After a perfect score last week during The Duels, this week’s episode of NBC’s World of Dance would have to meet some high expectations from the audience and the judges. Each act going into this week’s duels would have to bring it on. Plus, the first triple duel of the season would rock the stage and the competition.
Jaxon Willard vs. Lucas Marinetto
The first duel to take place during last night’s episode was between contemporary soloist Jaxon Willard and tap soloist Lucas Marinetto. When Jaxon shared his story during The Qualifiers, he brought us all to tears. Lucas brought on the feels too when he shared with the audience his complicated relationship with his father. Now, these two charismatic dancers would have to go up against one another for The Duels.
Jaxon took the stage first with a self-choreographed routine about his conflicting feelings about his adoptive and biological mothers. Of course, most of the audience was in tears (and so was his mom!). Lucas came on stage for a suave moment of tap dance that definitely cheered the audience up. The judges thought Jackson’s power and elegance came together in a powerful story while Lucas’ footwork was clean and satisfying. Unfortunately, one of them had to go home, and with an average score of 88 Lucas would be doing just that while Jaxon moves forward in the competition with an average of 96.
Poreotics vs. Marissa & The Heartbreakers
Poreotics are hip hop legends, and their skills impressed the judges enough to carry them into The Duels. They chose to go up against Marissa & The Heartbreakers, a powerful girl group that J Lo saw going far in the competition. With these two talented groups taking the stage, this was a dance battle you had to see.
Marissa & The Heartbreakers took the stage first with an all-business routine. They brought an extra dose of girl power to the stage complete with a carefully-placed jab at their competition. Poreotics decided to bring beach yoga and hip hop together for their half of the battle. In the end, with a score of 83.7, Marissa and her team went home heartbroken while Poreotics while stretched their way into the next round with an 87.7.
Jonas & Ruby vs. Freshh
During The Qualifiers, Jonas and Ruby proved that they were an incredible ballroom dance couple with a special dance relationship. Freshh brought athleticism to the first round of the competition. Now ballroom and hip hop would have to go head to head in this dance battle.
Jonas and Ruby took on the Argentinan tango, and their footwork was so fast, you could hardly blink if you didn’t want to miss it. That and a wardrobe change mid-performance pushed the judges to the edge of their seats. Taking the judges notes from their Qualifiers performance, Freshh brought personality to the stage with a throwback 90s performance, and the judges were raving! Jonas and Ruby earned a 91.3 for their quick footwork while Freshh went home with an average score of 88.
Pursuit vs. The Ruggeds
Pursuit introduced themselves to the competition with a little bit of everything the judges love from unique rhythms to gorgeous movements. The Ruggeds are the only adult breaking group in the competition, so their unique position plus their incredible tricks made them an obvious player in The Duels.
First up in this dance battle were The Ruggeds who brought a bit of old-school breaking to their performance. They also brought more dancing into their performance based on the judges’ notes from The Qualifiers. Pursuit created a performance that exhibited intensity and incorporated other styles into their contemporary style. Both performances had the judges wishing for a little more, though. The judges awarded Pursuit an average score of 82.3, so, With a score of 84.7, The Ruggeds were sent on to The Cut.
Cubcakes vs. Flip vs. Dem Raider Boyz
The final junior duel actually featured three acts. The last competing Junior Division acts to take on this round were the Cubcakes, Flip, and Dem Raider Boyz. For this duel, three teams would go in, but only one would come out, and all three teams want a spot in the next round.
The first group to perform was Flip with an eerie whacking performance. Their cleanliness and stage presence were definitely enough to impress the judges. Following them were Dem Raider Boyz who did half of their performance with only their own sounds and voices accompanying them (no music!) to highlight their stepping. Last to take the stage were the Cubcakes who had to perform with one less member due to a pre-performance injury. They performed flawlessly even without her, and their tear-filled reunion afterward was heartbreaking. Only one of these three teams could win this duel, though. Dem Raider Boyz received an average score of 85.3. Cubcakes received an average score of 88 sending them home. The final score of the evening belonged to Flip who earned a 90.3 which was enough to send them into The Cut and send the Cubcakes home.
Connection vs. Funkywunks
The last duel to take place last night brought Connection and the Funkywunks head to head in a retro versus Latin hip hop battle. Both of these dancers used their personal backgrounds and unique cultures to influence interesting hip hop choreography that impressed the judges during The Qualifiers. During The Duels, they had to take it another step further to prove that they are the best of the best.
Funkywunks retro vibes on stage were definite crowd pleasers, and their interaction with the music was so energetic and well choreographed that they made the running man look new and exciting. Connection brought energy to match, but the judges weren’t the biggest fans of their music choice. In the end, Connection received an average score of 85.3 which gave them a 0.3 point lead over the Funkywunks and a spot in the next round.
Next week, The Duels continue with even more incredible performances and heartbreaking losses as the judges continue to narrow down the acts as we get closer and closer to The Cut.