Hyphen magazine - Asian American arts, culture, and politics


Hyphen TV: Dance Crew Reunion, Science in the Kitchen, and South Park's Little Tokyo

More like IaMwinnErs, am I right guys?

IAMME IS AMERICA'S BEST DANCE CREW! It was a well-deserved win for the Houston dancers (fun fact: this was the first time in six season that America's Best Dance Crew had non-west coast champions). In the final battle episode we saw Moon on Skype with his father in China, who was happy to hear that his son's group made it to the finale. "That is excellent," he told Moon, giving him a double-thumbs-up. Aww. He and Moon's mother did indeed follow through with their promise to attend the finale, and I admit I got tears in my eyes when they were shown in the audience. Parental love, you guys! Congratulations, IaMmE. So happy to see you joining the ranks for past ABDC winners Speaking of, we got to catch up with all of them in the finale...

This photo captures exactly how IaMmE blew ICONic Boyz out of the water (sorry, kids).


Poreotics brought back their usual visuals (with all due respect to IaMmE, these were the original picture-makers on ABDC) and humor, dancing in part to Rebecca Black's "Friday" mixed with Jason from the Friday the 13th movies. They have also opened for Justin Bieber and appeared in one of the Bieb's videos. Great to see you guys again!

Poreotics/x is slap-ready.

We Are Heroes reminded everyone what strong, sexy women they are with a hot dance to Beyonce's "Run the World (Girls)" that ended with a little whip action. Woo! They've been raising money for Japan and keeping busy with other dance endeavors; more on that later.

We Are Heroes brings on the hotness.

Season three winners Quest Crew are as tricked-out as ever, even when they're dancing in jammies. I guess D-trix has left the group for his judging duties, but it was sweet to see him tearing up at the skills of his former crewmates, reminding them that the group is more about the championship; it's a brotherhood. Hear, hear.

On a Quest for new pillows.

Super Cr3w broke out some ninja costumes/moves, but I'm okay with it because one of them took out Mario Lopez at the beginning of the routine (okay not really, but ... imagine!).

Super Cr3w's ninja identities...revealed!

And of course, the Jabbawockeez. The guys who started it all season one and are now rocking their own show in Vegas. They made a grand entrance with an army of masked dancers (helped out by some season six crew members), nearly overwhelming the audience with their sharp coordination and smooth groovin'. Then it broke down to the original members, who brought out all the impressive tricks we've come to expect. The performance ended with a little Babywockee, who is as skilled as any of the senior members, and then we found out ... it was an adorable little girl! Amazing. What a finale! Congratulations again to everyone, and I can't wait until next year.

I wish I had a pic of that lil' 'wockee. Seriously adorable.

Not enough dance for ya? At the Salt Lake City auditions of So You Think You Can Dance we met Tadd Gadduang, a 25-year-old from West Valley City, Utah. Tadd gave us a very different sort of hip-hop audition, moving all over the stage, hopping down the stairs on his hands, moving on the floor in front of the judges, and making some intricate movements with his fingers. Though it's hard to say how he'd do with a partner or with contemporary or ballroom choreography, the judges clearly loved him, calling him a "fantabulous" artist, "utterly entertaining," and sending him straight through to Vegas.

We didn't get to know any Asian American contestants by name in New York City, but there was one male dancer who made judge Jason Gilkison comment "I can't help smiling when I'm watching you." Nice! We also got a quick flash, so to speak, of a Tahitian dancer who had to be censored when he spread his legs onstage. O...kay.

We all recognize Los Angeles auditioner Hero McRae, who is 26 years old and moved to Hollywood from Japan four years ago. She is the leader of the previously mentioned ABDC season 4 winners We Are Heroes, though there was no mention of that on SYTYCD (there's so much overlap in the contestants on both shows, but never any mention of that on either -- shrug). She explains that America has changed the way she danced in Japan, the latter of which she describes as having discipline, "like a martial artist." As on ABDC, Hero has high energy, though you can also see her nerves, and fans of hers won't be surprised at her hard, shard pop and locking moves, her sweet gold lamé jacket, or the way she ended her routine with the requisite peace sign. The judges loved her: Nigel exclaimed, "I don't know if you'd be any good with a partner, but I don't care! I love what you just did." Mary Murphy called Hero "extraordinary," "precise," and "articulate." Tyce told Hero, "Everything about you is magnificent." After a quick confirmation that all of Hero's family is safe in Japan, she was sent on to Vegas. Can't wait to see how she does there!

It's more "always a bridesmaid" for Floyd on Top Chef Masters, who landed in the top of this week's microwave breakfast Quickfire but did not clinch the victory. He was pumped for the elimination challenge, however, as it had the chefs demonstrating scientific principles and cooking using lab equipment. Floyd was the only chef not intimidated by the parameters, as he loves science and actually used to be a biochemist. He chose to demonstrate the maillard reaction, basically the browning of food from heat, by cooking a ribeye steak with a flame, and cooking pieces of beef shabu-shabu style in hot water (the meat browns in the former dish, but does not in the latter). Floyd did well with his dishes, getting named as one of the top two ... but once again, the winning spot eluded him. You're a winner to us, Floyd!

Floyd is right at home with scientific equipment.

Sara Oromchi on The Voice had her battle to remain on Team Blake. She was called out for being shy and lacking confidence, and though she powered through during the performance, it just wasn't quite enough. We'll miss you, Sara! Though I can't say I'll miss these interminable battle rounds, yeesh. We'll see how the live shows are this week.

I will especially miss Sara's jealousy-inducing bangs.

I don't usually watch South Park, but I got a heads-up on last week's episode, which focused on a new "City Sushi" restaurant opening next door to South Park's "City Wok" Chinese restaurant. There were all of the accent jokes you'd imagine, including a long run where the owners of both establishments were talking about "Sh***y Wok/Sushi," and yes yes, haha, very funny. We get it. Things got a little more interesting when the town's confusion of the two restaurants was highlighted; the whole "Chinatown area" (City Wok is the lone Chinese restaurant in town) was renamed "Little Tokyo" with the opening of City Sushi. The proprietors put their competitive bickering aside to put on an "Asian Diversity" assembly at the school, teaching the kids the difference between different Asian cultures. This equality talk turned into further arguing when City Wok owner Lou mentioned the Japanese attempts at a takeover of China and criticized Japan's high suicide rate, angering sushi chef Junichi. In a strange turn of events, Lou turned out to be a persona of a Caucasian therapist's multiple personalities, and this trickery led Junichi to throw himself off a tower, screaming "No, this is a racial stereotype!" as he fell. Yeah. It's your typical South Park absurdity with a bit of cultural awareness (and tired mockery) thrown in. Check it out here if this confusing summary has piqued your interest. 

And on a completely different note, educator Salman Khan was on the Colbert Report to discuss the Khan Academy, a nonprofit online resource for students and teachers that provides thousands of free lessons on a variety of topics, all taught by Khan himself (though he does not appear in the videos). Watch the interview here.

About The Author

Dianne Choie

Dianne Choie's TV is in Brooklyn, NY. She has a cat, several reusable shopping bags, and other mildly annoying stereotypes of youngish people who live in Brooklyn.

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