Wolf.
LeKeith: HAHA! Yeah, I do appreciate that new Teen Wolf was unenthusiastically holding the sign that was made by a producer's daughter.
Howard: HA! I'm sure it was a poor PA's job to make that sign.
LeKeith: Yeah, I know but I'm sure the instruction was "Make it look like my Daughter made it!"
Howard: I did think the portion after they lost the can-can outfits was not as tight as the earlier portion. But I was weirdly terrified by the ending of their routine.
LeKeith: I was going to ask you about that.
Howard: Tiny Adult Face Ringmaster really captured the terror of the moment with her expression.
LeKeith: oh, I thought it took on a weird duality, going from Ringmaster to Pimp. either way, the "acts" were getting revenge.
Howard: Yeah, that was definitely the underlying storyline.
LeKeith: Oh, good, it wasn't just me then.
Howard: Though I did not make the teen prostitutes mental transition.
LeKeith: Oh, then it was just me. I haven't been sleeping well.
Howard: Did you happen to catch the 1980s movie Angel on TV recently? That may explain your thought process.
LeKeith: Possibly… Stop checking my DVR! But I digress. I appreciated that Tiny Adult Face was the focus of the montage, but she came off a little too Toddlers and Tiaras for me. I was a little scared of her by the end.
Howard: I feel like there's a bit of an uncanny valley effect there. But I have to admit that her technique was great. And when she did the whacking after Lil' Broskis came out to pander to audience, she was fantastic.
LeKeith: Yeah, it was weird watching that little playdate. The girls were way better than the boys.
Howard: Oh, significantly so.
LeKeith: Little Broski Boy does hand tutting. Baskin Robbins girl does leg splits while doing handstands. Game. Set. Match.
Howard: HA! It's true. So this brings us to the disappointment of the night: M.O.S Def. How have they fallen so far?
LeKeith: I can't tell if they're over-thinking things or if they've genuinely lost their cohesion. Or if going to the Russian baths really did a number on them.
Howard: HA! I feel like it's a little of column A and a little of column B. It can't help that dudes are messing up every week.
LeKeith: Yeah, I think that's the underlying tension in the group. What D-Trix said about the back not holding it together if there's a mistake in the front spoke volumes.
Howard: Yup. Who would have thought the D-Trix would be the most insightful judge? He was similarly on point when discussing Purple Stuff.
LeKeith: HA! True but not as poignantly. Although the Phrase "reach down to your manbag" has its own poetry to it.
Howard: It's true. There was also a moment at the end after Ricky did his flips. He did a salute and everyone crossed their arms. Except for the guy on the far right.
LeKeith: Yeah, I noticed that.
Howard: And once he realized he fucked up, he just looked like he lost his smile.
LeKeith: the routine itself was fine though. Russian dancing is hard to incorporate but they did a good job with that part of it.
Howard: Yeah, when it was working, it was a lot of fun. But they're also not as tight as they were in the first few weeks.
LeKeith: It's true. Maybe the pressure of the competition and being frontrunners from the beginning has gotten to them
Howard: Maybe this week will be a wake up call for them. Or the train will continue to go off the rails. Either way, I'm intrigued to see where they are next week.
LeKeith: You know what didn't do them any favors? The highlights at the end, where they show you the numbers to call, focused on the hat drop. Not cool, MTV. You can be subtler.
Howard: Yeah, that was cruel. They might as well have shown the moment where that one guy smashed his nuts on the other guy's neck.
LeKeith: Yeah, that was really bad.
Howard: Speaking of things that were really bad, how is it possible that Fanny Pak was in the bottom two after last week's performance?! That was, by far, the best routine of the night.
LeKeith: I Have No Idea.
Howard: They were strong this week too. But last week's performance deserved to be an all-time ABDC highlight. At least, for me.
LeKeith: Me as well. I know there's some Fanny Paklash but they should still have been out of the bottom 2.
Howard: Haters, stop hating!
LeKeith: Yeah, become Rainbows!
Howard: HA! They definitely shouldn't get a free pass. But when they're awesome, they should be rewarded.
LeKeith: I agree. And Fanny Pak has been working. Last week, everything clicked and for that, you should be safe. This week was very good too but for very different reasons.
LeKeith: First of all, they drew the Chris Brown card, which helps no one. Secondly, the music was pretty different than the rest of the show so the pace shift affected the audience. Third, Bollywood style dance is very specific in movement, placement and direction, which can be hard to pick up on. That being said, they were excellent with it. Plus, seeing it with 7 people here as opposed to 2 on SYTYCD makes a huge difference. 7 people with matching intricate legwork is breathtaking.
Howard: I concur. The larger group makes it feel more like a true Bollywood number. Though I feel like the added members of Fanny Pak sometimes make the routines feel bloated.
LeKeith: Yeah, I could see that.
Howard: They do a good job of making no one feel unnecessary, but sometimes I feel like the routines would be tighter with two less people.
LeKeith: There was only one part in the routine - where they paired off for the scarf illusion - where I noticed that there was an odd man out.
Howard: Yeah, I saw him go away, but didn't notice where he was. So that's good, I guess?
LeKeith: We'll put that in the win column, sure. I loved the finish to this routine though, with Glenda getting wrapped up, literally.
Howard: Yeah, that was a fantastic sequence. I also love that they brought back the fanny packs.
LeKeith: Yes! I didn't notice that until JC's Slo Mo. I like when the replay points out something I either didn't catch like that or a better angle of something else, like with the Baskin Robbins' opening sequence.
Howard: True. I worry that America won't pick up on the intricacies of FP's choreo though. While their routine was a joy to watch, there wasn't a lot of Wow Factor to it.
LeKeith: I think that's why D-Trix said what he said this week.
Howard: "Hey, idiots. Vote for them!"
LeKeith: Well, remember a few seasons ago where they just yelled at America?
Howard: Yeah, that was awesome.
LeKeith: I agree. But this seemed to be the gentler approach.
Howard: So what did you think of NXT?
LeKeith: I'm upset with Mario Lopez for saying, "Ancient Chinese Secret." But when they said it was the dance of 1000 hands, I thought of E. Honda which is worse because E. Honda was from Japan.
LeKeith: So, NXT made me offend myself for being so offensive.
Howard: I was just waiting to count the number of Asian stereotypes that would appear in their number.
LeKeith: How many did you count? 1. Hugh Hefner style Kimono. 2. Hand fans
Howard: 3. Karate. 4. White guy doing karate.
LeKeith: HA! The karate was weird. He kinda just did it to do it.
Howard: Really, they just needed a gong noise. And they would have been set.
LeKeith: Or to beat up the beat using Chopsticks.
Howard: Also, the white dude could have run away with all the Asian girls on the crew.
LeKeith: The Season's not over yet, Howard. Bailey can still declare his love.
Howard: I can't wait.
LeKeith: This is the weirdest version of Dance Bachelor yet.
Howard: Overall, I thought they did a good job with the routine. The illusion was well done.
LeKeith: Yes, it was!
Howard: And no one attempted to do someone else's dry cleaning or give them a mani/pedi. Sorry, I'm still hung up on that .
LeKeith: it's okay. Look, if they had to do Africa dance and make Africa Face, I'd be up in arms through this whole recap.
Howard: HAHA! I don't even want to imagine that.
LeKeith: You don't have to. Vogue Evolution did it during Beyonce week. The only thing that threw me off in the challenge was Bailey. I guess the side effect of having the Vanilla Ice Gumby is that it combs down into the MMA Fighter haircut and he had serial killer eyes. I mean, I know he was trying to look focused or determined, but he had serial killer eyes. Weirded me out.
Howard: You mean when they redid the Dance of A Thousand Hands at the end? With all the fans?
Howard: Yeah, that was not a good look on him.
LeKeith: I just shuddered thinking about it.
Howard: And then... jump to karate pose finish!
LeKeith: Well, Purple Stuff forgot one in their routine.
Howard: "Just in case you wanted more karate, America!"
LeKeith: NXT were just picking up the slack. Actually, their challenge lent itself to peel-outs which I think they handled very well. If I had to choose between them and Fanny Pak, it would have been a tough decision. I mean, I would have chosen Fanny Pak and then yelled at America again but, you know, I didn't know there was a third option.
Howard: Yeah, who knew that the judges could just say nope.com? More importantly, why didn't they use this amazing super power in earlier seasons?!
LeKeith: I really don't know. Maybe they didn't have it. Maybe going through J. Lo week gave them that one Save coin that they use on Idol sometimes.
Howard: I hadn't thought of that! But I feel like that's the best in-continuity explanation. You win a No Prize!
LeKeith: You know I strive to make sense out of the random. Which is why Will Smith needs to show up for the Season of the Superstar Finale.
Howard: Big Willie Styles! So is next week the dreaded double elimination again? Or did they come up with a way to extend the season an extra week?
LeKeith: Oh, next week is a Double Elimination, I think. I want at least one of the eliminated crews to say "You sunk my Battleship." If only Hipster Cru were still around. Also, Flo Rida is still the Reigning Superstar of Superstars on the Season of the Superstar. He showed up, performed on the stage, recorded his challenged and critiqued the crews. Pitbull only showed up and recorded his challenges.
Howard: Well, Flo Rida only reps a state. Pitbull has to tend to the entire world. He's a busy dude.
LeKeith: I guess. You mean he couldn't up with a couple of competing dog puns for Mario Lopez?
Howard: No man can withstand the power of Mario's puns.
LeKeith: Fair enough.
Howard: Here's what I'd like to see next week: Less karate. No Fanny Pak in the bottom 2. That's it.
LeKeith: That's a good list. I like it.
Howard: And on that hopeful note, we out!
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Oh yeah! ABDC, yeah! 6 crews jump on stage to beat that beat, but only 5 survive! Who makes it out alive and who has to walk it out? Read on to find out...
Howard: So it's week 5 and I was started feeling like I've had too much ABDC this season. But you know what I realized?
Howard: There's always room for J-Lo!
LeKeith: HA! Damn you. That was Lo-pez… I'm not good at this game.
Howard: HA! I love that J-Lo wouldn't show up or even do a video package, so they just sent her choreographer instead.
LeKeith: Well she was busy liking every song on American Idol. Or driving a car through Fake Bronx or whatever.
Howard: HA! Dude, don't be fooled by the rocks that she's got. That is, by the way, simultaneously the best and worst J-Lo song ever.
LeKeith: I completely agree! Oh J. Lo night, why couldn't you be Robyn instead? You know what J. Lo night did offer us though?
Howard: The return of full on crazy Lil' Mama?
LeKeith: Well, yes. But also: another 3 Way Dance!
Howard: It's true! But we'll get to that later. I do feel like ABDC is trying so hard to make me love it. Why else would they bring in Pauly D?
LeKeith: To make up for the Disappointment Hipster Cru caused you?
Howard: HA! It was the greatest night of my life, right there.
LeKeith: What if Pauly D had a Mascot Pauly D head and then when he removed it, his hair was still perfectly in place?
Howard: THAT would be the greatest night of my life, right there.
LeKeith: HAHA! I have to say, I did not approve of Mario taking DJ K-Sly's sayings: The Wheels of Steel, The 1's and 2's.
LeKeith: I'm sure that's general DJ slang, but I associate them with her and the Hottest Dance Show on the Universe.
Howard: I was going to point that out, but I still think your interpretation is fair. So let's discuss Baskin Robbins. Your thoughts?
LeKeith: I kept thinking "Howard won't like this routine." There was an awful lot of sass to go with that brass.
Howard: HA! You are correct, sir. I kept trying to look at it objectively and there were some really cool spots, but I just couldn't get into it.
LeKeith: It was full of energy, which I think is what the crew needed after last week.
Howard: I agree.
LeKeith: And they flew all over the stage.
Howard: The opening spins were incredible.
Howard: And I loved the concept of the handstand cha cha dancing.
LeKeith: Me too.
Howard: Though the execution left me cold for some reason.
LeKeith: Keyword: concept. It's just really hard to do and make it look as smooth as the cha cha.
Howard: I'm glad they highlighted it though because I think the creativity deserves to be called out. But yeah, I just cannot hop on board the Tween Sexy Dancing Express.
LeKeith: Yeah, like a standing full split while holding a horn.
LeKeith: It's a physical feat but still… No!
Howard: HA! Also, the trumpets were a stupid prop.
LeKeith: HA! Yeah… that was kinda weird. I'd rather they mimed horns like Santino.
Howard: That would have been epic. But the physical trumpets seriously added nothing.
LeKeith: They matched their colorful outfits?
Howard: Yeah, that's about it. Also! Did you catch D-Trix's WTF face?!
Howard: When Mario tosses it to the judges and calls them a bunch of tiny mamacitas, D-Trix is looking up at the ceiling with a total WTF expression on his face.
LeKeith: HAHA! That's awesome Was that in response to the routine or Mario Lopez's amazing mamacitas to the mamacita segway?
Howard: I wasn't sure at first, but given his praise for the routine, I'm pretty sure it was in response to Mario.
LeKeith: Nice! You still got it AC, in more ways than one.
Howard: So let's jump to M.O.S. Def! Did you think they brought their A Game this week?
LeKeith: I think it was better than last week, definitely. But I still think they can do better. So A- Game?
Howard: HA! That seems fair. I loved the play to the ceiling cam.
LeKeith: Yes! That was a nice touch. It made me think of Cirque Du Soliei though. Some underwater swimming or something like that.
Howard: There was a nice layer of surreality to their movements. I do agree with JC's critique that they sometimes look like they're thinking too hard.
LeKeith: Yeah, they got caught a few times. Their movements are so smooth and appear so effortless though. Also, when I see ABDC and Mechanics, I think of So Real Crew and that crazy hat toss. Remember that?
Howard: Oh yes.
LeKeith: So While I enjoyed this performance, it was missing that hat toss moment for me. Something random and unexpected.
Howard: Yeah. The floorwork was cool, but it needed a little extra flair, I think.
LeKeith: Also, I know they're the teachers but giving them a J. Lo dance to teach the crowd kinda messed them up. I wasn't sure what the move they were supposed to be teaching. I don't think the crowd got it either.
Howard: Yeah, the crowd was definitely dancing along, but I'm not sure which part of the routine taught it to them.
LeKeith: Other than Lil’ Mama straight flirting with Ian, were there any other standouts?
Howard: I think that's good enough, to be honest. She's really embracing her role as the Paula of the group.
LeKeith: Yup! Middle aged and crazy, just like Terry Funk. Except she's not middle aged.
Howard: HA! So let's jump to Purple Stuff. I thought they killed it with this performance.
LeKeith: They broke my streak.
Howard: Which was?
LeKeith: I was 2 for 3 on my guess for tonight's elimination. But, they totally killed it with this performance. I will say this though: never in the history of ever has the 6 train moved that quickly from station to station. If you're On The 6, you're going to be there for a while.
Howard: HA! What about Bleecker to Astor to Union Square? Those stops are all mad close.
LeKeith: They are. But still, the 6 finds a way to take a nap.
Howard: You know I love the 4, 5, 6 train.
LeKeith: I know you do!
Howard: They did create a great illusion of riding the subway, complete with the swaying.
LeKeith: I really liked that part. I was very much like "Looks about right," when they did it, which is saying something since half the crew has never been on the subway.
LeKeith: To be honest, I thought they were going to field trip to LA's subway system for a second.
Howard: Little did you know that no one uses LA’s subway system.
LeKeith: Yes… They did a really great job with limited props
Howard: I concur.
LeKeith: And all their dojo training is really paying off.
Howard: Though the canes are much easier to incorporate than stupid trumpets.
LeKeith: Also, when Beau "Casper" Smart walked into the rehearsal, I though he had the old school subway straps at first.
LeKeith: I thought we were going Old School.
Howard: What I liked the best about this routine was that they finally incorporated a narrative.
LeKeith: Yes! You know I love Narrative.
Howard: It's true.
LeKeith: And it made their whole performance have a weight to it. So this time when they did their Everybody Explode finish, it meant something.
LeKeith: Along with the Double Tuck flip D-Trix pointed out, they do that move a lot as well.
Howard: Yeah. I'd love to see them build on this and bring in some new tricks. I'm actually excited to see what they'll do next week.
LeKeith: Me too. Plus, I like that Chris wasn't the focus for this routine.
Howard: Yeah. Back to the party, Chris.
LeKeith: Even in the weeks where he wasn't performing, he was still kinda the focus. So, if this is Purple Stuff moving forward, then I approve.
Howard: I want to clown Lil' Mama for saying that they brought her back to NYC, but her statement was actually pretty accurate. So I'll just give her a thumbs up instead.
LeKeith: Yeah… I mean, nowadays, they just dance in the subway car and don't have a sign but it was pretty close. If Purple Stuff had done a human tumbleweed across the stage, it would have been exact.
LeKeith: Also, if you have 7 guys with canes, they'll just take your money.
Howard: It's true. Or you've walked into a remake of the Warriors.
LeKeith: HAHA! That would also be awesome.
Howard: So that brings us to the 3 Way Dance. Your thoughts on Final Destination?
LeKeith: They had possibly my favorite thing in the whole show. Kenny, I think had an elastic strap on his hat, King Harley Race style, so it wouldn't fall off. Considering that Purple Stuff had problems with their Prop, this was genius.
LeKeith: What did you think?
Howard: I feel like they were handicapped by their challenge to some extent.
LeKeith: Yeah, I agree with that.
Howard: I think they performed it well, but they failed to really bring any Southern swagger to it. Like their Dirty South Tutting last week.
LeKeith: As did I.
Howard: It was still recognizable as tutting, but it had their own swag.
LeKeith: I agree. I think they were most transformed by their challenge. I would have liked for them to reach a sort of middle ground with their challenge. Maybe not as low or deep as their southern swag tut but maybe not as tight as the traditional moves. That being said, a Moonwalk on their knees? Dope.
Howard: YES. That was possibly the highlight of the night. But it was also the only thing that was really of note in their routine. The rest of it just felt like a really solid crew busting moves in the subway.
LeKeith: Maybe they got their challenges mixed up.
Howard: Which, to be fair, is an image that was probably fresh in my mind due to Purple Stuff.
LeKeith: Well, they were in really tight formations the whole time, which is not their usual style.
Howard: Yeah. I think it was the challenge bringing them down.
LeKeith: I think JC knew it too. "You represented yourselves well this week." Translation: Start Walking It Out, Fellas!
Howard: HA! On the other hand, I think NXT did a great job of rising to their challenge.
LeKeith: Yeah. I think so too, kinda. First off, they made the WHOLE AUDIENCE (with the exception of Baskin Robbins) feel WAY OLD.
Howard: Well, let's be fair. Most of the audience probably thought the same thing.
LeKeith: But then Bailey had the Vanilla Ice Gumby so that made up for it.
Howard: They probably barely remember Mario on Saved By The Bell.
LeKeith: Aw man. So they know him from Pacific Blue?
Howard: Yup. Or Extra.
LeKeith: I think they executed the challenge really well but to pull a Nigel, they didn't sit in the pockets of the moves at times.
Howard: That's true. But I think they did a much better job of utilizing the whole stage this week.
LeKeith: Oh, Absolutely.
Howard: Still not perfect, but definitely better.
LeKeith: They keep improving, which is always a good sign. I'm surprised they were in the bottom 3, to be honest.
Howard: I think maybe the youth vote went to Baskin Robbins.
LeKeith: I figured Baskin Robbins would get the Youth Vote but I didn't expect Purple Stuff to get that much of a vote. Especially not over NXT.
Howard: Well, I'm sorry to say that I think they'll be in the bottom again next week.
LeKeith: But that's why we watch: Like Kat Graham in the Crowd, there are always surprises!
Howard: We need to discuss the moment when Mario made me LOSE MY MIND.
LeKeith: When he started dancing!
Howard: Mario doing the AC Slater was the greatest thing ABDC will ever bring us. It really cannot be topped.
LeKeith: I KNOW!
Howard: I did like that Bailey was the last man standing for once. He got out of the corner!
LeKeith: With the Girliest Move in the Whole Show!
Howard: The butt bump! They just better be ready to bring the heat again next week.
LeKeith: Yup! What did you think of Fanny Pak?
Howard: I LOVED IT. It finally felt like Fanny Pak Classic.
LeKeith: Oh, Thank Jeebus! I loved it so much.
Howard: I could gush about it for a while. I'm so happy that they highlighted the opening.
LeKeith: Yes! I thought of you for that one too.
Howard: It's such a little thing, to have to people moving in the opposite direction as they spread out. But Lil' Mama was right - it was incredibly innovative for the show.
LeKeith: That's how you re-invent the peel off.
Howard: And the best part of it was that everyone was constantly in motion. The person who was standing still at the start ended up moving later on.
LeKeith: Yeah, that was a nice touch. At first, I thought they were out of position but then I saw it was a moving sequence. Plus, I can't help but gush about how I thought they were Cybermen at first.
LeKeith: I was like, "What the Who?"
Howard: I also loved when Matt pulled off his pants and did it in a way that looked like it was in slo-mo. I had to rewatch it a few times, but it was definitely him and not the MTV Editing Machine.
LeKeith: Nice catch!
Howard: And thematically, there was a duality of meanings to their performance. You could see it as an ode to nonconformity and breaking out of societal norms.
LeKeith: Yup! Big Brother, 1984, Cybermen, etc.
Howard: Or you could take the more literal interpretation of the lyrics. And one by one, they're shedding their work clothes to party because they’ve been Waiting For Tonight.
LeKeith: Yes! I think with the phrase "Robot to Rainbow," we know which meaning Lil Mama took.
Howard: THAT WAS AMAZING. The best part was everyone just openly mocking her. JC, D-Trix, even Fanny Pak. People were just cracking up.
LeKeith: D-Trix with the snaps!
Howard: I also loved the way they slowly revealed everyone else's colors. Tossing one person in the air. Then turning out of the group. Perfectly matched to the lyrics. And using the outfits! Unbuttoning their shirts so that the colors would be revealed through the spin!
LeKeith: Well, I like that on the heels of being dubbed a "prop" crew, they're given the hardest prop challenge to do.
Howard: It's true. But since "clothes" are the kind of prop that you can basically integrate into the entire routine, it worked out great. And felt like a classic Fanny Pak routine. Props that were used to accentuate the routine, not overwhelm it.
LeKeith: I completely agree. Also, they way they incorporated the lift challenge was done in line with both narratives. And there was a second lift!
Now, I hate to ask this, but do you think that Fanny Pak is still a little too... alternative for America? Or do you think their low rankings in the past two weeks is more reflective of their less than stellar performances?
LeKeith: Oh, that's a fair question. They might be too alternative for America still but I don't know how many people in North Carolina watch ABDC. Bam! Topical!
Howard: HA! Hopefully Obama voted for them last night. Boom! Double topical!
LeKeith: Nice! I think it's more the latter though.
Howard: Yeah, I hope you're right.
LeKeith: But their performances have been different and arguably not as good as their last run so it could be a mixture of both.
Howard: Because if they can keep bringing us performances like last night, they would deserve the Season 7 crown.
LeKeith: Plus, I think the ABDC audience is even younger than it was before so with both Baskin Robbins and NXT in there, that youth vote will be tough to grab.
Howard: It's true.
LeKeith: And I think Matt's a handsome fella but he ain't the pretty boy that Ian is.
Howard: C'mon, kids! Hop on board the Fanny Pak train!
LeKeith: Let's all go from Robots to Rainbows!
Howard: HAHA! Yes! And on that awesome note, we out!
Thursday, May 03, 2012
It's week 4 of ABDC and this episode has it all - triumph, tragedy, drama, comedy, and even manages to fit some dancing in the mix. So who lived to dance another day? Read on to find out...
Howard: Drake Week! Or as I like to call it, Showing Our Age Week!
LeKeith: HAHA! I Take It You Object to Drake being called an "Icon" also?
Howard: A little bit, but I'm sure there's enough fans that'll disagree with us. I just feel like Drake and Madonna shouldn't necessarily be on the same plane.
LeKeith: I agree with you on that one.
Howard: That being said, there was still some damn fine dancing on stage this week.
LeKeith: I don't remember objecting so much to Nicki Minaj though
Howard: I feel like Nicki's outer space booty gives her a pass.
LeKeith: HA! That is True.
Howard: I mean, seriously.
LeKeith: Yeah, it's Out of This World and I wasn't going for the Pun on that one.
Howard: Nope.com But let's talk about the groups this week. Your thoughts on NXT?
LeKeith: I agreed with D-Trix. This was their best routine of the 3 routines they've done. It may be 4, but I think it's funny that how D-Trix kept saying it was the best/worst of the season .
LeKeith: I felt a little bad for Bailey though: first he doesn't get to be Madonna, then he doesn't get to be Drake…
Howard: Everybody puts Bailey in the corner. I thought JC's critique was on point - the routine felt too "samey" to me. Everything was in the same general area, but in terms of the stage and the height of the performance.
LeKeith: That was a very valid point and I don't disagree but I couldn't tell if that was because of NXT or because of the song. I will say that the good thing about not knowing Drake's catalog as well let me focus on the everything but: the dancing, the staging, the lighting, iCarly in the crowd…
Howard: You do love some iCarly.
LeKeith: Especially when it's 10:28 on the digital clock.
Howard: Someone will get that reference!
LeKeith: But the lighting helped NXT's "revisit the past" moment look even better.
Howard: I actually felt let down by that bit. I think the sequence wasn't choreographed to really catch your eyes as a time reversal.
LeKeith: Interesting. Because it was so tight?
Howard: Yeah, they were in a cluster the entire time. And re-watching it, I could see that they were going backwards through some of the movements, but it felt very perfunctory.
LeKeith: I can't say I disagree. It's a moment that doesn't hold up as strongly during on re-watches.
Howard: Not to mention, they actually excluded the one bit that would have really sold the time reversal.
LeKeith: I was able to look past the strobe like effect the lights have on the sequence upon revisiting.
Howard: Going into the "Revisit the past" lyric, they had a sequence where they started a wave of elbow dips from the first person to the second row to the third.
Howard: But when time rewound, they didn't reverse that wave. They just got up.
LeKeith: Huh. I didn't catch that. I though the rewinding was over after the trust fall. Or before the trust fall? Time travel is hard.
Howard: Oh, it totally was. But in regular order it was trust fall to choreo to elbow dip wave. Then time rewinds. So it should run elbow dip wave to choreo to trust fall. But instead, they just skipped to standing then choreo then trust fall.
LeKeith: Huh. I'm trying to come up with a Sci-Fi or SyFy explanation for you but I don't have one
Howard: It's the kind of minor detail that separates a great performance from an OK one. Plus, the trust fall is a terrible way to highlight the rewind. Since she goes from standing to falling to standing again - both forwards and in reverse - you don't really get a sense of one being the forwards version and the other being the backwards version.
LeKeith: Well, it's told more with the position of the rest of the crew. Presumably the crew would be more spread out before the fall than afterwards. But since spacing is a problem for them, the "revisit the past" effect isn’t as noticeable.
Howard: I think it's just a failure of conceptualization.
LeKeith: It all goes back to JC's comment.
Howard: Something as simple as moving from right to left and then left to right would sell the time reversal better. Or even the hated ABDC peel off.
LeKeith: Well, I think ABDC has established that NXT is a more technically proficient crew than a conceptually proficient one.
Howard: I'm hoping that they can learn something from M.O.S. Def or Fanny Pak about that. Though I have to admit that M.O.S. Def kind of disappointed me this week.
LeKeith: I didn't like their routine either. I thought it was vert similar to NXT's crew but with better stage positioning.
Howard: Before we get to them though, I have to acknowledge that Lil' Mama was starting to unleash her crazy with her NXT critique and it only grew as the show continued.
Howard: But back to M.O.S. Def. I think they raised the bar pretty high for themselves. D-Trix was on point - doing some as basic as the hat relay they did isn't an option for them anymore.
LeKeith: Yeah, it's funny. That was a little of my issue with Quest Crew back when they were on. And Shane Sparks ('member him?) used to call them out on it. It looks like with great perv hat comes great responsibilities.
Howard: HA! Yeah, Quest definitely got complacent towards the middle of the season. But this is only M.O.S. Def’s third performance. Way too early to get lazy.
LeKeith: That's kinda why D-Trix's proclamations of Best/Worst are so interesting. It may have something to do with the Bottom 2 results, I think.
Howard: Maybe. All this being said, they had some cool moments. The corkscrew spin out of the group that JC highlighted really popped. And they had good levels and use of the stage.
LeKeith: I can't remember any big moments other than the hat relay and some corkscrew leaps.
Howard: I think if NXT had done this performance, I would have been blown away. But M.O.S. Def needs to step their game up.
LeKeith: I agree. Also, I want to say something about the whole too many cooks in the kitchen but I don't have anything.
Howard: HA! Too many chiefs, not enough Indians! etc. etc. etc.
LeKeith: My rule of thumb is if you have an objection, make sure you have a suggestion. Don't just say no without offering a solution. So maybe if M.O.S. Def does that, they'll be okay. Teachers are students too, you know?
Howard: Does this mean that the greatest lesson they'll learn is from each other? Will their final performance be a Dead Poet's Society homage? Because I'd kind of lose my mind.
LeKeith: That would be amazing!
Howard: Speaking of students, let's discuss Baskin Robbins. And how we cannot possibly critique this performance.
LeKeith: Yup! Except for JC, who's been hardened from his years of being in N'Sync.
Howard: He has no mercy for tweens.
LeKeith: Well, I don't fault him for doing his job. And he wasn't mean or anything.
Howard: Yeah. This whole situation was seriously heartbreaking. Because I'm fairly certain that Angel's mom passed away the day of or the day after the taping.
LeKeith: Yeah, I think that's what happened. And it shows in the performance. I respect both Angel and Baskin Robbins for performing given the circumstances.
Howard: Agreed. It was a display of pure emotion and you could see Angel just barely holding it together throughout the performance.
LeKeith: Yeah, it was a little overwhelming to watch, to be honest. And I wasn't sure whose decision it was to make Angel the focus of the routine.
Howard: I'm assuming it was the crew as a whole. The end result was some really beautiful imagery, so I think it was the right call.
LeKeith: No, I don't disagree with the call. I kinda feel like MTV said "bring out the iCarly" for the backstage spirits of Baskin Robbins, you know?
Howard: Yeah. For all her crazy, Lil' Mama had some great words for Angel. And I hope that she got an opportunity to see or speak with her mother after that.
LeKeith: Yeah. I'm Glad Lil Mama has some control over the crazy and was able to be poignant in that moment.
Howard: Yup. There's not much else to say other than our thoughts and prayers go out to Angel.
LeKeith: The show must go on. What are your thoughts on Final Destination?
Howard: I thought they did a pretty good job.
LeKeith: Interesting. I didn't like elements of their routine.
Howard: Though without someone explicitly telling me, I don't know if I would have been able to tell that was a car. "That's a one man submarine, I guess?"
LeKeith: I agree. If we didn't see their other attempts at car formations, I wouldn't have put it together. Then again, seeing that that version was their best "car" was kinda like a shrug and an "Okay."
LeKeith: They had really nice elements that were new to show. Their interpretation of tutting was nice with very big movements instead of the tight ones we're used to seeing. And they have a whole groove that is a refreshing change from the rest of the show; they can just kinda throw flips into their routine without incident. But, I didn't care for the car and I didn't care for the helicopter at the end.
Howard: Yeah, the helicopter was about as intricate as their car. You know what it was like? When you're a kid and your mom buys you a bucket of Legos. They're not for any particular set – it's just a random bucket. And you'll piece together things that are vaguely recognizable as a car or jet or helicopter. That's what these formations felt like.
LeKeith: That's a perfect analogy.
Howard: I do appreciate that they cut out the dude falling down out of the cartwheels when they did the slo-mo. Props for not embarrassing him in slow motion, MTV!
LeKeith: I will say though, of all the crews, The Final Destination seem to be having the most fun on stage when they perform.
Howard: Agreed. I think it was their happy vibe and swag, especially in light of the heaviness of Baskin Robbins' performance that made it a really bright spot in my memory.
LeKeith: Yeah, in terms of show positioning, they were probably the best choice. The alternative was Purple Stuff or as I'd like to call them this week "Chris and a Six Pack of Purple Stuff"
Howard: HA! Did you notice that Chris was back?
LeKeith: In eleventy thousand ways. And I'm glad that he got to perform on ABDC but it's clear he's not able to move like he was before or in the way they need him to be. He was either directly in front of or behind another crew member the entire time.
Howard: Yeah, he's still getting his sea legs back.
LeKeith: At one point he was just crouching!
Howard: HA! I'm not sure why they hid his big flip at the start in the back of the formation.
LeKeith: I don't know either. I thought their formation was really designed for 6 but they had 7. Maybe there was a chance Chris was going to bow out this week?
Howard: Yeah, his medical clearance was probably touch and go.
LeKeith: I mean, I didn't expect him to come out flip flopping and flying or anything. I think he needs to find out a way to be dynamic for the group if he can't do backflips anytime soon.
Howard: Yeah, hopefully he'll be better incorporated next week.
LeKeith: Oh, Also! That Jacket Floating Thing was Stupid.
LeKeith: I'm sorry but it was really silly. Like bad magic silly.
Howard: Yes. We're not six year olds. It was the dance equivalent of "Got Your Nose!"
Howard: Also, I want to call for a judges moratorium on the "I disagree" fake out. It was funny in season 1.
LeKeith: HAHA! But D-Trix didn't get to use it then.
Howard: I'm 99% certain he used it last season.
LeKeith: No, I'm sure he did. But Lil Mama and JC have had SEVERAL season to fake-disagree. D-Trix only got 1!
Howard: One is more than enough!
LeKeith: Howard, with all due respect, I have to say I disagree.
LeKeith: It HAS to go!
Howard: HA! Speaking of things that need to go, let's jump to the Battle Round! Thoughts on Fanny Pak?
LeKeith: I think they're the Chris Jericho of ABDC. Remember how awesome he was before he left? And then he came back but he was still awesome but in a different way? That's how I feel about the Pak.
Howard: HA! I thought this routine started out great with an interesting narrative. And the treadmill was a fun illusion.
LeKeith: I agree.
Howard: I wasn't super in love with it overall though. I feel like the narrative got discarded for a little bit.
LeKeith: I think they're focusing on narrative more than they are on dancing and it's affecting their routines. I also liked how the best dancing part of the routine was done to the Nicki Minaj part.
Howard: Honestly, I think the reliance on props is starting to hurt them more. They always used little props and things to create moments, but their bodies used to be their main props.
LeKeith: Did I spend a portion of their routine wondering if someone was going to flip over the table? Yes.
LeKeith: But I do like they way they move props up and down stage in time to the routine. So I was a little bummed that Preston, I think, just ran to get the salad bowl and ran back. Fanny Pak is usually really careful about that. They need to be more Chris Jericho and less Steve Blackman.
Howard: The early FP routines that really stick in my head are the ones where they just move in ways and formations that other crews hadn't. Missy's "Get Your Freak On". Or the Flashdance performance.
LeKeith: That's the one I was thinking of too – the Missy Elliot one. That was a clever use of props and movement. And it was just the tongue, I think.
Howard: Though the props there were almost nonexistent. It was just the tongue and at one point a piece of tape over the mouth.
LeKeith: Oh yeah, that too. Didn't they use streamers for the long tongues?
Howard: Just at the start and just one tongue. It's literally the first three seconds.
LeKeith: But it's stayed in my head for years.
Howard: Even in the Flashdance performance, the judges table is utilized in the opening sequence, but the majority of the routine is them dancing as a group. They need to adopt a less is more mentality with the props. And give me the visual spectacle via dancing.
LeKeith: I agree.
Howard: Like the time walking that M.O.S. Def did last week is something I'd expect to see from Fanny Pak. I want to see something like that next week.
LeKeith: This routine reminded me a little of Fanny Pak East also, which is not a good thing.
Howard: Agreed. But let's talk about Howard's biggest disappointment of the night: Hipster Crew.
LeKeith: You were disappointed? You called that they were going to be on the chopping block
Howard: They're Asian b-boys wearing a BEAR MASCOT. And I still didn't love them.
LeKeith: They did a Helicopter Toss!
Howard: Honestly, I don't know how they could fit more things I love into that routine without having a beagle puppy deliver a pizza to me personally. And I agree that the helicopter toss was pretty phenomenal. But the rest of the routine was just blah, as they had been in weeks prior.
LeKeith: I was so scared for them.
Howard: As someone who has worn multiple mascot costumes and played dodgeball in some, the lack of vision definitely is a huge disadvantage. And kudos to the guy in the suit for pulling it off.
LeKeith: Is it really like 2 cardboard tubes for eye holes?
Howard: In a best case scenario. Sometimes you set the eyeholes too far apart and it's like having one cardboard tube for eye holes. In any case, the rest of the crew didn't really match his level of excellence.
LeKeith: I actually thought this was a step in the right direction for them as a whole though. The jokes were bigger.
Howard: It was a step in the right direction, but they should have been at that point in week 1.
LeKeith: Yeah I agree. Talking to you has changed my mind. I thought that given the complexity in the stunts - particularly the bear spin - they would have stayed if up against a lesser crew. But maybe not.
Howard: It's possible. But the basic nature of their choreo means they can't match up against Fanny Pak.
LeKeith: Yeah but the way JC goes on and on about Moments, you can't deny there were moments in this routine.
Howard: It's true, but his point is that moment alone can't make a routine. That's Hipster Crew's big failing. They can't really create a cohesive tapestry to hang their moments from.
LeKeith: It's true.
Howard: And while I don't feel like it's as strong as their prior appearance, Fanny Pak does that a lot better. I am, however, concerned to see them in the Bottom 2.
LeKeith: As am I.
Howard: The good news is that Lil' Mama almost threw on the full crazy hat.
LeKeith: Oh, with the Flash Mob Thing?
Howard: No, when she got pissed at D-Trix for interrupting her.
LeKeith: Oh, that wasn't crazy.
Howard: And a big boo to D-Trix for raising the old "you can't criticize if you can't do it" chestnut.
LeKeith: She went Brooklyn on him!
Howard: I did love how some of the people in Fanny Pak had visible WTF expressions when she called them a flash mob.
LeKeith: I dunno, I thought he felt that they were unfairly ganging up on Hipster Crew.
Howard: If that's the case, he needs to raise an argument for why their critique is flawed. But challenging them to do that routine is a BS rebuttal.
LeKeith: You know how Lil’ Mama just tends to repeat whatever JC says but in Lil Mama Language.
LeKeith: I thought he was just preventing that. Well, I think Lil Mama's flaws are the finer points of judging so it's a tough bind.
Howard: So who do you think will be our Bottom 2 next week?
LeKeith: Well, hopefully the Pak Army voted in full force this week. So I think Chris and the Purple Stuff 6 Pack will be in the Bottom 2. Possibly with Final Destination, if Fanny Pak makes it out.
Howard: I concur with your assessment.
LeKeith: Did we not discuss how the Bear made out with D-Trix? Maybe that's why he defended them? He got some action?
Howard: It's true. D-Trix's secret furry tendencies have been revealed! No yiffing on the ABDC Stage, D-Trix!
LeKeith: Listen, if Furry Week happens next season, we'll know why.
Howard: On that horrific note, we out!
Monday, April 30, 2012
The G.I. Joe karate expert doesn't get a ton of respect. After all, he was killed off without much fanfare by a Saw Viper in the seminal Marvel comics. But this Toys R Us exclusive - featuring Quick Kick decked out in Cobra Kai gear - has captured the attention of many a fan. Sweep the leg, Quick Kick!
Thursday, April 26, 2012
It's week 3 and finally all nine remaining crews are on the same show! But this week they face the deadly DOUBLE ELIMINATION! How did things pan out for your favorite crew? Read on to find out...
Howard: Twice the danger means twice the excitement! What did you think of this week's double elimination episode?
LeKeith: I really wanted Mario to Call it a 3 Way Dance at least one time.
Howard: One day he'll make your dreams come true.
LeKeith: Well, until that day, I'll keep dreaming. I think the faster they get to longer performances, they happier I'll be, so I was okay with it.
Howard: Agreed. I kind of liked the one comment per routine set up as well. If Lil' Mama isn't going to be bat shit cray the whole time, I just want more dancing.
LeKeith: Well, she needs opportunities to be crazy. That kind of genius can't be put on a timer.
Howard: It's true, but the past two weeks have been light on Lil' Mama-isms. If she kicks that up, I'm all for giving her more promo time.
LeKeith: I think she shifted gears this week. We'll see Vintage Lil' Mama soon enough. What did you think of the Madonnathon?
Howard: Well, there's definitely no shortage of excellent Madonna dance songs to choose from. And some groups got paired with better numbers than others.
LeKeith: Yeah, I agree. So what did you think of the pairing of Fanny Pak and high heels?
Howard: I have to say that it was a disappointing start to the week. It wasn't a terrible routine by any stretch of the imagination, but it didn't really feel like a Fanny Pak routine. It just felt really safe.
LeKeith: Oh, I had a different reaction to it.
Howard: I take it that you liked it a lot?
LeKeith: I couldn't get enough of that mirror spin. My brain went "1 became… 3? What happened to 2?)
Howard: It's like Magic Week came early.
LeKeith: Oh, there was a lot of Magic on the show. I mean, I agree that it maybe wasn't typical Fanny Pak but I still enjoyed it more because it was Fanny Pak.
Howard: This was also the week of the Incompetent Camera Angle.
LeKeith: It's ABDC Season All of Them: The Return of the Bad Camera Angle!
Howard: There was a spot in their routine where they were walking the mirror down the center of the stage. And they were presumably mirroring each other on either side. But I have no idea because the camera decided to focus just on ONE HALF OF THE STAGE. It wasn't until the mirror came to a stop that the mirror effect became clear.
LeKeith: yeah ... that was annoying.
Howard: Which is unfortunate, because that staging might have made me feel more hype for the routine. Like I said, it was a decent routine, but there was nothing that made me pop up from my seat or want to watch it again. So it felt very atypical for Fanny Pak.
LeKeith: I awarded them the ABDC achievement for Double Prop Use: A Mirror and Heels. Also, I think they made me enjoy a Madonna song I would otherwise ignore.
Howard: HA! Well, they should definitely get extra credit for that.
LeKeith: Usually the crew that gets the latest single is at a disadvantage.
Howard: It's true. Anyway, I feel like FP is safe and I'm going to chalk up my apathy this week to their terrible camera work.
LeKeith: I think they're safe too but I expect to a see a cameraman in the Battle Round!
Howard: HA! What did you think of Purple Stuff?
LeKeith: I'm very torn on this crew. I think they did a really good job this week and I can't envision what they would do differently with another person on the stage. Unless that other person can eliminate the natural lull that's at the beginning of their routines, I can't tell what next week will hold when Chris comes back.
Howard: I imagine Chris will increase their trick factor. Imagine 100% more flips!
LeKeith: HA! Okay. Maybe that'll do it.
Howard: I agree that it was a solid performance. And they were kind to give them the electropop song. It fit in well with their dance style.
LeKeith: Yeah, that definitely helped. They did that old ABDC standby though.
Howard: The peel off?
LeKeith: Okay ABDC Standby #2 – where they were doing their routine, did the challenge and then went back to their routine.
Howard: HA! Yeah, though I think whenever the challenge is "do dance style X that's not your usual style", it's easier to understand. I don't think I would want to see them try to krump the entire time. And krumping also isn't the kind of thing that's as easily integrated into routines like, say, popping.
LeKeith: No, I agree. But for the krumping part, everything changed, the music and the dancing, and then went back like it was normal.
Howard: Yeah. I did appreciate how they worked some levels into the krumping section. Something as simple as someone jumping super high for the punching move gave it a little additional flair.
LeKeith: Yeah, that was nice. Like I said at the beginning, it wasn't a bad routine at all. And it gives Purple Stuff this kind of wake up call moment.
Howard: What did you think of M.O.S. Def?
LeKeith: I like that they were able to pay tribute to both Madonna AND the Wright Brothers in a single dance.
Howard: HA! I saw it as an H.G. Wells tribute. They were dressed like old timey time travelers.
LeKeith: Oh! That makes a lot more sense, actually.
Howard: Though those goggles pretty much work for any kind of old timey adventurer outfit.
LeKeith: Yeah! I thought they were old timey aviators.
Howard: An understandable interpretation
LeKeith: I'm just glad I learned something from the teachers. Thanks, Educators!
Howard: I loved their routine. It was the first part of the evening when I had to sit up and take notice.
LeKeith: I think sandwiching Purple Stuff between Fanny Pak and M.O.S. Def isn't fair though.
LeKeith: You had two excellent concept crews just going all over the place.
Howard: "Here's the fan favorite! And the excellence of execution! You guys go in the middle. Good luck!"
LeKeith: Don't You Bret them just yet.
Howard: I'm banking on them to ride all the way to the finals. The only thing that could possibly stop them is the Child Vote. But we'll get to that later.
LeKeith: They have to lose after a grueling hour long dance in sudden death overtime to be fully Bret-ed.
Howard: Fair enough.
LeKeith: But they are excellent in their routines.
Howard: That bit that D-Trix slo-mo’d had me going nuts.
LeKeith: And it wasn't in slo-mo! It was just that good of a highlight.
Howard: You are correct, sir! He described it as activating each member, which was an excellent way of describing it. Though when I was watching it the first time, it felt like he was dancing through his own afterimages. Either way, it blew my mind.
LeKeith: Oh, whoa. That is an awesome idea. There was only one thing that bugged me and it had nothing to do with the crew. Do they save the world?
Howard: Well, I don't think they used all four minutes, so we'll never know. Plus, with their time travel dancing, they can pretty much loop that four minutes forever. Groundhog Day Styles.
Howard: Shall we move on to the surprise of the night?
LeKeith: Layla Kayleigh showed up? I didn't see that. Where was I?
Howard: Baskin Robbins, bringing that heat!
LeKeith: Oh, right, the kids! Yeah, they came out with the power.
Howard: I appreciated how technical their conversation was during their video package.
LeKeith: As did I. Although I kept noticing that Camren could not stop smiling.
Howard: It's true. Also, someone in the ABDC wardrobe department was listening to us. Because they put them in the most asexual outfits possible.
LeKeith: Also known as 80's Powersuits. But they rocked it. Also, their routine was very focused, they were united and they just had the attitude to go with that song.
Howard: Yup. Kaelynn was definitely the glue of that routine though.
LeKeith: Yeah, it's true. And she lived up to the challenge.
Howard: Her presence just grabbed the audience, so big kudos to her. If they can continue to put together big performances like that, I will find it hard to complain if they make it to the finals.
LeKeith: Well, as long as they earn votes, I can't complain.
Howard: That performance just shamed everything the Lil' Broskis did last season.
LeKeith: It's true. I do appreciate that Lil Mama tried to upstage them / pay tribute to them though.
Howard: HA! Yeah, that was a nice taste of Lil' Mama Classic.
LeKeith: Embrace it, Lil' Mama. Bring it Back!
Howard: HA! Can we discuss the amazing inappropriateness of the song assigned to NXT?
LeKeith: I yelled at my TV! "Not Cool!"
Howard: It was so out of control that the kids even commented on it! C'mon, MTV! Not even Shane Sparks would be down with this. (Too soon?)
LeKeith: I mean, is that better or worse than picking "Like a Virgin"
Howard: HA! It's up there, I think.
LeKeith: I felt really bad for Bailey the whole time.
Howard: Yeah, he was so deeply unhappy.
LeKeith: I'm glad he was able to tell the girls to stay out of his wash area though.
Howard: Yes, they definitely kept away from the swimsuit parts.
LeKeith: But I feel like he got the fastest demotion ever in the history of Dance. "You're Going to Be Madonna." "You're Going to Be the Chair Mover" "You're Going to Be the Footstool for the new Madonna."
Howard: HAHA! It's true. He had a reality star's career path. Also, kudos to the kids for paying attention to the judges' notes. A lesson that some crews decided to ignore.
LeKeith: Yeah, definitely. That's the thing about a crew their age. They're able to learn and adapt.
LeKeith: More seasoned crews are sometimes less willing to change. I didn't like Bailey's Glide though.
Howard: Agreed. I thought it was like the tone of the entire routine – just OK.
LeKeith: It felt very Usher/Bieber to me. And I though this was another song where attitude needed to carry the song.
Howard: Yup. But they were a little too sqeaky clean.
LeKeith: We'll see what they come up with next week. How'd you like Hipster Crew this week? Incidentally, if you don't like someone, make them listen to "Ray of Light" for a week.
Howard: They are so hipster-rific, it kills me. Their whole routine is based on one or two clever thoughts.
Howard: And the rest seems so uninspired, you have to wonder if they even care. Or if they feel like it's too uncool to put in effort. Or they're really just that bad.
LeKeith: I think you hit the crux of them as a comedy crew. If their routine is too good, everyone is in sync and smooth, it's no longer funny. If their routine is too sloppy, they're eliminated.
Howard: I'm trying to decide if they beat out last year's all Asian breaking crew as my most disappointing ABDC crew of all time.
LeKeith: Boogie Bots?
Howard: Wow, that's going waaaaaay back.
LeKeith: I expected so much from them.
Howard: No, Top Ramen. They were just so much sadness for me. I have managed to keep an ironic distance from Hipster Crew.
LeKeith: Yeah, I know. I meant the Boogie Bots disappointed me so much.
Howard: So my heart is not totally broken.
Howard: I must admit that the flopping fish gag was awesome.
LeKeith: I did think that their tutting nose picking section was a really funny idea. Keyword: idea.
Howard: It was funny, but just felt so haphazard.
LeKeith: Well, I thought that was part of the joke. But for it to work, they need to be sloppy dancers. And JC just won't let that fly. Although my favorite joke of theirs is when they implied that Madonna wasn't human because she could walk in super-speed in the video. I just wanted to point that out.
LeKeith: But their problem is that their big gags aren't as funny as say, Poreotix, and their small gags look more like bad dancing than gags.
Howard: It's true. Much like all hipsters, the best they can manage is to half-ass it. I'd apologize to any hipsters that read that, but I'm pretty sure they haven't read this far into the review.
LeKeith: HA! They had to click after the jump. That's too much effort.
Howard: Are we in agreement that Hipster Crew needs to be in the bottom 2 next week?
Howard: Well, let's move on and discuss this week's elimination round. The Three Way Dance!
LeKeith: Thank You!
Howard: Or, as I liked to call it, Let's Get Rid of the Foreigners!
LeKeith: Listen, there's more than one way to make America #1 again. This just happens to be the easiest way.
Howard: I like to imagine that the producers saw that both of the foreign crews were in the bottom two and thought, "Eh, let's just cut to the chase and make it a double elimination."
LeKeith: It's entirely possible.
Howard: But let's talk about some line dancing!
LeKeith: Confession: I actually kinda like this Madonna song.
Howard: As do I!
LeKeith: It's a really random Madonna song to like but I like the guitar hiccup at the front.
Howard: No shame, brother. I like that Final Destination had to explain to MTV that not every part of the South is the same.
LeKeith: That's why we do this, man! But everyone in Canada is a precision dancer, right? Or hockey player? Or professional wrestler?
Howard: Oh, of course. I'm pretty sure those are the only three professions you’re allowed to have. I know you had to love this routine since it started out with one crew member playing another like a guitar.
LeKeith: Yeah… You'd think that. It was really awkward looking though, as human guitars often go. I appreciate the nod to the music though.
Howard: HA! I also question the wardrobe choice. The all black tops made it kind of hard to see some of their upper body choreo. But overall, I really enjoyed the routine.
LeKeith: The Knee Drop
Howard: That was pretty spectacular.
LeKeith: It's what won them the battle. It was so sick.
Howard: I may have to agree. I also enjoyed their incorporation of line dancing moves throughout the routine.
LeKeith: They really did try to incorporate as much as they could, which I approve of. It wasn't just a segment in their routine.
Howard: Given that most group choreo is just everyone moving in formation, it was cool that they were able to make the "line dancing" elements really have an identity within the routine though.
LeKeith: Also, despite our love for the song, they were given a tough Madonna song to do. It was from her Experimental Americana phase. But I thought they handled it admirably.
What did you think of the Mexicools and the song that ruined the Super Bowl?
LeKeith: HAHA! That's all I could think during the routine. "Oh. It's THIS Song."
Howard: It's like MTV wanted America to hate them.
LeKeith: Pretty much. That's probably why they gave Vouge 2 to Oh! Canada.
Howard: HA! This was just a cheerleading routine. Which isn't to say that there wasn't technique behind it. There just wasn’t a lot of dance technique.
LeKeith: Yup! I kinda feel like they were given separate instructions from everyone else. Like they were told to recreate the video, almost. Also, I did not appreciate MTV caption Mr. Derrick Bateman like that.
Howard: I honestly can't even remember the dance move they were supposed to copy.
LeKeith: Cheerleader Stuff.
Howard: Well, I guess one crew has to be the sacrificial lamb. Anyway, we'll miss you, Mexicools. You gave us ABDC Derrick Bateman. So we'll have that, I guess.
LeKeith: And for that we thank you.
Howard: Let's move on to Oh! Canada. aka Fuck You, JC.
LeKeith: HAHA! What did he do?
Howard: I just like that they completely rebuked his critique from their last appearance. "He told us to not just be sexy. Well, we're just going to amp up the sexy!"
LeKeith: Oh, yes, that I agreed with. I would just sing the chorus to "Some Girls Dance With Women" every time I disagree with JC.
Howard: HA! I'm pretty sure D-Trix was happy in his pants parts. Though I was sad that the pants parts were not referenced in the quick critique.
LeKeith: Yeah, he focused on the pushups, which was a euphemism for… pushups
Howard: HA! They had some cool formations and utilized the stage really well. It was honestly a toss up between them and Final Destination in my book.
LeKeith: I like that they had surprise chains. Like how the Mexicools had surprise steam
Howard: Yeah, the surprise props were not enough to save either crew, sadly.
LeKeith: I thought Final Destination was slightly better than our Border Cousins. It was all about the kneedrop.
Howard: Kneedrop beats sexy pushups!
LeKeith: Just this once. I am kinda bummed that the majority of the eye candy is gone though.
Howard: I feel like Fanny Pak now has a monopoly on sexy performances. Since the only other remaining women in the competition are all very much underage.
LeKeith: I should hope so!
Howard: Remember kids - leave the sexiness to the adults!
LeKeith: I don't want any age inappropriate shenanigans.
Howard: Don't Chris Hansen the audience!
LeKeith: However, if that's the finale of ABDC, that'd be an amazing way to go out.
LeKeith: Well just have to keep checking the audience shots for dudes in Sweatpants.
Howard: I do feel bad for Oh! Canada. The Mexicools at least got a Flo Rida gig out of it.
LeKeith: Well, they can go back to their Day Jobs.
Howard: What did Oh! Canada get? Just being walked like a dog on national TV.
LeKeith: HA! And hopefully they can stop tricking on the streets of Montreal.
Howard: And sadly, neither crew got to walk it out in style.
LeKeith: I was kinda bummed by that. Hopefully, next week, the eliminated crew will truly Walk It Out.
Howard: Start practicing, Hipster Crew! And on that note, we out!