The brand-new reality competition series World of Dance started strong right out of the gate, with the series premiere drawing in 9.7 million viewers. And after three episodes, we’ve seen some fantastic dancers perform for the judging trio of Jennifer Lopez, Derek Hough and Ne-Yo.
When it comes to talent competitions, the people trying out for these shows are usually amateurs and just trying to catch a break — and hoping that this show will be that break for them. Others may have found a little success then everything fell apart. Some have toured with famous performers.
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And then there are those who have already competed on other reality shows and are making another attempt. We’ve seen it before, particularly on singing shows like American Idol and The Voice, and even on America’s Got Talent.
There’s usually nothing wrong with that. But what if a contestant has not only competed on another show but actually won and already made a name for themselves? This is what viewers are seeing unfold on World of Dance.
Fik-Shun and the Jabbawockeez
In the second episode, Fik-Shun auditioned and received a standing ovation. Fans of dance shows already know who he is. He co-won season 10 of So You Think You Can Dance.
Then in the third episode of World of Dance, we saw a dance crew that’s even more well-known: the Jabbawockeez. They have been on two reality shows, first on America’s Got Talent season 2, where they were eliminated during the Las Vegas callbacks. In a case like that, it’s completely fine for them to try another shows — which they did. Not only did they appear on America’s Best Dance Crew season 1 a year later, but they ended up winning the whole competition.
For those of you who haven’t followed them, the Jabbawockeez have for sure made a name for themselves since winning. They’ve appeared in commercials, made film/TV cameos, launched a clothing line and won awards, among other things.
But their biggest success has been Las Vegas, where they started headlining a show in 2010 at the Monte Carlo. In 2013, they debuted a new show at the Luxor. Then in 2015, they launched another show, this time at the MGM Grand. A quick look at the hotel’s website tells us that the crew is still performing there this summer, even as they’re competing on World of Dance.
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Should Famous Dancers Be Allowed to Compete?
The big question is: is this fair? It’s one thing for reality show contestants to try out for other shows. But why should performers who have not only won but have found huge success be allowed to continue competing on these shows?
To me, the answer is: no, this is not fair. And, no, they should not be allowed to do this. While there’s no guarantee that Fik-Shun or the Jabbawockeez will win World of Dance, they’ve got a huge advantage, while unknown dancers who are just trying to use the show (and the $1 million grand prize) as their big break might end up suffering as a result.
The “About the Show” section on the World of Dance website says the show “will give dancers the platform to showcase their talents.” Fik-Shun and the Jabbawockeez have already showcased their talent, to great success and fame.
The website also says the show “brings the world’s elite dancers together.” On the one hand, you could say “elite” should mean anybody, regardless of fame. But elite doesn’t necessarily equate to fame, and there are numerous dancers and dance crews in the world who can be considered elite but haven’t made it big already. They’re the ones who need this show.
And if a famous dancer or dance crew ends up winning season 1, what does that say to everyone else? It says, “Go and make it big, then come back to us.” Of course, if an unknown name takes the crown, then obviously this won’t matter in the end. (After all, the Jabbawockeez, while receiving a great score, did not earn anywhere near the highest score of the night, while Fik-Shun had the second highest score during his episode.)
Maybe World of Dance isn’t meant to be the kind of show that’s all about launching careers. Maybe we’re just so conditioned to think that way about a reality competition show because we’ve watched the likes of Idol, The Voice and AGT for years. But for the dancers on World of Dance who need this opportunity, it should be their moment in the spotlight.
What do you think? Should dancers who have already won other shows and made it big be allowed to compete? Or does it give them an unfair advantage? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
World of Dance airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on NBC. Want more news? Like our Facebook page.
(Image and videos courtesy of NBC)