Seven seasons into judging America’s Best Dance Crew, JC Chasez (pictured on the left with series creator Randy Jackson) likes to “go into it fresh every week.” It’s easier said than done with dozens of dance crews floating around in the former NSYNC member’s head at any given time. Tonight’s performances of Drake songs will likely go a long way toward a little mental spring cleaning, though. After routines to Britney, Madonna, and Flo Rida tracks, “Drake is a great change-up,” said Chasez. “The Flo Rida music is very high-paced and energetic, and you’re dealing with two female icons who do dance music. Drake’s tempo is totally different musically. That’s what I’m looking forward to. It’s going to be really, really interesting to see how these crews adjust.”
Below, Chasez talks about the latest crop of ABDC competitors, teases upcoming superstars, names some of his favorite routines in the show’s history, dishes on The Voice and the current boy band resurgence, and addresses rumors of an NSYNC reunion.
“It’s a really tight race [on ABDC] this year,” Chasez admitted. He’s been most surprised by the Elektrolytes. “On my first viewing… I thought they were really good, but I didn’t know if they possessed what it took to go all the way,” he said, “but last week’s performance really opened up my eyes.” He also named Mos Wanted and 8 Flavahz as two early standouts this season but says any of the crews “could all go all the way if they keep improving.”
For sure, the competitors will need to keep upping the ante with the line-up of superstars to come, including LMFAO, Jennifer Lopez, and David Guetta, to name a few. Chasez is especially excited for the Guetta set because “DJs are so prominent now in music.” He added, “It might be fun if there’s another season in front of us to do an entire week about DJs. Their music has really jumped into the forefront, and dancers react to that stuff really well.”
Outside of ABDC, Chasez admitted that he’s keeping an eye on another reality show: The Voice. He’s rooting for former fellow Mousketeer and long-time friend Tony Lucca. “There’s no denying that I would love to see him win,” said Chasez. “His voice has life in it. He’s lived. There are certain performers who sound great, but don’t have that. He’s been through so much that you can hear those things in his tone and with his delivery, and that’s what makes him special.”
Chasez is also keeping up with the current boy band revival. As someone who lived through the height of TRL, he is “really proud” of these guys’ success. “I love that One Direction is giving young people something to get excited about,” he said. “Look, a 10-year-old’s not going to relate to Eminem, so there needs to be somebody out there that can speak to somebody young to show them a good time.” And he definitely digs The Wanted‘s “Glad You Came.” “I don’t think anybody first heard that song and said, ‘That’s got to be a boy band,’” he noted. “There’s room for everybody as long as it’s quality.”
Unfortunately, there’s no room for an NSYNC reunion right now. Despite the returns of NKOTBSB and 98 Degrees in the last year, Chasez said emphatically, “The answer’s still no. If you’re going to do something, it has to be for all the right reasons — and that’s not money or the fact that everybody else is doing it. We’re happy with what it was and the way we finished things. We did what we set out to do and we’re comfortable with that.”
NEXT: Chasez picks a few of his all-time favorite ABDC routines
Of course, Chasez had to pay respect the crew that took the title in season 1: “The Jabbawockeez were amazing. Their imagery still stands out through 7 seasons. They’re unforgettable.” He also gave credit to season 2’s Super Cr3w, “really elevated the B-boy thing and brought that to the forefront in the United States.” A few more standouts:
Quest Crew: OrQUESTra”
“The Quest Crew combined all the elements of season 1 and 2,” said Chasez. “The piano routine that propelled them into the finale was very memorable.”
BluePrint Cru: “Bad Romance”
This season 5 piece stood out, too, but Chasez admitted it was a tough call. “I could literally talk about at least one or two performances from each season that I liked,” he said.