‘World Of Dance’s Derek Hough & Ne-Yo Reveal Why Season 3’s ‘Harder’ Than Ever & More

‘World of Dance’ is FINALLY back! HL spoke EXCLUSIVELY with judges Derek Hough and Ne-Yo about the big ‘changes’ ahead, including the Redemption Round. Plus, they revealed how the show is raising the stakes.

World of Dance is taking the competition to a whole new level in season 3. Derek Hough, 33, and Ne-Yo, 39, who judge the show alongside Jennifer Lopez, 49, talked with HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY at the NBC Mid-Season press junket in New York City about what to expect. “One of the main changes is that in the previous seasons you needed an 80 or above to get past the qualifier round. Now you need an 85,” Ne-Yo revealed. Derek added, “It doesn’t seem like a lot, but it’s a big jump.”

The other major change is the Redemption Round, which is new to season 3. “The Redemption Round is one of the most exciting format changes for us,” Derek explained. “In the past, we’ve lost some really, really great acts. In the duels, we might have had two acts competing against each other and one has to go home, and now we are able to save somebody. They go head-to-head in a straight-up battle. What’s so exciting about that is it’s like a do-or-die mentality that just brings out the most dramatic, the most exciting moments in the show. It’s very exciting.”

Like in previous seasons, World of Dance season 3 will feature returning contestants who want a second chance to win the $1 million grand prize. Derek admitted that some of the returning contestants started out as soloists or were part of a duo, but come back with a new group! “They’re coming prepared. They’re coming ready. They’re coming with all their weapons, and it just makes it feel like a competition,” Derek said. Ne-Yo stressed that the contestants “know that if they’re going to make it here, they’re going to have to be above the top of their game because these dancers are the best of the best in the world.”

Over the course of the past 3 seasons, World of Dance has featured some incredible dancers and breath-taking routines. Dance is constantly evolving, and Derek has noticed. “They’re not just contemporary dancers, they’re multi-faceted,” he told HollywoodLife. “They can do so many different styles, and they can mold them together to become these hybrids. For me, I feel like I’ve seen so much, and it’s amazing when you’ve seen something that you’ve never seen before. It’s just a tribute to their work ethic, their training, and their desire to be the best. It’s incredible to see.” World of Dance will premiere Feb. 26 at 9 p.m. and then shift to Sundays at 8 p.m. on NBC.

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