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‘Dancing With the Stars’ Week 6: Ladies Night…to Go Home

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  • Nick Carter
    Nick Carter
    American musician
  • Len Goodman
    British professional ballroom dancer
  • Carrie Ann Inaba
    Carrie Ann Inaba
    Dancer


Warning This recap of Week 6 of Dancing With the Stars contains spoilers.

Girls ruled, and boys kind of drooled, until the very last minute on Dancing With the Stars this week, as the eight remaining celebs and their partners danced to songs by popular boy bands and girl groups. We also saw the first team dances of the season (boys vs. girls, naturally, with the boys channeling the Chippendales and the girls just being their fierce selves). And as a bonus, DWTS Season 21 runner-up Nick Carter replaced Julianne Hough at the judges’ table to show the panel who knows the most about boy band choreography. Backstreet’s back, alright.

But first, a shocking elimination (for real) came on the heels of this season’s first perfect score. Maksim Chmerkovskiy was back after an extended break due to a calf injury, and he marked his turf big time. The pro dancer’s retuning rumba with Heather Morris, to TLC’s “Waterfalls,” was enough to bring Chilli to the ballroom. The routine earned four 10s, the first perfect score of the season, and it would have been the perfect comeback dance for Maks, except there was one problem: This top-scoring couple got sent home. Boos ensued, making this a bona fide ballroom blitz.

“It’s a hard competition, and I’m just very happy I got to do everything I got to do,” the stunned Glee alum said after her elimination was announced. “It was really fun.”

Maks, who put in a lot of work to get cleared to dance this week, said he’s “not gonna say anything,” which pretty much means he knows fill-in pro Alan Bersten’s lack of a DWTS fanbase didn’t help his polarizing partner during his absence. Remember, this week’s elimination was based on last week’s scores and viewers’ votes. Sigh.

Here’s how the rest of the cast did this week:

Normani Kordei and Val Chmerkovskiy: 38/40

The Pussycat Dolls’s “When I Grow Up” was the soundtrack to this salsa, a song that inspired the future Fifth Harmony star when she was growing up. While the routine was practically perfect, Len Goodman slammed its lack of salsa content, telling Normani it showcased what a great dancer she is, but not what a great salsa dancer she is. Still, all of the judges not named Len pulled out their 10 paddles, with Nick Carter telling the singer: “You have what it takes to take this all the way.”

Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater: 37/40

A proper tango — Motown style — gave this NFL star a high score from the judges. Carrie Ann Inaba called the dance “near perfection, while Bruno Tonioli said the dance, to the Four Tops “I’ll Be There,” was “classic Motown, classic tango.” He added, “When the going gets tough, the tough get winning!”

Simone Biles and Sasha Farber: 35/40

The Olympic gymnast channeled her inner Beyonce with a samba to Destiny Child’s “Survivor.” Len praised the clever choreography, while Carrie Ann said the young star’s performance with Farber was “sexy… in the way that it should be.” Nick praised the dance — and the mini Queen Bey: “You are a powerful woman!” he said.

Nancy Kerrigan and Artem Chigvintsev: 33/40

Perfectionist Nancy Kerrigan was under pressure to live up to Mel B’s Season 5 dance to En Vogue’s “Free Your Mind,” and a last minute shoe switcheroo didn’t help matters. Still, Carrie Ann was happy to see “the caged bird fly” after the Olympic skater emerged from a cage for her Paso doblé. “Wow, wow, wow,” Nick said. “My mind is blown. You have freed my mind!”

Bonner Bolton and Sharna Burgess: 30/40

“I’m probably the weakest dancer on the show to be dead honest,” Bonner said ahead of his rumba to the Backstreet Boys hit “I Want It That Way.” Yeah, we know. Luckily, the pro bull rider was “in sync” with Sharna. (Not the best choice of words, Carrie Ann!) Nick, who was partnered with Sharna on the show three seasons ago, said he couldn’t be more proud of what he saw on the dance floor, while Len said Bonner could have shown more emotion. “Not your best dance, but certainly not your worst,” he said.

David Ross and Lindsay Arnold: 29/40

The MLB catcher attempted a true Argentine tango to ‘NSync’s “I Want You Back,” but a few shaky lifts had Bruno concerned: “You almost dropped her!” the judge said of David’s pro partner. Carrie Ann noted the World Series champ didn’t seem like himself — “You seem like you gave up halfway through” she said — while Nick posed the most important question of all: “’NSync or Backstreet?”

Nick Viall and Peta Murgatroyd: 28/40

A Beach Boys classic was on the playlist for Nick Viall’s “fun, fun, fun” jive with Peta Murgatroyd. The song was kind of a stretch in the boy band department (Beach Grandpas, maybe?), buy what else can you expect from the guy who channeled Pinocchio last week? This self-described “reality TV reject” received mixed reviews from the judges. “If there’s anyone here who fits the profile of being in a boy band, it’s you,” the famous Nick told him. “You got the girls, you got the look, but you just got to work on the moves.” But what was even more brutal: “I wasn’t picking up a lot of good vibrations,” he said of the dance.

Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC. Watch clips and full episodes of DWTS for free on Yahoo View.

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