Tonight, it’s the last of the World of Dance season 2 Duels. Jennifer Lopez, Derek Hough and NE-YO are back on the judges panel, while Jenna Dewan serves as host.
In this round, the top qualifying acts from each division will choose a rival and face off in a head-to-head elimination duel. The judges will score each act based on their artistry, precision and athleticism, and the top scoring act from each duel will move forward in the competition and be one step closer to winning a grand prize of $1 million.
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).
The highest scoring acts from the Qualifiers choose who to challenge. The judges decide who moves on and who goes home. Jenna mentors the performers as they prepare for battle.
Victoria Caban (90.7) vs Daniel & Mishella (82.7) – Junior – Victoria is a 14 year old Flamenco dancer. Her parents are from Puerto Rico. Daniel and Mishella are 10 year old ballroom dancers. Victoria has added a prop, and some fusion elements. The little kiddos are nervous.
Victoria Caban – Her prop is a fan, which she wields fiercely. Her footwork is incredible. Jlo has GOOSIES. “You killed that routine.” Derek marvels at the maturity in her movements. Ne-Yo really liked the additional elements. Ne-Yo – 94 Jlo – 96 Derek – 92 Total – 94 – WINNER
Daniel & Mishella – Well, aren’t they cute. So young. “Our little mini Derek up there,” gushes Jlo. “You guys are so excellent,” she says. Oh. They hunted down a video from Derek and borrowed a few of his moves. Ne-Yo was impressed with their showmanship. Ne-Yo – 86 Jlo – 87 Derek – 88 Total – 87 – ELIMINATED Daniel has a great attitude “We’re only 10. We can come back to this competition 20 more times.” Heh.
S-Rank (91) vs Thamost (84) – Upper Team – Both groups are hip hop dancers. Jlo feels S-Rank has the “it factor.” Jlo calls Thamost “underdogs” and she’s rooting for them. They recieved some tough critiques in the Qualifiers. Oh. The groups are friends. Ha. They can’t keep mean looks on their faces during the face off.
S-Rank – This group hits really hard. Really precise movements. Tons of attitude. Ne-Yo says the choreography re-mixed the song for him! J Lo was impressed with their intensity and teamwork. Derek calls it “a clinic of musicality…the masters of texture.” Ne-Yo – 97 Jlo – 92 Derek – 94 Total – 94.3 – WINNER
ThaMost – They should get higher scores than last time, but no way they beat the impeccable S-Rank. Ne-Yo noticed ONE mistake. But he thought they did well otherwise. Jlo calls the routine high energy. Derek loved the burn with S-Rank’s hat. Heh. But S-Rank were more musical. Ne-Yo – 85 Jlo – 85 Derek – 85 Total – 85 – ELIMINATED They would have had a higher score without the slip up. But still wouldn’t have beat S-Rank.
Josh & Taylor (93.3) vs Second to None (82.7) – Junior – Josh & Taylor competed with other groups last season. They do a unique brand of lyrical hip hop. Second to None are tappers.
Second to None – They have really stepped it up from last time. Super cute routine. Very engaging. The dude is a star. Jlo called it “sweet.” She says, “You nailed it. You brought your A game.” Ne-Yo thought they put on a great show. Derek appreciated the storytelling, but notes it could have been cleaner in the middle. Ne-Yo – 88 Jlo – 83 Derek – 88 Total – 86.3 – ELIMINATED
Josh & Taylor – On they other hand, these two are performing a very emotional contemporary routine. Whoa. She steps right on his feet! Great use of props. Yup. They win. Jlo feels they topped their Qualifiers routine, which was one of her favorites. They worked hard to get into character. Ne-Yo appreciates the crystal clear story and authentic emotion. Derek loves the choreography and musicality. Ne-Yo – 90 Jlo – 95 Derek – 92 Total – 92.3 – WINNER
L&J (90.3) vs DNA (87.7) – Upper – L&J are best friends, but they have a ton of chemistry. DNA are an actual married ballroom couple. Last season, they went home at the Duels after a mishap.
L&J – This time, L&J bring a naughty vibe to the floor. They are so good together, as if they were partnered in another life. “You had the eye of the tiger,” says Jlo. Derek compliments their athleticism and chemistry. But he didn’t love the music. Ne-Yo agrees about the music. Ne-Yo – 84 Jlo – 87 Derek – 87 Total – 86 – ELIMINATED. They scored lower than they did in the Qualifiers. The panel didn’t like the music. Their Qualifiers performance was more emotional vs the sexy style of the second. Always go for the emotion, kiddos.
DNA – They perform a Jive to Proud Mary. They don’t mess up this time. High energy fun. Derek liked the technique and the tricks. Jlo could feel how much they love to dance, and how much they want to make it through the Cut. Maybe they were trying TOO hard. Ne-Yo compliments the connection. Ne-Yo – 88 Jlo – 89 Derek – 88 Total – 88.3 – WINNER I think the producers really wanted to take the couple’s redemption story further. L&J should have challenged a different act.
TIME TO MONTAGE! We just got snips on TV, but World of Dance posted full performances on Youtube.
Girl Cool vs Quad Squad – Junior Team – Quad Squad win with 93 vs Girl Cool’s 84.
Madison Brown vs Elektro Elite – Junior – Madison Brown wins with 86.3 vs Electro Elite’s 83.3
Tribe Unleashed vs The Rock Company – Junior Team – The Rock Company wins with 85.7 vs Tribe Unleashed score 82.7.
Iowa Girlz vs The Pulse – Junior Team – The Pulse wins with 84.3 vs Iowa Girls 84.
Ashley & Zack (85) vs Morning of Owl (84) – Upper – They are the last two acts in the upper division. Ashley & Zack are accomplished backup dancers. They worked for Derek at one point. Morning of Owl are a hip hop group.
Ashley & Zack – It’s another emotional contemporary routine. Jlo thought there were moments that just shot through the heart. GOOSIES TIME. Ne-Yo compliments the effortless lifts. It was a step up from last time, he says. Derek calls Ashley a “powerhouse.” Steller choreographer, amazing execution, he says. Ne-Yo – 91 Jlo – 92 Derek – 93 Total – 92 – WINNER
Morning of Owl – This Korean trio’s tricks are CRAZY. Dude kicked himself in the head. ON PURPOSE. Every moment is another surprise. Lots of humor too. Jlo calls them “creative fun and zany.” She felt BOTH groups were innovative. Ne-Yo gives them props for originality. Amazing performance, says Derek. Ne-Yo – 94 Jlo – 90 Derek – 91 Total – 91.7 – ELIMINATED. Bleh. I would have picked Morning of Owl to be honest. It’s not a coincidence that Ashley and Zack’s highest score is from their buddy Derek.
Embodiment (84.7) vs Brotherhood (80.3) – Upper Team – The last two Upper Team contestants, and the last of the Duels! Embodiment are an all male group of contemporary dancers. Jlo knows one of the members. Brotherhood is a hip hop crewe that barely squeaked into the duels. Embodiment are going for the heartstrings. Of course they are. One of the dancers had a sick dad. He’s crying. Welp. We know who wins!
Embodiment – There were some really nice moments in there. Jlo was moved by their vulnerability. She was really moved. Derek loved their strength and beautiful lines. “So clean…effortless. Like a group of archangels up there. Ne-Yo loved how they combined masculinity and elegance. Ne-Yo – 94 Jlo – 93 Derek – 93 Total – 93.3 – WINNER
Brotherhood – Their hyper-masculine routine has a military boot camp theme. Ne-Yo was worried about them initially. “I hate the duels!” he says. “Super smart choreography.” And he loved their little contemporary burn. Jlo calls the routine clean, beautiful, powerful. Derek loved the edginess. Ne-Yo – 94 Jlo – 91 Derek – 93 Total – 92.7 – ELIMINATED. UGH again. I would have chosen Brotherhood. The emotional contemporary wins everytime. A sad sad backstory? Spot is clinched.
Next week? The Cut begins. Only 3 acts per division will move on.