SYTYCD is still the granddaddy of all televised dance competitions, of course--but close on that show's high-kicking heels is America's Next Dance Crew, the Randy Jackson-masterminded MTV show that stole Shane Sparks away from SYTYCD and in the process also stole the hearts (and ratings) of street-dance fans desperate for rougher, grittier TV fare.
Season 1 winners JabbaWockeeZ are still popping up on MTV alongside Shane Sparks, demonstrating various don't-try-this-at-home moves from hit music videos on the supposedly instructional special Walk It Out With JabbaWockeeZ. But Randy and MTV execs know when they've got a hit on their hands, so they've wasted no time rushing a season 2 of ABDC onto the air.A.S.I.I.D. (featuring a deaf guy who amazingly has a better feel for music and movement than most people with two fully functioning eardrums), high-camp Houston coeds Distorted X, and L.A. day-glo dorks Fanny Pak looking rather funky-fresh so far. Xtreme Dance Force, whose killer choreography will surely impress Shane Sparks and whose boy-band image will possibly appeal to another ABDC2 judge, former *NSYNC star JC Chasez.
Randy Jackson has already spoken to me at length--and I do mean at LENGTH--about that other little show he does, American Idol. (Perhaps you've head of it?) But now that David Cook's been crowned, Randy's ready to talk about his other reality-ratings juggernaut.
REALITY ROCKS: You're best known for American Idol, of course. But I want to talk to you about your other show, which is so totally awesome...
RANDY: AMERICA'S BEST DANCE CREW! I love it too, man. It's a great show.
REALITY ROCKS: You should combine the two shows. You should have the America's Best Dance Crew cast go out on the Idols Live tour, or do a special together or something...
RANDY: Hey, great idea! I'm going to call Simon Fuller about that now! [laughs] That could be a hot show.
REALITY ROCKS: So what inspired you to do America's Best Dance Crew?
RANDY: There was a show that I saw some years ago, the International Hip-Hop Competition in Long Beach. I was like, "Man, we could flip it a little a bit and put this on TV!" Because I wanted to do something a little young and edgy and cool for the whole reality game, you know what I mean? And MTV stepped up. It's a dope show. I love that show, man. I love the kids. I just love everything about it.
REALITY ROCKS: It seems to be the hot new show to attend live now. Every week last season you'd see people like Miley Cyrus in the audience.
RANDY: Yeah, it's just a cool show. It's really very raw. That's what I love about it. And it's crews---that I love too, because most people don't realize that in the hood and in the inner cities--and the inner cities come in all colors and varieties--people still dance in crews.
REALITY ROCKS: Like breakdancing on the street and stuff?
RANDY: Yeah, and when you go out to a club people are dancing together, and coming up with dances together. It's kind of what you do, you know? It's part of growing up.
REALITY ROCKS: I am fascinated by this show. I love all of the dance shows, especially So You Think You Can Dance, but America's Best Dance Crew just might be the best one yet. It's just so much fun to watch.
RANDY: Yo, put a crew together, Lyndsey! Come out and audition for America's Best Dance Crew, baby! Put your crew together...put a Yahoo! crew together!
REALITY ROCKS: Um, well...maybe I'll consider that for season 3...