“I’m pretty excited for season four. We’re revamping the show in so many different ways it’s like the first season all over again,” says judge and executive producer Jennifer Lopez at the start of the premiere episode of “World of Dance,” which returns tonight at 10:00pm on NBC. You can watch the first 11 minutes in advance of tonight’s official premiere above.
The first big chance will be that “Qualifiers 1” will not be on the glitzy studio stage that the show regularly takes place in. “You’ve got to earn that big, beautiful stage,” Lopez explains. She and her fellow judges Ne-Yo and Derek Hough are surprising the contestants in the stripped-down warehouse where the contestants think they’ll be performing in their final producer auditions. After Hough surveys their new “dance dungeon,” Lopez says (half-jokingly?), “Bring in the first victim!”
Colombian salsa duo Jefferson y Adrianita perform first. They’ve been dancing together for 17 years and dating for the last 5 years. They have a child together, whom they named Derek in honor of their hero Hough — it also doesn’t hurt to butter up the judge before a performance. They’re taken aback when they see the judges before them, but they still manage a fast, smooth routine reminiscent of past standouts Karen y Ricardo but with some more surprising lifts and tricks.
They can’t resist inviting Hough to join them on the dance floor, which leads to an impromptu dance-off: Hough and Adrianita vs. Lopez and Jefferson. Ne-Yo politely declines to say which of his fellow judges was better. But what matters is whether this couple was good enough to advance to the next round, The Duels. Watch above to find out.
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