5:44pm PT by Sophie Schillaci
JC Chasez Talks 'America's Best Dance Crew' Evolution, Teases Casper Smart's Guest Appearance on J. Lo Night (Video)
As one of two veteran judges on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew, JC Chasez has seen more than a few talented dancers make their way through the Warner Bros. studio lot. But the former boy band-er says that when it comes to high levels of competition, season seven takes the cake.
“In my opinion, season seven has turned out to be the most competitive season of all,” Chasez tells The Hollywood Reporter during a recent visit to the THR Cover Lounge. “I think that this season has been more evenly matched across the board, with more groups that are on the same high level, than probably any other season.”
This week, the crews are challenged to push themselves to the next level with the songs of Jennifer Lopez – with a twist. The pop superstar’s choreographer, Beau “Casper” Smart, works with each crew to give them a unique J.Lo inspired challenge – including using their moves “on the floor” and paying homage to Lopez’s fly girl days.
“Beau is a great guy and I’m looking forward to see the products of his labor,” Chasez says. “The first time I ran into Casper for this show, the first thing he said to me was, ‘Hey man, we met way back in the day.’ We shared a quick memory about how we had first met, and we basically were confronted with the crews right away ‘cause we had to give the crews their challenge.”
Keeping it all in the MTV family, Jersey Shore star DJ Pauly D will be mixing J.Lo’s hottest hits, including “Let’s Get Low,” “On The Floor,” “Get Right,” “Do It Well,” “Jenny From The Block” and “Waiting For Tonight,” for the competition.
Chasez has been with the Randy Jackson-led program since its 2008 debut, helping launch crews such as the JabbaWockeeZ and Quest Crew to stardom.
“Really, the first season of ABDC was the unknown,” he recalls. “When we made this show, I did it because I believed in it. I liked the fact that this is people that are of the street level, that have aspirations for people to see the craft that they do. And so I was all in because the first thing I ever did was dance in public at a competition.”
“First season, we didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into. We just believed in the idea. Halfway through the season, we’re like, ‘This show’s pretty good,’ and so after the JabbaWockeeZ took America by storm we realized we had a hit on our hands,” he explains. “Season two we go, ‘Well, where do we go from here? We just saw an amazingly talented group of people perform for a season, where are we going to find more of these people?’ And it turns out that there’s just no shortage of upcoming talent.”
As Chasez prepares to crown a new winner, along with fellow judges Lil Mama, D-Trix and the voting public, he contemplates the possibility of a future all-star season.
“I think we still have a few more seasons to go to get there, considering most of our seasons usually start with about 10 crews,” he says. “So I think if we get 10 seasons under our belt, we might just have one. Unless we decide to draw maybe top three crews, because I know a lot of shows do that as well. I think it would make for a really fun season.”
Tune in Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT as 8 Flavahz, Collizion Crew, Elektrolytes, Fanny Pak, Mos Wanted Crew and Rated Next Generation battle it out with J.Lo’s greatest hits.