World of Dance season 2 premieres tonight. Jennifer Lopez, Derek Hough and NE-YO are back on the judges panel, while Jenna Dewan serves as host.
In the end, there’s only one million dollar winner. That’s right–the last act standing wins $1 million dollars.
A total of 72 acts compete this season in the 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 acts need 80 or above scores from the judges to advance to the Duels.
Desi Hoppers – Upper Team – They’re hip hop dancers from Mumbai India. They dance to the “Shape of You.” Not exactly Bollywood! But the music changes into a blend of Indian style and Hip Hop. Pretty good. Jlo calls it “unexpected.” Ne-Yo calls it “fun…clean and precise.” Derek calls it “pure entertainment.” He says, “Nailed it.” – Ne-Yo – 98 – Jlo – 94 Derek – 96 – 96.0 Jenna says the act’s numbers exceeded last year’s winners, Les Twins, qualifying score.
Sean & Kaycee – Junior – Hip Hop Fusion – They met 8 years ago at a dance competition. Yes, that’s how long they’ve been competing, and are still only juniors. They perform a contemporary routine wearing blindfolds to start, they rip them off and the dance transforms into something joyful as hip hop elements are introduced. Jennifer says they really touched her heart. She’s tearful. Derek calls it “intelligent choreography.” Ne-Yo is also impressed by the choreography (Sean is the choreographer). – Ne-Yo – 97 – Jlo – 96 Derek – 95 – 96.0
S-Rank – Upper Team – Hip Hop – They don’t get a backstory! Pretty big troup. Nothing special, though. Jlo calls it “one of the stankiest routines I’ve ever seen.” The leader competed with another team last year. Derek calls the movements short but effective. Ne-Yo loved the choreography. – Ne-Yo – 92 – Jlo – 91 Derek – 90 – 91.0
Jaxon Willard – Junior – Contemporary – We previewed his routine HERE. He’s African American, adopted by an all white family. He was teased for his skin color while growing up in a mostly caucasian community. Dancing was a way to cope. He performs to “Fragile” explaining that it tells his story. Jaxon, a talented and expressive dancer, gets a standing ovation from the judges. Jlo calls it a “special moment” she appreciates his vulnerability. Ne-Yo is proud of him. Derek calls him beautiful. “You embody what it is to be a dancer.” He choreographs all his own routines. – Ne-Yo – 95 – Jlo – 96 Derek – 91 – 94.0
FLIP – Junior Team – Hip Hop/Urban Dance – They dance an energetic routine to “Feeling Good” Ne-Yo enjoyed it, but is not sure they are competitive. Jlo is looking for more diversity. Derek liked the contrast between the music and the choreography. They barely squeak through, but they make it to the next round. – Ne-Yo – 81 – Jlo – 83 Derek – 84 – 83.0
Hilty & Bosch – Upper – Locking duo – They’re from Osaka Japan. Oh, apparently they are legends, or something. They are world famous! The two have been dancing together for 20 years. Ne-Yo feels the level of difficulty needs to be better. He and Derek wonder if they can be competitive. Entertaining, but will they hold up? Ohhhh. LEGENDS DENIED – Ne-Yo – 79 – Jlo – 78 Derek – 78 – 78.3
Karen y Ricardo – Upper – Latin Cabaret duo – The two are from Chile and appear not to speak English. The subtitles say they are a couple. They have won 3 consecutive world championships. They perform an impressive Latin ballroom routine during which they never stop moving. Karen’s spins never end! Derek is up on top of the table pumping his fist. Guess he’s impressed. Heh. “That’ is what you call setting the stage on fire,” says Jlo. The two have been dancing together since they were 9 years old. They tell Jlo in Spanish that they are getting married. “It’s coming from inside your soul,” says Jlo. “You guys are competitors,” says Derek. Ne-Yo calls it the first million dollar performance they’ve seen. Ha. Derek had to go ruin a perfect score. Jenna explains that they received the highest score in the competition ever. – Ne-Yo – 100 – Jlo – 100 Derek – 99 – 99.7