World of Dance season 2 Qualifiers auditions continue tonight. Jennifer Lopez, Derek Hough and NE-YO are back on the judges panel, while Jenna Dewan serves as host.
In the end, there will be 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.
Cubcakes Dance Crew – Junior Team – Hip Hop – This group of young girls are so sweet, your teeth might hurt. The team has been working on their “stank faces.” They are very cute. But maybe hold back a bit on the face pulling. Jlo compliments their poise and fearlessness. “Strong clean and precise,” she says. The youngest in the group is nine. “World of Cute,” Ne-Yo calls them. Their flips impressed him. Derek is moved by the way they support each other. Ne-Yo – 84 Jlo – 85 Derek – 80 Total – 83.0.
Luka & Jenalyn – Upper – Ballroom Cabaret – They are back after not making it through to the Duels in season 1. I actually remember these two. Last time the judges felt there were too many tricks, not enough dance in the routine. Jlo is impressed by the tricks, but also sees the growth. Derek loved the subtle intro. But the body roll needs some work. Ne-Yo is glad they took their notes. He doesn’t like Luka’s strained face. Jlo and Derrick disagree. Ne-Yo – 88 Jlo – 86 Derek – 87 Total – 87.0.
The Jam Project – Upper Team – Tap – They dress like hip hoppers, but they tap dance. All of them are full time dancers and teachers. Some of them have known each other since grade school. They dance to Chicago’s “24 or 6 to 4.” Hm. Definitely could have picked a better song. Derek is impressed by their counter rhythms. He’d like to see more solos. Ne-Yo wanted to hear the taps more. Jlo feels they need to bring the legacy of Tap into their performance. Ne-Yo – 82 Jlo – 83 Derek – 84 Total – 83.0.
Marinspired – Upper – Contemporary Duo – The duo have been performing together for 3 years. One of them just got off tour with Sia. Their thing is being a male duo. It’s a very strong and athletic routine. What really makes it different are the lifts. Very different. And bold, as they tell a romantic story between two men. Jlo is very impressed. Dreek loved the turns, and the story telling. Ne-yo thinks the messiness of the routine makes it work. Ne-Yo – 88 Jlo – 96 Derek – 90 Total – 91.3.
Alisa & Joseph – Upper – Urban Dance – The duo, who started off as friends before eventually becoming a couple, is from Estonia and will be presenting their own version of “urban dance.” The routine has them dressed as school kids. Their isolations are really impressive and the routine is cute. Like something NappyTabs would cook up. Jlo calls it “perfect” and “delightful.” She compares them to last season’s Keone and Mari. Ne-Yo thinks it feels real, but he’s seen it before. Derek likes the theatricality. He wonders if the routine is competitive? Jlo thinks it is. – Ne-Yo – 90.7 Jlo – 94 Derek – 86 Total – 90.7. Considering the critiques, I didn’t expect the scores to be so high.
The Gentlemen – Junior – Hip Hop – This duo are brothers and really look up to Ne-Yo. Their name comes from his album title, Year of the Gentleman. They perform to one of his songs and present Jlo with roses at the end. “I would have chosen a better song,” Ne-Yo jokes. Jlo says it reminds her of two brothers dancing on the street. It’s a compliment! But they need to take it to the “stage level” she says. Ne-yo adds, “Every move has to mean something.” – Ne-Yo – 81 Jlo – 79 Derek – 79 Total – 79.7. Too bad, guys.
Dragon House – Upper – Animation – Any fan of So You Think You Can Dance know this group of dancers. Ne-Yo knows what they can do. He wanted more. Jlo wanted better transitions. Derek felt there were great moments, but overall the routine lacked consistency. Ne-Yo – 81 Jlo – 80 Derek – 79 Total – 80.0. They barely squeak by.
Quad Squad – Junior Team – Contemporary – They focus on STRONG QUADS. That means lots and lots of squats. They want to show female dancers that it’s ok to be strong. Hm. They actually don’t look all that muscular. Having said that, there’s nothing delicate about this routine. Derek calls them a “great team.” Ne-Yo appreciates their synchronicity. Jlo notes there were many “mind blowing amazing” moments and that they play to their individual strengths. Ne-Yo – 91 Jlo – 86 Derek – 90 Total – 89.0.
IMPORTANT: WOD airs TWO nights next week. The Qualifiers end on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the show MOVES TO A NEW NIGHT. Beginning with the Duals, the show will air two hours on Wednesdays–8 pm for 3 weeks until the AGT results show takes over the 8 pm slot on August 15, pushing the show to 9 pm. It will be interesting to see how the show fares the few weeks without that AGT lead in.