World of Dance, By the Numbers – Week 5

No World of Dance this week due to the Fourth of July – Happy Independence Day everyone!! Despite there not being a show this week I figured I would post this now and give people time to think about it.

Another incredible week last week on World of Dance. Still a great show. But I have to make a comment on some complaints I’ve seen on social media.

Complaint number 1: “Derek, shut up, confidence is all part of Les Twins style, it’s part of battling, yadda yadda yadda” combined with some version of “you don’t know what you’re talking about” or “you’re just racist”.

Heidi’s answer: Oh grow up. When the “confidence” is against an opponent of a similar style and who was as successful in the first round as you were (like, say FIK-SHUN – you scared, Les Twins??)…and it occurs ONLY during the dance, then you might have a point. But I don’t think there is any question that the self-proclaimed “best dancers in the world” chose a dude at the bottom of the leader board doing a style they have little respect for and absolutely nothing in common with INSTEAD of a guy who’s style is very similar to theirs and who was also close to the top of the leader board. Les Twins had first pick and they went to the bottom of the leader board and proceeded to be arrogant as hell which was a complete turn off.  Even Ne-Yo questioned their choice – it’s an obvious question to ask, especially combined with the “confidence” that Les Twins was showing (that WAS off putting).  How do “confident” men pick a tapper at the bottom of the leaderboard? What were they afraid of?? The confident “best dancers in the world” would have picked Fik-shun. But they didn’t, which begs the questions.

Complaint number 2: These judges know nothing about dance – they should pick different judges.

Heidi’s answer: Oh really?? These folks know nothing about dance? And yet, everyone knows their names, while the average viewer of this show has probably not heard of any of the dancers competing – and they’re the best in the world. So, give me a name. Be specific. I’m waiting. I think what they were wanting to say was that none of these judges are actual hip hop/popping locking/etc style dancers. Well, guess what? There are other styles of dance. I’d say JLo and Ne-Yo cover those styles just fine while Derek does have a passing knowledge in those styles and is unquestionably an expert in ballroom, latin and (at this point) contemporary. Get over it. The ratings are good. These judges are going nowhere unless they want to.

There were other silly complaints about the camera work – these folks have never watched a dance show before, clearly – and the focus on the judges. Hello, I hate to tell you, but when the show started the judges were likely the draw, not the dancers.  I saw a couple people complaining about how much JLo interrupted Derek – that one I agreed with. 🙂  But at the end of the day it wasn’t a big deal. Frankly, I love seeing the judges reacting to the dances – especially The Lab. That was FUN. Their reactions to the Lab makes me label them as a front runner – they are fantastic. And very good little sports.

Anyway, on to the show. As a reminder, here are the qualifying scores for the acts that were shown on the show.

You’ll note that I’ve taken out the folks who didn’t make it to the duels and added in the people who made it but who were never seen in the qualifiers – they’re shaded green.

One big complaint that I have about the duels and the show this week is the shortening of ALL of the losing act’s numbers. The Posse’s dance was noticeable shorter, as was Kyle’s and Boys of Temecula. It makes no difference in the long run but it seems unsporting. I suppose they don’t have a choice, having only been allotted an hour for the show. But I would have liked to see the whole dances – if you have to make a cut, cut out some of the backstage stuff.

Anyway, on to the duels.

First up was Diana Pombo versus The Posse. This was a pretty impossible duel, IMO. Diana was good in her qualifier, but rather typical contemporary these days (unfortunately) while The Posse was brilliant in their qualifier. They were very evenly matched this time and, frankly, I didn’t want either of them to leave. Diana changed up her routine and added some of that edge that I liked in Eva while the Posse added the ropes and handcuffs upping the difficulty. I would call it a draw – I don’t understand how the scoring margin between the two was so high. I disagreed with that, though I would ultimately call Diana the winner.

Next? SuperCr3w versus Royal Flux. This duel brought something home to me: even though it seems obvious that SuperCr3w is going to win – especially since Royal Flux was never shown in the qualifying rounds – the judges talk about each group as its own entity and NOT in relation to how well their competition did. It’s almost like they’ve partitioned their brains to comment on the performance that was in front of them and then score it accordingly.  Listen to how they talk to Royal Flux – there is no discussion about how SuperCrew was flashier or whatever, they talked about all the good things about Royal Flux. I really appreciated that – some shows (:::cough, cough DWTS cough, cough:::) will compare two dancers to each other as if there is a legit comparison even when they are two different ages doing two different styles. It’s maddening. But this seems….fair. We might not like the result, but I would bet that each of the teams/dancers go home feeling like they did well and if they work harder they can win next time.

Anyway, as per usual, when re-watching this show, my opinion often changes drastically from what I had during the live show/blog. This is especially true for SuperCr3w (and the Lab, coming up). This was a tight dance with excellent tricks – that slide slayed me much like it did the judges. Royal Flux never really stood a chance against them, and I agreed with Ne-Yo – perhaps against someone in the same style, they would win.  The score was actually pretty close – which makes me wonder how much of Royal Flux’s dance was left on the cutting room floor. Royal Flux actually is the sort of contemporary I prefer these days – a group dance, not overly angsty young girls or boys.

The Lab versus the Boys of Temecula. I think I said during the live blog that I didn’t care for either dance nearly as much as I did the dance in their qualifying round. I certainly changed my mind on re-watching for this blog.  The Lab was just phenomenal – I watched that dance four times in a row and never got tired of it. Amazing. Very tight, very in sync – I disagree with Ne-Yo this time and found that I liked the theme. If you have the opportunity, go watch this dance again and also note the judges’ reaction to the dance – it’s pretty telling and I don’t think they’ve had as consistently strong a reaction to any other dance, including Les Twins. I might be picking them to win, right now. J And if they keep dancing at this level, they will deserve to win. The Boys of Temecula – I really enjoyed them as well and I particularly liked how they used their costuming to make a visual impact. I seem to always notice stuff like that. I do think they had an issue in the background of the dance – it seemed like someone missed a cue or something. Not sure what the problem was, but there was an off note back there. Still, a great team.

And it was here that Ne-Yo earned every penny of his salary and my admiration and respect: what he said to Boys of Temecula was genius, inspiring and just fantastic. “You either Win or you Learn. There is no losing. Keep your heads high.”  :::sob::: I teared up. Seriously.  Great job man. Love ya.  That right there cemented my opinion that these three (Ne-Yo, Derek, Jennifer) are the best judges on television right now. I was already there, just based on how they talk to each of the contestants, but Ne-Yo solidified it.

Now for the duel that pissed me off on many levels – most of which I’ve already discussed. Not the least of which is Kyle is a competitive champion in his style – he didn’t really deserve the treatment he got from Les Twins. The show’s editors just compounded it by obviously shortening his routine like they did all the others who didn’t advance. What I didn’t mention is the Bachelor-level editing of their previews for this week making it look like Kyle was going to win. Producers/editors – I beg you not to go down this road. You were doing so well up to this week! But you stooped pretty damn low with your commercial and then the cutting of the dances of the “losing” teams.  Previous to this week I think your worst offense was the really crappy editing of the judges’ comments. But when you reach Bachelor-level (or DWTS-level) editing, you’re on a slippery slope. Stop it, please.

You can change dance show format, scoring…but editors are the same everywhere in Hollywood. I have nothing nice to say about them, so I’ll move on.

Anyway, respectful to his face and denigrating behind his back, Les Twins have lost me for the rest of the competition. Sad – I don’t like rooting against anyone and this is the first time I’ve had that problem on this show. There is no denying this was a great dance – and on re-watching it I noticed that they not only mimicked tap, but several other styles as well. It was very well done, but in watching the judges’ reaction at the end of the dance (see below), the only one that seemed totally positive was Jennifer. It seems that Derek and Ne-Yo both were questioning – questioning their choices? Probably, based on their comments. I question their choices as well. The problem for them is that EVERYONE else in the entire competition has been so respectful of the competition – even those in the same style as Les Twins who are also used to battling – that it makes what Les Twins stand out and not necessarily in a good way.  Honestly, after that, if they win I will be disappointed. One of the things I’ve liked the most so far on this show has been the respectful spirit of competition, starting with Fik-shun towards Nick Daniels through Boys of Temecula versus The Lab. I feel like that took a beating during this duel, although Kyle was certainly a good sport about it.

Heh. Re-listening to Jennifer’s comments it’s almost like she’s trying to head off the criticism that Les Twins are bound to get – “Spirt of the battle…”.  LOL. Okay. Ultimately, the judges were very complimentary of the dance – as they should be – but I don’t know if it will help Les Twins in the long run.

The numbers? Here’s where we ended up:

All of the winners from this week are within three points of each other. The winners from the last two weeks in total are also within three points of each other. The high scorers from the duels shown so far are Les Twins with 92 BUT Diana, Keone and Mari are less than a point behind them, and Fik-shun is only 1.3 points behind them in duel scores. Perhaps they were right to be afraid of Fik-shun. 😀

Also of note is that Les Twins dropped in score from a 96.7 in the qualifiers to a 92 in the duels. At the same time, Kyle gained four points, although it wasn’t enough, obviously. Does this mean the bloom is off the Les Twins rose? No idea, but I do think that dueling has an impact and their score could have dropped in comparison to Kyle, IF Kyle really went first.

Diana increased her score from an 89.7 to a 91.3 while the Posse also increased their score by two points.  SuperCr3w also increased their score a tiny bit, while we have no idea how Royal Flux scored in the qualifiers. The Lab lost 1.6 points in the duels round and their competition, Boys of Temecula gained 9.4 points. That’s rather massive.

Will this end up meaning anything? It might, it might not. But if your score is dropping, you best up your game a bit. Also interesting to note is that the people who had dropping scores are those who picked people at the bottom of the leaderboard. Les Twins and The Lab. While the Lab’s choice seems somewhat obvious and not as glaring as Les Twins (look at everyone below them on the leaderboard – there’s no one else similar), they did still go to the bottom of the leader board.  No idea if that is significant – probably not consciously.

I’d also like to know how much the judges know when scoring the second dance – do they already know the total of the first dance? It might not matter, because they still have to score the second dance and any one of them could score lower without the other two knowing, thereby impacting the outcome on their own. I’d like to know how much cross talk there is. It’s very possible that they know they can give someone a much better score to build their confidence while not kicking the better dancers out of the competition. I don’t think I have an issue with that. None of these dancers deserve to be kicked when they’re down.

Finally, next week is apparently the last week of duels, but you’ll note on the first table there is a “Dueled?” box; if it’s checked it means they’ve already dueled. This kinda shows that there’s going to be more than just one three-way duel next week (nearly guaranteed to piss me off in some way) and some are not likely to be seen at all.  The Junior Division appears to have one three way duel left off which will be D’Angelo and Amanda versus the Mihacevich Sisters versus Immabeast. Safe to say that it won’t be Immabeast winning that three way. After that, I have to root for the ballroom couple even though I really like the sisters a LOT. We already have too many contemporary dancers advancing in the competition and I think they’ll get taken out in favor of Eva and Diana.

The Team Division has seven teams left – no idea how that’s going to work out, although I believe we’ve seen hints of Ian Eastwood and Jabbawockeez in a three way duel with an unknown team? Or is Kinjaz in there as well? Don’t know how that could work out, since the Kinjaz have first pick. They could pick Chapkis Family, Jabbawockeez, Ian Eastwood and the three unknown teams. If they only pick one, perhaps they pick Chapkis. That would leave Jabbawockeez versus Ian Eastwood and and unknown team. That would leave two unknown teams which we probably wouldn’t see. I suspect it will be something like this, since they probably won’t have enough time to show it all.

The Upper Division also only has three teams left which means they will probably be a three way duel. The teams are Pasion, Luka and Jenalyn and Kings Unite. Since Kings Unite weren’t seen on the qualifiers, I’m going to go out on a limb and say they are eliminated. This means that one Ballroom or ballroom adjacent team will go on to the next round which makes me happy.

No matter how it works out, we will likely go into “The Cuts” round with approximately 13 total groups/dancers. From there I don’t know how it will work. We’ll have to wait and see.

So, what else is happening in this show that I’m not noticing? Anything?