Oh my God, we’re back again. Is that a boy band reference? Nope. It’s the first undeserved elimination of the season.
It’s Boy Band v Girl Group Night and Nick Carter (your 1999 crush and mine) joins the panel, taking over judging duties for Julianne Hough who is, presumably, still undoing that knot of a hairstyle she had last week. But in our first shock elimination of the season, Heather Morris says goodbye after her first week back with Maks, and when the girls were announced as the group in jeopardy, fans had something to say about it.
Let’s review, shall we?
Heather Morris and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Judges Score: 40/40
What can you we, y’all? It’s the return and departure of Maksim, and he’s returning on a sexy note—a Rumba to TLC’s Waterfalls. Heather may not have been chasing waterfalls, but she was CLEARLY chasing 10s. Her rumba was the perfect mix between speed and sex appeal, with a quick drink splashed in Alan Bersten’s face, abruptly reminder us that he’ll never be Maks. The judges eat it up, and for once, they’re in agreement—Heather and Maks take the first 40 of the season.
Normani Kordei and Val Chmerkovskiy
Judges Score: 38/40
It’s nothing short of a tragedy that Normani didn’t lock in the first 40 of the season last week. This week, she and Val take on a Salsa to When I Grow Up from The Pussycat Dolls (shout out to DWTS all-star Nicole Scherzinger). Not touring in Asia is doing wonders for Normani, as every week her dancing gets stronger. Her samba is insanely strong, and the judges (mostly) agree.
Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater
Judges Score: 37/40
A Four Tops tango from Rashad? Recipe for success, right? You have no idea. A sped-up masterpiece to (Reach Out) I’ll Be There is the clear front-runner for the first forty of the season. It has camp, it has speed, it has precision. I mean, it even has a bedazzled blazer, but you know what it (criminally) doesn’t have? A FORTY. What’s it going to take for Rashad, y’all?
Simone Biles and Sasha Farber
Judges Score: 35/40
We have a Destiny’s Child inspired Samba to Survivor, and if you’re not screaming, what’s wrong with you? Per Simone’s standard, it’s technically perfect, but it looks like she’s not feeling the mood of the dance at all. The judges ding her a bit on her timing, but in all fairness, it’s a very fast arrangement
And there are, of course, the first group dances of the season—while the Boys Group brought in a 33/40 with their stool grinding and shirtless wonder, the Girls Group dominated with a 34/40. But it was the boy group that was announced safe before the shocking elimination that sent Heather home.
Best of the Rest
Nancy Kerrigan’s En Vogue Paso brings her a 33, while Bonner Bolton’s rumba and Nick Viall’s jive lock in a 30 and 29, respectively. David Ross’ Argentine Tango comes in last with a 29, but it’s not enough to send him home.
USA TODAY Sparkle Points Podium:
Val Chmerkovskiy: 5/5
In an unprecedented move, we give a dancer the top honor. The magic of Dancing with the Stars is taking the ordinary, bedazzling it, and making it absurd. So with Val taking a construction vest and a one-strap overall and making it dance-wardrobe perfection, we have to yield (all puns intended) to Valentin.
Simone Biles: 5/5
She gave us metal dangly pieces, leather tribal chest pieces and a lot of leg. It’s completely impractical, but here she is, dancing a technically perfect samba in it. That’s DWTS magic in motion, and we’re exploding with light like a mirrorball on a trophy shelf.
Nancy Kerrigan: 4.5/5
YES BOOTS. Knee highs with a contrasting cape and a strong hair bump? Nancy Kerrigan absolutely crushed the fashion for her girl group Paso, even if she met a surprising end tonight.
‘DWTS:’ Heather Morris sent home in shocking elimination after first perfect score – USA TODAY