Two French brothers who dance as Les Twins have won “World of Dance,” NBC’s new TV dance competition show that carries a $1 million prize.
Known for a their own unique blend of New Style hip-hop (which they call “Twins-Style”) and narrative, Laurent (a.k.a. “Lil Beast”) and Larry (a.k.a. “Ca Blaze”) Bourgeois won the prize while overcoming a serious challenge: Just before the ‘Divisional Finals,’ Laurent was injured in a practice round designated for Snapchat. While the brothers easily could have dropped out of the competition, they instead used the injury as a prop: Their division-winning routine was a rich man, poor man theme that featured Laurent in a wheelchair.
Now they’re both rich men. To win the $1 million final round, they had to ditch the concept of one man seated and one man standing. Judge Jennifer Lopez told them before the first round, “Don’t talk to me about the ankle. Nobody cares.” And Les Twins listened. Dressed in red atop a small, rotating platform, the brothers Bourgeois brought their A-Game. Dancing to Kygo’s “Stole The Show,” chosen for them by JLo, Les Twins launched into a routine that vacillated between jerky Robot moves and undertempo, fluid “Matrix”-style ones.
For the second round, their routine was set to Michael and Janet Jackson’s 1995 duet “Scream.” They used full-length, triplicate mirrors as props, seemingly turning themselves into a group act.
Their score average from both rounds was enough to best soloist Eva Igo, the winner of the Junior division, who finished second in the final. The winners of the Team division, Swing Latino, finished third.
The 28-year-old Parisian identical twins are the youngest in a family of 18 siblings, nine of whom are also dancers. Larry and Laurent learned to dance by watching other breakers and poppers perform on the street. Because they lived in poverty, neither could afford to take formal training classes and instead taught themselves ballet techniques at home.
They became involved in small shows and concerts and by 2011 they had won several dance tournaments, made TV appearances and performed alongside Beyoncé at the “Billboard” Music Awards. That same year they were featured as star dancers on the “Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour” by Cirque du Soleil.
Les Twins had been participating in the World of Dance Live Tour, a now nine-year-old lifestyle brand–based urban dance competition, since 2010 or earlier. The tour, created by David Gonzalez and Myron Marten, just had its “LIVE! Global Tour Finals” on July 22 in Pasadena, Calif. It’s expanding influence into and inclusion of other genres of dance became the inspiration for the TV show’s all-styles format.
Now having wrapped up its first season, the show has maintained a consistent rating of over 6.8 million viewers throughout its 10-week broadcast. NBC’s “World of Dance”‘s executive producer is pop icon Jennifer Lopez who serves as the main judge on the panel alongside fellow judges Derek Hough, a regular “pro partner” on “Dancing with the Stars,” and singer NE-YO. Jenna Dewan Tatem is the host.
The competition began with over 30 acts, which were divided into three divisions—Junior, which consisted of dancers under 18 years of age; Upper, which included up to four dancers ages 18 or older; and Team, which was made up of groups of more than four dancers that were over the age of 18. Each of the participants competed within their own division before all three faced off in the finale for the grand prize.
Asked how the felt about winning the $1 million, the duo said, “We made it. This competition was hard from the beginning. Thank you [runner up Eva Igo] for going hard on us.”