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Spoilers ahead for the June 16 episode of World of Dance Season 4 on NBC.
World of Dance has whirled and twirled its way through the Qualifiers round of competition, and enough time has passed in Season 4 to make it clear that this is a show fit for fans of another NBC series. Fans of Songland who spent the last ten weeks watching superstar singers choose the best of the best songwriters should definitely check out World of Dance now that it's heading into the Callbacks round. Here's why.
Admittedly, World of Dance and Songland are far from interchangeable when it comes to the premises. They're fundamentally very different, as one focuses on dance and movement while the other focuses on music and writing. That said, the formats of the shows combined with how they search for talent lead me to believe that folks who love Songland and can appreciate movement will find something to love in World of Dance.
World of Dance is presided over by a panel of three judges from different backgrounds bringing varying degrees of fame to the show. Jennifer Lopez, Ne-Yo, and Derek Hough decide which dancers get to continue their journeys on the small screen, and their banter on the side tends to be more amusing exchanges rather than scripted sketches like are often found on shows like American Idol and The Voice. Like the three producers on Songland who help the stars find their ideal songs, these World of Dance judges are professionals in their field who take their jobs seriously.
The judges don't steal the spotlight, and they give constructive criticism to everybody. They also don't take it easy on the younger acts just because they're young and cute, either, which is a criticism that America's Got Talent (which actually airs directly before World of Dance on NBC) faces from viewers sometimes. Songland obviously doesn't feature kid songwriters pitching to Usher or Ben Platt or Bebe Rexha to create their next hit, but the same elements of constructive criticism and unbiased judgment apply.
The winners of World of Dance are also determined by the dance experts rather than left in the hands of audience voters or viewers from home. While audience votes like on The Masked Singer are good indicators of what performers convey on stage that might be lost on the TV screen, and viewers voting for home like on American Idol, The Voice, and America's Got Talent make for an interactive TV experience, the experts choosing winners on World of Dance and Songland mean that the winners take the top prize for their talents rather than likability or spectacle.
Let's just say that World of Dance with Jennifer Lopez, Ne-Yo, and Derek Hough probably won't run into a situation like The Masked Singer with The Frog in its recent third season, and the results aren't predictable. Even if the votes are only coming from a few people vs. millions of viewers from home like American Idol and The Voice, results aren't easy to predict.
The whole process is also almost entirely original. The World of Dance dancers aren't borrowing routines and spirit fingers from other artists who have come before them, just as the Songland songs are never covers or existing hits. Original performances are sometimes discouraged on shows like American Idol, The Voice (which actually teamed with Songland earlier this year), and America's Got Talent, and outright impossible on The Masked Singer. Originality is as guaranteed on World of Dance as on Songland.
World of Dance may be about dance and Songland may be about songs, but I'd rank them as more similar to each other than to Masked Singer, American Idol, The Voice, or America's Got Talent. Throw in the fact that Songland ended its second season already and World of Dance still has plenty of episodes left in Season 4, and World of Dance is a great option for Songland fans to try.