With over 20 million votes cast and a week's worth of waiting behind us, the winner of Randy Jackson Presents: America's Best Dance Crew will be announced. And here I am, tucked safely away in a press tent (with snacks!) on pins and needles. But first, we have to get through fifty-six minutes of broadcast.
After this season's crews are brought out in elimination order, Quest Crew and Beat Freaks (who are wonderfully sparkly) take the stage. Host Mario Lopez explains that each judge picked three crews to do a combo number (as opposed to the regional groupings of the previous two seasons).
Shane Sparks' mega-crew is up first. He put Strikers All-Stars, Quest Crew, and Dynamic Edition together because of their high intensity and precision. They dance to "Right Round" by Flo Rida – I'm not a big fan of the song but the number was fantastic. It's cool seeing Dynamic Edition doing a mix of Hip Hop choreography. Each crew gets the spotlight as well as providing signature moves for the group to do as a whole. Seeing Quest and Strikers clog…was awesome. The number went over very well in the press tent.
JC Chasez picks Beat Freaks, Boxcuttuhz, and Team Millinium based on their precision and attention to detail. Because JC loves precision and attention to detail. Calling themselves "Team Beat Box," they perform to a mix of "Just Dance" by Lady Gaga. Jules and Shorty start at with headspins. I couldn't see the screen very well for this one but I liked how they mixed it up. Overall, I enjoyed it but I'll have to get another look at home to really see what was going on.
This season's community visit comes courtesy of the opening of the Lula Washington Dance Theater in Los Angeles. It seems like they brought pretty much all the crews (or at least a couple folks from each one) to teach some of the kids some moves.
Lil' Mama's mega-crew goes last – Ringmasters, G.O.P., and Fly Khicks. Just because it amuses me, I'm going to imagine the judges picked the groups like fantasy football. There was a strong Reggaeton flavor to the number, a very smart decision. I couldn't imagine how these three crews could mesh before seeing the number but, surprisingly, they meshed very well. Big ups to whoever did the choreography.
We get both Quest Crew and Beat Freaks' journey packages at this time. Both go more on the side of joy as opposed to "sad goodbye music" playing in the background. But all that was just a prelude to the Quest/Beat Freaks combo number. The set looks like a subway stop and had a total Old School vibe to it. Great, great number. Rousing applause from the audience and the press tent.
To kill some more time before we get the results, Mario asks the judges to say some last words on the final two crews. Shane says Quest came to dominate every week and replays the blindfold section of their Britney Challenge number, adding that he mentioned Beat Freaks "being on their butt" to make sure they kept up their intensity. He's wraps up by saying both are incredible crews. JC tells Beat Freaks that they've had a great run and are the total package – great dancers, wonderful people, hard workers, and very professional. Their "Robotic Automation" from the video challenge is JC's replay. He also gives love to both crews. Lil' Mama says it's hard to not fall in love with Quest since they're so charming and that the Beat Freaks are an inspiration, adding that they've changed the way she's approached life and performing. She also likens Quest to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in a totally complimentary way.
Back from the last break of the season, Mario launches into lengthy but positive summaries of each crew. After weeks of battling and a whole crap load of votes, it's finally announced that the winner of this season is…Quest Crew. As I thought, I'm both happy and sad as is everyone else in the tent.
The Beat Freaks smile and hug the guys as they cut to Dominic crying. Dom says it's an honor just to be on stage with BF. Theresa thanks everyone that voted and believed in them and, even though they didn't get the title, they won because their message went out to the world. One reporter's shocked facial expression remained unchanged for about two minutes.
Randy Jackson makes his appearance to give Quest their Golden B-Boy Trophy before they end with another dance number, using the trophy in the choreography. Then the other crews tackle the guys in congratulations as a ridiculous amount of giant confetti rains down on the set.
Assorted Bits & Pieces:
- As soon as the show ended, they lined us up and took us poor press folk into the studio and onto the stage. Though Lil' Jon, Shannon Elizabeth, Mark Ballas, Derek Hough, all of Fanny Pak and Supercr3w, Lil' Kim, Brianna Evigan from Step Up 2, and Shanae Grimes from 90210 were all in the audience, only Shannon, Derek and Lil' Kim stuck around to be interviewed. Well, I got to say hi to Fanny Pak and Do-Knock from Supercr3w but there was too much chaos to interview them.
Speaking of Lil' Kim, her name is apt. She's mega-tiny. Shannon Elizabeth, on the other hand, I knew she was tall but she's taller than I expected. She's easily 6'0 in normal heels.
Quest Crew let me touch the Golden B-Boy Trophy. It bends in the middle in a bobblehead-like manner. It's kind of like magic.
I really am sad that Beat Freaks didn't win…but I'm happy Quest Crew did. But I'm not worried about the Freaks. I see plenty of great things in their future.
There was no mention of when the next season will start but there's absolutly no indication it won't be back. I figure they'll wait until after So You Think You Can Dance ends to audition and the first show will probably air in the Fall – October-ish, I'd say.
Your thoughts on the finale? Did you agree with the outcome? Are you the same sad/happy mix as I? Which was your favorite mega-crew number? Anything else you want to add? Thanks for sticking with me this season! If you find yourself missing me, feel free to follow me on Twitter!