Watch Janet Jackson Surprise the Winners of Her Dance Competition and Invite Them to Perform at Billboard Awards
Rhythm Nation just got bigger!
Dancers Phillip Galbert, 28, of New Britain, Connecticut, and La’Vala “Lala” Moss, 26, of Birmingham, Alabama, had already received the news that they’d been chosen out of 75,000 hopefuls as winners of the star’s global #DanceWithJanet competition.
But they then learned from the superstar herself that not only were they part of her JTribe, but they’d soon be taking the stage to perform with her on national television.
“Obviously we saw what you did online and that’s the reason why you’re here. You did a great job,” Jackson, in the exclusive clip above, tells Galbert and Moss, who first submitted auditions online.
“We’ve come to a decision,” she says seated on the floor next to her current dancers, “How would you like to dance with us on the Billboard Awards?”
The question was met with both dancers collapsing to the floor in disbelief as Jackson and her dancers rush over to embrace them.
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“It was so intense,” Moss says in an interview just after getting the news. “This was the longest audition I’ve ever had to do in my life but it was so worth it.”
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Moss first made national headlines when her original audition tape went viral. Moss had opted to shoot her audition video in the middle of the street in Birmingham when an officer drove up to tell her to move. But after hearing what she was doing, the officer changed his mind, stopped traffic and put on his spotlight encouraging Moss to keep dancing and follow her dream.
For Bronx native Galbert, he almost didn’t have the chance to audition in person. After receiving word that his video audition earned him an invite to the final callbacks in Los Angeles, Galbert responded that he did not have the money to afford a flight from his current home in Connecticut. Furthermore, he was on the verge of eviction. But Jackson’s teamed helped him get to L.A. and the experience changed his life.
“As a professional dancer that’s your dream to dance with Janet Jackson,” Galbert said during an interview. “You grow up wanting to be with these people and inspired by these people…No one understands what I go through, and to have this given to me. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
As Jackson’s current JTribe members tell the newbies, “Dreams do come true!” They’ll all join the superstar onstage for her first television performance in nine years, at the Billboard Awards.
The 2018 Billboard Music Awards are broadcast live on NBC from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, May 20 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.