Ne-Yo, Jenna Dewan and Derek Hough Interview: ‘World of Dance’
According to Derek Hough, there won’t be a sophomore slump for the eagerly anticipated return of “World of Dance.” “We were just unleashed for Season 2,” he divulges. “From the set, production, lighting, performances, choreography, talent, our energy, everything’s just on another level.” The first season of this NBC reality competition series, which is eligible at the 2018 Emmys, features dancers from around the globe competing for a $1 million prize and the title of “Best in the World.” Hough and Ne-Yo serve as judges alongside executive producer Jennifer Lopez. Watch our exclusive video interview with Ne-Yo, Hough, and host Jenna Dewan above.
As a working actress, becoming the host of a reality dance competition series “was not something that I was necessarily putting out into the world,” Dewan admits. She became interested by “the fact that I was going to be apart of a narrative that was pushing dance, and the industry of dance, and elevating that in a way that hasn’t been done before.” The series hit a nerve with her on a personal level. “I knew that my 15-year-old self would’ve watched this show and been like, ‘I have to be on that show,'” she reveals.
Many of the contestants on “World of Dance” are talented children, which makes it especially difficult for the judges to bid them farewell. “It’s tough love,” says Ne-Yo. “The world does not pacify you at all. The reality is you’ve gotta want it more than the other guy, and if for whatever reason you didn’t, you didn’t get it this time. This time. We always make sure that they understand this is not the end of the story. This is the end of this chapter, but this is not the end of the story.” Contestants are allowed to return “and come back better next year,” having learned from the experience.
Hough won two Emmys for Best Choreography for “Dancing with the Stars” (2013 and 2015) and competed seven more times (2009, twice in 2010, once more in 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2017).
Ne-Yo won two Grammys for “Miss Independent” (Best R&B Song and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance in 2009) and received eight additional nominations (Best Contemporary R&B Album for “In My Own Words” and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for “So Sick” in 2007; Best R&B Vocal by a Duo or Group for “Hate That I Love You” in 2008; Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for “Closer,” Best Contemporary R&B Album for “Year of the Gentleman,” and Best R&B Song for “Spotlight” in 2009; Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for “Knock You Down” in 2010; and Best Dance Recording for “Let’s Go” in 2013).