What would a boy band, girl group-themed night on Dancing With the Stars be without an appearance by a member from one of the most popular boy bands of all time?
Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys played guest judge on Monday (filling in for Julianne Hough), critiquing the eight couples vying for the mirror ball trophy. From Bonner Bolton and Sharna Burgess’ steamy rumba, to Normani Kordei and Val Chmerkovskiy’s fierce salsa, the Dancing With the Stars alum was a fun addition to the judges’ table, giving smart, honest critiques of the energetic dances.
Now, ET’s breaking down the best moves from week six of the dance competition show, which also included a Team Boy Band and Team Girl Group showdown!
Simone Biles & Sasha Farber – Samba, “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child
Dance highlight: While Sasha has packed their routines with tricks each week (taking advantage of his partner’s gymnastics skills!), we actually loved seeing a different side of Simone – her powerful performance showed off her fierce personality and that inner Beyoncé we’ve all been waiting to see all season. Our favorite moments were her sassy hair flip at the 0:07 mark, followed by a split spin at 1:16.
Judges’ score: 35/40. “You’re a young woman, glowing … and you’re sassy, madame!” – Bruno Tonioli
ET’s score: 36/40. Simone has been strong throughout the competition, but we couldn’t help but notice that her timing was a bit off in some sections. Regardless, her strength and energy made up for it, and we know this won’t keep her from staying on top of the leaderboard.
Bonner Bolton & Sharna Burgess – Rumba, “I Want It That Way” by Backstreet Boys
Dance highlight: Aside from Bonner’s impeccable abs being on full display right from the beginning, he had a few beautiful moments, too — flawlessly holding Sharna in a back bend at 1:07 and assisting her in a graceful attitude spin at 1:11.
Judges’ score: 30/40. “Once you have the dance in you, let it go. I thought it went really smooth.” – Nick Carter
ET’s score: 35/40. Without a doubt, this was #TeamDenimNDiamonds’ sexiest dance yet, and although it wasn’t perfect, we felt Bonner’s movements were much stronger than what he showcased in previous routines this season. Sharna is such a dominant force, but Bonner was the one doing the leading this week! Major improvement, and we’re excited to see how the two will step up their game next week.
Nancy Kerrigan & Artem Chigvintsev – Paso Doble, “Free Your Mind” by En Vogue
Dance highlight: Dayum, Nancy! We loved seeing this sensual side to the former Olympic figure skater, starting the dance in a cage and following through with edgy, powerful movements. Our favorite moments included her dance break at 0:55, with Artem and men from the troupe dancing around her, as well as her stag leap jump at 1:23 (in heeled boots, nonetheless!).
Judges’ score: 33/40. “Girl, that was amazing! I’m so excited because I feel like it’s the first time you tapped into this power, in this way.” – Carrie Ann Inaba
ET’s score: 35/40. It appeared the nerves got to Nancy in some sections, but overall, this was one of the strongest performances she’s delivered. Moving forward, our only advice to her is be more confident and not be so in her head. The moves will flow more naturally!
Nancy Kerrigan dancing to En Vogue is what my Monday night needed. #DWTS
— Ryan Brinson (@RyanCBrinson) April 25, 2017
Nick Viall & Peta Murgatroyd – Jive, “Fun, Fun, Fun” by The Beach Boys
Dance highlight: Props to the former Bachelor star for that adorable mini solo at the beginning of the dance! He brought the fun energy to the ballroom, surprising us with some kicks, fast footwork and the Carlton at the 1:14 mark.
Judges’ score: 28/40. “If there’s anyone that fits the profile of being in a boy band, it’s you. I loved it. I thought it was fun.” – Nick Carter
ET’s score: 30/40. Although this was clearly an improvement for Nick, this was unfortunately the weakest routine of the night. Luckily, he remained safe from elimination this week, but we’re not too sure how many more weeks he has left in the competition…
Normani Kordei & Val Chmerkovskiy – Salsa, “When I Grow Up” by The Pussycat Dolls
Dance highlight: Yes, yes, yes! Thank you, Val, for advancing the choreography this week and showing us Normani’s true star power. We got two kicks (watch at 0:16 and 0:24), a lift at 0:52, cartwheel flip at 0:56, a mini dance break at 1:05 and a front flip into a right split at 1:25.
Judges’ score: 38/40. “THAT is a performance from someone that’s in it to win it. You nailed every single move.” – Bruno Tonioli
ET’s score: 40/40. Does it get any better than this? Normani has proved exactly why she deserves to stay in the competition week after week, and this number was no exception. She was perfectly on beat, executed the steps with extreme power and was fearless when it came to the lifts. Good work!
David Ross & Lindsay Arnold – Tango, “I Want You Back” by *NSYNC
Dance highlight: Multiple tricks from #TeamLadyAndTheGramp this week! The former MLB pro assisted his partner into a stunning back and front flip at 0:12, followed by a horizontal lift at 0:51.
Judges’ score: 29/40. “I can tell that you are a fighter. I was more than impressed. I thought it was your best work, period.” – Nick Carter
ET’s score: 32/40. Although the second lift was a little shaky, we have to give credit to Lindsay for incorporating the difficult moves into the routine, and to David for attempting them to the best of his abilities. However, we weren’t totally feeling their chemistry, which David actually addressed while speaking to the judges, saying, “She’s like my sister.”
No shame but I watch dancing with the stars every Monday for @D_Ross3
— Edward (@edwardparzygnat) April 25, 2017
Rashad Jennings & Emma Slater – Tango, “Reach Out I’ll Be There” by Four Tops
Dance highlight: Dressed in a glitzy purple blazer, Rashad was the clear standout while dancing with the other male dancers at the beginning of this number, proving he can keep up with the professionals! We loved each and every second of this dance, but Rashad’s strongest moment occurred at the 1:06 mark, when he gracefully dragged Emma into a split across the ballroom.
Judges’ score: 37/40. “So strong, so driven, you wanted to show us what you got. And you got plenty, plenty of talent!” – Bruno Tonioli
ET’s score: 38/40. The NFL star had the flow of his movements down even stronger this week, making the dance appear effortless. He was gentle when he needed to be, but aggressive when leading his partner across the ballroom. Like we said during week one, we have a feeling Rashad will end this season as the greatest football player-turned-dancer to ever compete on DWTS.
Rashad is the best football player we’ve ever had on the show in aspects more than just dancing ability. #DWTS
— carlos (@iamnotcarlos) April 25, 2017
Heather Morris & Maksim Chmerkovskiy – Rumba, “Waterfalls” by TLC
Dance highlight: Lady in red! The former Glee star brought the fire and sass to the ballroom, not holding anything back this week. Her standout moments included a slow motion split at 0:30 and gorgeous leg extension at 0:44.
Judges’ score: 40/40. “That was my favorite dance of the night. You were elegant, beautiful, and most importantly, told a story.” – Nick Carter
ET’s score: 40/40. First perfect score of the season, and so well deserved. It was sexy, it was passionate and pure perfection. Unfortunately, it didn’t save the couple from elimination, as #TeamMaksimumHeat were sent home after receiving the shocking results from hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews. More on that HERE.
Team Boy Band
Dance highlight: Move over, men of Magic Mike Live — Team RNB + D is comin’ in hot! We had a feeling we’d see the men shirtless, but not this steamy. The best moments were their chair dance at the 0:55 mark (bonus points for them choreographing that portion themselves!) and Rashad and Emma’s lift, which you can watch starting at the 1:29 mark.
Judges’ score: 33/40. “I literally was crying, thank you very much.” – Bruno Tonioli
ET’s score: 35/40. This routine was pure entertainment, and we loved every minute of it! We’re giving the boys a few extra points for creativity and being able to keep the crowd pumped throughout the entire piece.
Rashad is carrying this team on his B A C K. Give him an award #dwts
— like what on rice (@kordeibreak) April 25, 2017
Team Girl Group
Dance highlight: So sultry! The girls opted for a chair dance, too, flirting it up with their partners at 0:44, at one point even perfecting a kick over their guys’ heads. We also loved Normani and Val’s lift at 1:17, and the cartwheel flips at 2:05. Get it, girls!
Judges’ score: 34/40. “This was amazing. I loved it. You were well choreographed!” – Nick Carter
ET’s score: 36/40. While we found Team Boy Band’s dance a bit more entertaining, the girls killed it when it came to technique. They were more in sync, and came to slay!
Who are YOUR favorites competing on season 24 of Dancing With the Stars? Which team do you think had the best dance? Let me know on Twitter (@desireemurphy_ ) or in the comments section on our official Facebook page! And be sure to follow all of our DWTS coverage all season long, right here on ETonline.com.