"World of Dance" Week 5 Recap: Anything You Can Duel, I Can Duel Better

JDC won over the judges with powerful storytelling. (Jordan Althaus/NBC)

We were a tad trepidatious going into the second round of Duels on NBC's "World of Dance." Last week's Upper Division showdown saw all four of the highest-scoring teams from the Qualifiers eliminated. (Derek Piquette, 😭😭😭!) Were some of our Junior faves about to face the chopping block, too? Would one of them find salvation during the last-minute redemption round? We weren't sure our stomachs, or hearts, were ready for another roller-coaster ride.

But here we are, hearts and stomachs relatively intact, on the other side. Who survived the twists and turns? Read on for our episode highlights.


First up was VPeepz vs. Battle Droids, a baby b-boy brawl. We honestly didn't know which way the judges were going to go here, given how similar the crews' movement styles and even costume choices were (sports team-inspired looks are apparently very hot right now). But ultimately, VPeepz's stronger transitions gave them the edge.

Speaking of evenly matched acts: Dancetown Divas and JDC received the exact same score in the Qualifiers round—and their Duel was the highest-scoring of all last night. We were v into JDC's intense paso doble vibe. While the Divas edged them out by a point with their powerful storytelling, nobody was surprised when we discovered JDC had earned a spot in the redemption round.

The Crazy 8's vs. West Springfield Dance face-off was on the other end of the spectrum: The former earned the highest score in the Qualifiers, the latter the lowest. So the 8's victory last night—thanks to yet another super-clean, fantastically technical routine—was far from shocking. But bonus points (figuratively speaking, at least) to West Springfield for creativity. We were genuinely terrified/fascinated by their "Twilight Zone"-themed hip-hop horror show. (Was anybody else reminded of this little "SYTYCD" gem?)

In the redemption round, we had the aforementioned Dancetown Divas vs. hip-hop crew MKAM. The Divas' Latin flair earned a standing O from J.Lo, and though MKAM pulled out some impressively intricate choreo, its boys couldn't best the ladies from Miami.

Dance on TV
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)

Congratulations to Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers by clicking on their names here:

Read Darriel's profile here

Read Diego's profile here

Read Emma's profile here

And then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.

We also want you to get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.

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Photo by Erin Baiano

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