The couple stuns Derek by revealing their actually named their son after him -- plus, see the nine-year-old jazz dancer who blew the judges away as Season 4 kicks off!
For its fourth season, "World of Dance" dramatically simplified the Qualifiers round, while at the same time throwing the dancers for an absolute loop seconds before they hit the stage.
That's because it wasn't a stage in the sense they were used to. Instead, they thought they were performing in a final producers' audition inside a warehouse (without an audience) only to find that this was actually their shot in front of the judges.
While that was scary, the criteria to advance is so much simpler this season. In prior seasons, the judges scored them in points from 1 to 20 across five categories for a possible total of 100 points. It was thorough and complex, but mostly resulted in accurate advancements.
This time, they threw all that out and followed the path of most other reality shows by going with a simple yes/no vote. If you get two yeses, you advance. That's it. Impress the judges so they say yes and you're through.
Sometimes, the judges might not be totally sold, in which case the dancers could find themselves with a "callback" vote instead of a yes or no, meaning the judges want to give them a second chance to perform and advance to the Duels.
There are more changes along the way, but we can save those for when we get there. For now, the dancers still compete in four categories (Junior, Upper, Junior Team, Upper Team) and they're still bringing incredible moves to the floor.
As for me, I spent nearly a decade of my life sweating and bleeding to the music as a dancer, all for this moment: armchair judging a dance competition. From a young boy learning a shuffle-ball-change to performing with the St. Louis Ballet Company, I experienced the ups and downs of one of the most difficult, physically demanding sports on the planet. In other words, I've got this. I think.
Fair warning, since I'm safe at home, I'm probably going to be a little harsher than my colleagues Ne-Yo, Jennifer Lopez, and Derek Hough. But I might be nicer, too. Maybe.
And just for fun, I'm gonna rank them from worst to first because who doesn't love lists (and to see if the judges are getting this right)?
(Upper Team - hip-hop) These guys were a lot of fun to watch, though we'd have to rank the choreography itself way above the execution. There was a frenetic energy to the routine that was infectious, but it was plagued with synchronicity issues throughout. This is the kind of number that might be a hit in the club or on the street, but in a competition, they really need to tighten it up, hit their holds sharper and move more like a singular unit.
Results: N, N, N
(Junior Team - hip-hop) These kids hit hard with everything they did and they were giving face from start to finish. We would have liked a little more complexity in their choreography, and maybe some more fun pictures like that opening one. The closing pose was fun, too, but it was a lot of (admittedly slick) moving around without enough wow moments to really keep us on the edge of their seat. The talent is there, they just need to push themselves harder.
Results: C, Y, C
(Junior - jazz) This little pixie brought it all to bear, but it was unfortunately just a very, very, very, very good dance recital performance. Her smile was plastered on from start to finish, and she didn't really tell a story. But the foundation for an amazing dancer is being built right now in her tiny body. Her flexibility is through the roof and the choreography was complex and demanded strength and precision. It was almost more acrobatic than jazz, and we don't think she's up to the caliber of this show yet, but we wouldn't mind her advancing to boost her confidence and see what she can do..
(Upper - salsa) Look, these lifts were incredible and jaw-dropping every single time. We probably stopped breathing half-dozen times. But we still need to see more quality salsa footwork between those big moments. Adrianita appeared to be pulling her weight more, but Jefferson was a little flat-footed and heavy from time to time. At one point, he even telegraphed the setup for a lift, which brought the energy to a screeching halt. That said, they are incredibly gifted, and those lifts are enough alone for us to want them to advance and see if they can clean the rest up. They did inspire a dance battle where they split up and partnered with Jennifer and Derek, which was one of the cutest moments we've seen yet. It's great seeing the judges loosen up like this. It probably helped learning that this couple named their child after Derek ... for real!
Results: Y, Y, Y
Bailey & Kida
(Junior - hip-hop) This duo came with stank for days and just gave it to us non-stop all the way through a surprise second ending. We loved their commitment to character and just how much swag they had. There was so much groove in their movements, they were cool on top of cool. And the way they used one another creatively to echo the rhythm back and forth was so fresh and on point. Even though they're new together, to be where they're at now is really impressive and with that talent, it can only get tighter and more in sync. Honestly, we just keep going back to the word cool, because these two are definitely cooler than we ever were!
Results: Y, Y, Y
Jake & Chau
(Upper - contemporary) What a beautifully choreographed story presented with some absolutely stunning body work. The way they used one another's body to create lifts and flowing movements was so creative. Add in the use of Jake's shirt as a prop for the second half and they're already performing at the next level. Chau perhaps relies a little too heavily on that leg lift (a common dance problem with contemporary women), but the grace of her movements is like pure liquid. We could not take our eyes off of any movement.
Results: Y, Y, Y
"World of Dance" continues every Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.