'World of Dance' judges advance 7 acts from "The Qualifiers," including show's first ever romantic male duo
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 07/18/2018
World of Dance advanced seven dance acts to the next round during Tuesday night's broadcast of the NBC reality competition series' second season.
The episode featured World of Dance executive producer and judge Jennifer Lopez and her fellow judges, Grammy Award-winning singer Ne-Yo and six-time Dancing with the Stars champion Derek Hough, sending seven dance acts from "The Qualifiers" round to "The Duels."
The judges decided to advance Cubcakes Dance Crew, a hip-hop act representing the Junior Team division; Luka & Jenalyn, a ballroom cabaret duo in the Upper category; The Jam Project, a tap group in the Upper Team division; Marinspired, a contemporary duo in the Upper division; Alisa & Joseph, an urban dance duo representing the Upper category; Dragon House, an animation trio in the Upper division; and Quad Squad, a contemporary group representing Junior Team.
Junior (1-4 people) and Junior Team (5 or more people) competitors are under the age of 17, while Upper (1-4 people) and Upper Team (5 or more people) dancers are age 18 or older.
The competition consists of five rounds -- The Qualifiers, The Duels, The Cut, The Divisional Final and The World Final. The World Final will feature the four division winners going head to head for the $1 million grand prize.
Ne-Yo, Derek and Jennifer individually determine a score for a dance act from 1-20 points in each of the following five categories: Performance, technique, choreography, creativity, and presentation.
In The Qualifiers round, the highest score a dance act can receive is 100 points from the judging panel; however, a total score of 80 points or higher is required for a dance act to move on to the next round.
Cubcakes Dance Crew received 84 points from Ne-Yo, 85 points from Jennifer And 80 points from Derek, for an average total score of 83 points.
Jennifer said they had "so much poise and command of the stage" and were unafraid to do what they love. She added they were "strong, clean and precise," and Derek noted they are cute and fierce simultaneously.
Luka & Jenalyn earned a total average score of 87 points after earning 88 points from Ne-Yo, 86 points from Jennifer And 87 points from Derek.
Jennifer complimented their tricks and said they apparently grew a lot from their previous audition on World of Dance's first season. But Ne-Yo made it known Luka presents a "straining face" onstage while doing tricks with Jenalyn and he needs to make it seem like Jenalyn is light as a feather.
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The Jam Project received 82 points from Ne-Yo, 83 points from Jennifer, and 84 points from Derek for a grand average total of 83 points.
Derek loved the counter rhythms in their performance and wants tap to thrive in the competition. Ne-Yo suggested they should have a moment in the song when the music breaks down and their taps can be heard without distraction, but the judges loved it.
Marinspired received 88 points from Ne-Yo, a whopping 96 points from Jennifer, and 90 points from Derek. The duo's average total score was 91.3 points.
Marinspired impressed the judges because the duo was two strong men dancing together, portraying a romantic relationship and connection.
Jennifer was taken with the beauty of the performance, and Derek appreciated their storytelling and abstract approach. Ne-Yo added the "lack of order" made the dance beautiful.
Alisa & Joseph earned 92 points from Ne-Yo, 94 points from Jennifer And 86 points from Derek for a total average score of 90.7 points.
Jennifer gushed about how Alisa & Joseph seemed to have the same personality and they told a great story.
Ne-Yo loved the "believability" and said their dance felt real. However, Ne-Yo admitted he has seen something like that before. Derek appreciated the movement, clarity and intelligence of the choreography.
Dragon House advanced by the skin of their teeth. Ne-Yo scored them 81 points, Jennifer gave them 80 points, and Derek scored them 79 points, for an average total of 80 points.
For Dragon House's performance, Ne-Yo said they could be amazing but they just missed the mark. Jennifer advised them to watch the moves in between tricks and choreography, saying every move needs a purpose. And Derek said one person was a hair behind the others in timing.
Quad Squad received 91 points from Ne-Yo, 86 points from Jennifer, and 90 points from Derek. The group therefore earned a total average score of 89 points.
Derek gushed about Quad Squad's strength, lines, power and passion. Ne-Yo said the group moved as one unit, which is very important, and then Jennifer noted there were some "mind-blowing moments" in that routine.
One hip-hop duo of brothers, The Gentlemen, unfortunately did not make the cut for the Junior division.