A battle as old as time played out through the prism of "Randy Jackson Presents America's Best Dance Crew" as the "guys vs. girls" challenge was enacted. Guys have won the first two seasons, with women getting as far as second and third in mixed crews (So Real Cru, Kaba Modern, Fanny Pak), and all-girls crews not even sniffing the top three.
Well, that's about to change. But first, the group dance.
In the audience, we got to watch it twice. The girls together vs. the guys. The Strikers All Stars were a bit more crisp than Quest Crew, and Fly Khicks also stood out more than Beat Freaks. It's interesting that the two crews no one thinks have a chance are the best two in this group number, definitely playing to the crowd with the sexy dancing. Beat Freaks and Quest Crew are great squads, but often also rely on spectacular individual performances. Too bad that this didn't count. On to the battles!
So, Beat Freaks and Quest Crew were voted to continue on by the home-viewing audience, which is no surprise if you've followed the show this season. For the third time in a row, Fly Khicks was in the bottom two. And for the first time, Strikers All Stars was in the bottom two.
We'll start with Quest Crew. I actually liked their poker performance last week, but this topped that. Dancing to Chris Brown's "Forever," the crew also had to incorporate some of his moves. They ripped it. With high-flying, synchronized flips and choreography that used the whole stage, the crew infused their performance with a fun silliness that is an extension of their personality. It worked well for them and they solidified their position as one of the top two crews this season. The judges agreed.
The other top crew, though, may have put a stranglehold on No. 1 as Beat Freaks put the crowd into a frenzy with their performance to Katy Perry's "Hot and Cold." Their flawlessly in sync robot in the lead set the whole tone. Even when Lil Mama asked them to play it back, it looked even better in slo mo -- each move done at the same time! Awesome! And I didn't even get to the, as JC Chasez called it, "half-hour head spin" by Shorty that ended their routine. Shane was out of his mind: "I can't even breathe right now cause y'all are killing me! Y'all just ripped the stage. Totally. Ripped. The. Stage!"
From the highs of those, to the lows of the bottom two. First up was Strikers All Stars, dancing to Daddy Yankee (not ideal). I always thought they had a chance if they stayed clean. They didn't. One lapse in concentration and a few missed steps, and Strikers' routine was ruined. They still came hard with precision once everyone came back together, but it was too late, and the door was opened for Fly Khicks.
All they had to do was perform adequately with no big mistakes, and Fly Khicks did. Rihanna's "Pon de Replay" was perfect for the Miami girls and they twisted through the music with good formations and dance hall moves. They moved on to the top three despite being the only crew to ever face three straight eliminations.
Hated to see Strikers go, but I asked them about stepping and their stay on "ABDC."
Did the music trip up Strikers? A bit, but not really. These are pretty much the finals, so you can't mess up -- especially with Fly Khicks. They are battlers. Strikers said "No weapon formed against us shall prosper," while Fly Khicks said "America watch out, and Strikers watch out." Love the Bible, but those girls were ready to go.
And they'd better be ready for next week, too. They'll no doubt have to battle the creative Quest Crew, which might be a bit too much for them. Beat Freaks had the audience stomping in the bleachers and screaming as the judges tried to speak, so there should be no way they'd be on the bottom.
Also have to mention that this was a big reunion show, too. Members of Super Cr3w, Fanny Pak, Fysh and Chicks and A.S.I.I.D. were backstage and in the crowd. Michael Clarke Duncan, Justin Chon from "Twilight," and an amazing 7-year-old break dancer named Jalen Testerman also made cameo appearances.
-- Jevon Phillips