Hip hop dancers Carlow Rush and Jacksun Fryer charmed the judges and the audience in their first appearance on NBC’s World of Dance Feb. 26.
They call themselves Funkanometry and performed to Cameo’s ‘Shake Your Pants’.
Because Rush is from Duncan, there were plenty of Valley folks watching: family, school pals, friends from dance school, fans who had seen Rush at the Cowichan Music Festival or Duncan Has Talent.
And there were others who just like to see young local talent get ahead, plus, of course, fans of the exciting program itself.
It was the huge premiere of the third season of the popular show.
No one had to wait long for them, though.
They were the third act to appear as World of Dance kicked off its third season Tuesday, following The Kings, an amazing act from Mumbai, India and Erica and Aidan, a duo from Los Angeles.
This year, NBC has raised the bar on what level of talent makes it through to the next round: a score of 85 per cent is needed. The Kings were voted through to the next round by the judges, Jennifer Lopez, Ne-Yo, and Derek Hough, but the duo was not, and words like “fumbling” and “lack of chemistry” were used to describe them.
So, there was a bit of tension in the air when Funkanometry — the first Junior level competitors of the evening — came onto the big stage.
No one needed to worry though.
Lively, stylish, and funny, the two dancers charmed the judges, particularly when they discovered that, although there seems to be a foot difference in height between the two of them, there’s only a year’s difference in age. Fryer is 15, Rush, 16.
“You guys are characters,” said Hough. “Honestly, that really helps.”
“You gave us comedy, you gave us really good dancing. You killed that routine.”
Hough called the dancing, “refreshing, and funny, just what this stage needs.”
Ne-Yo said the dancing was “entertaining, fun” but when he added, “I’m not totally sure how competitive it is because of the simplicity of it” he got boos and howls from the audience and the other judges.
Then he redeemed himself.
“However,” he said, “the fact that you guys danced it so well, it didn’t matter that the difficulty wasn’t there. Great job!”
Then, as the judges locked in their scores, Rush said, “J.Lo, we just want you to know we think you are really beautiful.”
Scores of 87 from Lopez and Hough, and 88 from Ne-Yo meant that Funkanometry’s composite score was 87.3. The guys, the crowd in the studio, and, of course, the watching fans at home, were all thrilled.