Who was the winner of season 1 of The World’s Best? Tonight, we’re going to go through all of the acts in this finale review before eventually determining the winner. We expect competition! Beyond that, we expect a lot of backlash since you’re comparing very different acts and since the public had no say in this, that’s going to make things all the more challenging.
We’re going to be updating this article LIVE, so remember to refresh throughout for more updates on everyone + all of the greatness that they brought to the table. The journey tonight begins with the Group Variety category, which is a battle of martial arts versus puppets … really.
Kukkiwon – If you want precision, technique, and discipline above all else, this demonstration team is precisely where you should look. They are exceptional and probably the best of this sort that we have ever seen. It’s so good that it’s hard to criticize!
Dundu Giants of Light – We think that a big part of getting the great Dundu experience is actually being there to enjoy the great Dundu experience. It’s a little bit harder to do that when you’re sitting at home watching the lights bounce around. We do adore them, but we can’t put them quite ahead of what the other two acts did.
Shaolin Yanze – While there are some similar martial-arts skills being shown off here to what Kukkiwon does, they do have a different, artistic angle. The costuming here is a little more intricate, as is some of the specific stunt-work such as what they did lifting that poor man up by what seemed to be a metal pan stuck to his stomach.
Advancing Act – Kukkiwon! Shaolin Yanze was in their place and Dundu actually did get a good many votes; yet, they were a little polarizing since so much of their performance was based on creating an emotional effect.
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Daneliya Tuleshova – She performed “What About Us” and it was every bit as good as you could’ve hoped for — she’s got not only a tremendous musicality, but she actually knows how to move about the stage and perform. She’s a young singer who already acts like a pop star and that matters.
Lydian – He’s a brilliant pianist, but one of the things that we’ve always felt with him was that there’s only so far playing piano can go on this show without another element. He was great, but was there really that extra gear for him to get to? This was him driving along at a steady speed but not kicking it into another gear.
Dimash Kudaibergen – What we prepared for entering tonight was a sensational performance from him and we got it; he is one of the best singers we’ve ever seen on ANY show. Yet, we were not prepared to see him walk away from the show. He quit before the finale! Why do this? He said that he wanted the younger singers to have their moment. We do think he would’ve won at least this round, if not the show.
Was this the right move for him to make? Maybe for the sake of his honor, and we think that a certain number of people will love and respect him for it; however, there will be those who think differently.
The result – Lydian advanced! We would’ve had him in third place, so we have to say we were shocked with this conclusion. Anything else would be a falsehood.
Now, we move to the final round, where the remaining four contestants faced off first in duos, and then the winners against each other for the grand prize.
Lydian vs. Naturally 7 – This was weird. Naturally 7 faced off against TNT Boys last week and delivered their best performance by a mile. Yet, in terms of creativity and offering something that felt meaningful, this wasn’t on that same level. Meanwhile, Lydian stepped it up big-time by doing something crazy-impressive. He performed “Moonlight Sinata” on piano, then went over and played it on the drums while the piano portion played it back. We still think Dimash would’ve won his category but still. Wow. Lydian advances.
Kukkiwon vs. Nina Conti – Two very good acts, but this was almost a no-brainer to us given that Kukkiwon has consistently been the greatest martial-arts group that we’ve ever seen on this show. Meanwhile, Nina is perhaps not even the greatest ventriloquist on American TV this past year — she is funny and incredibly witty, but not all of her choices made a whole lot of sense within the act this time around. (What did hiding under the sheet accomplish?) We do feel like her act was butchered slightly by the eidt. Nina advances.
The final round was Kukkiwon vs. Lydian and this was almost like eating two very different, delicious dishes. One of them is Italian, and the other one is Mexican. They’re so different, in terms of spices and substance, that you have no idea which is better! We really had no idea. Kukkiwon has been more consistent technically throughout the entire competition but, simultaneously, Lydian really stepped up his game in the final two performances.
The American judges scored the two acts reasonably close (why does RuPaul dislike Lydian so much?), but then the Wall of the World made the difference. They decided to crown Lydian as the winner of the show. Seriously, when we weren’t sure he would make it through his round against Dimash. Congrats to Lydian — he wasn’t our choice for most of the season, but it’s hard to get mad over a piano-playing kid.
What do you think about tonight’s The World’s Best finale, and the winner as a whole? Share in the comments. (Photo: CBS.)