After The Callbacks round determined who would survive The Qualifiers, NBC’s World of Dance returned this week with yet another challenge for the competing acts, The Duels. Following the new format introduced this season, the contestants aren’t on the World of Dance stage yet. They’re dueling for a spot in the Semi-Finals in the warehouse, and unlike previous seasons, they don’t know who they’re up against until it’s time to perform.
Along with The Duels comes the return of the Redemption round which was introduced in Season 3. This season, tWitch is guest-judging during The Duels. He’ll give each act feedback, but he won’t vote on The Duels. Instead, tWitch’s votes are reserved for choosing two losing acts from each division to duel for a final chance at moving on to the next round.
Jefferson and Adrianita VS. Luca and Alessandra
Kicking off the Upper Division duels, these pairs have a lot in common. Both duos are competitive Latin dancers and couples outside the dance floor. When they stood face to face on the dance floor, it was obvious that battle was on.
Jefferson and Adrianita were up first, and they were not playing around. Their routine was full of fierce looks and fierce moves. JLo was both excited and scared by the new tricks they included in their performance, some more dangerous than others. tWitch thought these two were “amazing and inviting.” He and Derek both wanted to get up and dance after watching their performance.
Luca and Alessandra decided to switch things up, choosing not to perform to a traditional ballroom song. Unfortunately, Ne-Yo thought there was too much going on in the music which distracted from the couple’s careful footwork, but tWitch disagreed. Derek warned them about setting lifts up while stationary, but he was still impressed by their “ooze.”
When it came time to vote, the judges were forced to choose between these two talented acts. A unanimous decision pushed Jefferson and Adrianita forward while Luca and Alessandra hold out hope for tWitch’s Redemption votes.
The Rise VS. UPeepz
The Rise survived The Callbacks, but UPeepz has shared from the beginning that they are here this season to showcase all of the moves they use to train young stars like Vpeepz in Season 3. These two hip hop groups went head to head, putting their formations and smooth moves to the test.
Did anyone order room service? UPeepz brought a bellhop routine that featured multiple props including a luggage cart, a duffel bag, and a plane ticket home delivered to The Rise at the end of their performance. The judges were astounded by their moves and their showmanship, but tWitch wanted to see more visuals and formations. JLo wasn’t having it, though. “I disagree!” she said.
Vpeepz was a tough act to follow, but The Rise brought intensity to the dance floor with their performance. They didn’t have a plane ticket for their opponents, but they did surprise JLo by ending with some heels work at the end of their performance.
In the end, the judges were divided on who should win this duel. JLo voted for UPeepz, and Ne-Yo voted for The Rise, leaving Derek to break the tie and make the final decision. He chose to push UPeepz through while JLo told The Rise to stay ready. There’s always Redemption.
Kurtis Sprung VS. Styles and Emma
Both of these acts know how important it is to use clean lines and leaps to create incredible performances. With contemporary and ballet going head to head, the judges knew this was going to be an emotional duel.
Kurtis Sprung was given notes during The Qualifiers about making sure he wasn’t keeping the emotions in his performances to himself, and he delivered. Ne-Yo was happy to see that he put in the work. Derek appreciated the emotion, too, but wanted to see him using every second of his time to showcase his abilities.
“The power [they] exude” had Derek rooting for Styles and Emma whose gorgeous performance had Ne-Yo feeling underdressed to be witnessing their fine art. All of the judges thought their performance was gorgeous and wanted to see even more of their clean lines and partnering.
Unfortunately, only one act could win the duel, and the judges had to vote. Ne-Yo voted for Kurtis while Derek continued to be team Styles and Emma. JLo broke the tie, saying “Spring has Sprung!” and voting for Kurtis.
World of Dance returns July 14 for more Upper Division duels. Pay attention! Who would you give your Redemption round votes to if you were tWitch?