‘The World’s Best’ Recap: How Did the Second Week of Battles Shake Out?
Last week we saw the first set of face-offs between the acts, and we got to see some more battles in this episode! Let’s take a look at who moved on to the next round.
Group Variety Battle #1: Los Vivancos (Spain) vs. Kukkiwon (South Korea)
First up tonight were the Guinness World Record holders for “Fastest Flamenco Footwork”! They started out by playing various musical instruments, then jumped on the floor for some of their signature dance stylings, and finished off by bringing out a set to perform on, including tables and a turning platform! Drew was blown away by the choreography, and ballerina Ida from he Wall of the World wanted to get up and join the group onstage!
Kukkiwon followed with another routine of rapidfire board-breaking, but this time it was cranked up to a whole new level! They had Faith out of her seat cheering the whole time, and Drew coined the group as “Bruce Li meets Fred Astaire”! High praise indeed. Faith expressed a desire to learn how to do those kind of tricks, so they brought her down to teach her some moves!
Los Vivancos’s Scores
Judges’ Average: 42
Total Score: 59
Judges’ Average: 50
Total Score: 83
Advancing to the Category Championship Round: Kukkiwon
This battle was a fun, high-energy way to start off the episode, and while both acts were great I think the judges and experts made the right decision to send Kukkiwon to the next round. We just don’t see that kind of act on talent shows, and they make it so exciting to watch!
Solo Variety Battle #3: Space Cowboy (Australia) vs. Nina Conti(Great Britain)
Space Cowboy is back as a wildcard! There was an open spot and the judges were able to bring back a solo variety act eliminated back in auditions, so they decided to choose Space Cowboy after deciding they may have let their weak stomachs influence their decision.
He starts off the battle by pulling off some scary-looking electricity tricks – fulfilling his promise to deliver “something different” – but does throw in a sword trick later on. Expert Del said it was difficult to watch while simultaneously being absolutely engrossing.
Nina countered with a fun ventriloquism set with her “alter ego”, a small monkey puppet who “played” guitar, “hypnotized” Nina, and sang a little song. Drew complimented Nina on creating an act to appeal to all ages.
Nina Conti’s Scores
Judges’ Average: 42
Total Score: 81
Space Cowboy’s Scores
Judges’ Average: 34
Total Score: 44
Advancing to the Category Championship Round: Nina Conti
Given how low the scores for Space Cowboy were, it’s obvious the judges’ reasons for bringing them back were little more than lip-service. If these shows are going to continue to have these kinds of danger acts, they NEED to have judges who have a high enough tolerance for the genre to evaluate them based on merit and not how scared or grossed out they are by them.
Group Music Battle #1: Willam Close (United States) vs. Naturally 7 (United States)
William and his Earth Harp Collective were up first and once again turned the studio into the Earth harp. He played a piece that showcased both he slow and fast sides of his abilities, and RuPaul loved the mixing of musical styles.
Naturally 7 performed a fun, upbeat, a capella rendition of “In the Air Tonight”. It was a stark departure from the original by Phil Collins, but it still worked and that’s what made it stand out! RuPaul said it had “everything he [wanted] to see in an act” which pretty much says it all.
William Close’s Scores
Judges’ Average: 42
Total Score: 40
Naturally 7’s Scores
Judges’ Average: 46
Total Score: 95
Advancing to the Category Championship Round: Naturally 7
Group Variety Battle #2: Duo Suining (China) vs. Dundu (Germany)
Duo Suining was up first and they performed a routine of various balancing tricks atop a platform, the most impressive of which entailed the two going head-to-head…literally! RuPaul said he felt “honored to have witnessed” it and casting director Zora praised the obvious connection between the two of them.
Dundu followed it up with a continuation of their audition performance. In that one, the character was “born” and in this one he met and fell in love with a fellow “giant of light” puppet! Faith said she missed the “quietness” of the first performance, but looked forward to seeing more. Drew would have liked to see the story fleshed out more, but expert Caroline called it “magical”.
Duo Suining’s Scores
Judges’ Average: 38
Total Score: 51
Judges’ Average: 41
Total Score: 78
Advancing to the Category Championship Round: Dundu
Both acts gave excellent performances, but Dundu seemed to have more left to showcase in the future, so I can’t complain about the result.
Group Music Battle #2: Emotional Line (South Korea) vs. TNT Boys (Philippines)
We have our second wildcard act of the night! Emotional Line returned, and they really stepped up their game! They danced as though they were the physical embodiment of a symphony. Hok said they improved from their audition performance, and Faith told them “what you’re doing is art”.
The TNT Boys then performed a rousing rendition of “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going”. Faith complimented their confidence and called them “superstars” while vocal coach Zoë claimed the “TNT” in their name should stand for “Totally Natural Talent”.
TNT Boys’ Scores
Judges’ Average: 50
Total Score: 97
Emotional Line’s Scores
Judges’ Average: 40
Total Score: 43
Advancing to the Category Championship Round: TNT Boys
The TNT Boys had the crowd cheering for pretty much their entire performance, so their advancement came as no surprise.
Next week we’ll see the final performances of the battle round!
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