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J.C. Rules Out N'Sync Night on 'ABDC'
While Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears are snagging headlines for their reality show antics, let us not forget that J.C. Chasez is the OG MMC judge, having been with America's Best Dance Crew since 2008.
Now in its seventh season, MTV's dance battle show is having its most unpredictable season yet and that's just one of the reasons J.C. is particularly jazzed about it. I caught up with him to find out what makes ABDC7 so special, what you'll never see on the show and what his approach to judging is.
Insider.com: What did you make of this season's crews?
J.C. Chasez: I didn't know what to expect from these crews, but I've been so pleasantly surprised by the caliber of talent. Overall, it seems like in seasons past, there were three crews from the beginning that people thought were going to win. But this year, almost every crew has the chance to win if they play their cards right.
Insider: Fans were surprised to see you bring back season two finalists Fanny Pak. How have they grown?
J.C.: Well, they've grown in size [laughs] -- there are so many more of them now! But I think they've grown from simply having life experiences. The disappointment of not winning, when they came so close, really has pushed them. I know they're looking for redemption and while I'd like to say they have an easy shot at winning, this is going to be a tight race. They can do it, but it won't be as easy as I originally thought.
Insider: Was there any discussion that Fanny Pak had their chance and shouldn't be brought back?
J.C.: To be totally frank, we're in the entertainment business and want to entertain our fans at home. If the demand is there and the talent is there, we will give them the opportunity.
Insider: The last few seasons have dedicated every episode to the music from one Superstar -- what is it that you like about this format?
J.C.: I like it because I think it gives the audience perspective. Even though they're performing different songs, it levels the playing field a bit because everyone is drawing from the same inspiration. And yet, everybody is going to interpret it differently – and that's what we're looking for: the creativity a crew brings to the artist.
Insider: And yet with all these theme-nights, there has never been an N'Sync one. Why?
J.C.: [laughs] Because I would laugh through the whole thing. I would be so biased. I couldn't properly judge that. Honestly, the other thing is, we have to stick to what's current. People are more responsive to what's going on today – even when we do an artist like Madonna, there are new songs in with the old songs.
Insider: Tonight is Drake -- what excites you about his music?
J.C. This is one of the weeks I'm most excited about because I feel like so much of what the crews have danced to so far has been of the same tempo. And don't get it twisted, I love dance music, but I think Drake is a nice change up. Sonically it offers the chance to be a lot more creative. It's going to be interesting for fans to see how the crews adapt to this change up.
Insider: Every judge is different, but what is it you hope to accomplish with your critiques?
J.C.: Every judge draws on different things to put their comments into perspective. I draw on my experience performing in front of crowds -- of young and old, of peers and amateurs, on multiple stages: TV, arenas, clubs. How did I get the crowd to react in all those different settings? When you play an award show, you're in a room of professionals so they're all about seeing how you can impress them, as opposed to playing a concert where everyone is already excited to see you. It's an interesting way to look at judging for me. My goal is to watch the performance, compliment them on what I think is impressive and also bring something to the table that could help them make their performance more complete.
America's Best Dance Crew airs Wednesday at 10 p.m. on MTV.