“World of Dance” started its season-two “Duels” on Wednesday night, July 25, just one day after the eighth and final round of “The Qualifiers.” So we got to see the ballet-contemporary fusion of Avery and Marcus on both nights. The young teenage duo struggled with nerves when qualifying, but they still managed to score an average of 84 points, enough to make it to the next round.
But how could they possibly deal with their nerves going from that performance to a head-to-head battle against powerhouse Eva Igo? Apparently, they do it quite easily. Not only did they conquer their nerves, they pulled off a huge upset by defeating Igo, who was returning this season after finishing second in the entire competition last year. Even the judges were shocked by the outcome, and they were the ones deciding the scores. Watch Avery and Marcus’s routine above, and read what the judges had to say about them below.
Derek Hough: “That was such a step up from your first performance, so much more innovative. Let me just remind everybody as well that you’re on pointe, which is incredible. It’s one thing to do those extensions and then do them on pointe, so elegant and so beautiful. The way you complemented each other was so fantastic. I just loved the fusion between the ballet, the classical, and then the contemporary. It just had everything. It had dynamics, it had lifts, it had tricks, it had elegance. I loved the performance.”
Ne-Yo: “What I loved the most about this: you guys had me cross-eyed. I was literally watching the both of you at the same time. I loved the fact that the routine had parts where [Marcus] shined and then parts where [Avery] shined, and then parts where you came together and just super-shined. I gotta say, I didn’t see the nerves tonight.”
Jennifer Lopez: “Probably one of the hardest duels that I’ve seen so far. I just don’t even know what’s going to happen, to be honest. How do you guys compete against each other? It’s such a different thing, but they’re both so dynamic and both so beautiful. If there’s any critique I could give it’s always the moment in-between, so when you’re working with your choreographers make sure they’re paying just as much attention to that as they are to executing this lift or sticking that pose at the end or whatever it is. Because that’s going to make the difference towards the end.”
Ultimately, the difference between Eva Igo and Avery and Marcus was a hair’s breadth. The innovative ballet duo averaged 93.3, while Igo pulled in a still-remarkable 92. But all three of the judges were in agreement: they all give Avery and Marcus a point or two more than they gave Igo. Do you agree with their decision? Vote in our poll below.