Quest Crew have definitely got it going on, but they also have a few familiar faces in their midst: specifically, three much-loved alumni from another equally awesome competitive dance show, So You Think You Can Dance. Now, MTV has no rules (to my knowledge) that contestants from SYTYCD should be barred from appearing on ABDC, and these Quest Crew members certainly have the talent to compete. But I do think that it's odd that on this week's ABDC3 season premiere the Quest Crew dancers' backgrounds were NEVER mentioned once (particularly suspect considering that ABDC show judge Shane Sparks himself is a SYTYCD veteran and has surely worked with these guys before). Plus, there was no casting special this season to explain how these guys were actually recruited to the finals in the first place.
See, the three SYTYCD alums in Quest Crew are among the most popular SYTYCD contestants in that show's run. Most notably, there's Hok, the cutely cornrowed B-boy who made multiple memorable appearances on the program. Hok auditioned for three SYTYCD seasons straight before finally succeeding (he almost got through once, but visa issues prevented the Tokyo-born, England-based dancer from competing in the U.S.). Then, on SYTYCD season 3, he made it to the top 12.
And finally, there's one of SYTYCD's all-time best B-boys, jaw-droppingly brilliant street dancer Ryan. This was a guy whose moves were so unprecedented, they rendered even judge Mia Michaels speechless--and when Mia got her hands on him as a choreographer, she molded him into a surprisingly capable lyrical dancer as well. Additionally, Ryan had distinctively jagged Statue-of-Liberty hair that remained remarkably unmussed no matter how frenetically he busted his moves. (I am kind of surprised a hair-gel endorsement didn't come his way after his SYTYCD star turn.)
So, yes, I am torn about Quest Crew. On the plus side, I am thrilled to have these guys back on the air, doing what they do best, what they were born to do: real street dancing, not some stupid cha-cha or paso doble or soft-shoe Broadway routine. But on the minus side, I'm a little concerned that they're going to make the ABDC3 competition unfair for the other crews, due to their additional competitive experience and existing fanbase. And I find ABDC3's total lack of acknowledgement of the boys' background disconcerting--kind of like how I felt when American Idol completely overlooked Carly Smithson's old MCA Records deal last year.
On the other hand, maybe it's Quest Crew who are at somewhat of a disadvantage, as their illustrious SYTYCD credentials may make the judges and viewers hold them to a higher standard. Either way, I look forward to seeing what Quest Crew can do. They better bring it.
- Quest Crew