World of Dance 4 Recap The Duels 3 (Live Blog and VIDEO)

It is time for the junior division to take center stage. Good Tuesday everyone! Tonight, the duels continue as more acts try to earn a spot in the semi-finals. With six upper division acts set, judges Jennifer Lopez, Derek Hough, and Ne-Yo are looking for the best of the best among the young crop of this season’s dancers.

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The setup is the same. No one will know who they are battling against until the moment it begins and if you lose, you might earn a shot at redemption when everyone finishes competing. There are quite a few soloists and groups that made strong impressions at the qualifiers, so tonight should be entertaining and competitive.

Twitch is back once again to determine the redemption acts. So, let’s get it started.

The Young Cast Vs. GRVMNT – Jennifer notes they have so much in common and both needed a callback to make it this far. The Young Cast know they have to fight. Jennifer wants GRVMNT’s girls to hit as hard as the boys. Both teams are ready to fight and they are not here to play.

GRVMNT – Dang. Some of the upper division teams can take a few notes with this group. So damn in-sync and clean. Dancing as one with pristine movement incorporating hip-hop steps with some down and dirty grooving. So fun to watch everyone nailing it at the exact same time. They are definitely in battle mode and know they need to impress. And that was might impressive.

Derek says they came ready ti play. He loved the musicality. Jennifer says it may hold the record for most moves in a minute and a half. Derek feels it lacked some stamina at the end. Jennifer says it is inevitable that after all that, you lose some energy at the end. Ne-Yo notes dancers make it look easy. He agrees that at the end, you could see some effort. Twitch wants them to make it look like its nothing.

The Young Cast – Wow. That was so hard hitting. There was so much fire and intensity in that. And it gelled well within the theme of “dueling” because they looked like battling ninjas out there. I really loved some of those quirky tricks thrown in because it makes them stand out. And just like the other group, we can’t not mention the cleanliness of the dancing. So good. I think The Young Cast just edged out GRVMNT.

Jennifer is so impressed. She didn’t know they had it in them. Derek says they were shot out of a canon at the beginning. He felt the tricks were the weakest moments though. Twitch says it is like hip-hop taken to the next level. Ne-Yo is torn. His issue with this group is the tricks because he feels they didn’t totally land.

Derek picks The Young Cast.
Jennifer picks GRVMNT.
Ne-Yo as the deciding vote, picks GRVMNT.

Interesting. I can’t really say it was a bad decision but I hope The Young Cast is part of redemption because they were excellent in that.

Next up tonight is Savannah Manzel Vs. 305. Ne-Yo loves the raw Latin energy and Savannah’s powerful solos, so he says the judges feel she could up against them. The judges want Savannah to tap into the emotion Meanwhile, 305 needs to work on consistency. Derek wants 305 to have more exciting choreography.

305 – I think Savannah actually got lucky here. They are playing it up as if a soloist cannot beat a group but listen… 305 has been pretty lackluster as a Latin group, though this was their best overall piece. On top of that, it is easier to have mistakes when watching a big group because one mishap and everything looks off. If Savannah simply nails an emotional routine, she takes it. I like 305 and loved the fusion of different Latin dances in this but for me, it wasn’t on the level one would expect.

Derek says “well done.” He sees them standing up with the paso doble battle. Jennifer feels it was good and enjoyed the presentation. She notes it could have been better. Twitch agrees- they have work to do. Ne-Yo sees potential. He wants to see what Savannah does.

Savannah Manzel – OOPS. Her mic pack drops mid-dance! COMMERCIAL. The drama. LOL. She starts from the beginning. She’s such a little beast- so much athleticism and power. Here’s my issue with her though. This show has been on for four seasons. And we have seen many female soloists just like her doing the exact same thing. So are we applauding her because she can do it when so young? Or we applauding her because she does it better than the rest? I tend to think the former and that’s a tad unfortunate. Both of these underwhelmed me to be honest.

Jennifer says “wow.” She feels she has the emotional power that she feared she didn’t. Ne-Yo feels she showed she is a true entertainer. Ne-Yo tells her to watch the tricks and kick up some of the dancing. Jennifer agrees. Derek commends her and loves her capacity. Twitch says this is David versus Goliath.

Jennifer picks Savannah.
Ne-Yo picks Savannah.

I knew that was coming. I don’t think 305 will earn a redemption spot but you never know.

The final duel of the night is MDC 3 Vs. Chibi Unity. Ne-Yo feel they are choreographically sound. MDC 3 plans on continuing their story of heartbreak and betrayal. But they know they need to make it different. Chibi knows they need to show energy right from the start. They are also going to include some burns to their competition.

Chibi Unity – Solid routine from start to finish. Engaging, hard hitting, some nice formations, and a little groove in there as well. Appreciate the attention to detail too. BUT, it didn’t blow me away. I found myself thinking back to GRVMNT and The Young Cast during that and thought those teams did this type of dancing a bit better. Don’t get me wrong- solid for sure. Just…wasn’t jumping out of my seat.

Jennifer says they stepped it up. Derek thought it was clean and so well put together. Ne-Yo was surprised by the straight up hip-hop and Twitch is up dancing. Ne-Yo says this piece shows you can’t judge a book by its cover. Twitch asks which style they feel good with. They answer contemporary so Twitch tells them to be careful and choose what they do best. Jennifer is blown away.

MDC 3 – STUNNING. STUNN-INGGGG. They actually continued the story from their first dance, which is something I have never seen before. The way a threesome is able to paint new and exciting pictures in a contemporary dance just takes my breath away. These three are talent. Just pure talent. So much emotion. So much power. Love them. My favorite dance of tonight maybe, of the duels on a whole so far.

Derek loved the continuation of the last routine. He felt it was so clever. Jennifer agrees. Derek loves the male’s partner work. He feels he is such a strong support for the ladies. Ne-Yo loves the storytelling. Twitch wants some more work internalizing the emotions so they bleed out. I haven’t a clue what that means but okay Twitch.

Ne-Yo picks Chibi Unity.
Jennifer picks MDC 3.
Derek, as the deciding vote, picks MDC 3.

Good choice there. I have next to no doubt Chiby will be picked for redemption, especially after the judges raves.

The junior duels continue (and conclude) next week as well as the redemption picks. Thanks for watching with me tonight and I’ll see y’all in a week’s time. Stay safe everyone. :D


  1. Grvmnt-A terrific hard hitting routine, that should have started a bit slower and built. Yep, the judges referenced that. Still, this was a beautiful routine full of beautiful pictures and some intricate, well timed choreography. Far superior to audition and call back. I thought there uniforms were beautiful and helped them with their intent, but they were hurt by a ridiculous backdrop, that clashed with the purple and gray. Still, an enjoyable, well danced routine.

  2. Is the blog updating for y’all? It shows the updates on my computer but not on my mobile phone, which is odd.

  3. I just checked. My comments are loading, but there have been no comments from you that have loaded.

  4. Chibi Unity-They were very much in sync throughout. There were some terrific trick, that were not overly difficult but were done with precision. Another entertaining routine, but when the dance ended, I felt underwhelmed. I can write no more.

  5. You enjoyed MDC 3 even more than I. Ten minutes later, I still feel the dance. I am now with you. I am now with you. Thus far, that was the best of the duels.

  6. You enjoyed MDC 3 even more than I. Ten minutes later, I still feel the dance. I am now with you. I am now with you. Thus far, that was the best of the duels.

  7. The Young Cats. Another major improvement from audition and call back. I think the Grvmnt dance looked better, their pictures were painted better, but the young cats also began at warp 10 which, I hope they change should they continue. The judges agreed that they maintained their energy throughout. They did not quite nail this routine, and I found the grvmnt choreography more interesting and more complex, so I would take them in a very close call.

  8. I hope these morons are not pairing the stronger auditions vs each other. After the first 2 pairings, it certainly looks that will happen later. 3/4 of the first pairings were call backs. The other is a 9 yr old. They could have done better, but unfortunately, I ALWAYS feel J Lo has an ulterior motive.

  9. 305-I enjoyed the choreography but the leaders, the dancers they featured, the male at the front at the beginning and the couple at the end, were not dynamic, they were not strong enough dancers to focus on. They are not ready.

  10. Savannah-very athletic routine. She has a bright future for sure, however, she did not nail this routine. Much of it felt very calculated, rather than free flowing. She is an easy choice as 305 did not do well. Unfortunately, we will lose someone very good, to keep one of these 2, neither of whom are very good. Congrats to a 9 yr old screwing up and continuing. She needs time though. A winner here, but, big picture, I think not. I am a bit too anachronistic.

  11. I feared sacrificing a stronger dancer for the sake of putting a 9 yr old thru.
    “Both of these underwhelmed me, to be honest” EXACTLY!!

  12. MDC 3-As I wrote, there will be some strong duels next week. I hope James and Harris do not get screwed as I feel they have a huge upside. Back to the task at hand. Wowzer. What a terrific routine. This was both powerful and emotional. The message of ambivalence from the first dance continued here. As Ne Yo noted, the story clearly continued, with “Clearly” the key word. The judges say the choice is difficult but MDC 3 are the overwhelmingly obvious choice. This dance was one of the best of the season.

  13. In any duel routine competition show, the producer always pair up two strong performers together and two weak performers together so the come out of the duels not so obvious.

    Look at The Voice knockout round, this show duel round, and even Dancing with the Stars duel round ( if they have it) always the same. Strong VS strong, weak VS weak. It make better TV scenes with sacrificing great act.

    And yes, the producer need one or two soloist in semifinals round.

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