Dance competition shows have become extremely popular over the last couple years. So when NBC premiered the show World of Dance in 2017, it didn’t take long for it to catch on. Unlike other dancing shows, World of Dance features handpicked dancers from a wide variety of genres. People can complete individually or with groups. The show also features a panel of celebrity judges made up of Jennifer Lopez, Ne-Yo and Derek Hough. If you love to watch people dance, there’s no doubt that you’ll find the show entertaining. However, if you love to watch people compete, you may have some questions. Some viewers believe that the judges are biased and the competition is rigged. But is this actually the case? Keep reading to to find out.
How World of Dance Works
The competitors on World of Dance are broken into four groups based on age: junior (groups of 1-4, age 18 and under, Upper (groups of 1-4, age 18 and older), Junior Team (groups of 5+, age 18 and under), and Upper Team (groups of 5+, age 18 and older). According to Cinema Blend, “The dancers who absolutely blow the minds of the judges right off the bat are sent straight from the Qualifiers to the Duels, but sometimes the judges see dancers who seem almost-but-not-quite great enough to duel their way toward the top prize.” Season four of the show introduced a new callback round. This callback allows judges to bring back the dancer(s) they were on the fence about for another chance.
After The Duels, each group moves to The Cut and is given a mentor who helps prepare them for the Division Finals. The top scoring competitor in each group of the Division Finals moves on to the World Final.
The competitors are scored in the following five categories: performance, technique, choreography, creativity, and presentation. Each category is worth 20 points and the goal is to get as close to 100 points as possible. The lucky winner(s) get to take home a grand prize of $1 million.
Are The Judges Biased?
Picking the perfect panel of judges is never an easy thing to do. This is true regardless of the type of competition. However, it’s especially hard for a competition show when much of the judgement is based solely on opinion. Things are even more complicated on World of Dance because the judges are expected to evaluate all sorts of difference dance styles.
With that being said, one of the main things that many viewers have pointed out is that the judges on the show seem to be partial towards hip-hop dance. This would make sense since two out of the three judges (J. Lo and Ne-Yo) have incorporated hip-hop dancing throughout the entire careers.
Despite the fact that all three of the judges have had successful careers in the world of dancing, some viewers still suggest that the show could benefit from some ‘better’ judges. One viewer said, “They call it the “Olympics of Dance” – so let it be judged that way. Like the Olympics, have a well-rounded panel of experienced judges with different areas of expertise, that don’t talk to the contestants or each other while scoring.”
Another added, “Of course it’s hard to develop a fair judging system for something that’s inherently subjective – but it would’ve helped to have more transparency about the scores. Instead of just a final number, the contestants and audience should know the breakdown of that score, and what the criteria for those categories are.”
Although each of these people made some interesting points, the reality is that there’s no way to please everyone. This is especially on a show like this. All three of the judges have experience working in the professional dance world, and they all have strong track records.
Is The Show Rigged?
Unfortunately, we’ll probably never know for sure if the show is rigged or not. The network nor the producers would ever admit to that, and contestants likely to have to sign some sort of NDA. However, there are no signs indicating that winners are picked before hand or that judges are choosing winners unfairly. While the show many not technically be rigged in terms of who actually wins, it could be argued that it’s rigged in terms of who gets to compete. Although many people who appeared on the show were cast because they auditioned, some were reached out to directly. This means that, in theory, the audition could be absolutely meaningless.
Either way, World of Dance doesn’t seem to be any more rigged than any other reality competition show. At the end of the day, the show is meant to give dancers a large platform and keep viewers entertained. And it accomplishes both of those things.