Tonight, in the World of Dance “Divisional Final,” the top three acts from each division (12 acts total) will compete for a spot in the “World Final,” with judges Jennifer Lopez, Derek Hough, NE-YO and host/mentor Jenna Dewan.
The judges will score each act’s performance based on their artistry, precision and athleticism. The top scoring act from each division will be one step closer to winning the $1 million. Misty Copeland, principal dancer of the American Ballet Theatre, will serve as a guest judge during, and Ciara will join as a guest mentor.
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).
Upper Division is first. Jlo helps Ciara mentor. Scores are announced after everyone in the division performs.
Karen Y Ricardo – Ballroom Dancers – Latin dancers perform “death defying” moves and crazy spins. Jlo helps the duo mix it up a little. Ciara comes in during the last rehearsal. The routine starts off with a never ending spin, then morphs into a crazy flip. AND SO FAST. They dance so fast. They really are good. Derek is on his feet. “Another steller performance,” says Jlo. She loved having the spins right up front. Derek is never bored watching them. “Every part of you was ready,” says Misty. “Amazing start to finish,” says Ne-Yo.
Ashley & Zach – Contemporary Duo – This week, they’re using a prop–a red silk. Jlo warns them not to be distracted. Ciara tells them to “sell the love story.” Ashley hangs from the silk to begin, afterwhich it’s pulled down, and they use it to push and pull each other. At one point he swings her off the floor, and she ends ascending up. Good use of the prop. Ne-Yo felt the routine needed to breath more, but “good job.” Misty thought the prop was too much. Derek disagrees. Jlo hints that some things went wrong. Oops. But she says the emotion shone through, and that’s what counted.
Michael Dameski – Contemporary – Michael is alone in Los Angeles. (He’s from Australia). He’s nervous. He’s doing his own choreography. Jennifer gives him some tips. “Go warrior mode on this,” she tells him. He’s wearing a black ninja outfit. It’s a fierce routine. Rolling splits are AMAZING. This contest is between Michael and Karen Y Ricardo. The latter is more tricksy. But his marriage of emotion and skill wins the day, I think. “What the hell was that!” says Derek. “You’re so solid, you’re so artistic!” He loved Michael’s character. Ne-Yo says, “You came out her and partnered with your damn self.” He calls it perfection. “You did it all,” says Misty. Jlo thought he added touches to the performance that elevated it from rehearsal.
Michael Dameski – Ne-Yo – 100 Misty – 98 Jlo – 95 Derek – 98 Total – 97.8 – WINNER
Karen Y Ricardo – Ne-Yo – 95 Misty – 94 Jlo – 96 Derek – 96 Total – 95.3 – ELIMINATED
Ashley & Zach – Ne-Yo – 84 Misty – 86 Jlo – 87 Derek – 90 Total – 86.8 – ELIMINATED
Junior Team Division – Derek helps mentor
The Lab – Hip Hop – This West Covina, California crew is ready to go. “We’re here to school our competition,” one says. They start off sitting at school desks and work with backpacks as props. Papers in front of their faces have their competion emblazoned. They crumple them up and toss them aside. The stank on their tiny little faces is hilarious. Attitude and great dancing is a winning combo. Ne-Yo is so excited he jumps on stage. “It was so smart, so competitive, so creative,” says Derek. Jlo calls them “disruptive.” And she “loves it.” She also calls them “on another level pro.” Misty notes how much they improved since last season.
The Rock Company – Contemporary – Derek says it’s time to get competitive. Ciara calls the group “inspiring.” Typically, this group’s routines are very emotional. And often, emotion trumps technical skill on this show. So we’ll see. Their choreography is always beautiful. Jlo calls it “typically Rock Company.” Oh. Code for “you didn’t step it up.” Derek calls it “effective.” Ne-Yo saw a little hip hop in there. Misty compliments their technical ability. They do synchronize well. Still didn’t best The Lab, though.
Fabulous Sisters – Urban – This group from Japan is very inventive and entertaining. Derek advises that they work on their transitions. Misty steps in–she speaks Japanese! They are thrilled. So cute. No Ciara on this one. They dance in Kimono outfits to “Wrecking Ball.” The hairography is stunning. They move at breakneck speed. My favorite group of the three. After, the girls are crying. They want their parents to be proud. Jlo says “it’s not just winning, it’s how you play the game. You are phenomenal.” Ne-Yo loves the pictures they paint. Misty loves the details. Derek calls them “fantastic.” THANK YOUUUU the girls respond in unison. Derek says, as an aside, they weren’t as clean as the others.
The Lab – Ne-Yo – 100 Misty – 99 Jlo – 100 Derek – 100 Total – 99.8 – WINNER – Man, not even close to the Fabulous Sisters in second place!
Fabulous Sisters – Ne-Yo – 93 Misty – 92 Jlo – 91 Derek – 92 Total – 92.0 – ELIMINATED – We’ll be back next year…FOR REVENGE one of the girls says. I LOVE THEM.
The Rock Company – Ne-Yo – 91 Misty – 92 Jlo – 91 Derek – 92 Total – 91.5 – ELIMINATED
Upper Team Division – Ne-Yo is mentoring.
The Ruggeds – B Boys – Dang. One of the dancers tore his ACL. He can’t dance. He’s there for moral support. They perform in spotlights wearing animal masks. From the Netherlands, the routine has a Nordic mythology theme. It’s pretty cool. The warrior King limps in at the end. That was a creative way to use an injured dancer. Way to support his brothers, too. Ne-Yo says the partner work was ridiculous. Misty calls them “wonderful.” Jlo calls it beautiful and creative.
S-Rank – Hip Hop – This group is definitely the front runners in their division right now. The dudes (and dudettes!) are thrilled to be working with Ciara. She’s impressed with everything they did. Precision and stanky moves. They win! “You guys brought me there,” says Misty. “I loved it.” Jlo says they made it personal and real. “We felt that,” she says. Derek is complimentary, but felt they didn’t quite bring the awesome.
Poretics – Popping/Robotics – This group has been rising and rising through the competition. They dance with skill and humor. Ne-Yo wants more “wow” this time. Unfortnately, I liked their The Cut routine better. There aren’t a ton of wow moments in this routine, and the humor is lacking. And oops. One of the dudes slipped. Derek calls it cool and amazing. Ne-Yo thought it was entertaining, but missed the wow and humor. Ne-Yo and I share a brain on this. Misty was “waiting for the next thing to happen.” They’re done.
S-Rank – Ne-Yo – 96 Misty – 93 Jlo – 94 Derek – 93 Total – 94.0 – WINNER
The Ruggeds – Ne-Yo – 92 Misty – 90 Jlo – 92 Derek – 92 Total – 91.5 – ELIMINATED
Poretics – Ne-Yo – 85 Misty – 87 Jlo – 87 Derek – 88 Total – 86.8 – ELIMINATED
Junior Division – Jenna Dewan is Mentoring
Charity and Andres – Contemporary – This duo has led in their division throughout the competition. They earned WOD’s first perfect score. But OH NO. Charity broke her toe. It’s her dominant foot too. She switched to her other side. Andres is going to be doing all the heavy lifting here. I hope she’s shot up with steroids. I broke my toe once. That mother HURT. Andres is such a great dancer, he can carry the load. Ne-Yo is so impressed with Charity’s tenacity. Misty says, “Women are the strongest beings on the planet.” She’s amazed as well. Jlo compliments Andres, “You really shined in this routine.”
Jaxon Willard – Contemporary – Jenna notes that Jaxon’s confidence is “soaring” after a tentative start in the competition. Ciara can’t believe he’s only 16. That morning, he has breathing problems–athletic induced asthma. That was a beautiful routine, but he didn’t top what he did before. Ne-Yo asks him what the routine meant. Jaxon says he’s trying to figure out who he is as a person, and he’s relying on “blind faith.” Jlo loves that he’s searching. “You are enough, and you always have been,” says Derek. He gives Jaxon a few technical notes. Hm. Not much talk about his dancing in those critiques. Those notes felt like a kiss-off.
Sean & Kaycee – Hip Hop Fusion – I’m rooting for these two. Sean is an incredibly gifted choreographer. This routine is about the trust they have in each other. OK. This is the winning routine. It ends in a downpour of rain! Charity and Andres are probably better technical dancers, but this choreography is electric–so creative. These two have lots of chemistry as well. Jlo calls it “savage” and appreciates that they are trying to push the envelope creatively. Ne-Yo thought the lifts were strong. Misty was “blown away.” She calls it “sexy and grounded.”
Charity & Andres – Ne-Yo – 93 Misty – 93 Jlo – 92 Derek – 94 Total – 93.0 – WINNER
Sean & Kaycee – Ne-Yo – 91 Misty – 92 Jlo – 95 Derek – 91 Total – 92.3 – ELIMINATED – I 100% DO NOT AGREE WITH THIS RESULT. ROBBED. Charity’s dang toe is broken. Let her go home and heal.
Jaxon Willard – Ne-Yo – 87 Misty – 89 Jlo – 87 Derek – 88 Total – 87.8 – ELIMINATED
Moving on to Next Week’s Final
- Upper – Michael Dameski
- Junior Team – The Lab
- Upper Team – S-Rank
- Junior – Charity & Andres