‘The World’s Best’ Episode 4 Recap: Who Won the First 5 Battle Rounds?
This week’s episode of The World’s Best saw the start of the battle rounds. The acts have been split into four categories: Solo Music, Solo Variety, Group Music, and Group Variety, and each will take on another from within their category.
Solo Variety Battle #1: Justin Flom (United States) vs. Jordan McKnight (United States)
Right off the bat, we have a strange match-up. Justin is a magician, while Jordan is a contortionist. Both scored very high in the first round, respectively earning a 95 and a 91.
Justin went up first and did a fun card trick with drew, then showed his range beyond card magic with a string trick. Both of these tricks are common, but both also tend to be crowd pleasers, and the judges were all impressed with Justin’s skills.
Jordan did a contortion routine to the song “Like a River”. Drew was pleased to see the element of musicality introduced into this performance, and the other judges also loved it.
Judges’ Average: 45
Total Score: 80
Judges’ Average: 42
Total Score: 53
Advancing to the Category Championship Round: Jordan
Despite strong showings from both performers, this result wasn’t surprising in the slightest considering Jordan’s initial performance got relegated to being part of a montage.
Solo Music Battle #2: Lydian Nadhaswaram (India) vs. Enkh Erdene (Mongolia)
This was another odd face-off, pitting classical vs. country against each other. Lyndian kicked things off by playing a short piece on the piano, then played another piece…this time, blindfolded! After the judges praised his performance, Lyndian went back to the piano to play the E.T. theme just for Drew, having just learned the piece the day prior!
Enkh, AKA “The Mongolian Cowboy” performed another country song, and Ru deemed him a “superstar” afterwards. Faith felt he wasn’t being entirely authentic in his performances, and needed to find the soul of the songs and communicate them to the audience.
Judges’ Average: 43
Total Score: 74
Judges’ Average: 45
Total Score: 64
Advancing to the Category Championship Round: Lydian
This actually turned out to be a pretty good match-up because both performers had the same weakness of having the surprise factor going for them but also a certain lack of soul and emotion in their music. What Lydian had over Enkh was having more range in his abilities, so in the end his victory was justified.
Solo Variety Battle #2: Matt Johnson (United Kingdom) vs. Li Wei (China)
Finally, a face-off that made some sense! Matt is an escape artist, while Li performs high-wire stunts, so there is an element of suspense and danger to both acts.
Matt went first and did the classic “escape from a straightjacket while hanging from a burning rope” trick. It’s been done a lot, but it’s a crowd-pleaser (and impressed the judges as well) and he managed to complete the trick before the deadline this time!
Li countered with some seriously impressive wire-balancing, then a unicyle was brought out for him to ride while still on the high-wire! The judges were in awe of his abilities.
Judges’ Average: 34
Total Score: 51
Judges’ Average: 40
Total Score: 73
Advancing to the Category Championship Round: Li
This one could have reasonably gone either way, but it really does seem like a lot of them deliberately chose the “less scary” option, which is, sadly, not an issue unique to this show.
Solo Music Battle #2: Manami Ito (Japan) vs. Daneliya Tuleshova (Kazakhstan)
Manami performed music from the movie “Spirited Away” on the violin with her mechanical arm. “Your grace is unparalleled,” Drew told her. Ru called her an “alchemist” because of her ability to turn tragedy into something mesmerizing.
Daneliya sang “Stone Cold”, originally released by Demi Lovato. The judges were blown away by her powerhouse voice.
Judges’ Average: 37
Total Score: 60
Judges’ Average: 44
Total Score: 71
Advancing to the Category Championship Round: Daneliya
This match-up was sort of the opposite of Lydian vs. Enkh, since they had strong technique with less soul and these two had tons of soul but their technique wasn’t at as high of a level. Daneliya was a little closer to being the “full package”, though, so it made sense for her to be the winner.
Solo Music Battle #3: Sister Cristina (Italy) vs. Dimash (Kazakhstan)
Sister Cristina started off the final battle of the evening with a slow, soulful rendition of the Madonna classic “Like a Virgin”. The performance got great feedback from the judges, with Ru commenting on how Cristina created a modern church experience for the audience.
Dimash countered with a performance of “All By Myself”. He started out slow and soft, but went full-out when he reached the chorus. The judges enjoyed the performance, but Faith did comment how she wanted less of a “show” and more raw emotion from him.
Judges’ Average: 35
Total Score: 39
Judges’ Average: 48
Total Score: 94
Advancing to the Category Championship Round: Dimash
While what Faith said about Dimash displaying more style than substance at the moment is true, it was very clear his vocal ability was the stronger of the two.
Let us know in the comments who you think should have won each of this week’s battles, and we’ll see you next week for more!