The competition is fierce for the second round of Final Cuts, with Paula Abdul as a mentor for the Upper Level, and Mel B as a mentor for the Junior Division!
The Upper Division
The first performance of the night was Indian dance crew Desi Hoppers, and they were ready to bring the energy, but mentor Paula Abdul warned them not to leave behind their Indian flare! In a cute clip, the guys and Paula struggle with a language barrier as she tries to instruct them. Whatever they took from her seemed to work, as their routine was total fire, and had a clear theme! To end the routine, the Desi Hoppers used their hands to create the well-known Indian Elephant God, Ganesha. The Desi Hoppers received a total of 90.7. Remember, the top scoring acts from each division (Upper and Junior!)
The all-men group, Embodiment, had a great session with Paula Abdul, who wanted to clean up their routine. When they took the stage, they were new and improved with a tight, in-sync performance. Dancing to John Mayer’s “Gravity,” the men’s emotional choreography had them looking lighter than air and beautifully cohesive. “That was so powerful,” Derek Hough said, adding there’s a lot of space in the music, and they filled the space with their motion. The guys scored a strong 91.0, putting them in first place about Desi Hoppers.
Lock ‘N Lol came in with an 86.7, while The Bradas followed their routine with an 89, which ultimately sent Lock N LOL crew packing. Hip-hop crew, Connection, took the stage next with an emotional routine that told the story of them finding refuge in their dance studio when their country of Mexico was in turmoil. It was no surprise Paula loved Connection’s strong, fierce choreography — they could be her back-up dancers! “This was amazing! I was glued to you guys the entire time!’ J. Lo complimented. “I underestimated you guys,” Ne-Yo apologized. “You were awesome!” Connection took the first place spot with a 91.3, knocking The Bradas out of the competition.
It was Poreotics turn to face the Cut, and they made a parody of Derek calling their routine a “jelly donut,” before dancing to Vanessa Carlton‘s “A Thousand Miles,” which was a little confusing. Still, they included some sick arm movements and robotic choreography that was insanely creative. Still, Ne-Yo and Derek loved the routine, with Ne-Yo telling the guys they were “damn near perfect.” The Poreotics received a 91.7, sadly sending home the Desi Hoppers, and moving them to first place!
The Ruggeds took their shot next in the Cuts, but Paula gave them some constructive criticism when it came to their back flips. The Netherlands B-Boy group incorporated some extreme tricks that we’ve never seen before and showed off their sheer talent we didn’t see before, like one of their dancers walking on their heads! It was a strong routine, but I don’t know if I’d say it was as strong as Embodiment, who they would knock out. However, Derek obsessed over routine, and the judges gave The Ruggeds a standing O! As Embodiment stood back and cried as The Ruggeds’ scores came in, The Ruggeds were put in first with a 92.7.
S-Rank meant business in their Frankentstein-esque routine. The crew literally rewound their choreography and did it backwards. The judges were in awe of the musicality, and Ne-Yo called them the best crew in the competition! S-Rank averaged a 92.3, knocking Connection out of the competition and sending them to the Divisional Finals!
The Junior Division
Josh and Taylor were the first performance of the evening, and things started off on a seriously high note! With their incredible storytelling abilities, the two teens gave a more upbeat, and cohesive performance, that finished with an adorable cuddle sesh! The duo didn’t get the scores they were used to, with J.Lo giving them a low 83, but they totaled to an 85.3.
Victoria Caban took the stage next with a fierce routine, but J.Lo noticed she got tripped up on her skirt. The Flamenco dancer tied Josh & Taylor with an 85.3, as well.
Jonas and Ruby were next to take the cut, and they showed up to battle! Wearing full metallic body suits, the ballroom dancing duo were sharp as ever and upped the difficulty one their end to get even more competitive. Their footwork was on fire, although it seemed they tired at the end of the routine. “You always come to play! You are here to compete!” Derek complimented. Ruby and Jonas went to the top spot with an 88.3!
Madison Brown went next with an emotional routine, and the judges were truly impressed. With an 85.7, she took 2nd place!
Next we got to see Sean and Kaycee‘s amazing routine, that we got a glimpse of exclusively on HollywoodLife before this episode! Their gorgeous, and loving choreography truly marked them as one of the most talented in the whole competition. It doesn’t get better than these two, in my opinion. “You guys moved me in a way I can’t explain sometimes,” J.Lo said, putting her head in her hands when she recalled Sean is the one who choreographed the routine. Amazing! These two shot right up to first place with a 92!
After defeating Eva Igo, Avery and Marcus came in hot with a ballet routine that had a little Grease vibes. Ne-Yo requested these two add more musicality to their routine, but there wasn’t much of that added. “It was too beautiful for what was going on with the music,” Ne-Yo said. The pair received an 85.3, which knocked them out of the competition.
Charity and Andres were trying to get stop psyching themselves out after receiving the first perfect score of the season. Dancing to “Waves” by Dean Lewis, the pair had nothing to be afraid of, as their routine was, once again, flawless. “You guys are exceptional!” J.Lo exclaimed. The pair received a strong 92.7, pushing them up to first place, and knocking Madison Brown out.
Jaxon Willard showed up to his mentoring session with an incomplete routine, making Ne-Yo share his story of battling awkwardness. “You do love the skin you’re in, don’t you?” Mel B asked Jaxon, “I’m working on it,” he shrugged. “We can’t believe it for you,” Ne-Yo said, in the heartwarming moment. He walked out there with his head held high like a whole new man! Yas! His confidence was contagious, and the pride radiating off the judges was undeniable! Jaxon let out a battle cry mid routine, breaking free from the chains that bound him. Ne-Yo got up off his seat and hugged him, “That’s what I’m talking about! Walk in your great.” Jaxon slayed the scoreboard with a 90.7, sending him to the Divisional Finals!
We have the final twelve acts! Next week is the last round before the finale! Tune in on Wednesday at 9 PM!