Hey WOD fans…
Tonight, World of Dance airs the final qualifying round routines. This is the last shot for the contestants to make it to the duels. Judges Ne-Yo, Derek Hough, and Jennifer Lopez will once again score each performance with an 85 being the average needed to advance to the next round.
We have seen some great performances from the four divisions. The duels, which start next Sunday, are already shaping up to be intense. Who will earn those last few coveted spots? Let’s find out…
MKAM, a hip-hop crew with the junior teams. They are a high school team and super close. OY. A commercial five minutes into the show? Damn. Cool routine. Nothing I haven’t seen done on this show (and sometimes better) many times before. It was entertaining but not entirely memorable. Lots of the expected hip-hop moves we see from crews.
Ne-Yo loved the energy in the beginning and middle but it lost some steam toward the end. But he applauds the transitions. Jennifer marvels at how clean it was. Ne-Yo says the choreography wasn’t intricate but they have strength in numbers. Jennifer agrees the choreography needs work. Derek calls it mathematical.
Score- 89.7 and they make it through
Denise & Josh, a contemporary duo with the uppers. Denise is very academically driven and Josh is not. They are very different but have known one another for four years. They put together the choreography themselves. Strong dancers and they put together a nice routine. My only real critique is that sometimes they telegraph the movement a bit much. I could see the steps being prepared for as opposed to looking they are happening organically. But they work well together and have good chemistry.
Derek enjoyed that the choreography allowed space. He has high hopes for them in the competition. Ne-Yo says it was real emotion. He can’t find anything negative to say. Jennifer wrote nothing down on her notepad because she was so into the performance. She wants Denise to work on her upper body a bit.
Score- 91 and they advance
A duo misses the cut with an 82 as Jennifer notes they both need time and work. A hip-hop team was told some of the steps were too elementary and they fail to make it with an 83.
Main Guys, hip-hop crew with the upper teams. They are from Norway. No one believes they are Vikings. They want hip-hop to once again win this show, as it did in the previous two seasons. That was really good. I love when lyrical hip-hop is included. It gives a piece a really nice artistic flair. These guys have some lovely musicality and are very clean. I think they have great potential to go deep in the show.
Derek says they crushed the routine. He says it was quality movement. Ne-Yo says it had an interesting vocabulary of movement. Jennifer loved the swaggy movement. She found it very cool.
Score- 89.7 and they are off to the duels
Kozmic Edge, a hip-hop team with the junior teams. This team includes a girl from last season, who was a solo Flamenco dancer. She was fantastic last season but made a few stumbles before being eliminated. Hmm. I’m not sure that’s gonna cut the mustard. It had a few issues, pedestrian choreography being the main one. Perhaps they haven’t been together long and are still trying to find their flow. It wasn’t a stellar routine.
Ne-Yo notes that the routine needed more. Jennifer notes it wasn’t seasoned enough.
Score- 83 and they are eliminated
Unity LA, a contemporary group with the upper teams. More returnees as standouts Zack and Ashley from last season are back. They almost made it to the end last season, so they thought why not team up with their best friends? Nice. That was different in the best possible way. It started out almost robotic. Some great in-sync movements and pleasant transitions that were transfixing to watch. They definitely stand out among contemporary groups at the moment.
Jennifer loves the group and feels they are dynamic. She applauds the musicality. She says it was out of this world. Derek and Ne-Yo comment about how hard it is to dance when no real beat is present except a violin and vocals. Derek says the routine was everything and more they could possibly want. He calls them a force to be reckoned with.
Score- 95.3 as they advance
An upper team crew is told they had no narrative and all they had is just steps and they need more. They fail to make the cut with an 83.7
Intention, a contemporary group with the junior teams. They are from a really small town. And backstage, they are flirting with a team of boys. Who are…
Cute routine. They began by sitting and doing some cool arm moves. I’m not sure the routine was anything to write home about. It had some very reliable contemporary moves but nothing that stood out for me. I think they need to work on putting together memorable routines because though good, they will need to be exceptional to excel.
Jennifer enjoyed how subtle it was. She loved the roll offs in the beginning. Derek says likable summarizes them. Ne-Yo said everything comes together perfectly.
Score- 87.7 and they make it through
Battle Droids Crew, a breaking crew with the junior teams. They are from Belgium. They note American girls are amazing but they are here to win. The flirting with the girls is cute but let’s go guys. A mistake opened the routine (never a good way to start) but they were able to come back strong. It was fun and entertaining with some nice tricks. A lot of spinning on the ground as you would expect from a breaking crew. How competitive will this be though? Not sure.
Jennifer loved some of the moves. However, she notes they have some work to do. Derek mentions the move at the beginning that didn’t work. Derek gets up and makes them do it again and it worked the second time around. Ne-Yo says the show must go on and they kept going.
Score- 87 and they make it to the duels
Now back to the girls from before, so scroll back up where I mentioned Intention.
Hmm. Methinks the show is setting up those two teams to do battle in the duels, just based on how much concentration the producers are putting into the flirting and all. We shall see.
Derek Piquette, a contemporary dancer representing the uppers. When he was ten, he took his first dance class. He had a lead role in Cirque Du Soleil. He started to feel pain in his hips and it turns out he needed both hips replaced. He is twenty-one and doesn’t want his career to end. He notes that these are the last moments he will have as a dancer. Damn. This is sad. During Derek’s intro package, they showed a duo who did not make the cut to the duels. But back to Derek. Stunning. Just stunning. Amazed that he has so much pain in those hips because you wouldn’t know it by watching. Just strength, flexibility, fluidity, and amazing musicality. He reminds me of last season’s Michael Dameski.
Derek calls it stunning and effortless. Derek tells him that his situation forces him to push his limits. Jennifer wants a different contemporary ending so she tells Derek to be more creative if he moves forward. Ne-Yo says the very end didn’t touch him but the rest of the routine did. He wants him to push himself and give the fire.
Score- 91.3 and Derek is in
Audrey & Mia, a krump duo with the juniors. They have been working together for two years. Hehe. Fun. Looking at these two, one would not expect fierce krumpers. But they worked it out. Very entertaining. It would be interesting to see them do battle against others but for now, they passed the test of being memorable on their own.
Ne-Yo wants a little more intensity. Jennifer thinks Audrey hits hard and Mia needs to match a bit more.
Score- 86.3 and they are off to the duels
House Of Tap, a tap duo with the juniors. They were tap rivals and now, friends. Love me some tap. I was most impressed that they seemed to incorporate a little contemporary in their before the tap got heavy. That was smart. And tapping to a rap song like that? Impressive. All the little things put together added up to a very nice routine. I also do not remember seeing a female tap dancers on this show so this was a joy to watch.
Ne-Yo says the music hurts it because he can’t concentrate on the feet but he compliments many things from the transitions to the cleanliness. Derek agrees but says they are a very strong tap duo. Jennifer says they had a stylized movement and she feels that they are great entertainers.
Score- 85.7 and they narrowly make it to the duels
DD Flection, a contemporary duo with the uppers. They are from Thailand and are actually the champions of World Of Dance Thailand. They are here because the best dancers are all here. And that’s why they are champions. Such intricate movement coupled with the raw power. That death drop was scary! I very much enjoyed watching that and look forward to seeing what they come up with that is competitive on this show. Winning a smaller version of WOD in one’s home country is nothing like doing it on a big stage like this.
Derek says their is an expectation for them and he loves the partnership. He compliments the chemistry. Jennifer calls them the perfect partners. Ne-Yo says it was beautiful. Jennifer says it was a very difficult routine made to look easy.
Score- 92 and they advance
A Flamenco team is given props by the judges and advance with an 86.7. Another all female team also receives kudos but Jennifer didn’t feel a physical intensity and they fail to make it to the duels.
Style & Grace, a female hip-hop crew from the upper teams. They say they can hit just as hard if not harder than the men. They want to show female empowerment. Nice. I love that they are both elegant and they hit hard. Good ans clean, nice fluidity of movement too. My only critique and it is very small is that they might not be as exciting to watch as other hip-hop teams and if they are in a duel, they need to do things that will impress beyond what we saw here tonight. That’s just the nature of the competition.
Ne-Yo mentions a little mishap at the beginning but says they went right into it after. Jennifer thought they did a great job. She likes powerful women and sees potential. Ne-Yo wants a little more difficulty in the choreography. Derek felt the nerves in the performance.
Score- 85 and they JUST make it
Radiance, a contemporary group representing the upper teams. They are from all different states but currently live in LA. They wanted to all leave their small home towns. They have never done a routine with all thirteen of them together on stage. Quite pretty. They make great use of the stage and considering our eyes need to watch thirteen of them, that’s a compliment. Nice and emotional with some seamless transitions and captivating elegance. Very nice way to end the qualifiers.
Ne-Yo says their name fits. Jennifer loves the group. She felt the piece had moments but she noted some of the lifts were a struggle. She thinks they are talented but they need a story. Derek doesn’t think there always has to be a story but Jennifer disagrees. Derek says they are great dancers. Ne-Yo enjoyed that they were moving to the cadence but notes a few synchronicity issues. The judges are now debating if a story is necessary. I’m with Jennifer on this one. You need some type of narrative that helps showcase and elevate the steps. It also helps win a competition show. Just sayin. :)
Score- 88 and they are through
And that’s it for the qualifiers. To recap quick…
For the junior teams, The Crazy 8’s are on top. For the uppers, Tobias & The EZTwins are first. Lauren Yakima is in first for the juniors. And The Kings are on top in their division, the upper teams.
Next week, the DUELS officially begin. The higher scoring acts pick their challengers, face-off, and one goes home. It is going to be intense. Thanks for watching with me tonight and see y’all next week.