'World of Dance' recap: Fik-shun, Keone & Mari, Eva Igo, and Swing Latino win duels and advance to "The Cut"
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 06/21/2017
World of Dance kicked off "The Duels" and advanced four dance acts to the next round during Tuesday night's broadcast of the new NBC reality competition series executive produced and judged by Jennifer Lopez.
Tuesday night's episode featured the commencement of "The Duels" round in which two dance acts from the same division compete head to head on the stage for only one open spot in the next "The Cut Round."
Lopez and her fellow judges, Grammy Award-winning singer Ne-Yo and six-time Dancing with the Stars champion Derek Hough, advanced four dance acts after they won their respective battles during the fourth episode of the season.
Those winning acts were Fik-shun, a hip-hop dancer and former So You Think You Can Dance winner from Las Vegas, NV; Keone & Mari, an urban dance duo from San Diego, CA; Eva Igo, a contemporary dancer from Inver Grove Heights, MN; and Swing Latino, a salsa act from Cali, Colombia.
Four dance acts were therefore eliminated: Kyntay, a hip-hop dancing duo from Memphis, TN; Miami All Stars, a ballroom act and former America's Got Talent finalists from Miami, FL; Quick Style, a hip-hop dancer from Oslo, Norway; and Nick Daniels, a contemporary dancer from Miami, FL.
The three divisions are as follows: Junior (any size act ages 17 and under), Upper (groups from 1-4 people ages 18 and older) and Team (groups of 5 or more dancers ages 18 and older).
Eva dueled it out on behalf of the Junior division against Kyntay. Fik-shun competed against Nick in the Upper division, as well as Quick Style against Keone & Mari. And Swing Latino danced against Miami All Stars for one spot in the Team division.
Just like in The Qualifiers round, after a dance act takes the stage, Ne-Yo, Jennifer and Derek each determine a score from 1-20 points in each of the following five categories: Performance, technique, choreography, creativity, and presentation. The highest score a dance act can receive is 100 points from the judging panel.
However, during each duel, the dance act to earn the highest score wins and moves onto the next round, sending the opposing contestant, duo, trio or group home.
Based on the scores given in The Qualifiers round, the dance acts with the highest scores in each division were allowed to pick their opponents.
Fik-shun was up first. He had ranked second out of all the acts who made it to The Duels in the entire Upper division. He chose to compete against Nick since they are both soloists, and Nick had placed fourth in The Qualifiers.
Once Fik-shun performed, Derek told him that the control he has over his body is unprecedented, and Jennifer said his musicality might be the best in the competition. After Nick took the stage, Ne-Yo said the performance was technically impressive but also emotional. Derek joked that Nick's seemingly boneless body defies limits of anatomy.
Nick received a total score of 87.7 point from the judges, while Fik-shun received a total of 90.7 points.
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"Coming into this competition, I wanted to start something new and break some walls down, and I definitely feel I've done that," Nick said following his ouster.
Swing Latino, who placed second in the Team Division, then chose to dance against Miami All Stars, who finished in ninth place on the leaderboard.
Derek told Swing Latino their dance was explosive while the tricks were death-defying. Ne-Yo admitted watching the Miami All Stars, on the other hand, was like taking in a Broadway musical. Although Miami All Stars were entering the duel as underdogs, Ne-Yo said they definitely rose to the occasion.
Swing Latino received a total of 91.7 points from the judges, while Miami All Stars earned a total of 88.3 points.
Eva Igo, who placed fourth in the Junior division, chose to battle Kyntay, who had place sixth in The Qualifiers round.
The judges agreed the Kyntay girls were adorable and the new generation of dancers, but Eva blew the panel away with her subtle and shocking movements. Derek told Eva that she almost seems inhuman.
Kyntay received a total score of 82.7 points from the judges. Eva walked away with a total of 89 points.
The night concluded with a duel between Quick Style and Keone & Mari, who were unable to pick their opponent being the last ones left. Quick Style had placed sixth on the leaderboard for the Upper division, while Keone & Mari were the eighth-place team. Ironically, Keone & Mari used to be the boys' dance teachers.
Jennifer loved the narrative of Keone & Mari's dance, as it was beautiful and touching. Derek said although their movements can be simple, when matched with intention, they are unbelievable.
Derek told Quick Style following the trio's routine that their choices, movements and choreography were all perfect. He called them the "dopest" boy band he's ever seen, and Ne-Yo agreed the guys painted a perfect picture.
Jennifer admitted this matchup was the toughest battle yet for the judges when determining a winner.
But in the end, emotion and artistry conquered, as Keone & Mari received a total of 91.3 points compared to Quick Style's total of 89.3 points.
Ne-Yo revealed that Quick Style would have won their duel if they had faced off against any other dance act.
"Keone & Mari are the people we wanted to lose against," one member of Quick Style told the cameras. "It was a great loss but also a great fight."