"World of Dance" Series Premiere Recap: Can We Have Some More?

May 30, 2017

Well, that was perhaps the fastest hour of television ever.

We knew that NBC’s “World of Dance” competitor lineup was stacked, but the show’s premiere episode last night gave us just a taste of the deep talent field, with performances by only seven acts. None of them disappointed. But in the words of J.Lo herself (spoken, in her case, about a gorgeously understated routine by Kinjaz): We want more. Can we have some more?

Yes, yes, we know: Patience! That “more” is coming later in the season, based on what we’ve seen in the preview reels. And we appreciate the show’s commitment to doing this right, with its detailed 100-point evaluation system that factors in performance, technique, choreography, and presentation (much the way judging works at normal dance comps), and its multi-tiered, multi-round format.

So, what were the SUPER highlights of this all-highlight show? Let’s start with out-of-the-gate front-runners Les Twins, two very familiar French faces that even the other competitors couldn’t help but gush about. Their detailed, emotional, super-tight routine earned a big standing O from the judges, and the night’s highest score. Lopez especially loved them because their uncanny connection reminded her of her own twins, which, d’aww. (These guys certainly have a way with the divas—first they capture Beyoncé’s heart, and now J.Lo’s?)

We’ve been excited about Keone and Mari Madrid‘s appearance on the show since we first spotted them in an early trailer, so we did a little happy dance when they popped up last night. The couple pulled from their Greatest Hits™ collection, performing an updated version of the “Happy” routine that went viral a few years back. While the subtleties of their style didn’t all quite translate in the show’s big-arena environment—which, we’re going to say right now, definitely gives larger acts an edge—their singular charm totally won over the judges. Plus, they mentioned they’re on the show because they want the security they need to start a family and OH GOODNESS JUST GIVE THEM THE PRIZE ALREADY WE NEED BABY MADRIDS IN THE WORLD.

The last act of the night, and the evening’s only solo performer, was 11-year-old contemporary gumby Diana Pombo, who had the crowd on her side from the beginning because she’s tiny and adorable and was incredibly sweet in her pre-performance interview. Diana did the kind of solo we’ve watched over and over at competitions—in fact, she did a similar routine last year at The Dance Awards, where she won Mini Best Female Dancer—but it’s still awesome to see this kind of dance on national television, and she was completely committed to the choreography. She said that J. Lo is her idol, which earned her a great big hug from La Lopez herself, and ended the night on a nice warm fuzzy note.

We’ll leave you with Derek Hough’s demonstration of proper hip action, because YAAAAAS D. ‘Til next week!