Press release from NBC, Nov. 29, 2016:
World renown dancer and two-time Emmy Award winner Derek Hough, who is set to co-star in the Dec. 7 production of “Hairspray Live!,” and NE-YO, an incredibly accomplished dancer, Grammy Award-winning singer, composer, producer and actor who drew raves as the Tin Man in last year’s “The Wiz Live!,” have been added as judges on NBC’s new dance competition series “World of Dance.”
Hough and NE-YO join Jennifer Lopez at the judges’ table for upcoming the 10-episode series from Universal Television Alternative Studio and Nuyorican Productions that will give dancers the platform to showcase their talents and the opportunity to receive a life-altering grand prize of $1 million.
“Jennifer, Derek and NE-YO are three of the most accomplished dancers of their generation, and their incredible insight from the judges’ table will be both inspiring and wholly constructive to the world-class level of dancers who are competing on the show,” said Meredith Ahr, President, Universal Television Alternative Studio. “We feel so very honored that the three of them are giving back to the dance community in this way.”
In partnership with preeminent global dance brand World of Dance, the series brings the world’s elite dancers together to compete in epic battles of artistry, precision and athleticism. Solo dancers will compete against duos and crews in an unlimited range of dance, including hip-hop, krumping, popping, locking, tap, ballet, break dancing, ballroom, stomping and more.
Handpicked from qualifying events around the nation and thousands of online submissions, competitors are divided into three divisions: Junior (any size act under 16 years old), Upper (groups of 1- 4, over 16 years) and Team (groups of 5+, over 16 years). After an initial audition round, divisions face off in duels, until only one of each is left standing. A panel of experts score the acts using a precise point system developed by World of Dance, using the following criteria: Routine, Execution, Presentation, and Crowd Appeal. The epic finale sees the winners from each division duke it out for $1 million and the title “Best in the World.”
For dancers interested in competing on “World of Dance,” please register atwww.worldofdancecasting.com.
Derek Hough, who is set to co-star in NBC’s Dec. 7production of “Hairspray Live!,” is a two-time Emmy Award winner, eight-time nominee for best choreography and New York Times bestselling author in addition to being the only six-time champion in franchise history of the hit ABC show “Dancing With the Stars.”
With celebrity partners on “Dancing With the Stars” that have included Brooke Burke, Nicole Scherzinger, Jennifer Grey, Kellie Pickler, Amber Riley, and Bindi Irwin, Hough is best known for his innovation and daring choreography. Hough is the winningest professional dancer with six Mirror Ball trophies. His work has brought him Emmy nominations and inquiries from the film and music world regarding his dance knowledge and ability.
He made his feature-film debut for director Duane Adler and producer Robert Cort in “Make Your Move” and had a recurring role on the ABC series “Nashville.” His stage performances include Radio City Music Hall’s “Spring Spectacular,” co-starring alongside the Tony Award-winning Laura Benanti, and the critically acclaimed production of “Footloose,” which he starred as the male lead in London’s West End. Hough will take the stage again in 2017 when he stars in the role Gene Kelly made famous in the Harvey Weinstein production of “Singin’ in the Rain” on Broadway.
Hough can also add author to his growing list of credits. His memoir, “Taking the Lead: “Lessons From a Life in Motion,” hit stands in 2014 and made the prestigious New York Times bestseller list during two non-consecutive time periods. That same year Hough and his sister, Julianne, teamed for a stage dance concert “MOVE Live on Tour,” performing in 50 cities around the country. In 2015 they toured again and sold out scores of venues on their 47-city outing.
NE-YO has three #1 albums, more than 10 million albums sold worldwide and three Grammy Awards. He has also written and produced chart-topping hits for Rihanna, Beyoncé, Jennifer Hudson, Usher, Carrie Underwood, Celine Dion and many more. His 2015 album, “Non-Fiction,” hit the R&B charts at #1 and reached #5 on the Billboard Top 200, making Ne-Yo the second male R&B artist to have six consecutive top 10 albums.
NE-YO’s breakout, platinum single “So Sick” first set the tone for his impending success, which was continued by his first solo album “In My Own Words” (2006) that debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200. Ne-Yo continued his streak of making hit after hit with his following albums: “Because of You” (2007), “Year of the Gentleman” (2008), “Libra Scale” (2010) and “R.E.D.” (2012).
In addition to music, NE-YO’s career in film includes credits in “Save the Last Dance,” “Battle: L.A.,” “Stomp the Yard” and George Lucas’ “Red Tails.” On the TV front, Ne-Yo was featured in and received raves for his performance in NBC’s “The Wiz Live!” He was also a cast member of Fox’s “Empire.”
As a philanthropist, in 2007 NE-YO founded the Compound Foundation, which is aimed at helping disadvantaged foster-care children learn life-skills.
World of Dance is among the most trusted and fastest growing dance and music entertainment brands, combining a successful digital platform of more than 8 million subscribers with the world’s largest international urban dance competition. What began in 2008 as a single event is now a continent-spanning, tour de force of human spirit and sick dance moves. The World of Dance Tour attracts YouTube stars, industry icons and tens of thousands of fans to events in more than 25 countries, spanning the U.S., Europe, South America, and Asia. The inspiring performance videos captured from these events drive 30 million monthly views online, making World of Dance the largest dance entertainment channel on YouTube. No language barriers. No animosity. Just pure, awe-inspiring movement.
Jennifer Lopez, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas & Benny Medina will executive produce for Nuyorican Productions. Also executive producing are Kris Curry, Matilda Zoltowski, David Gonzalez, Matthew Everitt and Al Hassas. The series will be produced by Universal Television Alternative Studio in association with Nuyorican Productions and World of Dance.