MTV UNVEILS NEW TALENT FOR ITS THURSDAY NIGHT MUSIC- AND DANCE-DRIVEN REALITY SERIES “RANDY JACKSON PRESENTS AMERICA’S BEST DANCE CREW” AND “TAKING THE STAGE”
The Country’s Most Gifted Dance Crews and Arts Students Revealed When Season Five of
“America’s Best Dance Crew” and Season Two of “Taking the Stage” Premiere Back to Back Thursday, January 28, at 10p.m. ET/PT and 11p.m. ET/PT
NEW YORK (January 26, 2010) – MTV will introduce viewers to the nation’s best and brightest rising performers when its hit music- and dance-driven reality series “Randy Jackson Presents America’s Best Dance Crew” and “Taking the Stage” premiere back to back on Thursday, January 28th. At 10p.m. ET/PT, the Season Five premiere of “America’s Best Dance Crew” will kick-off a three-episode arc with 15 all-new crews competing in regional finals for the chance at one of the nine coveted spots on the Season Five roster. At 11p.m. ET/PT, Season Two of “Taking the Stage” will feature returning cast members Tyler Nelson and Mia Carruthers alongside a new cast of students at one of the country’s most prestigious arts schools – Cincinnati’s School For the Creative and Performing Arts.
“AMERICA’S BEST DANCE CREW”
Season Five of “America’s Best Dance Crew, ” MTV’s top-ranking cable program among P12-34, from Warner Horizon Television and executive produced by Randy Jackson, will feature more of the jaw-dropping dance moves and stunts viewers have come to love. Following the groundbreaking Season Four win of We Are Heroes – the first all-female crew to claim the top spot – the January 28th premiere will kick off a three-episode regional battle as five crews from the South compete in a “Judge's Choice” competition. The second episode will feature five crews from the East and the regional arc will conclude in the third episode with five competing crews from the West. Show judges JC Chasez, Lil Mama and Omarion will eliminate two crews in each of these first few episodes and send the remaining three on to contend for the $100,000 cash prize and the title of “America’s Best Dance Crew” as part of the final nine Season Five crews to participate.
The Season Five crews of “America’s Best Dance Crew” are:
The South (“ABDC Regional Finals: The South” Airs Thursday, January 28th)
Ghost (Houston, TX): Ghost is a crew that has faced a lot of adversity in life and dance has always been their refuge. In fact, they all met through their local dance venues over the past five years seeking a way out life’s hardships, gangs and family death. The crew would break into a local apartment complex gym room just so they could practice dance. They consider their style inspirational hip-hop and they plan to offer up some of the best musicality “ABDC” has ever seen with hard hitting, complex movements. As dancers they are a tight unit and their personal hardships have brought them even closer together.
Jungle Boogie (Stone Mountain, GA): These dancers pride themselves on their southern “Cranking” style and are on a mission to become kings of the dance jungle. “Cranking” uses big step movements and arms to cover the entire dance floor and each of the six members has a unique animalistic move to wow this year’s competition.
Royal Flush (Atlanta, GA): This crew has auditioned every season and their refusal to give up has finally paid off. Changing members after each audition, the crew believes it finally has the dream team it needs for success. Educated on the streets, this diverse crew’s styles include krumping, tutting, popping, breaking and even a hint of
salsa. They do not claim to be “professionally trained dancers,” leading to difficulties in finding work in the dance industry. “ABDC” is finally offering them something no one else would: the opportunity to be champions.
Swagger Crew (Atlanta, GA): Tired of trendy club dances, this brash Atlanta crew feels its time to put true Southern street dancing on the map. These confident dancers are fired up by the complete absence of Atlanta crews represented on past seasons of “ABDC” and know they have what it takes to put Atlanta on the map. With a combination of southern cockiness, fast footwork and determination this crew is ready to bring some raw swagger to the “ABDC” legacy.
X-treme Motion (Houston, TX): These former Texas Southern University majorettes are bringing their bootylicious bucking style to the mainstream stage. These high energy, acrobatic and stunt-filled Southern belles are on a mission to show the world their majorette style of dance is “often imitated but never duplicated.” Their style is influenced by both street jazz and hip-hop, but what really makes them distinct is an intense booty-shaking move they call “Buckin’.”
The East (“ABDC Regional Finals: The East” Airs Thursday, February 4th)
Blueprint Cru (Montreal, Canada): This Canadian crew is out to storm the home of hip-hop and demonstrate a level of synchronicity never seen before. Being the first-ever foreign crew to compete on “ABDC,” Blueprint has a lot to prove. Their motto is "Precision, precision and precision." Every move this crew does, they do as one, moving together. This dance crew is run like an army, training hard to look like one unit, to learn the origin of the move and then striving to perfect them. This perfectionist crew doesn’t believe in tricks and stunts, they believe in unified movements down to every minute detail.
draZtik (Providence, RI): Predominately self-taught from music videos, draZtik is set to prove you don’t need major street cred to hang with the big dogs of “America’s Best Dance Crew.” One of the only dance crews in Providence, RI, they do not garner much respect. However, with choreography that is an innovative combination of contemporary and ballet fused with popping and hip-hop, they plan to earn respect. Because they are all skilled in different styles, draZtik adheres to an unconventional philosophy of leadership by committee. Each member plays an equal role in the design and choreography of every performance. Although this philosophy can sometimes lead to tension amongst members, draZtik feels it ultimately gives them an edge over other crews.
Legendary Seven (Boston, MA): Legendary Seven is proud to call the hard streets of Boston home and are quick to tell you they are one of the last true Bean Town street crews. Their performances revolve around breaking, krumping and popping but, most importantly, big tricks. Crew leader Ernest “E-Knock” Phillips and fellow Legendary Seven member Darius Rutledge were both members of the Season One crew “ABDC” crew Status Quo which finished second to the JabbaWockeeZ. This time around, losing is not an option for them which means their tricks are even bigger and more imaginative then before.
Saltare (Raleigh, NC): These professional jump ropers are seeking exposure for their sport while at the same time conquering the dance world. They have walked away from their college degrees and steady jobs in pursuit of a dream: to become professional jump ropers and pioneers of a burgeoning sport. All six members are a part of the USA Jump Rope All Star team, which only features the best of the best in the country. Saltare comes to “ABDC” to expose the sport they’ve dedicated their lives to, challenge themselves in a different arena and prove that jump rope is more than just child’s play. Now they must incorporate their unique skill set into major performances that and transition their trademark jump rope into viable dance routines.
Static Noyze (Cambridge, MA): Static Noyze has always felt like outcasts, never really feeling like they fit in with anyone but each other. Bored with what they call “stock hip hop” – routines and moves that they’ve seen before – this off-the-wall group of dancers promises to shake up the “ABDC” stage with their distinct style of dance. They consider themselves to be innovators and describe their dance style as hip-hop with a contemporary twist. What makes them truly unique though, is that they use their routines to convey offbeat stories told through cutting edge moves and costumes. Static Noyze does not mind being called odd. In fact, they embrace it. These eccentricities are what make Static such a unique group and they hope America finds their unconventionality charming.
The West (“ABDC Regional Finals: The West” Airs Thursday, February 11th)
The Blended Projekt (West Covina, CA): The Blended Projekt is a crew of young dancers (including three 16-year-olds) who combine traditional clogging with hip-hop dance in a technique they call “Blending.” While clogging has appeared on “ABDC” before, it has certainly never looked like this. Tired of what they considered the “nerdy” traditional clogging style, Blended Projekt rips the taps off their clogs and fuses them to their sneakers. Now when they perform, this crew of hip-hop lovers can keep its young and hip while maintaining its classic clogging technique.
BreakEFX (Denver, CO): This co-ed breaking crew hopes to break the mold of the B-boy stereotype and prove once and for all that breakers can do choreography too. They consider themselves the first B-boy-choreography crew as all the members have trained in all types of dance including hip-hop, jazz and ballet. BreakEFX is poised and ready to reclaim the “ABDC” title for breakers everywhere.
Heavy Impact (North Hollywood, CA): These big boys are out to break negative stereotypes and prove dancers come in all sizes. These guys have big hearts and hope they can inspire others who have a passion for dance saying, “No matter what the size, if you love to dance, you are a dancer.” Heavy Impact hopes that their combination of infectious feel-good dancing and inspirational charm will win over America, but they know this isn’t going to be an easy feat. They know when they walk out on that stage, people are going to assume they are a joke based on their appearance and this has been a hurdle they have faced their whole lives.
Hype 5-0 (Honolulu, HI): Driven to prove that Hawaii has a thriving hip-hop community, Hype 5-0 is out to show there is more to Hawaii than swaying grass skirts and coconut bras. With limited funds for travel, Hype 5-0 has honed their skills by spending countless hours on the Internet studying crews from the mainland. Now after conquering the island dance scene with imported moves this hard-hitting crew is ready to export themselves to the mainland and take the “ABDC” stage by storm. They have immense Hawaiian pride and incorporate native dance moves in all of their routines.
Poreotix (Westminster, CA): These shaded showmen inspired by robots aim to entertain the dance world with their unexpected humor and revolutionary mixed style. Over the last couple of years, Poreotix has laboriously honed their craft of popping and robotic movement and are at the top of their game. The way in which the crew blends the different dance styles gives them a distinctive animated look, and their integration of humor makes their performances fiercely entertaining. Poreotix are true showmen and never perform without their trademark shades. They use them as a tool to hide emotion so they can provide unexpected twists in their routine, taking the audience from serious to funny without tipping their hand.
“TAKING THE STAGE”
Conceptualized and executive produced by multi-platinum recording artist Nick Lachey (98 Degrees), “Taking The Stage” is a half-hour musical reality series set at Cincinnati’s School For the Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) that follows some of the nation’s most talented performing arts students. In its second season, the show will document the next generation of SCPA’s elite as they navigate their path to stardom.
The Season Two cast of “Taking The Stage” is:
Tyler Nelson: Tyler returns to SCPA this year as a senior. No longer satisfied with just being the best hip-hop dancer in the school, Tyler is looking to challenge himself as a performer and become a talented actor and singer as well. Not only will Tyler have to push himself as an artist, he'll face competition from the new kids – especially
Carlton – who is out to dethrone Tyler as the #1 dancer in the school. Tyler's from one of the most dangerous
neighborhoods in the U.S. and his goal this year is to become a professional dancer in order to get out of Cincinnati and to provide a better life for his family. When Tyler gets the audition of a lifetime – a role in a major feature film – it's his one chance to make all of his dreams come true.
Emily Sones: Emily is an SCPA sophomore and a singer/songwriter who uses her music to express herself emotionally. Emily overcame an eating disorder and often turns to her songwriting in order to vent, as it's her way of telling the world everything that she feels. Emily wants to be a professional singer/songwriter and is hoping SCPA will give her the tools she needs to make that dream a reality. One of the toughest challenges for Emily will
be the boy drama that erupts when she finds herself in the middle of a love triangle with two of the new guys in school.
Emily Silber: Emily Silber is Broadway bound. A disciplined and extremely talented dancer, Emily hopes to become a professional performer after graduation. Already a respected hip-hop dancer in Cincinnati, Emily will prove to be a rival (and love interest) for Tyler at the school. Despite her vast talents, Emily struggles with "body image" issues. She'll have to overcome her own insecurities and distractions from boys in order to reach her professional dreams.
Adam Calvert: Like Mia last year, Adam is a driven singer/songwriter with his sights set firmly on success. After years of being home schooled, Adam has left the security of his small town in Kentucky to come to the "big city" and surround himself with talented people and grow as a performer. Being good-looking and naturally charismatic, Adam will also be the center of many crushes at SCPA. He immediately catches the eye of shy sophomore and fellow singer/songwriter, Emily Sones.
Carlton Totten: Carlton's goal in life is to be the next Marlon Brando: nothing short of a film legend. With talents in acting, singing and dancing, Carlton is a triple threat and will be a main rival to Tyler at SCPA, both in school auditions and for the attention of the school's girls. Carlton comes to SCPA a little unsure of himself because he hasn't had as much formal training as the other students. Carlton felt pressure to be a "jock" at his old school and he's excited to be in a place where being a performer is revered and he can focus on improving his craft, with hopes of one day conquering Hollywood.
Anna Flinchbaugh: Anna is a talented dancer who was diagnosed with severe Scoliosis and was forced to have two titanium rods inserted into her spine. The surgery impacted Anna's dancing greatly, as it caused some limitations in her movement and flexibility. Despite this challenge, Anna works past the pain and prides herself on her ballet skills. Anna is a devout Christian and is saving herself for marriage. When sparks fly between Anna and Carlton, it not only jeopardizes her relationship with her boyfriend, Mike, but also tests her Christian morals.
Ian Watts: With Ian, we'll be witnessing the birth of a professional rapper. Ian is a born entertainer and driven in his pursuit to become a rap star. Ian competes in rap battles in Cincinnati and has already released his own CD. Ian will collaborate with Tyler in hip-hop performances this year and earn the attention of a respected rapper, which could be his ticket to a recording contract.
Mia Carruthers: After being rejected by Jive Records, Mia is still pursuing her dreams of getting a record contract, but instead of trying to make it as a solo artist she has shifted direction and formed a band. Along with Aaron, Mia's new band is already playing packed gigs and building a loyal fan base in Cincinnati. Mia has moved out of her parents' house and now lives with the rest of the band. With a record producer planning to record an EP of the band's music, Mia must navigate this new "shared" artistic environment and band dynamic. Also, for the first time Mia will assume an instructional role when she is asked to return to SCPA to teach a Songwriting Class involving some of the new students at school.
In its fourth season, “America’s Best Dance Crew” successfully moved into its new Sunday 9p.m. time period, where it delivered a 1.7 P12-34 rating and ranked #1 in its time period versus all ad-supported cable competition. In Season Four, the series also reached an audience of over 68 million viewers with over 30 million from the P12-34 core. During Season One, “Taking The Stage (March 19 – May 7) consistently ranked #1 in its time period (Thursdays, 10p.m. – 11p.m.) among W18-24 versus all cable competition and reached over 39 million total viewers (P2+).
“Randy Jackson Presents America’s Best Dance Crew” is executive produced by “American Idol” judge Randy Jackson, Joel Gallen (Tenth Planet Productions), Hip Hop International’s Howard Schwartz and Karen Schwartz (the creators of the USA & World Hip Hop Dance Championships), Rob Lee (Bayonne Entertainment), Harriet Sternberg and Abe Hoch (both of Dream Merchant 21 Entertainment) and Josh Greenberg (“The Sing Off,” “MTV Movie Awards”). The series is hosted by Mario Lopez ("Extra"); Layla Kayleigh ("World Poker Tour") serves as backstage correspondent. Craig Erwich, Brooke Karzen and Drew Tappon are the executives overseeing the project for Warner Horizon Television (“The Bachelor,” “The Bachelorette,” "High School Reunion, “Here Come the Newlyweds”). Liz Gateley and Lauren Dolgen are the executives overseeing the project for MTV.
“Taking The Stage” is conceptualized and executive produced by multi-platinum recording artist and actor Nick Lachey (former member of 98 Degrees, “Charmed,” NBC’s “Clash of the Choirs”), an SCPA graduate, based on his own experience attending the school. Colton Gramm, Mark Ford & Kevin Lopez and Marc Platt also serve as executive producers for the series. Liz Gateley and Heather Olander serve as executive producers of the series for MTV.
MTV is the dynamic, vibrant experiment at the intersection of music, creativity and youth culture. For over 28 years, MTV has evolved, challenged the norm, and detonated boundaries -- giving each new generation a creative outlet and voice that entertains, informs and unites on every platform and screen. On-air, MTV is the number one rated full-day ad-supported cable network for P12-24. Online, MTV.com averaged 8.5 million monthly unique visitors during the first quarter of 2009 -- up +6% from Q4/2008 and up +6% year-over-year. Total video streams for the first quarter of 2009 increased 21% over the same time period last year. And MTV’s successful sibling networks MTV2, mtvU and MTV Tr3s each deliver unprecedented customized content, super-serving music fans, college students and young American Latinos like no one else. MTV is part of MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. Wanna know more?