NBC’s World of Dance is back for its fourth season, but as star judge J.Lo said in the opening of the season premiere, it feels more like a whole new Season One.
The first round of the competition, The Qualifiers, doesn’t follow the same format as the following rounds. Instead of taking place on the World of Dance stage, it takes place in a warehouse set, and the contestants don’t know that they’re auditioning in front of the judges. When each act enters the warehouse, they think they’re coming in for their final producer callback. In this round, the contestants aren’t scored either. Instead, they must receive at least two yeses from the three judges to move on to The Duels.
Jefferson and Adrianita
First up in The Qualifiers round was Upper Division act and couple. Jefferson and Adrianita. These two come to WOD from Cali, Colombia to show off their skills in the caleño style of salsa dance–and to meet Derek Hough who they named their son after. “Slick, tight…absolutely effortless,” was how Ne-Yo described their performance. J.Lo thought they needed even faster feet, but in the end, they received three yeses and possibly a playdate for little Derek with his namesake judge.
Junior hip hop group GRVMNT came from Vancouver, Canada to show off the choreography they’ve put a lot of work (and falls) into. This dance family took the stage hoping to impress, but the judges commented that they saw some of their transitions coming and were missing opportunities to engage with the music they danced to. J.Lo thought they were only eighty percent of the way to being ready to compete on the show, but GRVMNT didn’t go home. They’re the first dancers of the season to receive a callback instead of a yes or a no. This means they’ll get one more chance to prove that they have what it takes to compete in The Duels.
Jake and Chau
Jake and Chau are an Upper Division contemporary duo from San Jose, California. Their moving performance had all of the judges excited. J.Lo thought they had exactly the newness that people look for, and Derek and Ne-Yo were blown away by their fluid choreography and the obvious chemistry the two dancers had. It’s no surprise that they received three yeses and are moving on to The Duels.
The Williams Fam
You might have seen these four brothers on social media showing off their abilities to move and entertain. They brought their hip hop moves and suave attitudes to WOD from Vallejo, California. Unfortunately, while the judges enjoyed The Williams Fam’s performance, they thought that their social media skills weren’t quite competition ready, and they were sent home with three nos.
Bailey and Kida
Bailey Sok in no stranger to WOD. She competed with the group S-Rank in Season Two, but this time she’s part of a hip hop duo with Kida Burns. These two Los Angeles dancers had only been dancing together for a couple of weeks when they came to WOD to face the judges, and their lack of chemistry stood out to J.Lo despite their talent and clean choreography. Bailey and Kida will have a chance to work on that chemistry in preparation for The Duels. They received three yeses from the judges.
The last dancer to impress the judges this week was nine-year-old jazz soloist Savannah Manzel from Lake Elmo, Minnesota. The youngest soloist to compete on WOD, Savannah earned a lot of praise from the judges, and Ne-Yo stood up to clap for her after she completed her Qualifiers routine. Three yeses have this tiny dancer moving on to The Duels.