World of Dance season 2 Duals continue tonight. Jennifer Lopez, Derek Hough and NE-YO are back on the judges panel, while Jenna Dewan serves as host.
In this round, the top qualifying acts from each division will choose a rival and face off in a head-to-head elimination duel. The judges will score each act based on their artistry, precision and athleticism, and the top scoring act from each duel will move forward in the competition and be one step closer to winning a grand prize of $1 million.
A total of 72 acts compete this season in four age-based categories: Junior (17 years old and under, 1-4 dancers), Junior Team (17 years old and under, 5-15 dancers), Upper (18 years old and older, 1-4 dancers), and Upper Team (18 years old and older, 5-15 dancers).
The highest scoring acts from the Qualifiers choose who to challenge. The judges decide who moves on and who goes home. Jenna mentors the performers as they prepare for battle.
The Lab (94) vs Lil Killaz Crew (83) – Junior Team – Jlo marvels over the group’s maturity. A returnee from last year, they face off against a cute B Boy group from Belarus. “This is a battle for street cred,” says Jenna.
The Lab – Their ability to move as a unit is impressive. Jlo calls it the best group routine she’s seen, adult or juniors. “Unbelievable,” says Derek. “It’s just obvious that you rehearse all the time,” says Ne-Yo. “You guys move like one person.” – Ne-Yo – 95 Jlo – 95 Derek – 95 Total – 95 – WINNER
Lil Killaz Crew – They put up a good fight. But NO WAY they beat the impeccably clean The Lab. “That was ferocious,” says Jlo. “You did the best that you could do tonight.” Derek is afraid to see what they’ll be like in a few years. THE KISS OFF. Ne-Yo felt it was a little “chaotic” but still fantastic. Ne-Yo – 84 Jlo – 87 Derek – 86 Total – 85.7 – ELIMINATED
Alisa & Joseph (90.7) vs Elektro Botz (89.0) – Upper – Alisa & Joseph performed an infectious lyrical hip hop routine for their audition. Ne-Yo thought they exhibited more style rather than substance. The Elektro Botz are a robotics trio that dedicated their audition routine to a mom of one of the dancers who sadly lost her battle with cancer.
Alisa & Joseph – The duo perform another light hearted number while managing to step up the technicals. They make it all look deceptively easy. “A gentleman would not be afraid of three kids,” Joseph says of his competition. The judges liked that feisty spirit. Derek says he got lost in their performance. Ne-Yo is impressed, but he’s not sure they were competitive. He said he would have picked a better song. (Oh, they chose a Ne-Yo song for good measure). Ne-Yo – 88 Jlo – 87 Derek – 88 Total – 87.7 – WINNER WOAH That was a squeaker. Right decision, though.
Elektro Botz – I disagree with Ne-Yo. He gives Alisa & Joseph short shrift because their routines are so cutesy. These guys delivered an impressive routine, but I think the former are technically superior. Jlo felt the match ups were pretty even. They both could have pushed the choreography harder, she says. Derek agrees with Jlo. Ne-Yo thought it could have been cleaner in spots, but overall “great job.” Ne-Yo – 85 Jlo – 85 Derek – 91 Total – 87 – ELIMINATED
Desi Hoppers (96) vs Opus Dance Collective (80.7) – Upper Team – The Desi Hoppers are a troupe from India that mixes Bollywood with Hip Hop. The latter is a contemporary team from Canada. Jenna calls it classic dual between street vs studio.
Opus Dance Collective – Jlo called the emotional routine beautiful and well executed. She appreciated the way they used the entire stage. Derek kept waiting for a big moment. Ne-Yo didn’t feel they always connected emotionally. They are skilled dancers, but I agree, the routine lacked an emotional center. Ne-Yo – 80 Jlo – 85 Derek – 85 Total – 83.3 – ELIMINATED
Desi Hoppers – Fun routine, full of humor. They aren’t technically top notch, but compulsively watchable. Jlo appreciates the way they run through a gamut of emotions. Derek calls their transitions “seamless.” he says, “a fantastic combination. “Your moves are your own,” says Ne-Yo. Ne-Yo – 90 Jlo – 90 Derek – 91 Total – 90.3 – WINNER
Sean & Kaycee (96 Jr division leaders) vs 3 XTreme (83.3) – Junior – Sean & Kaycee’s audition was performed with blindfolds and brought Jlo to tears. Sean was the choreographer. Jlo appreciated 3 XTreme’s confidence.
3 Xtreme – Ha ha. They whipped out blindfolds at the end of their routine and tossed them at the competition. It was a good, energetic routine. But I doubt they can best Sean & Kaycee. Jlo appreciates their spirit and that they came to fight. Ne-Yo was entertained. “You guys are mean!” Derek says, “I was boogying in my seat.” He agrees with the rest that the routine was a little messy at times. Ne-Yo – 86 Jlo – 87 Derek – 88 Total – 87 – ELIMINATED
Sean & Kaycee – This routine is VERY different from their first. It’s hip hop mixed with contemporary moves. They are really taking a risk here. But They are still going to beat 3 Xtreme regardless. Sean is an extremely creative choreographer. Kudos to him. Ne-Yo compliments their musicality, but felt it lacked connection. Jlo disagrees vehemently. “You have a real talent,” Jlo says, “Poetry in motion.” Derek says, “Little prodigy right there.” Ne-Yo – 95 Jlo – 87 Derek – 93 Total – 93.3 – WINNER Ha. Ne-Yo was the most critical of the judges, yet he doled out the highest score.
Royal Flux (87) vs Lock N Lol Crew (81) – Upper Team – The Royal Flux lead dancer broke her foot before their Qualifiers performance. She’s at about 85% for the Duals. Jlo appreciates Lock N Lol’s commitment to old school locking.
Royal Flux – The choreography is propulsive, joyful. LOTS of lifts. Jlo calls the routine “well executed.” Derek calls them creative and innovative. Ne-Yo thought maybe too many lifts, but when the dancing kicked in, he was on board. Ne-Yo – 86 Jlo – 89 Derek – 90 Total – 88.3 – ELIMINATED
Lock N Lol – This group, from Seoul South Korea, return to the WOD stage with a very serious routine. They seemed a little silly last time. But this time, they have come to play. That was good! Jlo says, “There’s something to be said for a strong finish.” Derek gives them a standing ovation. “Refreshing, exciting.” Ne-Yo calls it “elevated locking.” Ne-Yo – 89 Jlo – 89 Derek – 90 Total – 89.3 – WINNER. Kind of an upset, considering their respective Qualifiers scores. But Lock N Lol performed a competitive routine. They deserved the win. Royal Flux are devastated–they came into the Duel sure they could prevail.
Marinspired (91.3) vs Dragon House (80) – Upper – For their qualifying audition, Marinspired performed a bold male partner dance. Dragon House are world renowned, but the judges felt they under delivered in the qualifiers.
Marinspired – Maninspired’s choreographer young 14 year old niece–an aspiring dancer–died at Parkland. Derek calls them “beautiful storytellers.” But he thought a few of the lifts fell short. Ne-Yo found the routine a little abstract. Jlo LOVED that it was abstract. That’s contemporary, she says. The story revolved around learning the news of the Parkland shooting. The two wore orange ribbons to commemorate. Ne-Yo – 85 Jlo – 87 Derek – 88 Total – 86.7 – WINNER
Dragon House – Dragon House is coming on with a very competitive routine. Ne-Yo still feels like they are holding back. Derek compliments their musicality. He wanted more dynamics. Jlo compliments their strengths.Hm. I agree with Derek’s strong score here. That was a strong routine, I think. Ne-Yo – 85 Jlo – 84 Derek – 90 Total – 86.3 – ELIMINATED
Charity & Andres (95.3) vs Vivian Ruiz (83) – Junior – Charity & Andres are novices from Utah–they do their own choreography. Vivian’s Qualifiers routine was inspired by her first heartbreak.
Vivian Ruiz – Vivian is coming on strong. Despite her 11th place rank, she will not be easy to beat. The duo look sick. “I love you so much right now,” says Jlo. “Dancers love, because they love to dance,” she says. Derek calls the execution “perfection.” Ne-Yo says, “You came here to fight.” Ne-Yo – 95 Jlo – 96 Derek – 96 Total – 95.7 – ELIMINATED Considering the “first perfect score in WOD history” was teased at the top of the show, it was obvious Vivian was a goner even as her very high numbers popped up on the screen. No suspense! The judges urge her to return next season.
Charity & Andres – These kids are really good too! Arguably the most competitive of all the duals so far. It’s a very mature performance. These kids are defending their spot on the leaderboard, for sure. “It felt so new HASHTAG DISRUPTED,” gushed Jlo. Ne-Yo complimented their “crystal clear storyline.” Derek said their choreography “transcended dance.” Ne-Yo – 100 Jlo – 100 Derek – 100 Total – 100 – WINNER It’s the FIRST perfect score of the competition.