‘World of Dance’ recap: The competition intensified in week 4 of ‘The Qualifiers’ [UPDATING LIVE]

How did the competitors do in week four of “World of Danceseason two. We’re still in the “Qualifiers” round of the competition, during which the dance acts have to score an average of 80 points or more from judges Jennifer Lopez, Ne-Yo and Derek Hough in order to move on to the next stage. So who advanced in “The Qualifiers 4”? Follow along with our live blog below for all the night’s developments as they happen.

The first three weeks of the season showcased a number of powerhouse performances, but the judges’ panel was tougher than ever last Tuesday night. Scores in the 90s were par for the course in weeks one and two, but only two of the seven performances in “Qualifiers 3” scored that high. Lopez thought “magic happened” during Josh & Taylor‘s hip-hop duo performance; those Junior Division competitors averaged 93.3, the highest score of the night. And Upper Division solo dancer Michael Dameski scored 92.7 for his contemporary routine; Lopez thought his performance was “dangerous and exciting.”

But other performances didn’t reach the same heights. Upper Division trio Elektro Bots cruised to the next round with a score of 89. But three other acts barely squeaked through: Upper Team competitors The Ruggeds (83.3), fellow Upper Team Lock ‘N LOL Crew (81), and Junior Team Rascals (84.7).

One of the seven acts that performed last week didn’t make it through at all: the Upper Team LD Dance Company, a Latin group from Texas. The judges were hoping for more dynamic moves and greater creativity, so Ne-Yo gave them a 79, Lopez gave them a 73, and Hough gave them a 71. Their average of 74.3 meant that their season ended as quickly as it started.

So how did the dancers do in week four? Find out below with our minute-by-minute recap starting at 10:00pm. All times listed are Eastern.

10:00 p.m. – It’s time for another episode of the biggest dance competition of the world: “World of Dance.” Tonight the qualifiers continue. More hopefuls will take the stage hoping to move closer to winning the grand prize of $1 million. Let’s get started!

10:06 p.m. – Up first is Jonas & Ruby, junior ballroom dancers who are no strangers to high pressure competition. Ruby has competed in “So You Think You Can Dance” and they competed as a duo on “America’s Got Talent.” Her father is a world-renowned dance coach who searched the globe to find his daughter the perfect partner, Jonas, from Lithuania. There is nothing “junior” about these two when they hit the stage. Their lines, footwork and lifts show maturity beyond their years. I love the faces ballroom dancers make when they are feelin’ it and these two are nailing this performance. It wasn’t the most entertaining dance I’ve seen so far, but I can only imagine these two improving with each round.

10:09 p.m. – Jennifer said they were great dancers, but she was most impressed with their “attack.” Ne-Yo loved Jonas’ “monster faces” and was impressed when Ruby put her leg around Jonas’ head, flipped around and landed in a split. Derek thought the costumes were a little too busy, but Jennifer exclaimed, “More sparkles please!” But how did they score? Derek gave them 82, Ne-Yo 85, and Jennifer 87 for an average of 84.7. Jonas & Ruby are moving on!

10:17 p.m. – Second to hit the stage are The Bradas, a hip-hop dance crew from New Zealand. They love their home country and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, but they’ve come to America to compete for the ultimate prize. They hope to bring the world’s attention to New Zealand and don’t want to let them down. Right from the jump I love that this dance tells a story. They are a gang of robbers in a police chase. The six men are perfectly in sync while they flip, pop, lock and do about every other move in the book. Their athleticism stands out, but what makes them stand out from some of the other crews in this competition is their storytelling. That was a fun routine!

10:20 p.m. – Ne-Yo said they make difficult things look easy, including three of them doing simultaneous “corkscrew” moves. Derek was impressed with their clean formations. Jennifer asserted that dancers are truly athletes; they train every day and show so much strength. “LeBron James couldn’t do what y’all do!” For their scores, Ne-Yo gave them 86, Derek 85 and Jennifer 92 for an average of 87.7. The Bradas are headed to the next round!

10:26 p.m. – Midway through the episode is Lucas Marinetto, a junior tap dancer who has worked through a rough relationship with his father who wanted him to be an athlete. Now that he’s seen Lucas dance, his father is proud of all Lucas has accomplished. He emerges on the stage and the kid has some snazzy kicks! Where did he get those shoes? He’s dressed casually and seems to be having a lot of fun on stage. With the contemporary music, Lucas is bringing tap to a new generation. I wasn’t sold with the first half of the routine, but Lucas seemed to excel as the dance went on. It was a solid routine from the teenager.

10:29 p.m. – Ne-Yo loved his energy. Jennifer said Lucas is a “showman” and has an “innate sense that it’s about the crowd, not him.” But she said he needs to develop his own style and doesn’t have much time to do it within this competition. Derek suggested he come in with a prop or some sort of story next time. For their scores Ne-Yo gave him 82, Jennifer 84 and Derek 82 for an average score of 82.7. Lucas is moving to The Duels!

10:37 p.m. – Up next is Expressenz, a contemporary dance group from Indiana. Although they’re from a small town, they don’t feel like underdogs and want to prove they deserve a spot in the competition. They train hard, but at the heart of it they are still human and can’t help but totally fangirl over Derek watching their routine. They hit the stage in matching purple costumes and ear-to-ear smiles. There are eight of them on stage which easily draws the viewer’s eye to so many areas it’s impossible not to be mesmerized. Their most impressive move was a simultaneous pirouette that was so insanely in sync I couldn’t even fathom how they do it.

10:40 p.m. – Derek was astonished by their synchronicity, but said it felt like a “studio routine” and advised them to be more “authentic.” Ne-Yo said they had “effortless elegance.” He said he felt like he should be moved, but he’s not crying. Jennifer disagreed and said her heart is “soaring” after their routine. Jennifer said the only thing they need is grit, but this routine is perfect. For their scores Ne-Yo gave them 84, Jennifer 90 and Derek 87 for an average score of 87. They’re moving to The Duels!

10:46 p.m. – Next is Poreotics, a hip-hop dance that combines popping, choreography and robotics. They won “America’s Best Dance Crew” a few years back and even appeared in a music video with Justin Bieber and Usher. They are returning to the competition scene to take home the $1 million prize. I love dancers who have mastered these robotic moves, it is fascinating to me. More impressive is this crew’s musicality. The way their bodies move to the most intricate of beats and even pop up with the slightest percussion change. These guys are too cool for school. Bravo!

10:50 p.m. – Derek complimented their body control and musicality, but he settled into his seat instead of being moved to the edge of it. Ne-Yo said they need to show people something they haven’t seen before. Jennifer disagrees with Derek and Ne-Yo because her eyes were glued to them the entire time. She didn’t want to miss one movement. I’m with her! These guys are amazing. For their score Ne-Yo gave them 87, Jennifer 90 and Derek 87 for an average score of 88. Poreotics are moving on!

10:57 p.m. – The final performer of the night is Eva Igo, last year’s runner-up. I didn’t even know they allowed finalists to return, but that takes some serious courage! The odds are she won’t fair as well this year, but this girl doesn’t care. She’s in it to win it! I love her persistence. She slayed the stage last season so I can only imagine what she will do this time. The now 15-year old emerged in a flowy two-peace to perform a contemporary piece. The judges look thrilled. She immediately transforms her face and launches into an animalistic performance just like the ones everyone loved last season. I had forgotten just how amazing this girl is. Her ability to fly through the air and stop on a dime is insane. She completely sinks her teeth into her performance and the passion flows through her entire body. I’m so glad to see her back in the competition better than ever.

10:59 p.m. – Jennifer called it “signature Eva, but 2018.” She’s afraid of what they’re going to see this year and can only imagine what kind of beast she has turned into. Derek said he gets the chills when he watches her. Ne-Yo called her a “joy to watch” because of her flexibility, technicality and passion. For their scores Ne-Yo gave her 96, Jennifer 95 and Derek 94 for an average score of 95. Eva blazed her way into the Duels with the best score of the night!

 

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