‘World of Dance’: The Lab moved Derek Hough to tears with this performance during The Cut [WATCH]

When it comes to “World of Dance,” technique is important, but connecting to the judges emotionally has been the real key to success, and The Lab achieved that during The Cut when they were fighting for one of three spots in the Division Finals for the Junior Team Division. The young hip-hop troupe performed a routine inspired by a tragedy in the life of one of their members. We never learned what that was, but Derek Hough was moved to tears by the way the team came together to support her emotionally and artistically. Watch their performance above, and read all of the judges’ glowing comments below.

Jennifer Lopez: “For me, what sets you guys apart is the emotion and the love that all of you have for each other. It feels so much like a family, and I hope you guys never lose that, ever. That, to me, is your secret sauce.”

Derek Hough: “The most beautiful thing about that is having people around you that support you and who love you. I just have to commend you on that. And you guys are so powerful as a team and as dancers and creators. And now I can get the emotional part out of the way. You guys are just so special. Well done.”

Ne-Yo: “There’s nothing better than real and genuine emotion. When you can make me feel what I’m supposed to feel watching what you do — victory, hands down. Every picture was perfect. Every dramatic moment hit right when it was supposed to hit. Kudos to the choreographer. Kudos to y’all. Every time y’all touch the stage it’s a joy. This is no exception. Great job.”

The Lab earned a perfect score of 100 from Ne-Yo, a 97 from Lopez, and a 98 from Hough. That gave them an average of 98.3. It was the highest score in their division, easily earning them one of the three spots in the Junior Team Division Final. It was also one of the five highest scores of the season, and three of the other top-five scores all went to just one other act: Upper Division duo Karen y Ricardo, whom the Lab might find themselves battling in the World Final for the $1 million grand prize.

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