07 June 2008

Dance Like I'm Watching

America's Best Dance Crew is back. Has a show ever ended and then geared up for another season in two short months? Well, it's a great decision by MTV because ABDC was such a phenomenon. Here's the problem though: The show has already jumped the shark. You're not going to get much better than Kaba and Jabbawockeez. This isn't like American Idol where there are millions of wannabe singers. Only a few cities/areas can pump out decent dance crews. If they renamed the show "Southern California's Best Dance Crew" then we'd have something to watch.

Plus, as was proved last season, you can't have too many Asian groups stealing the spotlight all the time. America's not ready for that. Or are they? We'll find out this season because the serious contenders are all Asian groups, again. Big shock, I know. There's good reasons for that but I'll go into it later. In the meantime, I'll save you ten hours of your life by just telling you what's going to happen this season.

They could have named this second season "America's Best Dance Crew: The Specials" because nearly all the groups had gimmicks. None so blatant as Break Sk8 last year but still. There's the white boys from the suburbs who must fight back against their boy band image. The Latina group who bring their cultural influences to the show (and not much else). The five girls and two (gay) guys group. The cheerleaders who hate to be called cheerleaders (even though that's exactly what they are). The 80's themed group called "Fanny Pack." The breakers who can't really dance (but has a member featured from Planet B-Boy). The crew with a member who's deaf but hears the music with his soul (or you know, his hearing aid). The heart wrenching tale of one guy whose dad is in a coma. Thanks for all the feel good stories but can they dance?

For the most part the answer is "No they can't." Some of the groups are blatantly bad while some of the semi-okay ones are knockoffs of last season's contestants. Bad choreography abounds, technical skills are horrific, and none of the groups were very clean. The judges kept trying to get the groups to up their energy, to up their creativity, and to kick it up a notch. "C'mon! It's Season Two!"

So who's going to win? Well, considering the dance crew mecca of the U.S. is centered in Southern California, does any other group have a chance? Not really.

Dance competitions have been going on for over ten years in California and there are tons of crews just from the San Diego - Orange County area who are better than any of the groups on the show. Too bad (for MTV) they're pretty much all Asian-centric. The amateur hip hop dance crew experience is centered around Asian cultural shows and nobody else in the country can compete with their generation of experience.

With that said, this season's winners will be either Supreme Soul or Team Millenia. Supreme Soul is this season's Jabba (an all guy group with charisma and energy) while Team Millenia is the new Kaba (down to the "My Asian parents want us to be doctors and lawyers" storyline). Too bad both are second rate versions of last year's two best crews. It's no surprise that SS and TM are veterans of the dance show circuit. My sleepers are SoReal Cru from Houston, who are pretty good and hey, all-Asian. I'm a bit surprised none of the other SoCal groups came out but maybe they did and weren't picked. Gotta keep it variety-like right?

Oh wait, as I was writing this, the judges knocked Team Millenia out. Um, they were clearly one of the best crews. The West division passed a b-boy group who can't dance, a group that literally wears fanny packs, and Supreme Soul. Could Team Millenia have been knocked out because they were too Asian and too from Southern California? Let the rumors circulate.

ABDC, I'm over it.