I’ll admit, I wasn’t too sure about the French trio Geometrie Variable when they performed during the “World of Dance” Qualifiers. They created intricate shapes with their coordinated tutting, but how much more potential did their arm formations have? Would it scale up to be competitive in a head-to-head context like the Duels? We found out on Tuesday night when they faced off against the urban dance crew Oxygen, who are also known for their formations. Watch Geometrie Variable’s performance above.
“That’s crazy!” Jennifer Lopez exclaimed at the end of their routine. She too had been worried that their style could get repetitive, but “just now in this routine? You did about 100 new things that weren’t in the first routine. It was so much fun to watch.” Ne-Yo got out of his chair and gave the three members of the team high fives — definitely a good sign. He had “zero critiques” for their performance. “I was looking for things to say bad things about, and I could find nothing.” Derek Hough had wondered about their tutting, “Can that hold up in the show? And you guys have proven it can.”
So Geometrie Variable not only stayed true to themselves stylistically, they also raised their game the second time around. The same couldn’t be said for Oxygen, who eschewed most of the formations the judges loved so much during the Qualifiers and delivered a more familiar style of hip-hop choreography. The judges worried that the team had let go of their identity, so they decided unanimously that Geometrie Variable were the winners of the Duel, a result I didn’t expect thinking back to their Qualifiers performances.
Oxygen got another chance to perform, though, when guest judge Stephen “Twitch” Boss chose them for the redemption round. That time Oxygen brought the house down, and probably would’ve beaten Geometrie Variable if they had performed that number in the first place. So Oxygen won a spot in the Semi-Finals after all, but the judges were pretty annoyed that the team had such a dynamic routine in their back pocket and waited until the redemption round to deliver it. They should have been more like Geometrie Variable, who proved that knowing what you’re good at and leveling it up in successive performances is a winning strategy. We’ll see how many more new shapes they can add to their arsenal for the next round on the main stage.
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