04/12/2010 at 12:00 AM EDT
from Westminster, Calif., were crowned the fifth season champions of Randy Jackson's America's Best Dance Crew
on Thursday night, defeating Montreal-based Blueprint Cru
in a close vote on the hit MTV series.
"It's kind of crazy because we were a crew that really came from nothing to something," says an elated Justin Valles
. "We were practicing in Dumbo's Matt Nguyen
's living room and we're finally here. We won ABDC
! And we're the youngest crew to be a champion and it's really a trip for us."
Poreotix's victory did not surprise judge JC Chasez
. "They really won over America with their personalities," he says of the humor and whimsy they displayed in all of their numbers. "They found different dimensions and different gears for their performances and that's what I appreciated."
The crew even created a dance for one of Chasez's mid-season critiques, that the group was all robotic 'tick tick tick' moves and nothing else. "After the whole finale, I went and congratulated them," Chasez says, "and they had a T-shirt that had 'Tick tick tick' across the whole thing. I thought it was really sweet of the guys. I told them, 'Obviously when I'm up there, I'm critiquing you because I want to see you guys grow,' and they said, 'No, we appreciate it and felt we got better because of it.' "
Says Poreotix member Lawrence Devera
, "It's one thing to dance to entertain but it's another thing to dance and inspire and I think for us to be able to do that around the country and around the world, it's an amazing feeling. I feel really accomplished right now and really blessed to have done it with my friends."
In winning, Poreotix became the fifth crew in a row from the West region to take the title. Does any other region have a shot at the crown? "I thought Blueprint Cru had just a good shot as anybody," Chasez says of the runner-up from the East. "I thought the South was really strong this year. It was just a tight race this year and it seemed like the talent was evenly distributed."
Adds judge Lil Mama,
"There is definitely talent all over the U.S. One of my favorite crews this season was Jungle Boogie
. Oh my God, they're fire! All crews had improvement, but Poreotix prevailed."
For their victory, Poreotix won $100,000 and the golden ABDC
trophy, which will reside in Dumbo's living room, the place that started it all. And next? "We are planning a tour for later on this summer," says show executive producer Randy Jackson,
"and also we have a big charity special next week, with all five winning crews from each of the past five seasons. It's gonna be hot!"
The Thursday, April 15 episode will feature JabbaWockeez, Super Cr3w, Quest Crew, We Are Heroes
and Poreotix in partnership with DoSomething.org
recognizing and celebrating the work of young volunteers. -- Cynthia WangTell us: Who was your favorite crew of season 5?