The World’s Best returned this evening for a jam-packed night of entertainment, so let’s recap all the awesome acts we got to see this week!
When we last saw British escape artist Matt at the end of the premiere, he had gone over his 90-second limit in the tank of water, and we were left waiting with bated breath to see if he would make it out alive. Well, he did, and while the judges and experts were impressed, many had conflicting feelings on his act. Drew told Matt “I am not looking forward to seeing that again, but I am looking forward to seeing YOU again.”
Average: 45 (rounded up)
Matt moved on with that score, but expert Essaï Altounian said his performance lacked artistry, to which Matt replied he would work on that for next time.
The seven-piece American a capella group performed an original song called “Wall of Sound”. They received a standing ovation from a majority of the experts, and RuPaul called their performance “most stylish act we’ve had in this competition”. Drew said it was “head and shoulders” above anything else she’d seen, and Kate called them “a bag of freshly baked hot chocolate chip cookies”.
Naturally 7 became the next act to make it to round 2!
Dundu Giants of Light
This blacklight puppeteering act from Germany told the story of a boy and his sense of imagination. The entire act was beautiful but the high points were when the boy puppets interacted with Drew, first at the judges’ table, and then by inviting her up onstage towards the end of the performance when the character had “grown up” and become a whole lot bigger than at the beginning!
This act had Faith in tears. She said “It was performance art with soul and with heart and with profound importance,” while RuPaul complimented the puppeteers’ ability to infuse inanimate objects with a sense of humanity. When it came time to vote, Ariadna Gutiérrez said any expert who didn’t give a point had “no heart”.
It turned out Sisco Gomez was the only “heartless” person on the wall, with both James and Drew heading right up to his section to demand an explanation. James then led a wall and audience chant of “Shame! Shame! Shame! Shame!” when he was unsatisfied with Sisco’s reasoning.
Iya is a Guinean soccer (or football, if you prefer) sensation who holds three Guiness World Records! His routine consisted of a bunch of neat tricks with a ball including balancing in on a pin atop his knee with it spun on the spot, removing his shirt while keeping the ball on his back, and holding the ball between his foot and ankle while spinning his leg around.
Naturally, there were a lot of dirty jokes uttered during the judging process, but Faith did thank him for sharing his talent and expert Del Mak congratulated and complimented him on the difficulty of what he was doing.
Iya was eliminated, but before he left the stage Shado Twila encouraged him to not lose hope.
Sister Cristina Scuccia
Sister Cristina is an Italian nun with a passion for singing! She’s been in the convent for ten years and all of her sisters have been supportive of her gift. The Mother Superior was even there to cheer her on as she sung Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”! (She sung the song in English, even though Italian is her mother tongue.)
I think RuPaul put it best when he said “Forgive me, Father, for I have rocked!” And Faith commented that performances like Cristina’s would bring a lot more people into church.
The experts were more mixed on this act. Paulina Aguirre thought it was reminiscent of karaoke, but Chantal Janzen praised the performance.
Sister Cristina advanced past the auditions!
Justin is an American magician who told us his act was “ten years in the making”. He called it the “card hit wonder” and the performance consisted of him putting down cards that matched the song lyrics that were playing. (This is one you have to see to understand the skill it took!)
Drew loved it and said “What you just did is so compelling and I just want to see so much more from you”, Faith called it “creative and genius”, and magician Stuart MaCleod: called Justin’s sleight-of-hand “first class”.
Average: 49 (rounded up)
Justin tied Naturally 7 for highest total of the night thus far and moved forward!
These two came all the way from China to sow off their balancing skills, with the bulk of the act consisting of balancing on a block tower and hopping down and back up “stairs” with one hand. (This is another one that needs to be seen to be appreciated!)
Faith wondered how they developed that level of core strength, while Drew remarked that they made one of the most impossible feats ever look easy.
Duo Suining became the next act to move on!
Lydian is a young pianist from India with a dream to trvael to outer space and play “Moonlight Sonata on the moon! For his audition, he played “Flight of the Bumblebee” at normal speed, then faster, then a full 325 beats per minute, AKA double the speed it is traditionally played!
RuPaul deemed Lydian “Mr. Showmanship” and Drew called it “unique”, but Faith and Gia Noortas wanted to see more focus on other elements of musicianship like technique and soul rather than just rhythm.
Average: 41 (rounded down)
Next we saw a montage of several different acts. Switzerland’s Kai and Alexandra (AKA “The Upside-Down Clowns”) delivered a comedy routine while standing upside down on the ceiling, but only got a total of 69 and were therefore eliminated. Krystyna and Princess came from Great Britain and Princess the dog hypnotized the judges, but they only received a 41 for reasons unknown (this one looked like it may have been fun to watch, even if the judges and experts weren’t that into it). Jordan McKnight, an American contortionist, did what looked to be a pretty impressive routine and received a score of 91, allowing her to advance to the second round!
Jade is an American high-wire firewalker who comes from a circus-performer family. He performed a balancing act on a fire-lit tightrope. Stuntwoman Petra Sprecher said it “warmed her heart” and was “next-level” but Drew didn’t think it was right for The World’s Best.
It was close, but Jade was ultimately sent packing.
Dimash hails from Kazakhstan, where he’s a pretty big deal as a singer. His vocal range cover SIX OCTAVES, so it’s easy to see why he gets so much hype back home. He certainly showcased those pipes tonight, and you know you’re a big deal with there’s a flaming piano in the background of your act!
Fellow Kazakhstanian Gia said Dimash made her proud of her country, and RuPaul told him “You are the reason World’s Best was created,” which pretty much says it all.
With the highest score of the night (and the first 50 judges’ average of the season!) Dimash advanced. (And, of course, James led another round of the “shame” chant for the two experts who declined to give him their vote.)
Who were your favorite acts on The World’s Best this week? Let us know in the comments below!