Derek Piquette was one of the “World of Dance” contestants this season I was rooting for the most coming out of the Qualifiers, where he had one of the highest scores in the Upper Division. The “So You Think You Can Dance” alum will soon undergo a double hip replacement, so depending on how that goes this might be his last dance competition at such an elite level. How did he do in round two, the Duels? Watch his performance above to find out.
Because Piquette scored so high during Qualifiers he got to pick his opponent for the Duels, and he took a big risk by choosing the contemporary duo of Derion and Madison. They only scored a point lower than him during Qualifiers, so perhaps he should have tried to pick off a lesser adversary. But there turned out to be a bigger bone of contention in his routine. Piquette performed a remarkable forward flip where he landed in a split; Derek Hough loved that move, but Ne-Yo complained that it was too similar to a maneuver performed last season by another contemporary soloist, Michael Dameski. Hough didn’t think that was a fair comparison, especially since Piquette wasn’t competing against Dameski. See what else the judges had to say below.
Jennifer Lopez — “I thought it was a really, really strong routine. It had really good emotion. It was a great song choice as well.”
Derek Hough — “Being in a situation where you’re in a Duel, and you’re dueling against a couple and you’re out there all by yourself, I commend you for that, well done. You owned that stage. You covered your ground. Your flexibility, your control of your body is remarkable. That move when you flipped and landed in this Jean-Claude Van Damme move. It was nuts … For me personally, the emotional part of it wasn’t quite there for me. It felt a little contrived emotionally, but I cannot take away from the dancing. The dancing was sensational.”
Ne-Yo — “However, last season Michael Dameski did the exact same thing and pulled all the way up. Just sayin’ … Listen, if I can’t compare what’s on stage to the best that we’ve seen, then what are we here for?”
Piquette scored 89s from Ne-Yo and Lopez and a 90 from Hough, giving him an average of 89.3. Unfortunately for him, that was seven-tenths of a point lower than the 90.0 average for Derion and Madison, which left Piquette unsure of his fate. The two highest scoring eliminated contestants during the Duels would get to compete at the end of the night in one last redemption dance for a wild card spot in the next round, and Piquette was on the bubble for that redemption dance.
But the last Duel of the night resulted in a losing contestant (Briar Nolet) with a higher score than he had, so he lost his chance to redeem himself, and he tearfully exited the show. It was sad to see him go. I have no idea if his impending surgery will mean the end of his dance career. Even if he’s out of “World of Dance,” it would be a shame if he’s no longer a part of the world of dance. Here’s hoping he lands on his feet — literally and figuratively.