They’ve made the cut!
Duncan’s Carlow Rush and Nanaimo’s Jacksun Fryer, AKA Funkanometry, are past the “duels” stage of NBC’s World of Dance.
They defeated Kayla Mak, of Brooklyn, NY, in an astonishing face-off that saw the hip hop duo fighting for survival against a ballerina.
The stage has become a real battleground during the last two weeks as the junior level performers have duelled for places in the next stage, presenting all kinds of exciting performances.
“You’ve got to get into that duel mentality,” judge and show producer Jennifer Lopez warned all the competitors before the evening got underway.
Cowichan Valley fans didn’t have to wait long to see their team, either: Rush and Fryer were in the second duel of the night.
Dancing to Problem’s ‘Betta Watch Yo Self’, Funkanometry had the crowd and the judges with them right from the start.
Rush is about 10 inches taller than Fryer although he’s only one year older. They can both be easily seen, even when Fryer is standing in front, and the duo is not afraid to take advantage of this sometimes comic difference in height.
Actually, Funkanometry is one of the few acts to bring some comedy into their dance. They are funny as well as fun to watch: something that is not easy to achieve.
When they finished their routine, which had included a comic “lift” to tease their opponent, and finished with them waving pink ballet shoes at the judges, it was clear they had really stepped up from their first outing on Feb. 26.
The judges thought so, too. Ne-Yo scored them at 92, J-Lo at 91, and Derek Hough at 92, giving them an overall score of 91.7.
Kayla Mak, who had come to the stage in “battle ballet” mode, was only able to reach a score of 91.0.
“It was close; it was scary,” Rush said after the dance, and Jacksun agreed, adding that Mak was a super dancer who “should go to Redemption [the last dance-off each evening that sees the two best-of-the-rest try for one last time to get a toe in the door].”
And Mak did make it, so she’ll be back as well on a future show.
Funkanometry is, according to Hough, “a really unique group. You guys don’t get lost in the pack.”
It’s been a fun week for Funkanometry. They appeared on King5 TV’s New Day Northwest morning show in Seattle to talk about their first appearance on World of Dance, but, of course, were not able to spill the beans about how their duel would turn out.
With a Facebook following alone of 3.1 million, and occupying the blockbuster 8-10 p.m. Sunday night spot on NBC, World of Dance is an enormously popular program, with watchers and followers all over the world.
It doesn’t hurt that the winner takes home $1 million, either. The tension on- an off-stage is thick enough to cut with a knife, but it’s clear that the junior competitors, at least, have a great respect and affection for each other as they try to make their mark in a world of dance.