America's Best Dance Crew recap: VMA Icons | EW.com

TV Recaps | America's Best Dance Crew

'VMA Icons'

The bottom two crews face off against each other while the other four reach brand new heights.

(MTV)

America's Best Dance Crew

Season 8, Ep. 2 | Aired Aug 05

The ABDC host with America’s Best Australian Accent is back for a second week and he’s telling us what we already know: That he’s still not Mario Lopez (but Jason Dundas’ jawline is still finely chiseled) and this isn’t just your average season of America’s Best Dance Crew. No, this is ABDC resurrected from the pits of cancellation purgatory, blazing a hip-hop path toward the VMAs with the best crews of ABDC Past battling it out to claim that title for Present and Future, as well.

There’s still not a single plummeting banner in sight—seriously, give us the banners—but Frankie Grande has transferred his purple glitter from his nipples to his eyebrows since last week. And tonight’s challenge has an extra little twist too: The crews are taking on songs from the biggest idols in VMA history. Okay, so that’s really not much of a “challenge” at all, but it does give the crews a great catalogue of music to work with. And it’s a good thing, because bad luck is running rampant on the ABDC set with illness and injury striking two teams at the last minute.

But these aren’t America’s BEST best dance crews for nothing. And you can tell the race toward the title has truly begun because the judges actually offer some (generally valid and astute—not looking at you, T-Pain) criticism to most of the teams. For some reason, the bottom two crews battling it out for one spot tonight were selected by informing We Are Heroes that they were in the bottom last week, and informing Elektrolytes of the same this week. Alas, these bottom two crews, though champs in their own right, haven’t been on the level of the other four teams from the start. So, it’s been fun to see them dance again, but it was also time to see one of them go. So let’s get down to the business of finding America’s future reigning dance crew and trying to talk about the VMAs as much as possible while doing it:

I.AM.ME.; “Birthday” by Katy Perry
Standout Move: That swirling mass of arms that just kept doubling in size every time you blinked.
From bedspread head-spins to unprecedented backflips to final dramatic freeze frames, there is just always something interesting happening on I.aM.Me’s stage. This crew does not waste a moment. Their use of a trampoline in disguise as a bed seems like a particularly—almost unfairly—advantageous prop to use, but Teyana is right that they make people feel like they want to be a part of their dances.

KINJAZ; “OMG” by Usher
Standout Move: That surprisingly sexy end sequence… Usher, he cannot be tamed.
I so wish I could see Kinjaz live. Because I can admit that it seems like some of their artistry is being lost in the gap between stage and TV screen. They’re the kind of dancers whose skill becomes more noticeable the more you watch them; just the simple movement in their hands as they brought the peace-up to the A-Town-down was electric. Their economy of movement is the thing that make them stand out in a sea of tricks, but I do wish there was a little less stillness on the floor during those times when half the crew takes a knee to let two or three members do their own sequence.

SUPER CR3W; “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars
Standout Move: Neguin’s butter-smooth slide under his entire team was the move of the night.
Tonight, Super Cr3w earned their name. Last week, they showed their b-boy roots, and this week they showed their capacity to be completely original in one of the most classic styles of hip-hop dance. “Uptown Funk” is kind of a silver platter when it comes to creating an energetic performance, but the crew’s choreo was non-stop, their storytelling was robust, and their movement was practically on springs. Frankie hits it on the head when he says that tonight they had the cleanliness of the Kinjaz with the theatricality of I.aM.mE, and that’s the kind of skill amplifying it will take to be crowned the best of the best.

QUEST CREW; “Turn Up the Music” by Chris Brown
Standout Move: That three-tier totem pole that seemed to appear and grow upward out of nowhere.
Quest Crew has proven themselves to be a team of movers like no other and D-Trix is certified NOS to their crew engine, but it’s hard for any crew to bounce back from losing the dancer that much of their choreography centered on the night before the performance. But they still moved all over that stage, jumping over and climbing on top of each other with lightning quick speed that hardly suggested a missing element. I did wonder about that traveling lantern though—I’m not sure I was awed by it the way I was supposed to be.

THE BOTTOM 2 FACE OFF:

WE ARE HEROES; “Get Your Freak On” by Missy Elliot
Standout Move: The physical rewind of their moves with the song as Ebonee tumbled in front.
I got kind of amped at the beginning of this performance when We Are Heroes started crawling out of the bleachers in full Destiny’s Child “Survivor” video mode. But the power of that heroic trio was never quite matched in the WAH performance and the choreo just didn’t have any moment that made you think, “This! This is the crew!”

ELEKTROLYTES; “Want to Want Me” by Jason Derulo
Standout Move: I just enjoyed the constant leather jacket preening and hair slicking.
But as destined as We Are Heroes seemed to be to take the first ticket out, fate didn’t look to be on Elektrolytes’ side either—40 minutes before they were supposed to go on, one of their members got seriously sick and they had to rework their whole performance. And while the moves didn’t live up to the best of the night’s crews, I agree with Teyana that they nailed the warm, charming vibe of their greaser-themed performance 100 percent. When in doubt, make them swoon.

And it was enough to keep Elektrolytes around for one more week, and send the only all-female group to ever win an ABDC title packing. What do you think—is the Elektolytes crew just biding their time until the next elimination? Or can they take the judges’ critiques and bounce back? Which of the other crews pulled ahead for you this week? Sound off in the comments!