8 Flavahz fall in ‘ABDC’ finale
BY GARY CHUN / firstname.lastname@example.org
In the championship finale of MTV’s “America’s Best Dance Crew,” the Arizona-based Elektrolytes beat out all-female Hawaii/L.A. crew 8 Flavahz for the title and a $100,000 grand prize.
After all 22-plus million viewers’ votes were tallied from the end of last week’s show, the Elektrolytes came up on top and finally won the “ABDC” title after three previous unsuccessful auditions to make the show. The crew builds upon its impressive résumé of previously placing first in last year’s Hip Hop International’s USA Hip Hop Dance Championship.
In comparison, it took 8 Flavahz — the youngest group ever to compete, ranging in ages from 10 to 17 years old — only two auditions to appear on the popular MTV competition, now in its seventh season. An all-local girl group originally called Flavahz Crew from the 24-VII Danceforce studio made the first attempt, but even though that group didn’t make last year’s contest, one of the show’s judges asked them to come back this year.
This time around, the crew was made up of Hawaii dancers Camren Bicondova, Summer Waikiki and twins Tamara and Tiara Rapp, who had earlier met and invited Los Angeles dancers Charlize Glass, Angel Gibbs, Jaira Miller and Kaelynn Gobert-Harris to join them to compete in “ABDC.”
The Hawaii/L.A. crew’s choreographer was Marcelo Pacleb and his assistant Kelsey Park, both of 24-VII Danceforce.
“We’re runners-up, and we’re cool with that,” said Tamara Rapp. “The Elektrolytes are truly nice and inspiring. We’re proud of them and I’m proud of my own crew.
“It was nerve-wracking waiting for the decision. We were shaking. When I finally heard the decision, I felt disappointment, and then really, really proud of what we did as a group. It was a honor to be on that stage.”
“I’m really happy for the Elektrolytes,” Jaira Miller said. “They’re like brothers to us. I know for those from Hawaii, they’ll have to fly back home to Hawaii and see their families. But we’ll still be Flavahz.”
As for the future of 8 Flavahz, Courtney Miller Jr. — the father of Jaira and, with Pacleb’s oral agreement, manager of the group — it’s a promising one.
“I foresee the ladies getting their own clothing line, their own shoe line, maybe a TV series or special, dancing for other artists and then headlining their own tours,” Miller said, a 20-year veteran in the business and choreographer for Michael Jackson in the 1990s. “And we’re setting up something special for Hawaii definitely for this year before winter.
“Also this has all been a great experience to share with my daughter,” Miller said.