Dorchester's Ernest "E-Knock" Phillips and five other members of Status Quo are back in town after narrowly losing a contest for $100,000 and the "America's Best Dance Crew" title - promoted by MTV's show of the same name.
A crowd of friends, family, fans and other members of the 14-strong crew greeted the six fallen warriors at Logan Airport Friday night, and by Monday, Phillips and others were already imparting what they learned to the rest of the crew down at English High School in Jamaica Plain.
"It's good to be back with my boys now," said Phillips, who is relieved to be home and away from the pressures of the show. "It was mad stressful out there," he said when someone brought up "that time Ernest cried on national television."
"I know America has seen me cry," Phillips said, "but I was going through a lot out there. If they were there they would have cried too."
All the boys agreed that it was hard to be in the spotlight. Darius Rutledge, also of Dorchester, said he got his "funniness" back as soon as he stepped off the plane. MTV producers would tell them to act serious in front of the cameras. "Now I can be myself, a comedian," Rutledge said.
Phillips said he feels MTV pushed the "poor kids" image a little too hard. "They made it seem like we were naked outside dancing," Phillips said. "It wasn't really like that - we were going through a lot of struggles, but it wasn't just that we were poor."
From this point on, Phillips said Status Quo is one crew with 14 guys.
"There's no Status Quo Boston, no Status Quo L.A.," he said, "we're still on the grind as a unit." With a long list of endorsement offers, Phillips said he's only considering the ones that are interested in all of Status Quo - not just the six from MTV.
In full force, Status Quo is "about to blow up harder than we ever did before," Phillips added. They look forward to showing America all of Status Quo, but they don't look forward to "dealing with the haters the people trying to separate us."
"There are lots of people trying to hop on the band wagon but they can't keep up with it," said Lowe. All of a sudden they have a lot of managers and agents, said Phillips, people coming out of the blue trying to feed off of Status Quo's fame. "We're what's hot right now," he said, "and a lot of people don't like when they see something hot. They'll try to cool us down."
On Saturday, Phillips will be travelling to New York City to audition for NBC's "America's Got Talent" with the Status Quo members who didn't get to compete on MTV. The prize is $1 million and the game plan, they say, is to take another run at fame, entertain the celebrity judges and represent Boston.
The Beantown Bounce - Boston's biggest dance competition - is also coming up on April 19. Phillips said he's not sure if Status Quo will compete since they've already won it twice and have been invited to perform as special guests in New Jersey the same day. They're still adjusting to their "special guest-type status," though, Phillips said. "We come from the life of dancing on the streets so we want to compete. We're still on that street 'we'll kick you and serve you right now' level."