Hey WOD fans…
Tonight, World of Dance enters phase two of the competition- the duels! In each division, the highest scorers get to pick their opponents. After both acts perform, the one with the higher average score from the judges advances to the cut. The other is unfortunately sent packing.
Over the last two seasons, this round has been the most intense and difficult for the contestants. This season however, the losing dancer(s) may have a lifeline as the show introduces a redemption round. More on that when the time comes. Will the top acts from the qualifiers have an easy path or will an underdog shock us with an upset? Let’s get these duels started!
Tonight, it is the upper division going at it.
Tobias & The EZTwins opted to duel against D’angelo Brothers
They say picking the D’angelo Brothers was a strategic choice as they have decided to put some tap into it to challenge them. Meanwhile, the D’angelo Brothers comment that they are trying a trick at the end of the performance. However, in rehearsal, one of them did the flip and broke his nose and finger. Ouch! They are also shocked that The EZTwins are doing tap in the routine.
Tobias & The EZTwins
A fun, energetic, if a little chaotic routine. At times, it was all over the place. The included tap was a nice touch and the dance was pleasing to watch. They did better with their qualifying dance but I can’t imagine that they will not score enough here to move on.
Ne-Yo loves the hats. Derek loves that they have their own style. He enjoyed the added tap. Jennifer notes that they weren’t really tapping as the tap was pre-recorded, so that makes her worry since the opponents will be doing genuine live tapping. She did say it was a fun routine that was almost like cardio. Derek says there wasn’t a wow moment though.
That was so much fun. It is a shame that a tapper has never made it past the duel round. I doubt they will tonight but if I was judging, they would. It was a much more cohesive and musicality driven routine than their opponents. And they gave the judges what they asked for- moments where the music died down and you could clearly hear and see the synchronized tapping. For me, they were the winners of this.
Ne-Yo thanks them for taking the note about the music and the tapping. Jennifer notes it was the first time she got her goosies from watching a tap routine. Derek says the moves got a little muddy. Jennifer says sometimes they were out of sync but she really felt something.
Tobias &The EZ Twins
Winner: D’angelo Brothers
Color me shocked. The right routine won. That makes the duels exciting. The highest scoring team was just knocked out because they were weaker than their opponents. Let’s see if Tobias and his team scored high enough later on to earn a shot at the redemption round.
Denise & Josh have picked Jonathan Y Jorge
Jonathan and Jorge think their opponents will regret the decision since they can bring the fire. They feel Denise and Josh don’t have explosive moments. Josh thinks their routine is way more emotional. Denise says she needs to step it up as Jennifer asked of her.
Jonathan Y Jorge
An impressive salsa routine- more so than their qualifying one. However, a bit messy at times. It could use some polish. They did the crazy spins and had some wonderful tricks though which I’m sure the judges will score accordingly. But you could pinpoint moments where they need to tighten things up.
Derek says they had their game faces on. He says it was amazing and a lot of fun. He marvels at some of the tricks. He does say it needs some refinement. Make it cleaner and crisper, Derek notes. Ne-Yo agrees and doesn’t want to see the effort. Jennifer was very impressed with them. She says they did clean a lot of the routine up. She says it was duel worthy.
Denise & Josh
A very gritty and raw contemporary routine here. Nothing we haven’t seen before though. It was one of those super emotional fighting contemporaries where the duo seem to be at physical odds with one another. Some really nice dancing in there and what helps them over their opponents is the story telling. It may not be as visually exciting to watch but it reaches you and makes you feel something. Josh in particular is a beast of a dancer.
Jennifer calls it awesome. Derek loves that they tap into their emotions. He wonders though if there were any moments in the dance if anything was duel worthy. Jennifer says it is apples and oranges to compare. She says the emotional strength is sometimes harder than the physical strength. Ne-Yo notes that in his opinion, Denise was better. He feels it was beautiful but he isn’t sure if it was duel worthy.
Jonathan Y Jorge
Denise & Josh
Winner: Jonathan Y Jorge
That was super close. A .07 loss has to sting. Denise and Josh have a good score though to possibly make the redemption round. We will see if the score holds up as more duels commence.
DD Flection have picked Poppin John to duel against
DD picked John because he is their hero and they want to beat him on the big stage. They even added a difficult lift to impress. John is motivated that he was picked and he’s got burns for his opponent.
That was so good. That was everything in an angst contemporary that Denise and Josh were missing. Love the strength moves- especially when she was on his knees and shoulders. Such power. I’m not entirely sure of the narrative there though. But I am sure impressed by what I saw.
Ne-Yo thought the narrative was clear. Jennifer says it was almost like they were stuck together. She thinks Poppin John has his hands full. Derek didn’t connect to it emotionally. He loved the moments but he wanted to feel something. He does think it was a strong duel routine.
Talk about apples and oranges. How the heck do you judge that versus what DD Flection did? This was pure popping heaven. Lots of burns that you would expect to see in a duel. Cool, unique movement. Great musicality and loads of entertainment. It is purely up to what you personally enjoy though. I could make a case for either of these to win this duel.
Jennifer calls it sickening. Jennifer calls him a seasoned performer and loved his musicality. Ne-Yo calls it isolation 101. He did feel after a while, it was a bit too much freestyle. Jennifer disagrees and feels it was intentional- not a freestyle.
Winner: Poppin John
Wow. In every battle tonight, the ones picked by the higher scorers have won their respective duels. With that score from DD Flection, Tobias and the EZTwins are OUT in terms of redemption.
Derek Piquette has picked Derion & Madison for his duel
Derek wants to challenge himself. Derion feels they are being underestimated. Derion wants to push the envelope with a crazy trick. Derek knows his time as a dancer is limited so this is his last chance. He is pushing his body to the limit. Both are worried about the other’s routines and how good they are.
Derion & Madison
They are so good. SO GOOD. A really stunning partnerships. The dancing looks so effortless yet you know everything that they do is so difficult. I love the pictures they paint while they dance. The trick alluded to earlier was pretty sweet as well.
Jennifer says it looked harder than their first dance. She calls it innovative and interesting. Derek says he saw some effort so the trick didn’t land as well for him. Ne-Yo says this dance didn’t need a narrative. Jennifer says to always be conscious that the routine needs to go somewhere by the finale.
Solid piece. Very emotional and lots of power moves. A bit too much flailing around though, which of course is one of the age old marks of a contemporary piece. Here’s the thing- Derek is an amazing dancer and all of his routines are going to be stellar. I don’t think he proves the uniqueness though that his opponents do and for that reason, I think Derion and Madison will move forward.
Jennifer thought it was strong. Derek commends him for dueling as a soloist. He loved the flexibility and control of his body. Ne-Yo notes that last season’s Michael Dameski did one of the same moves last season but better. Derek didn’t feel the emotional part. He feels it felt contrived. Jennifer thinks this will be a hard duel for her to score.
Derion & Madison
Winner: Derion & Madison
Another close one but the right routine won.We shall see if Derek’s score brings him into the redemption round. DD Flection are eliminated because Derek scored higher than them.
In the final duel of the night, All Ready faces Briar Nolet
Briar is proud of herself since she suffers from epilepsy but still dances. All Ready believes they are difficult to beat. Briar feels confident in her routine and plans to tell a story.
Yes. They are so quirky. Where else can you see contemporary, hip-hop, and latin are smushed together? So fun. They have the audience in their hands. This was better than their qualifying routine in that it was more cohesive with better musicality.
Jennifer says they came ready to battle. She calls them naughty. Derek loves how they sell their routines. Jennifer calls them funny and strong. He tells them some of the latin elements need work. Ne-Yo thought the song choice would be bad but the routine made the song better.
DANG. That was the performance of the night. Such elegance mixed with strength. She just did that. ALL THAT. I mean, that was stellar from start to finish. Every more with such purpose and power. Stunning.
Derek says it was so athletic- like an Olympic floor routine. Jennifer notes some things in there she’s never seen. Jennifer says she left something unforgettable out there. Ne-Yo says she is a survivor. He thinks it wasn’t a duel piece. It was a showcase piece.
Winner: All Ready
Damn. Ne-Yo’s low score there really hurt Briar. Not even Derek’s 94 could save it. And with Briar’s overall high score, Derek Piquette is eliminated. So, redemption is next and will be between Briar and Denise 8 Josh.
Denise & Josh
Good routine. Fast. Which I am assuming all these redemption dances will be. No real issues here but nothing standing out to me either. Let’s see what Briar does.
Well, ok then. Now, she answered back and just killed it. Same song, just as quick but so explosive. She won that, hands down.
The judges decided by majority vote that the winner of redemption is Briar Nolet
The right choice. Denise & Josh are great but they just weren’t up to the level of Briar was when dueling against her.
So the SIX acts that move on from the upper division are- All Ready, Poppin John, Jonathan Y Jorge, Derion & Madison, D’angelo Brothers, and Briar Nolet.
I absolutely love how they edited tonight’s show. No montages. We got to see every single duel and we got a redemption round. Hopefully they keep this same way of doing it for the rest of the three divisions.
I hope y’all enjoyed the show tonight and I’ll see you next week for the second round of duel competition. :D