'Dancing With the Stars' Recap: Normani Kordei Takes the Lead, and Another Couple Is Sent Home
Vegas, baby! It was Las Vegas week on the Monday, April 3, episode of Dancing With the Stars. The theme was pretty broad, including everything from routines based on current Vegas shows, to routines that channeled Frank Sinatra. Now that eliminations were underway, it seemed that every couple had really buckled down to bring their best — and as is almost always true, some fared better than others. And while Len Goodman was quick to point out that luck applied to gambling but not the ballroom, some couples did seem a bit luckier than others.
Maks Chmerkovskiywas out all week due to his injury, but Heather Morrisseemed to fall into step with his sub, Alan Burston. The two performed a tango to the Britney Spears classic “Toxic,” which had the judges floored. “That was amazing!” Carrie Ann Inaba gushed, while Len praised the Glee alum as a “terrific dancer.” All of the judges were thrilled with the heavy amount of tango content in the dance, and in other good news, Maks reported that he was hoping to make a full recovery by the end of the week. Heather and Alan earned a 33 for their showing, which included the first 9 of the season.
Tying with them were Nancy Kerrigan and Artem Chigvintsev, who performed a samba to “Shake Your Bon-Bon” by Ricky Martin. Artem is a huge fan of the Latin singer and completely freaked out when they met. Nancy was determined to let loose on the dance floor and just have fun — and she succeeded. Carrie Ann praised the former Olympian for her technique. “You did not sacrifice the style of the dance to put on a fantastic performance,” the judge explained, while Len said it was the best dance he’d seen all season.
Nick Viallhas found love, but he hasn’t yet found his groove. The former Bachelor star struggled to get the moves Peta Murgatroyd was teaching, and was being pretty hard on himself about it. Nick and Peta tackled a tango this time around. Len said he saw improvement from the week before, and Julianne Hough praised Nick for being “so in control of the floor.” Carrie Ann said he had a “regal presence,” which sounded promising, but in the end he and Peta only earned a 26.
Tying with Nick was professional bull rider Bonner Bolton and his pro, Sharna Burgess. (Last week, Bonner had actually tied with Simone Biles at the top, so this was quite a tumble.) Bonner and Sharna had to perform the Charleston, and some of his injuries limited what he was able to do. Bruno Tonioli said Bonner needed to be “much sharper,” and while Len praised Bonner for trying to sell the routine, the judges’ scores showed that he hadn’t quite succeeded.
Third up with a 26 were Erika Jayne and Gleb Savchenko. Like Bonner and Sharna, they had a quick, energetic dance this week: a jive. Bruno told the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star she had “wonderful legs,” but took her to task for not being on beat. Carrie Ann said it was “refreshing” to see her dance “this way” (“this way” meant less sensually), but Carrie Ann docked a point off for the two of them starting in a lift.
At the very bottom of the board, however, were Mr. T and Kim Herjavec, plus Charo and Keo Motsepe. Mr. T and Kim performed a foxtrot that all of the judges loved, but they still didn’t score well. Julianne said it was “beautiful,” and Bruno told Mr. T. he cleaned up “very, very well.” Still, the charm didn’t make up for the dancing, which needed some work, and they ended up with a 24. Charo tried to rein in her crazy (or Keo tried to rein it in), and the judges seemed to respond, offering kind words about their foxtrot, but it didn’t raise their scores.
Last to dance were Normani Kordei and Valentin Chmerkovskiy, who had been flitting around the globe with Fifth Harmony since last week. They performed a foxtrot that Bruno decided was “fabulous.” Julianne said it was the kind of dance that someone would expect to see on Broadway. “What a way to end the night!” she gushed. Carrie Ann was still being the lift police and took a point off because Normani was lifted to dance on a table in the middle of the routine, but Carrie Ann added, “You hammered that number into the ground, girlfriend!” With two 8s and two 9s, they landed at the very top with a 34.
The other couples, Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater, David Ross and Lindsay Arnold, and Simone Biles and Sasha Farbery, all performed solid routines that landed them in the middle of the pack. While Simone’s snappy athleticism naturally gives her dancing a boost, she struggled to bring the personality that the judges wanted. The others, meanwhile, just needed more technique.
Finally, the two couples in jeopardy were revealed: Charo and Keo Motsepe, along with Nick and Peta. (No Bachelor star has ever gone home this early in the history of the show, just FYI.) Ultimately, Charo and Keo were eliminated. After grabbing the microphone to say that she’d had a good time, Charo added, “Bruno, I’ll see you in the parking lot!” Yikes.
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Dancing With the Stars airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.
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