The 10 teams competing for a spot in the next round, the Cut, in order of their Qualifiers scores were The Kings The Kings, a hip-hop crew from Mumbai, India, gave the highest scoring performance from any division during the Qualifiers, so they might be the front-runners to win the entire competition, not just their division.
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And getting such big numbers earned them another advantage in the Duels since the highest scoring qualifying teams got to pick their opponents to Duel. The Duels are fairly simple: get a higher score than your opponent and you advance to the next round. The two losing teams with the highest scores got to battle each other at the end of the night in a redemption round for one last wild card slot in the Cut. So when all was said and done six teams moved forward while the other four got their walking papers. A few really cool maneuvers, but I thought it lagged in places.
JUDGES — Derek appreciates that there was more flamenco and better footwork than in the previous round, but he wants to see more classical flamenco wardrobe.
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They need to get the judges out of their seats. They came out with an intense routine, not taking any chances in those round. They got Ne-Yo and Derek and out their seats. A good sign. Bad sign. And Derek thought they stayed in formation for too long, but they did improve on their Qualifiers routine. Derek and Ne-Yo gave standing ovations again, and also they look confused. In a good way maybe. That 95 from Ne-Yo felt too generous to me. That officially knocks out Style and Grace, who no longer qualify for redemption.
Siudy Flamenco are on the bubble. The tricks blew her away. I thought they had a slight edge after I watched them in the preview, but I think they might just have this sewn up.
Ne-Yo thought the performance was like a class he would really want to take. Though this was a default Duel, so neither team actually challenged the other. And the show has been teasing one performance that gets from Ne-Yo and 99s from Jennifer and Derek.
Four Faces, Wobbly Mirror
Click, click, click. Nothing happens. Luckily this is an office built to impress—lots of light, and lots of openings. I slip through an indoor window into Accounting, and take the mezzanine floor up to the vents. The cops fill those with light, too, opening new holes in the metal beneath my feet. After an eternity of fire escape chicanery, I drop down into an enclosed urban garden.
In the stark colour scheme, even the plants are painted an artificial white, like a reverse Alice in Wonderland. I take the nearest door into the City Eye news station, and spot three SWAT cops standing at the far end of a corridor. The corridor glistens with red paint. Here I can close the gap between me and the cops without eating all their bullets.
I slide-kick the cop at the rear, transferring all my momentum into his legs and taking his weapon when he doubles over. Even playing the game in this counter- intuitive fashion, speed is my armour. With each small success comes a dose of panic. I feel like Neo, uploading martial arts directly into my brain. To make it happen, though, I have to unlearn Titanfall 2. Once I get it right, the second cop falls this way.
The third I meet unexpectedly in a doorway as we both hurtle around the corner in opposite directions.
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Startled, I smack him so hard he ragdolls into the wall opposite. His jelly-limbs wobble gently under his shoulderpads.
I jog to meet the first, and he brings his pistol down towards my head. I duck out the way, hitting the prompt at the right time to use his own momentum against him, twisting an arm up behind his head.
This gun has bullets in it. I wave it around the plaza and power up the wide steps of the train station—a grand facade celebrating this society with concrete brutalism and bright orange flags.
This is my first opportunity to bring firepower to bear against the SWAT, however piddly. I take clumsy potshots at those I can see standing at a roadblock, and watch one fall before making my escape. For the first time since starting this playthrough I feel powerful, and at least somewhat in control. Down here the colour switches to a damp shade of seaweed, the pace slows for challenging jumps, and a low rumble provides ambience—the constant bass note of vast underground spaces.
Sure enough, a sniper team has set up ahead. Their sights bob gently on a green sea of gangways as I climb, promising serious hardware if I can only reach it.