They wasted no time this season with try-outs or getting to know the crews, it just opened straight into a brief recap of the show's previous winners (to the tune of "Written in the Stars" by Tinie Tempah) and then a sweet opening group number set to Lil' Wayne's "Six Foot Seven Foot."
This episode only features 5 of the 10 crews, but one crew will still be eliminated this week. We've got our regular judges, Lil Mama and JC Chasez, and now the third judge is Dominic Sandoval, from ABDC Season 3 winners QUEST and So You Think You Can Dance Season 3.
Lil Wayne Song: Ride Above It
Background: They focus on "The Brain Bang" which is doing moves that make you want to rewind it to get the moves and everything they're doing. You make recognize Philip Chbeeb from his time on So You Think You Can Dance Season 6, and if you follow him on twitter you've probably seen his videos with fellow crew member Marvelous Moon and Quest's Hok.
Routine: Overall they had a great routine that was full of intricate moves, and "rubik's cube" of tutting. All the judges were very impressed and thought it was a great opening to this season. JC only hopes they don't get stuck in that "brain bang" cluster in the middle and are open to trying new moves as the challenges change.
Crew: Phunk Phenomenon
Lil Wayne Song: A Milli
Background: From Boston, MA they want to unseat the west crews just like every other non-west crew. They've been a crew for about 8 years, with two of the members being brothers. They're doing this for their late father, who always wanted to see them on this show.
Routine: I recognized the main b-boy, Jean Lloret, from his brief audition on one season's SYTYCD. He had some crazy b-boy moves then and I'm so glad to see he found a show that allows him to shine. They had some great moments, including his floor moves and when the LeBron lookalike jumped over him. The ending move where the girl kicked everyone away was great, as well - just such attitude! The judges liked their variety of moves, especially when they went hard and fast, and when they introduced their girl dancer with her stepping just as hard as the guys.
Lil Wayne Song: Knock Out featuring Nicki Minaj
Background: The first ABDC crew ever to come from outside North America (BluPrint Crew came from Canada last season). They've got their own style called Pollyswag which comes from the fact that they're a Polynesian nation and they have swag. They incorporate their polynesian roots into their modern hiop hop style.
Routine: This song sounds nothing like Lil Wayne to me. Is that how the original version sounds or is that the master mix? They had a lot of energy and intensity, but they seemed a little all over the place on that stage. There were so many formations and transitions that it felt a little sloppy to me. JC liked their theatrical moves, but wants to make sure they don't become one note. D-Trix hopes all the girls in New Zealand dance like them, they featured everyone at the front at some point and didn't try to hide any weaknesses because they don't appear to have any weaknesses just yet. Lil Mama liked how playful they were and thought they were "killing them softly" with their moves at some points.
Crew: Eclectic Gentlemen
Lil Wayne Song: Fireman
Background: "Sexy guys in bow ties." They may be from NoHo, CA, but the members are originally from all over the country and have come to Hollywood to pursue their dreams. They dance hard, but want to look good. They move to the words to tell a story moreso than just the beat.
Routine: They were very clean and had some great moments, but I definitely agree with D-Trix about that firetruck move. Had it not had the red light and the "driver" I'd have had no idea what they were supposed to be forming. JC thinks their outlook is refreshing, to be gentlemen while also being hard dancers. However, their choreography was a little too tight to the point of being stiff.
Lil Wayne Song: Not a Human Being
Background: Tight-Eyez is the founder of krumping and starred in the 2005 documentary RIZE. They are all very close, going to church together and living in the same apartment building. After hearing the song that was chosen for them, they thought it was perfect because "humans can't move like us."
Routine: The female krumper in the group was awesome, but Tight-Eyes is definitely the star of this crew. The judges love their passion for dance and taking all the energy from their lives and throwing it out on that dance floor. D-Trix thinks we're all watching living history with Tight-Eyez on this stage. They can't critique him because he created this whole genre. After all their comments, the judges gave them a standing ovation. Well, we know they won't be going home this week.
They also got my favorite Lil' Mama quote from the episode:
"Not everybody might not understand what just happened right then. That's the spirit taking over the body within itself. Krumping arises from your body letting loose. I felt like I was watching Him rise again."
The results: The judges immediately saved Street Kingdom (duh!), Phunk Phenomenon, and IaMme. Between Request and Eclectic Gentlemen, Request will be sticking around. I'm not too surprised given that they're only all-girl crew and went through a lot of trouble to get working visas to compete. Just logically, they have to stick around a little bit longer.
And with that, one of the West Crews has already fallen. Next week we'll see the other 5 crews perform to a Ke$ha challenge.
Which crew was your favorite from this week?