The third night of World of Dance qualifiers airs tonight on NBC. Jennifer Lopez, Derek Hough and NE-YO make up the judges panel, while Jenna Dewan Tatum serves as host.
In the end, there’s only one million dollar winner. That’s right–the last act standing wins $1 million dollars.
Handpicked from qualifying events around the nation and thousands of online submissions, competitors are divided into three divisions: Junior (any size act under 16 years old), Upper (groups of 1- 4, over 16 years) and Team (groups of 5+, over 16 years). After an initial audition round (Qualifiers), the dancers will move on to “The Duals,” followed by “The Cut” and then the “Divisional Final.” In the “World Final” the three division winners will go head to head for $1 million and the title “Best in the World.” A panel of experts score the acts using a precise point system developed by World of Dance, using the following criteria: Performance, Technique, Choreography, Creativity, and Presentation. The judges award up to 5 points in each category. The act must score at least 80 points to move on to the next level.
It’s the FINAL round of the qualifiers.
The Jabbawockeez – Team – The crew started in 2003 and went on to win America’s Best Dance Crew in 2008. They are actually pretty famous. They’ve had a show in Vegas since 2010. Not much to say. These guys dance with precision and humor. Very entertaining. They remove their white masks for their critique. “Super clean, cool, rhythmic,” says Ne-Yo. He missed their isolations a little, but he’s ok with that. Derek also missed the isolations. Jennifer dug the groove. “I loved it…you just gave everyone a masterclass.” The group is here because they are still growing. Derek respects the fact that they put their reputation on the line to try something different.
Score – 86.7
Mihacevich Sisters – Junior – The trio are contemporary dancers. They dance to “Warrior.” They’re OK? I’m not sure why they trio is here, except maybe to showcase some raw, amateur talent. “That was very powerful,” says Jlo. They’re young teens. Wow. Thought they were older. Ne-Yo complimented their precision. Derek notes that he knows what it’s like to dance with family. “It’s special.”
Score – 87 (Jennifer gave them a 90. REALLY?)
Montage of successful acts: Boys of Temecula (80.3), Kyntay (85.7) Kyle Van Newkirk (tapper) (80.7), Chapkis Dance Family, Derek takes the stage to show off his moves with Passion (87.7), a ballroom act, The Posse–young girls with an anti-bullying messages. Several cry at the finish. (84) (FULL Performances uploaded to Youtube)
Swing Latino – Team – The group is from Columbia and their remarks are mostly sub-titled. There are so many of them on stage, I can’t wrap my arms around this act. But they are strong, athletic performers. Derek calls it “explosive…artistic, incredibly athletic.” Ne-Yo was impressed with the male dancers. Jlo loved it. She tells them, in Spanish, that they have the potential to win.
Score – 89.3
Ian Eastwood and The Young Lions – Team – Ian was a Youtube star and choreographer by the age of 16. The routine is tailor-made to back a pop or rap star. Ian is obviously influenced by pop entertainers like Michael Jackson, Ne-Yo and Usher. Jlo says it’s too bad he doesn’t sing. Exactly. She felt it was a little mellow for a dance competition. Ne-Yo says he looks like Bruno Mars taller whiter brother. Derek agreed with Jlo. It wasn’t a competition performance. I’m a little surprised they went through. Jennifer gave them a score in the high 80’s despite the criticism.
Montage of Eliminated contestants: Vibration, 801 Squad, Trent Jeray,
DNA – Upper – Ballroom dancers are a married couple from Ukraine. They’ve known each other since childhood. It looked like they slipped up once? But they’re good. Very sexy, lots of chemistry between them. Good stuff. Derek thought they “rocked” the competition. He loved their fusion of dance styles. “It was the sexiest waltz I’ve seen,” says Ne-Yo. But he notes that it’s supposed to seem effortless–they looked like they were working too hard. Jlo appreciated their passion, and intensity. She notes the mistake they made. But mistakes are worth the risk of trying difficult moves, she says.
Eva Igo – Junior – She’s a 14 year old contemporary/Jazz dancer. Her parents are divorcing. Dance helps her work through emotions. She’s graceful and athletic. She executes her moves with a mature artistry. Impressive. Derek calls her “extraordinary….you dominated that stage.” Ne-Yo says her lines make her look 3 feet taller. Jlo calls her technique beautiful and appreciates her depth of emotion. “Such a star,” she says. When her score comes in, she breaks down in tears.
Next week the DUELS begin.