It’s a battle of the sexes on Dancing with the Stars season 24. The team dances will pit the four remaining male stars against the female stars in a war of boy bands and girl groups. Can NKOTB topple TLC? Will Beyonce’s former group prove superior to Justin Timberlake’s old boy band? And which couple will be eliminated?
Backstreet Boy and season 21 runner-up Nick Carter is also in the house as a guest judge. And all of the couples are still hunting for the first perfect score of the season, or more specifically, they’re looking for a 10 from Len Goodman since he has yet to give one out.
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Julianne Hough is out tonight and guest judge Nick Carter is sliding in between Carrie Ann Inaba and Len Goodman, meaning his will be the second score and Len will be third.
Simone Biles and Sasha Farber: Samba
They have Destiny’s Child, but Sasha is more of a Beyonce than Simone is because she’s still struggling to be sexy. Simone reveals that Sasha isn’t quite sexy, but Rashad definitely is. There’s a lot of content, but her timing is a little off, making it a tad chaotic. It’s not quite as good as I’ve come to expect from her. Also, the giant smile plastered on her face doesn’t quite match the sexy vibe.
Judges’ Scores: 9+8+9+9=35
Thank God for Nick Carter, the only one who judged her properly.
Bonner Bolton and Sharna Burgess: Rumba
It feels like a conflict of interest that Nick Carter is judging his former partner who is dancing to one of his songs. To Bonner’s credit, he knows he’s the weakest dancer left. The routine is not very good at all. He doesn’t seem to be embracing the sexy boy band character at all, so it comes across as stilted. Also, his movements don’t flow smoothly. Honestly, I think Bonner is kind of checked out of the competition. Len says it’s not his best, but not his worst.
Judges’ Scores: 8+8+7+7=30
He deserved those 7s and definitely deserves to go home this week or next week.
Nancy Kerrigan and Artem Chigvintsev: Paso Doble
She’s a true fan, so she knows Maks did “Free Your Mind” by En Vogue with Me B. and she’s comparing herself to them and it makes her doubt herself. Sadly, I can see that creeping over her face at the start. Being a bad-ass isn’t really in her wheelhouse and it’s a little tense and unstable, as Len says. Nancy felt a little off because she had new boots for the live show.
Judges’ Scores: 9+8+8+8=33
So is Nick just gonna give everyone an 8?
Nick Viall and Peta Murgatroyd: Jive
Nick doesn’t think he deserves to be in the competition with these rel stars because he calls himself “a reality show reject.” Good for him, being honest about it. It’s messy with his feet going all over the place. The real problem for me is that “Fun, Fun, Fun” by the Beach Boys is too slow for a Jive. The judges thought it was unpolished.
Judges’ Scores: 7+7+7+7=28
His streak of improving every week is over, just like Nancy.
Normani Kordei and Val Chmerkovskiy: Salsa
The Pussycat Dolls are who Normani wanted to be when she grew up, which will make you feel insanely old. The concept has her as a sexy woman walking by a construction site, which is kind of the opposite of the message from Mulan last week. It’s a fierce and fantastic production, but as Len inevitably points out, there’s a lot of hip-hop and not a lot of Salsa. She’s an amazing dancer, but Val is relying too heavily on what she’s good at from Fifth Harmony and he’s not pushing her.
Judges’ Scores: 10+10+8+10=38
I agree with Len. Couples should be penalized if they try to turn every routine into a Freestyle.
David Ross and Lindsay Arnold: Argentine Tango
Two dances in a week is making rehearsals a lot more stressful and he’s starting to wear down a bit because of how hard it is. The dance is fine, but nothing special and very forgettable. And the big lift was very unsteady and made me worried that he was going to drop her. The judges point out mistakes and their attempt to do a true Argentine Tango made him come across as a bit grumpy.
Judges’ Scores: 7+8+7+7=29
Yikes, the men are really struggling in these individual routines. Let’s hope they put all of their efforts into the team dance.
Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater: Tango
After a fall last week, Emma is fighting even harder because she wants to get back on top. He’s busy rehearsing AND training to get picked up by a team in the NFL. It takes a while to get going, but I love his moves once it gets going. It’s a little too fast and serious, which makes it lose a bit of control. But it has a lot of attack and the judges, especially Len, are clearly throwing shade at Val by talking about it being a “proper” Tango.
Judges’ Scores: 9+10+9+9=37
Nick is definitely doing his own thing.
Heather Morris and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: Rumba
Before the commercial, there was a funny bit where Alan tried to get back on the platform with Heather, but Maks blocked him and pushed him down. Maks promises to get her a 10 with a very sexy dance. The premise is cute, with Heather leaving Alan for Maks, and the routine is definitely sexy. It’s the perfect mix of slow and fast with great moves and a good story. I know she’s a professional, but I still love her.
Judges’ Scores: 10+10+10+10=40
The first perfect score of the season! And that means our first 10 from Len.
The Results, Part 1
Before the team dances, one team will be completely safe.
Team Boy Band IS SAFE!
Holy crap! The male stars are all safe, so Simone, Normani, Nancy, or Heather will go home. That’s a big shock, and it means Heather could get the first perfect score AND be eliminated on the same night.
Team Boy Band
The male stars (Nick and the three athletes) are up first. Both teams are doing a medley of songs through the years. The boys must dance by themselves for 20 seconds, and they’re going shirtless. The female pros are more than happy with Bonner taking it off. The team dance is a hot mess, with emphasis on both words. They aren’t very in sync and the group parts are sloppy. But I can’t be too upset when Bonner, Nick, and Rashad take their shirts off and start thrusting against chairs. Sorry David. Len points out that it was filled with gimmicks and crowd-pleasing stuff. Bruno acknowledges that it was a mess and Carrie Ann calls out Bonner for missing his marks.
Judges’ Scores: 8+9+8+8=33
That’s not great, but it was fun.
Team Girl Group
Normani helps to teach Simone how to be sexy by acknowledging that it’s all pretend. It’s much more cohesive than the boys, but the lights go out at the end (not on purpose), which is very awkward. That’s a terrible way to end things and Nancy feels a little out of place. Neither of these team dances was impressive and it was just underwhelming. Len says the dancing was better than the boys, but the boys were more entertaining.
Judges’ Scores: 8+9+8+9=34
The girls win by a point.
THE FINAL RESULTS
Now it’s time for a shocking early elimination of a talented girl.
The first couple SAFE is…Simone and Sasha!
The second couple SAFE is…Normani and Val!
Heather Morris and Maksim Chmerkovskiy ARE ELIMINATED!
Ouch, welcome back Maks. Despite getting the first perfect score of the season, this is based on her mediocre Frozen “Jazz” routine from last week. People may try to blame Alan, but I think the bigger problem was the perception that she had an unfair advantage because she was a professional dancer, combined with Maks’ dull and uninspired choreography from last week.
72: Normani Kordei
70: Rashad Jennings
69: Simone Biles
67: Nancy Kerrigan
63: Bonner Bolton
62: David Ross
61: Nick Viall
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.
(Image courtesy of ABC)