Of the three metro Atlanta crews on MTV’s “America’s Best Dance Crew,” Stone Mountain’s Jungle Boogie was the best. Swagger Crew was the weakest and landed in the botom three, forcing them to go into the final faceoff.
Sadly, Swagger Crew was the first team eliminated Thursday night and their banner fell.
Here’s how each Atlanta crew did.
Swagger Crew (to Rihanna) – While clean, their routine was rather rudimentary. No interesting tricks or choreography to distinguish them. Two judges were a bit harsh. J.C. Chasez was more sympathetic.
Lil Mama: “You’re losing the swag. You don’t want to do that… overall, your energy was great but the performance threw you off… I”m shocked.”
Omarion: “The choreography-it didn’t look like you spent a lot of time on it. I’ve seen you guys do better.”
JC Chasez: “You’re expressing yourself through art to fight through your pain. I respect that… It’s smart.” He liked the song choice related to the house fire. He liked that they put the one woman in the center. Jason was “killing your steps,” he said. “As a whole, it was a bit one dimensional but I liked the intensity.”
Jungle Boogie (to “How Low” by Ludacris): Much better than Swagger Crew. They brought serious “jungle” energy, plenty of fun “cranking” moves and the lead Raqi Carter just brought down the house. The judges agreed with me:
JC Chasez: “You just woke us up! The other four crews before you need to come through you guys… this was a great routine. It started with huge energy. The opening was just big and it didn’t stop… it was so fun!”
Lil Mama; “Powerful piece. A huge open. You guys are following your animal instincts… Rocky, you have the eye of the tiger. Transitions were on point. You bring choreography, then slow it down.”
Omarion: “I want to give it up to Rocky. You’re a cute little thing but you kept everyone in line. Everyone looks clean… I saw some African moves.”
Royal Flush: (dancing to Jay Sean’s “Down”): Not as good as Jungle Boogie, better than Swagger Crew. They’re sweet and have some good steps but they seem to lack a real distinctive point of view. It was all over the place.
Omarion: “This times the cards were used creatively… for most part, it was a great performance.”
JC Chasez: “What I did like, you are doing a lot of things in one performance. I saw the threading. the athletic and choreography. For the second time, a little bit of everything… a very well-rounded group.”
Lil Mama: “A well-improved group. Transitions were on point. Musicality was on point with actual choreography. You’re a group ready to evolve.” [I can see, too, see them getting better and better.]
Notes on a couple of the other groups. Heavy Impact feature heavier-set guys doing what most skinny guys can’t do. It’s a good gimmick. Speaking of gimmick, Saltare use jump ropes (like Breaksk8 with the rollerskates a couple years back) but somehow, despite the hokiness, they make it work. I also enjoyed Blueprint Cru, a lot.