'World of Dance' judges advance division winners Swing Latino, Les Twins and Eva Igo to "The World Final"
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 08/02/2017
World of Dance advanced Swing Latino, Les Twins and Eva Igo to "The World Final" after they won their division matchups during Tuesday night's broadcast of the new NBC reality competition series.
Tuesday night's episode featured "The Divisional Finals" in which the Top 2 dance acts in each of the three divisions -- Junior (any size act ages 17 and under), Upper (acts from 1-4 people ages 18 and older), and Team (groups of 5 or more dancers ages 18 and older -- battled it out for a spot in next week'sWorld of Dance finale, when the division winners will compete for the $1 million grand prize.
Two acts were left in each division for "The Divisional Finals" following "The Cut" round.
The act to receive the highest average score from the judging panel in each division would advance to "The World Final." Each judge scores an act between 1-20 points in five different categories, making the highest possible score 100 points.
The judges are World of Dance executive producer and former American Idol judge Jennifer Lopez, Grammy Award-winning singer Ne-Yo, and six-time Dancing with the Stars champion Derek Hough. Each judge mentored a division in this round.
First up was the Team Division mentored by Jennifer, and the Kinjaz, an urban dance act from Los Angeles, CA, went head to head against Swing Latino, a salsa act from Cali, Colombia.
After Kinjaz performed, Ne-Yo said he didn't feel the magic moment the group usually has, but Jennifer thought the routine was "crazy clean" and powerful. The group earned a total of 92.3 points from the judges, including 91 points from Ne-Yo and Jennifer, and 95 points from Derek.
Derek told Swing Latino that they embody everything World of Dance is about and their performance was unbelievable. Jennifer said it was an ambitious routine since it had so many different styles, and she had tears in her eyes because she could feel their passion and love for dance.
Swing Latino earned 95 points from Ne-Yo and Jennifer as well as 94 points from Derek for a total score of 94.7 points.
The Upper Division, mentored by Ne-Yo, was next. Les Twins, a hip-hop duo from Paris, France, were required to face-off against Keone & Mari, an urban dance duo from San Diego, CA.
Once Keone & Mari performed, the judges agreed they felt so good and the couple is so smart with its choreography. Ne-Yo told Keone and Mari that their strength is the ability to tell a crystal clear story.
With that being said, Ne-Yo scored Keone & Mari the highest score of the season -- a perfect 100 points -- while Jennifer gave the couple 90 points and Derek scored them 95 points, bringing their total to 95 points.
Les Twins had to perform despite the fact one of the twins, Laurent Bourgeois, injured his leg in rehearsals and was in a wheelchair.
Jennifer explained how the twins turned a negative into a positive, and the judges gushed about how the number was emotional and heartfelt. Les Twins received a total of 97.7 points -- 99 points from Ne-Yo and Jennifer, and 95 points from Derek.
The episode concluded with a battle between Eva Igo, a contemporary dancer from Inver Grove Heights, MN, and Diana Pombo, a contemporary dancer from Miami, FL, for the Junior Division, which was mentored by Jennifer.
Once Diana danced, Jennifer gushed about how she always lives in the moment when she dances and the routine gave her chills.
Ne-Yo pointed out, however, that Diana's facial expressions of angst didn't really match her upbeat and happy-go-lucky story. Diana earned 90 points from Ne-Yo and 89 points from both Jennifer And Derek for a grand total of 89.3 points.
Eva absolutely wowed the judging panel with her alien-inspired dance, and Derek said she has what it takes to win the whole competition.
The judges agreed that Eva has changed into a confident young girl and there's no longer something missing from her performances. Eva advanced to the next round with her score of 96.7 points, which included 96 points from Ne-Yo and 97 points from both Jennifer And Derek.
Kinjaz, Keone & Mari, and Diana were therefore ousted from the World of Dance competition.