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'America's Best Dance Crew: Road to the VMAs' comes to a three-way stop

'America's Best Dance Crew: Road to the VMAs' comes to a three-way stop
Kinjaz perform on "America's Best Dance Crew: road to the VMAs." (MTV)

"America's Best Dance Crew: Road to the VMAs" is down to its last three crews -- Super Cr3w, Quest Crew and Kinjaz -- with a spot on the final show leading into MTV's Video Music Awards (VMAs) on the line. These crews are vastly different in their approach to dance, so America will have a tough time choosing a favorite. Appropriately, the crews started off the episode with a VMA nominees challenge.

Quest Crew began the show with an '80s-themed routine, dancing to "Shut Up and Dance" by Walk the Moon. The idea was good, and their comedic touches were, as usual, spot on. Crew member Rudy was back from his injury, and he and Steve performed a cool 540 kick in the air that added much to the routine. Teyana Taylor called the routine "so much fun" and said the group continued to surprise judges by bringing different vibes to their routines each week. Frankie Grande called it an "incredibly immersive performance."

Kinjaz followed Quest, using the bleacher area of the stage for a very smooth performance to "Earned it" by the Weeknd. The precision and sexy moves by the red and black clad crew fit perfectly with the song. These guys are showmen, and got to perform to the crowd. Not a technically difficult routine, but intricate, intimate and precise. Taylor said they gave her "naughty karate" with their moves. Frankie loved that they took the risk of staying in one spot the whole time. T-Pain pointed to a section of the crowd and said that everyone in that spot needed to take pregnancy tests after Kinjaz's sexy routine.

Super Cr3w upped the tempo with some Chicago footwork, a different challenge for the b-boys as they danced to "Where Are You Now" by Skrillex and Diplo featuring Justin Bieber. The song has an almost island dance feel, and the guys looked the part. They may have changed it up with a bit more choreography, led at first by Do Kock, but the breakdancing showed up with some hand spins and freezes and flips that were pretty awesome. Grande: "That was fan-tastic." He complimented them on nailing the fast footwork, saying that they did so many great things in the routine. T-Pain said that their muted clothing was good because it put even more of a spotlight on their dancing. Taylor liked the fact that the usually hardcore b-boys softened it up a little with their moves.

And the judges' decision to move on: Everyone. Instead of sending anyone home, the show decided to let America decide which crew will be the all-star champion. Voting is on now, and online voting will decide who will be the champion -- which will be announced on the show that is the lead-in for the VMAs. The crews did have to each do one final performance to sway the viewers.

Post-apocalyptic is how Quest Crew wanted to go out. Dominic "D-Trix" Sandoval said that the it could be the last performance the crew ever does, so they wanted to go all out. Going for a "Mad Max" theme, there was fire and tattered clothing and some cool tire-jumping choreography. Frankie enjoyed Ryan's work on the keytar, and liked that they once again showed how multi-talented they are. T-Pain said the look of the stage was like what a "typical auto shop in Tallahassee looks like." Continuing, he said that "everything was in sync," and that "it's America's choice, and I'm sure they'll choose wisely."

Kinjaz wanted to bring America into their realm, and decided to bring the ominous voice of their sensei -- who introduced them each week -- to life as a character. With the backdrop of a dojo, they group moved walls on stage to set up different formations and bring out their Raiden-like leader to puppet their movements. Again, more precision helped this routine come to life in a very cinematic way. Glowing praise came from Taylor: "You never fail to amaze me. First you're giving off sex, then you give me a 'Kill Bill' vibe. This is definitely the best that I've seen thus far." T-Pain followed that up by saying,"Y'all made it feel like we were going through actual rooms in a dojo." Frankie continued in the storytelling vibe, saying "there was a story that led us into your lives." He ended the Kinjaz comments with a very definitive line: "That ... was a trophy worthy performance."

Super Cr3w decided to bring in Q Violin to open up their last performance. Some breakdancing floor work, set to a live violinist, was a juxtaposition of grace and power that just went with the theme of great routines for the night. Do Knock conducted an orchestra-like beginning, which led into a b-boy extravaganza with the crew members each getting a small spotlight on what they do best. It was ended by b-boy Neguin doing a running somersault over the other 5 members of the crew as they bowed and the crowd threw roses. T-Pain called it "a beautiful piece," adding that "everything was crazy." Taylor threw a few spotlights, also calling out Neguin for a very dangerous-looking flip off the bleachers stage, and saying that the performance "might be one of my favorites on the whole show."

Frankie Grande helped end the comments on Super Crew with a critique that could apply to all of the crews, saying "You're here to win the show." The performances were each great in different ways. The frenetic energy of Quest Crew, the storytelling of Kinjaz, and the creativity and high-flying antics of Super Cr3w may make this a tough call.

In the studio audience, most of the loudest cheers came for the newest crew, Kinjaz, most of the season. Popularity is always a huge consideration, and a strong contingent usually showed up for the Orange County-based crew's performances. But these are champion-caliber crews with their individual fanbases and followers, and it's an Internet vote not defined so much by location, so it'll be interesting to see who comes out on top.

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