When Kurtis Sprung and Styles and Emma were announced as the final match-up of “The Duels 1,” my first thought was, “Poor Kurtis Sprung.” The ballet duo had been so undeniable in their Qualifiers performance, that it seemed like it would be a Herculean task to defeat them. But Qualifiers don’t matter now. You’re only as good as your performance on the day. So how did Styles and Emma do? Watch their routine to Lewis Capaldi‘s “Someone You Loved” above to see for yourself.
“You guys are like elegance in motion,” Jennifer Lopez told them. “It’s tender, it’s soft, but it’s connected. And there’s something about that that is really exciting and compelling to watch.” However, she wished she could have seen “a couple more moments where I was blown away.” Derek Hough exclaimed, “Oh my goodness!” when considering their “athleticism … just stunning creatures melding together as one in this beautiful routine.”
Meanwhile, Ne-Yo thought there was a moment towards the beginning of the routine where he could see too much effort as opposed to effortless grace. And guest judge Stephen “Twitch” Boss of “So You Think You Can Dance” fame wanted to see more instances of them using their elongated bodies to move together as a unit.
So how did those critiques translate into a verdict? The Duels were decided just by majority vote of the show’s three main judges, while Twitch will have the opportunity to choose which two losing acts from the Upper Division Duels get to dance again in the redemption round. And it was split: Ne-Yo went with Sprung, while Hough voted for Styles and Emma, which meant Lopez was the tie-breaker. Perhaps surprisingly, Lopez picked Sprung too, which means that he moves forward to the Semi-Finals while Styles and Emma have to cross their fingers for redemption.
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