During the Cut on “World of Dance,” high-flying, high-scoring Upper Division duo Karen y Ricardo were mentored by Derek Hough and his sister Julianne Hough. Both mentors were concerned that the competitors were taking a risk by tackling a slower style of dance than they performed in the Qualifiers and the Duels, where they scored 99.7 and 98.3, respectively. Would their moves be a little clunkier? Would it reveal more flaws in their technique?
The show tried to build suspense around their climactic performance, but as soon as they took the stage there was no doubt they would be advancing to the Division Finals. After it was over the judges not only gave a standing ovation, they came flying out of their chairs like they were ejector seats. Watch Karen y Ricardo’s performance above, and read the judges’ comments below.
Jennifer Lopez: “It was insane, I loved it. The song was amazing. You guys interpreted it beautifully. It got more and more exciting. At the beginning I was a little like, ‘Is this going to go anywhere?’ And oh my God, it exceeded my expectations. I mean, all of it.”
Derek Hough: “You guys were hotter than the fire that was behind you. Literally, that fire had nothing on you guys. But for real, sometimes when you do a slower dance, a slower style, it’s actually more nerve-wracking because it reveals more. There was more dancing in this it felt like. There was more movement in your body, more rhythm.”
Ne-Yo: “I actually dug the slower pace. It allowed me to appreciate the moves even more. This proved to us that you guys are not just trick-based. It’s not just about big tricks. You guys have the big tricks, but you’re also seasoned and professional dancers. That’s what this showed me.”
Did they score high enough to advance? I guess you could say that. They received 100 from Ne-Yo, 99 from Lopez and 98 from Hough, giving them an average of 99. That was six points higher than second place in the division, contemporary soloist Michael Dameski, and it was the third highest score ever recorded on this show, behind the perfect 100 Charity and Andres received during the Duels and the 99.7 Karen y Ricardo posted during the Qualifiers. It’s looking more and more like the only ones who could possibly beat them in the World Final are those perfect-scoring teens Charity and Andres.