The second episode of the brand-new epic dance competition World of Dance features the second round of the qualifiers, with a slew of hopeful contestants trying to dance their way to the duel rounds. There are Juniors, Uppers and Teams lined up to dance in front of the three powerhouse judges as they meticulously score each element of the performances.
Just a reminder, the judges each award their own points to the contestants in five different categories. The three judges’ average score has to succeed 80 points in order to move on to the duel round.
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A hip-hop group composed of young kids with a passion for dance mostly comes from underprivileged, broken homes. The crew is a home away from home for the kids and, in some cases, is the only safe haven they have. These break-dancing bad-asses have more enthusiasm and skill than most grown adults, and their performance earns a standing ovation from all three judges.
Derek remarks on their obvious competition experience, and Ne-Yo claims that they have set the bar for the competition.
Judges’ Scores: Ne-Yo: 90. Jennifer: 92. Derek: 92. The Lab will be moving through to the duel round.
The 22-year-old street dancer was the male winner of So You Think You Can Dance season 10, so the pressure for this reigning competition champ is high. The nerves and emotions vibrating from Fik-Shun just before he takes the stage are apparent in every fluid movement of his performance.
Fik-Shun also sparks a united standing ovation, and Jennifer immediately asks about the personal connection he has to his performance. His inspiration derives from the distress of having to live in the middle of parents who are 1,000 miles apart.
Judges’ Scores: Ne-Yo: 90. Jennifer: 92. Derek: 91. Fik-Shun will move on to the next round.
The Miami All-Stars
The Team group of 19 Latin dancers hails from Miami, Florida. They’re decked out in full festive attire, featuring pastels and pinks that Jennifer immediately notes as being “so Miami.” The level of energy in their performances matches the vibrancy of their look, and J-Lo commends their unbridled passion.
It’s obvious that the members of this group don’t dance as a full-time career yet, so some of the chaos of the activity on stage makes their novice level apparent. Derek highlights this by remarking on the lack of surprising moves that the All-Stars have showcased during their performance.
Judges’ Scores: Ne-Yo: 79. Jennifer: 82. Derek: 82. The group is moving to the next round.
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Luka & Jenalyn
This Upper duo’s dance style specialty is cabaret ballroom, and the unlikely opposites have been partnered together from three years and counting. The acrobatics that Luka and Jenalyn perform during this audition are unlike anything I’ve ever seen outside of a skating rink. Their chemistry is sexy, and the blend of styles is effortless, which Ne-Yo praises immediately. J-Lo and Derek both take the time to briefly coach each dancer individually before locking in their scores.
Judges’ Scores: Ne-Yo: 83. Jennifer: 89. Derek: 88. Luke and Jenalyn are advancing to the next round.
(Contestants Kaeli and Brandon, Fuze, and JJ and Joey are all sent home after clocking in at just under 80 points.)
The hip-hop group from Norway is composed of a set of twins and their close friend from Norway, where dance doesn’t have the momentum it carries in other countries like the United States. Their unique rendition of the song “Jolene” features swiftly paced and surprising synchronized moves.
Derek praises their high level of musicality and the risk/reward level that paid off with their song choice, and J-Lo labels their moves as the cleanest of every group thus far.
Judges’ Scores: Ne-Yo: 85. Jennifer: 88. Derek: 87.Quick Style moves forward in the competition.
The son of a dance studio owner followed his mother’s passions by devoting himself to contemporary dancing. Nick’s father passed away from cancer, and Nick’s audition happens to be on his dad’s birthday. Grace, flexibility and emotional release are what come to mind while watching Nick’s flawless performance. I almost forget that the human body is made of bones while watching the liquidity of his movements
The passionate performance that Nick gives for his father earns a full standing ovation and praise from all three judges. When Derek asks Nick about the inspiration behind the dance, he notes the apparent release that could be felt in the therapeutic level of raw movement.
Judges’ Scores: Ne-Yo: 85. Jennifer: 89. Derek: 87. Nick Daniels is has moved one step closer in the competition.
Who was your favorite dancer during the second night of the qualifiers? Do you think any specific style of dance has an advantage in this competition? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
World of Dance season 1 airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on NBC. Want more news? Like BuddyTV’s Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of NBC)