‘World of Dance’ recap: Who ruled in the Duels 2 when the junior teams went head-to-head [UPDATING LIVE BLOG]

World of Dance” held the second week of its Duels round on Sunday night, March 24, and it may have been the most consequential round so far. The Duels 2 decided who moved on in the Junior Team Division, which was the same division that produced last year’s world champions, The Lab. So who made it through to the next stage of the competition, and who was eliminated? Find out below in our live blog with all the minute-by-minute developments as they happen.

The 10 junior teams who made it out of the Qualifiers faced off in five head-to-head Duels. The winners of those battles advanced to the next round of the competition. Then the two highest scoring dance crews that lost their Duels faced off at the end of the night in a redemption round for one last wild card slot. By the end of the night six teams remained in the competition and the other four were eliminated.

The teams competing in tonight’s Duels, listed in order of their Qualifiers scores, are The Crazy 8’s (93.0), VPeepz (90.3), MKAM (89.7), Intention (87.7), Dancetown Divas (87.3), JDC (87.3), Battle Droids Crew (87.0), Elektro Crew (86.3), West Springfield Dance (85.0) and Get Down District (85.0).

The highest scoring teams from the Qualifiers had an advantage since they got to choose their opponents for the Duels. But that’s no guarantee of success. Just look at what happened last week: when the Upper Division dancers had their Duels, the four highest scoring contestants from the Qualifiers were all eliminated. There’s no clearer indication of how competitive this season has been. No one can afford to be complacent.

So were there just as many upsets this week? Follow along below starting at 8:00pm (all times listed are Eastern).

VPeepz vs. Battle Droids Crew

8:04pm — “We choose them because we’re confident we can beat them,” say VPeepz. So it’s an international Duel with the Filipino VPeepz vs. the Belgian Battle Droids. VPeepz are adding tricks to their routine to compete with the b-boy Droids, but some of these moves are uncharted territory for them, so rehearsal looks a little rough.

8:07pm — VPeepz are first, and them kids are savage based on the looks the two groups give each other before the performance. The VPeepz performance is fast, intricate, tight and smooth. Just as savage as their steely glares.

Judges — Ne-Yo thought their precision was like “dancing with one brain.” Jennifer also thought they were “perfectly clean” while “hitting it so hard.” Derek loved the robot burn when they taunted their opponents, but he noticed a wobbly mishap for one dancer up front.

8:10pm — More glares between the teams as Battle Droids take the stage. When the police come to break this up, it’s going to be the cutest gang war they’ve ever seen.

8:13pm — The Battle Droids were also clean and intense. Not as fast as VPeepz, but with more moves that felt fresh. The two teams are so evenly matched and stylistically similar that this is going to be a close call.

Judges — Jennifer loves their b-boy style, and she likes their lack of traditional style. Ne-Yo called their tricks “top notch,” but he wished the dancing was a little better in-between the tricks; Jennifer agreed with that point. Derek loved them and thought their routine was “creative.” From those comments, I have a feeling VPeepz will come out slightly ahead.

VPeepz Scores — Ne-Yo (92), Jennifer (92), Derek (94) — Average: 92.7

Battle Droids Crew Scores — Ne-Yo (90), Jennifer (90), Derek (91) — Average: 90.3

8:17pm — Their limited dancing skill between trickswas the undoing of the Battle Droids, but that’s a really high score to lose with. Last week Briar Nolet made it to the redemption round with that exact same score, and she ended up winning redemption, so it might not be over yet for them. These might yet be the Droids we’re looking for.

Intention vs. Get Down District

8:23pm — Now this will be an interesting battle: the contemporary troupe Intention vs. the waacking Get Down District. Two complete different dance styles. Jennifer is skeptical about Get Down since they only barely made it through the Qualifiers and has a problem of giving too many facial expressions and not enough dancing.

8:25pm — Get Down gets up first. An impressive routine and a good interpretation of “When I Grow Up” by Pussycat Dolls, but nothing groundbreaking. I think they’re still underdogs in this one.

Judges — Jennifer thought they picked up steam halfway through, the opposite of what they did last time — “It was awesome.” Derek also thought it was a “huge improvement” from the Qualifiers. Ne-Yo disagrees with his fellow judges; he thought some of the waacking was a little wack.

8:28pm — A solid routine from Intention, but in the same way that Get Down District don’t necessarily show me anything new, neither did Intention. Lovely dancing, but not a showstopper. I might actually give the edge to Get Down here.

Judges — Jennifer didn’t think the song choice had enough energy to battle their opponents with, but she thinks they’re “strong” dancers, maybe better than the Get Down Crew. Derek thought the song did have the right energy, but the dancers didn’t match that energy. Ne-Yo thought their roll-off was “super clean” and “super clear.”

Get Down District Scores — Ne-Yo (89), Jennifer (88), Derek (87) — Average: 88.0

Intention Scores — Ne-Yo (87), Jennifer (88), Derek (86) — Average: 87.0

8:32pm — The underdogs won, and Intention’s score is pretty low to try to stick around for redemption. I don’t think they’re going to make it.

MKAM vs. Elektro Crew

8:39pm — Hip-hop team MKAM picked fellow hip-hop crew Elektro Crew as their opponents because they think they can beat them. but “they don’t know what they got themselves into,” says the Elektro team leader. Unfortunately, during rehearsals, one of the MKAM members broke his foot when he landed on it badly during a front flip. And I mean badly. It’s a wonder only his foot broke and didn’t take his ankle with it.

8:42pm — MKAM are up first, and Ne-Yo loves “the savagery” as Elektro Crew taunt them on their way offstage. Some good tricks and flips from this first team, but again it didn’t blow me away. It was hectic at moments. They left the door open.

Judges — Jennifer loved their “great formations and pictures,” and it had “too much going on in the best way.” Derek thought it was a “very strong” performance as well. Ne-Yo praised their “smart choreography,” for doing simpler moves but keeping it synchronized and clean, despite a few flaws with their musicality.

8:51pm — Elektro Crew up next, and right from the beginning it looks like they have a cohesive theme. Lots of Michael Jackson “Thriller” vibes and a few moments in the shapes they create and the synchronicity of their moves. They’re the winners for me.

Judges — Ne-Yo saw “a lot of improvement” from their Qualifiers performance and appreciated their narrative, but their tutting lacked synchronicity. Jennifer loved their shoulder groove and “swoopity swoop step to the side,” and she loved the tutting too. Derek was impressed by how Elektro Crew “fought back,” and their quality of movement is better than MKAM, but sometimes it got too intricate and he couldn’t read the pictures as well.

MKAM Scores — Ne-Yo (92), Jennifer (88), Derek (92) — Average: 90.7

Elektro Crew Scores — Ne-Yo (93), Jennifer (90), Derek (90) — Average: 91.0

9:01pm — That was a lot closer than I thought it would be. I think Elektro Crew were more decisive winners than that, but I agree with the outcome. That high score for MKAM, though, means they’re in a good position for recemption. Intention is officially out, and now Battle Droids Crew are on the bubble.

Dancetown Divas vs. JDC

9:03pm — Nobody picked these two teams for the Duels, so they’re up against each other by default, and they got the exact same score in the Qualifiers round. So it’s about a close as you could ask for.

9:05pm — Dancetown is up first. They make great, visual use of their costumes, giving us flashes of black and red, and they create lots of impressive pictures, though I don’t know if the choreography was as complex as I would have liked.

Judges — Derek thought they were “so clean, so together, so unified,” and he commends them for being primarily dancers but tackling a dance that didn’t have a lot of Latin movement in it. Ne-Yo is “at a loss for words.” Jennifer loved the music choice, and one dancer’s turn was especially impressive.

9:12pm — JDC is next, and they blew Dancetown off the stage in the first few moments of their routine. Gorgeous tricks, but they feel intentional, and not just tricks for tricks’ sake. They get a standing ovation from the three judges, so I think it’s pretty much game over for this round.

Judges — Jennifer “had goosies” from the moment the women looked in their mirrors, and they kept the emotions going throughout. They brought tears to her eyes. Ne-Yo thought the mirrors were the perfect prop, and the choreography was “intelligent.” Derek could even hear and feel their breath, which drew him in.

Dancetown Divas Scores — Ne-Yo (96), Jennifer (95), Derek (94) — Average: 95.0

JDC Scores — Ne-Yo (98), Jennifer (95), Derek (95) — Average: 96.0

9:17pm — Not surprised at all by the outcome, but I’m actually pretty shocked the Dancetown scores were so high. It was a strong performance, but it wasn’t quite at the level of those numbers. I wasn’t even sure they’d make the redemption round, but now they’re guaranteed a shot at redemption with that score, and Battle Droids are officially out despite their score of 90.3.

The Crazy 8’s vs. West Springfield Dance

9:24pm — The highest scoring team, the Crazy 8’s, picked the lowest scoring team, West Springfield Dance. They saved this Duel for last even though The Crazy 8’ss must have been the first to choose their opponents. I wonder if they saved the best for last.

9:27pm — The Crazy 8’s are up first. This team is one of the most physically accomplished in the entire competition, not just in their division, which is even more impressive since they’re not even teenagers. Gorgeous spins, flips, and flexibility, though sometimes the tricks overshadow the overall choreography.

Judges — Jennifer loves how they little “attack monsters.” They’re “pretty amazing.” Derek thought it was “well done,” especially their control over their spins. Ne-Yo was wowed by their “skill,” but there should have been more to the transitions and the dancing between the tricks.

9:36pm — Time for the insane clown posse known as West Springfield Dance. Horror dance is definitely not something we see much of on this show, so it has the benefit of uniqueness from the very beginning. Great, innovative use of jolly circus music mixed with creepy “It” elements. Not extraordinary in terms of the choreography, but I definitely want to see more from them.

Judges — Jennifer “really like it,” even though “it’s a little dark.” Derek thought it was a huge step up from their first Qualifiers routine; he “loved the theatrics,” but the quality of movement isn’t super strong. The concept outweighed the dancing. Ne-Yo loved the theatrics and “so many amazing moments,” but it needed to be cleaner and have more maturity of movement. I totally agreed with all of the above.

The Crazy 8’s Scores — Ne-Yo (94), Jennifer (92), Derek (94) — Average: 93.3

West Springfield Dance Scores — Ne-Yo (92), Jennifer (89), Derek (87) — Average: 89.3

9:46pm — Not too surprising, and West Springfield are officially out since their score isn’t high enough for redemption. The wild card slot is going to be between Dancetown Divas and MKAM.

9:47pm — Crazy 8’s member Naia, who has selective mutism, decides she wants to say hi to Jennifer, who picks her up and says “I’m so proud of you right now … I feel very, very lucky that you said hi to me.” I wonder what she would have said to Jennifer if the judges hadn’t put them through to the next round.

REDEMPTION: Dancetown Divas vs. MKAM

9:49pm — Given the huge Dancetown Divas score during their Duel, the judges definitely seem to be on their side.

9:54pm — Dancetown Divas are first, and they set the standard with a routine that has a lot more Latin movement than their Duel performance, and it gets a standing ovation from Jennifer. Tough act to follow, though I think they’re vulnerable.

9:56pm — I preferred the intricacy of MKAM, their movements and coordination, but I also like how different the Divas are from most other acts in this competition. I could go either way on this one.

9:57pm — And the winner of the redemption round is … Dancetown Divas! I’m not too surprised by this result given how much the judges loved Dancetown Divas in their Duel. MKAM would have needed a complete, decisive blowout performance to overcome that.

RESULTS:

Here are the six teams moving on to the Cut:

1. JDC — 96.0
2. The Crazy 8’s — 93.3
3. VPeepz — 92.7
4. Elektro Crew — 91.0
5. Get Down District — 88.0
Dancetown Divas — Redemption

10:04pm — Eliminated from the competition are MKAM, Intention, Battle Droids Crew and West Springfield Dance. MKAM and Intention were actually in the top five for the Juinior Team Division coming out of the Qualifiers, so their ousters are somewhat surprising.

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