Yes, I play favorites. Shocking? Shouldn’t be. For the record, I want an all-female crew to win the big money, $100,000 in cold hard cash to be exact, the title of America’s Best Dance Crew and to receive well deserved respect and admiration as well as the all-important opportunities that extend beyond the money and the title. You can argue with me if you’d like but my mind is made up. Yes, girl power is in full effect.
I won’t have to wait very long to find out if my “dream” has come true. On Sunday, September 27 at 9 p.m. Eastern/Pacific (Tape Delay), during the live season finale, the winner of season 4 of Randy Jackson Presents America’s Best Dance Crew (ABDC) will be announced. This time, the ultimate battle is between Las Vegas-based sexy Latino crew AfroBorike and all girl crew We Are Heroes who hail from Los Angeles. Regardless of who ultimately emerges victorious, season four will mark the first time a woman will be a part of a winning crew…And it’s about time.
This isn’t the first time a all-female crew has made it to the final two. That honor belongs season 3 contenders Beat Freaks, a hard-driving b-girl crew. But unlike Beat Freaks, We Are Heroes are not uncomfortable with showing their softer, more feminine side. The crew, which calls their style, “Glam Style” believes that they don’t have to be hard or look hard to go hard.
Go hard is exactly what We Are Heroes had to do throughout the season having been in the bottom two on three separate occasions. Crew member Ali Ianucci, 25, talked about weathering the trials and making it to the finale, “We are really excited. We didn’t know if we were going to get there. We were taking it week by week.” For Ali and the other Heroes, being in the bottom two had it clear drawbacks and surprising “rewards”. “It was a bad feeling being in the bottom two. [You think], ‘Wow I might be going home. This might be my last chance to dance.’ [And when you learn you are safe], a fire is lit inside of you the following week. You are even more motivated to do your best.”
When asked if America is ready for an all-female crew to take the ABDC crown Ali said yes and of course expressed her desire for We are Heroes to receive that honor. Ali felt that Heroes, and their style, have been well-received. She believes that although they aren’t afraid to bring the sexy, because they “do things that the boys can do like flips, popping and locking and are good creatively,” they “get people’s respect.”
Ali, as well as fellow crew member Nichelle Thrower, 23, are new to We Are Heroes, joining the group, a couple of days before an audition at the request of crew founder and leader Hiroe (“Hero”) Mcrae 25, when two original crew members couldn’t get visas. Ali had known Hiroe for a couple of years but did not know the other women –Riquel “Riqcliculous Licky” Olander, 22, Mami Kanemitsu, 26 and Nichelle. What might have been a disaster in the making worked out wonderfully according to Ali. “We completely clicked. I gained new friends, best friends. [Our being together] was kind of destiny.”
Should We Are Heroes win, Hiroe said she may go to back to her native Japan to visit her grandmother, who has been Hiroe’s biggest fan. She’s not sure what she will decide, but Hiroe is sure that she wants the girls to go on tour and to represent what We Are Heroes are all about and who they are — “true dancers”.
Showing You How It’s Done: We Are Heroes Signature Moves
All of the Season 4 crews will return for the finale and will dance together for the Judges Choice performance. The following are the crews and their songs:
Shane Sparks’ group – Beat Ya Feet Kings, Massive Monkees, Southern Movement
“I Do (Represent)” Lil Jon ft. Swizz Beatz & Snoop Dogg
Lil Mama’s group – Artistry In Motion, Vogue Evolution, We Are Heroes
“Girls On The Dance Floor” Far East Movement
JC Chasez’s group – AfroBorike, Fr3sh, Rhythm City
“Fire Burning” Sean Kingston
For information on Season 5 auditions, click here.