Hey All :)
Welcome back to another episode of World of Dance. Tonight is the third qualifiers installment as more incredible dancers try to earn a spot in the next round of competition. Judges Derek Hough, NE-YO, and Jennifer Lopez will once again surprise the performers and decide who goes through, who doesn’t, and who earns a callback for another chance.
Next week is the last audition episode this season, so there’s only a few slots left in each division to scoop up. The duels are already shaping up to be an exciting battle of amazing dancers going head to head. With a million dollars at stake, let’s see who moves forward tonight.
Up first for us tonight is Keagan Capps, a contemporary dancer with the juniors. People underestimate her because she is from a small town. She wants people to know that being from a small town doesn’t mean she can’t make this dream happen. She’s very strong and quite flexible for her age but a lot of that comes off more contortion than dance. It is fun to watch and you marvel at the athleticism but she’s going to need to up the storytelling and actual dance quality to be a factor on this show.
Derek loved the control and stability. Ne-Yo enjoyed that she didn’t overdo it. Jennifer says she is from another planet. Jennifer wants to see more- she thinks there is something more there. She goes out on a limb and says yes, as do Derek and Ne-Yo. So, Keagan is off to the duels.
Next are Antonio and Maria, a latin ballroom duo with the juniors. They are best friends. They are excited to be on the show. They are eleven and thirteen. The show doesn’t really give us their entire audience. I’m bummed about that. What I saw was decent, in that young kids doing ballroom way.
Jennifer says they had energy. Derek tells them they haven’t crossed the threshold yet. Ne-Yo wants more maturity. All three judges say no and tell them to come back next season. It is a no for Antonio and Maria.
We move on to Avant Garde. They mix different styles. They are from the upper division and once again, the show only airs a small portion of their audition. So small that you can’t really get an understanding of them at all. It looks a bit messy and convoluted to be honest.
Ne-Yo is pleasantly confused. He says yes. Jennifer didn’t feel the dancing was strong enough and says no. Derek wants more and says they need a callback. And so, a callback it is.
Moving quickly, we meet Chibi Unity, a fusion group with the juniors. They are from Japan. They communicate through dance, regardless of language barriers. They are super shocked to see the judges The interpreter says they didn’t expect the judges and are excited. Strong group dynamics at play here. The song they picked helped immensely as it gave them a clear beat to dance to. They need to do more to wow and really get on the level of the competition but they have a load of potential. I appreciated the cleanliness they brought as well.
Jennifer enjoyed the choreography. Derek agrees but says he was expecting more from the moments (tricks). Ne-Yo feels it started slow but the energy picked up and he was impressed. Ne-Yo gives them a yes. Derek also gives them a yes. They want them to take the notes though. Chibi makes it to the duels.
On deck are Josh & Erica, an urban dance duo with the upper division. She was on the show last season but did not make it past the auditions. This time, she is with a new partner who she is dating. Last season, they said she didn’t have chemistry with her former partner, so she is hoping that changes with Josh. That was quite quirky and kind of…awesome. A very different routine than I expected. They have some very fresh moves that when done together is very appealing on the eyes. I enjoyed the attention to detail. Urban dance covers a wide range and this definitely fits and was appropriately surprising. I dig them.
Jennifer says they had real chemistry. She says they had some really strong moves in there. Ne-Yo tells them they are quality dancers but he expects a little more. He gives Josh a bit more credit than Erica. Jennifer wants more of a marriage. Derek loved the musicality. He wants them to utilize the tools more. Ne-Yo asks for a callback. Jennifer is a yes. Derek, as the decision maker, decides on a yes. They make it to the duels.
The Break Ninjaz are next, a breaking group with the juniors. They have three rules- have fun, work hard, and help one another. Some little kids in this group mixed with older but they look like they are fun. The little ones are shocked to see the judges. WOW. That’s some strong break dancing. No, they didn’t reinvent the wheel or anything but they are very good at what they do. The little one is especially strong. They are a really fun group.
Derek compliments the spins and flips. Ne-Yo doesn’t think people understand how hard it is. Derek wants the transitions to be stronger. Jennifer tells them they need to grow. Derek says no. Ne-Yo does as well. As does Jennifer. They think they need more time. A no to the Break Ninjaz.
Up next are third time trying The Young Cast. This junior group has been auditioning since season two, never having made it. I don’t recall them from seasons two and three at all. But they are quite good at hip-hop dancing. Some nice moves, pretty darn clean, with a lot of energy. I have no idea on the level of improvement but judging from this alone, they have potential to do well.
Jennifer saw some good formations and energy but couldn’t tell if they can do other things beyond what she saw. Derek and Ne-Yo think they are a strong team but Ne-Yo notes it could have hit harder at times. Jennifer wanted to see more dancing. Derek gives them a yes. Jennifer is on board with a callback, as is Ne-Yo. So, The Young Cast gets a callback.
MDC 3 are next, a junior division contemporary trio. They have dances together a long time. They have known another’s families since they were young. Madison’s mom had breast cancer, which is hard on everyone. Her mom got better but then got diagnosed again. But she is here today and cheering on the trio. For Maddy, the two others were her support system. Her mom is in remission right now. It’s pretty darn amazing how a contemporary dance can change when you add a third person. It takes it to a new level. I absolutely loved the pictures these three painted during this. Just so emotional and strong with some stunning moves. They are a stellar trio who can do a lot of amazing things together in a routine. Quite impressive.
Jennifer says it was very clear and they are all super strong. Derek thought the transitions were seamless. Ne-Yo says it was almost ugly how tangled they were. All the judges give them a yes vote and they make it to the duels.
We conclude tonight with Show Stopper, a jazz funk team with the upper division. They are a group of first generation of American women representing their families and the struggles it took for their parents to get here and survive. Whether it is Cuba or Colombia, they want to open doors for other women coming from diverse backgrounds. Love the international flavor. Tons of energy too. I am a bit worried that the standard of this show is going to pose a problem for them. They are good but not great. They need a little something extra and it could just be better storytelling. But should they go through, they need to find that before the duels.
Ne-Yo loved the comrade. Jennifer wants the moves to hit harder. She thinks it was maybe the outfits. Derek liked the outfits. Jennifer believes they have the passion but need to up the skill. Ne-Yo expected more due to their names. He wanted actual show stoppers. For the voting, Ne-Yo gives them a callback. As does Derek and Jennifer. A callback for this group.
And that’s the show for this evening. Next week, the qualifiers conclude and the following week, all the dancers who received callbacks return to show improvement and hopefully make it to the duels. Thanks for watching with me tonight. Have a great week everyone. :)