The World of Dance Divisional Finals airs tonight on NBC. Jennifer Lopez, Derek Hough and NE-YO make up the judges panel, while Jenna Dewan Tatum serves as host. The Top 2 in each of the three divisions face off against each other. The remaining three contestants will battle it out in next week’s FINALE for the 1 million dollar prize.
Team – Kinjaz vs Swing Latino
Kinjaz – They want to dedicate their performance to the people who know and love them–their Vietnamese parents who were directly affected by the war. This week, the group slows it down. Still really precise–but this time they bring emotional elements to their performance. Ne-Yo calls the piece “amazing” but he was looking for a “magic moment.” Jlo liked their bottled up emotion. Score – 92.3. A pretty high score for the other group to beat.
Swing Latino – Jlo thinks a Hispanic inspired routine would set them apart from Kinjaz. They kick off with an impressive display of the Puerto Rican flag, but then, it’s pretty much more of the lift and toss they’re known for. I’m Team Kinjaz all the way. Derek feels they embody “World of Dance.” It wasn’t the cleanest routine, but they made up for it in other ways, he says. Jlo was impressed by their ambition. She gets emotional speaking from the perspective of a fellow Latina, and how much she believes the culture has to offer. Score – 94.7
Winner: Swing Latino. Really? Sure, they tossed in a ton of dance styles, and made a bold statement about diversity. But I think Kinjaz out danced them.
Upper – Les Twins vs Keone and Mari
Keone and Mari – Ne-Yo asks what’s up next. They will go back to the relationship well and recreate their wedding dance. Mari admits they’ve been saving this particular number. The routine is a charming Broadway style performance to “The Way You Look Tonight.” The sweet piece is filmed in black and white and ends in a proposal as red hearts rain from the sky. Derek felt one of the lifts were off. Jlo calls it “Fred and Ginger for a new generation.” Score – 95 NE-YO GIVES THEM A 100. Wow. It’s the first 100 of the season. He thought it was perfect. It was beautiful to watch, but Derek had a point about that lift.
Les Twins – One of the duo is in a wheelchair. Uh oh. The injury happened during rehearsals. He tore something in his leg and needs to sit out for at least a couple of days. Ne-Yo tells them not to feel disadvantaged by the injury. Make the performance about emotional connection, he says. The injured brother is wheeled out in his chair. So yeah. He dances in his chair. They turn it into a prop. The routine ends with the injured twin being tossed out of his chair by his angry brother. A dramatic end. Jlo is impressed with their creativity. Ne-Yo called it dynamic. Keone and Mari taught Les Twins. Will the students beat the teachers? Score – 97.7
Winner: Les Twins Yep. The students surpassed their masters. I’m not surprised.
Junior – Diana Pomb vs Eva Iago
Diana Pambo – She tells mentor Derek that she wants to “dance like a kid” this week. Her routine is “Alice in Wonderland” themed. It’s like the kind of thing Maddie Ziegler would perform in a Sia video. Jlo says Diana lives in the moment when she dances. It gave her “chills.” GOOSIES! Kidding. Thankfully, Jennifer has retired that expression. Ne-Yo felt the young dancer’s demeanor should have been less angsty. Score – 89.3. Eva will probably blow past that.
Eva Iago – Derek has been working with Eva on her confidence. The young dancer’s insecurities and inability to connect has been the core of her backstory. Eva’s got this. Her routine is dramatic, cinematic and full of eye popping moves. She ends the piece with a fierce look. When the music ends, she breaks out into a huge smile. She says this week, she felt more confident than she ever did. Jlo notes that she’s broken through and is finally able to connect. Derek says, “Without being corny…it’s an EVA-LUTION.” Oh boy. Score – 96.7. Yeah, Eva blew that matchup away.
Advancing to next week’s World of Dance Final
Team Division – Swing Latino
Upper Division – Les Twins
Junior Division – Eva Iago