Hey All :)
Welcome to the season three premiere of NBC’s World of Dance. The show will move to its regular time slot, beginning this Sunday night. But we are getting treated to a special premiere episode this evening following The Voice. I would first like to thank MJ for allowing me the chance to blog yet another dancing reality-competition show and I hope to see many of my friends from So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars joining me here. And to any and all new followers or those returning from previous WOD seasons, a big warm welcome to you too.
The World of Dance judges are back- Jennifer Lopez, Ne-Yo, and Derek Hough. But we have a new host this season. Scott Evans is on board replacing Jenna Dewan. As with past seasons, the competitors are divided into four divisions- junior, upper, junior team, and upper team. In the qualifying rounds, an average score of 85 or above must be reached to advance to the next round. Each judge will score in five categories, with a hundred being the highest possible score given.
After a long introduction package featuring some of the awesome dancing we have in store this season, the judges are out, followed by new host Scott Evans.
We begin The Kings, a bolly-hop upper team. They immediately call out last season’s winner and say they are here to take their place. They talk about how hard it is to be a professional dancer in India. They did however win season three of India’s Got Talent. These guys are so cool. They are the very definition of bolly-hop. The tricks are crazy. Jumping off one another, rolling around, flying through the air. And they have amazing synchronicity too. It was a crowd pleasing routine showing off clear dancing skills in their style with amazing tricks.
Derek and Jennifer throw their shoes at them. Jennifer says she is a little bit in shock. Derek loved the roll off that included climbing. Ne-Yo says they defied gravity. Derek loved how strong they finished. Jennifer respects the amount of time they put into a routine like that.
Ne-Yo- 97, Derek- 98, JLo- 98 = 97.7 and they make it to the duels.
Erica & Aidan, urban contemporary dancers representing the upper division. He was with a group last season and made it to the divisional finals. Now he has teamed up with Erica. They have only been dancing together a few months, so they are nervous. Good dancers. I was missing a bit of the emotional impact that I think they were going for with the dance. It just seemed like more of a showcase of contemporary movement rather than an entire piece put together. They are really strong dancers but should they earn a spot in the duels, I think they need to work on connecting.
Jennifer immediately asks if they are a couple. No, they aren’t. She thought it was good but she felt a chemistry issue. Derek says the beginning was out of sync but did love the lifts and transitions. Ne-Yo didn’t feel like it all came together for him.
Ne-Yo- 84, Derek- 85, JLo- 85 = 84.7 and they are ELIMINATED
Funkanometry, hip-hop duo with the juniors. They are fifteen and sixteen. They describe themselves as brothers from another mother. They have done well with local competitions. These guys are fun. They add a lot of humor into their routine and they work well together. Very in-sync with some good popping tricks. I’m not sure they are as high a caliber of dancers in this style as this show is used to but they may get even better.
Derek says in this style of helps, being funny helps. He also compliments the dancing. Jennifer says they came out and gave comedy and really good dancing. She loved the commitment. Ne-Yo found it entertaining but he isn’t sure how competitive it will be. However, they danced it very well.
Ne-Yo- 88, Derek- 87, Jennifer- 87 – 87.3 and they advance
The Crazy 8’s, a contemporary group with the junior teams. They have been dancing almost their entire lives. The dance is dedicated and about one of them- who has selective mutism. Meaning, she has anxiety and has a hard time talking. She feels most comfortable with her group and even speaks with them. Dancing is where she speaks. Well, damn! These girls are amazing. The flexibility and power is out of this world. Such good musicality too. As if they were dancing as just one person. Great fluidity and a powerful story told through dance. Outstanding.
They explain the piece and describe the dancer’s speaking issue. Jennifer was floored. Derek is very impressed. He loved the turns. He found each one to be at the same level. Ne-Yo thinks they could win at an adult level in though they are juniors.
Ne-Yo- 93, Derek- 91, Jennifer- 95 = 93 and they make it to the duels
Jonathan Y Jorge, a salsa cabaret duo with the uppers. They are a same sex duo but they aren’t boyfriends. They think the competition is incredible but they are excited. They watch another couple get eliminated and that makes them nervous but ready. FIRE. Wow. I have never seen a salsa cabaret partnership that was same sex before. But they looked just as good with moves just as fast and perfect as many other duos we have seen on the show in previous seasons. The spinning was crazy. And I loved the added tricks which brought it up to another level.
Ne-Yo says it was really good. He loved the energy and costumes. Jennifer loved the tricks and spins. She felt the transitions in between was not strong and she wants the salsa steps worked on. Derek found it entertaining and fun to watch. Derek gets up to dance. He also shows off (per Jen’s request) some salsa steps that were lacking in the dance.
Ne-Yo- 90, Derek- 89, Jennifer- 87 = 88.7 and they go through to the duels
Julian & Charlize, hip-hop duo representing the juniors. Both have experience in the professional realm. They are confident and ready. I really love the use of the song within the dance. These two know how to hit the beats in the song and match it to their steps. I personally think Julian is a bit of a stronger dancer than Charlize but they definitely compliment one another well. Good hip-hop routine improved even more by strong musicality.
They talk about the piece being about a relationship, filled with ups and down. Ne-Yo thought the spacing was an issue in one or two places. Other than that, he sees them going far. Jennifer thought it was super strong. She felt it was like watching her and her boyfriend back in the Bronx. Derek thought it was super clean for about eighty percent of the routine. He wants them to work on that consistency.
Ne-Yo- 87, Derek- 86, Jennifer- 88 = 87 and they are in
The Heima, a breaking fusion group with the upper team division. They put a lot of different types of dances together. Of the dancers partners has cervical cancer. She wanted him to leave her and find something better. But he didn’t listen and he married her. She made it through chemo. Damn. This is a sad story but also uplifting. Someone must be cutting onions in my house. These are very intelligent dancers. They fuse together styles brilliantly and the breaking is insane. One dancer was literally on the ground almost the entire time doing b-boy moves. So impressive. And I love how they use other styles to be unique. Bravo.
Derek loved how while the one dancer was doing his thing, everyone else was doing something else and complimenting them. Ne-Yo screams. He is pleasantly confused. He calls it elegant breaking. Jennifer found it well crafted but tricky and sneaky. She calls it one of the most interesting routine she has ever seen.
Ne-Yo- 95, Derek- 94, Jennifer- 92 = 93.7 and they make it to the next round
Minibots, a popping group with the junior teams. They want to scare the competition away. They want to look like robots and stare into the judges souls. We unfortunately do not get to see the entire routine. From what they showed, it looked cool if a little sloppy in parts. It would have been nice to see some more sync but they seem fun.
They begin by asking the judges questions. What is this? The judges are being interviewed by the kids. LOL. Ne-Yo found it fun but mentions the sync issues. Jennifer feels like it was more of a talent show performance.
Ne-Yo- 85, Derek- 82, Jennifer- 83 = 83.3 and they are ELIMINATED
Poppin John, a popping animation dancer with the upper division. He is a viral sensation. He is thirty-four and considers himself a dinosaur compared to some of the people on the show. He doesn’t do tricks or anything- just his concentrated style. Fabulous. A true popping icon who just does his business up there. Cool choreography, good musicality, and an almost freestyle like approach. Very good. I don’t know how well he would do on a show like this though where he needs to go up against others.
Jennifer wonders how it will compete with other dance styles and routines. Derek thought it was popping at its best. Ne-Yo calls it popping 101 and agrees that he doesn’t know how competitive it will be.
Ne-Yo- 84, Derek- 86, Jennifer- 86 = 85.3 and he just makes it through to the duels
MONTAGE TIME. We get two groups that make it through by the skin of their teeth with an 85. And a soloist who misses the cut.
Ellie & Ava, representing the juniors. Nice. Strong contemporary duo. They have some great flexibility and they play off one another brilliantly. I like that they don’t just show off their strength but dance as well. The side by side pictures were really pretty.
Derek finds them unstoppable together. Oh, they are sisters and super competitive with one another. He said they are perfectly matched. Jennifer loved how in sync the jumps were. Ne-Yo says flawless from beginning to end. Jennifer loved the poetry and softness the routine had.
Ne-Yo- 95, Derek- 93, Jennifer- 89 = 92.3 and they soar through to the next round
D’Angelo Brothers, a tap duo with the uppers. They are from Italy. LOL, their grandmother is always feeding them. A very traditional Italian family. Good tappers. A lot of showmanship which is so important. And they even put in a trick for good measure. I would have went with a different song just so that the tapping spoke more for itself but a strong routine.
Derek says tap is difficult on the show but he found them so clean. He wants if they make it through, to just tap and create the beat. In other words, without music. Ne-Yo finds the arms sync an issue with most tap duos but not them. Jennifer loved the intense tapping and she says it was Italian passion. She thought they did a great job.
Ne-Yo- 87, Derek- 89, Jennifer- 86 = 87.3 and they advance
Lauren Yakima, a contemporary dancer with the junior division. She has been competing her entire life. She wants people to know her and feel what she is dancing. She is brilliant. She reminds me of Eva Igo and Michael Dameski who were both on the show before. An intense dancer filled with power and emotion. She just screams out when she dances with such veracity. I love the song choice too. She is a little powerhouse.
Derek calls her exceptional. He loved the energy behind the movements. Jennifer got her “goosies.” She loved how Lauren played with it. Ne-Yo loved the slow in the beginning and how she exploded when the music did.
Ne-Yo- 97, Derek- 96, Jennifer- 94 = 95.7 as she heads to the duels
Elektro Crew, a hip-hop crew with the junior teams. One of the dancers parents went through a divorce and his father stopped being around. He has tried reaching out to him but has gotten very little in return. He wants his dad to see him on the show. Aww, he’s crying. He feels good because he has his dance family with him. I love the stank face on some of them as they do this. They are a very solid hip-hop crew and they add some nice unique moves. They will need to keep upping their game in order to compete with other crews but for a first showing, that was fun to watch and spot on.
Derek loves that they are competitors. Jennifer says they are a strong team. She wants a bit more intricate steps. Not just basic. Ne-Yo says there is a small room for error.
Ne-Yo- 87, Derek- 85, Jennifer- 87 = 86.3 and they make it to the duels
And that’s it for tonight’s premiere. Remember, the show moves to Sunday night from here on out as the qualifying round continues. Thanks for watching with me tonight and I’ll see y’all on Sunday. :D