‘Dancing with the Stars’ recap: Boy Bands vs. Girl Groups

Dancing with the Stars recap: Season 24, Episode 6

Typically, I don’t jump right into the results of any particular night on Dancing with the Stars, but I think last night’s announcement was too shocking to save until the end of the recap. If you haven’t seen the show, prepare yourself for spoilers!

Seriously. Don’t scroll down.

Heather Morris ended up in the red lights of doom with Nancy Kerrigan. Both ladies were at the top of the leader board. Both ladies are hard-working dancers. Heather is by far the best on the show, and she could easily be mistaken for a pro. Nancy and Heather, both in performance and technique, deserve to be in the competition before Nick and Bonner. In fact, all of the women deserve to be in the top four (where they were, going into last night’s competition), with the exception of Rashad.

So why was Heather sent home? Were voters annoyed that she is a legitimate dancer? Do people not remember (or have never seen) that she was on Glee? Are there others who deserve to win ahead of her? The pendulum swings in many ways.

  1. I think people were annoyed that she was a legitimate dancer. One could argue that it isn’t fair and that she has a very large advantage over every other contestant. She was a backup dancer for Beyoncé for crying out loud! I get it. But the show also invited her to play, so that’s on the producers of Dancing with the Stars. You can’t be mad at her for accepting. Or for dancing her heart out while she’s in the environment of some of the best ballroom dancers around.
  2. I don’t think the majority of the viewing audience watched Glee. And if they did, they have a deeper emotional connection with the Rachel and Mercedes characters. Heather was clearly part of the cast because of her dancing abilities. But she did find her own voice as the show progressed. Was it enough?
  3. We all know that this show is half good dancing and half audience appeal. It also has a lot to do with your pro partner. David may not be the best dancer, but he’s charming as all get out. That goes a long way. Bonner may not have any personality whatsoever, but Sharna is an audience favorite. Lots of people have a problem with Maks. Couple that with a bunch of b-roll footage where we see Heather killing it in rehearsals (instead of emotional back stories) and you have a recipe for a contestant being overlooked during voting time.

I tell you one person who was sad/happy to see Maks and Heather go. That would be Val. If he can get people to invest in Normani on a personal level, it’s hers to lose.

In other news, Nick Carter is a guest judge. He has been a member of a boy band for more than two decades and came in second place on Dancing with the Stars. He’s full of knowledge. It makes perfect sense for him to be a judge. I’m sure he knows exactly how to score along the same lines as the others on the panel. Let’s get to it!

Simone and Sasha
Samba
“Survivor” by Destiny’s Child
Once again, Sasha is frustrated that the sweet, tiny girl standing in front of him is struggling with her sex appeal. Poor Simone. She’s been on one date, maybe two (she’s not sure), and has zero experience from which to pull. Has she had a crush on a guy before? Sure. Is his name Sasha? No. His name is Rashad and he’s super dreamy.

Sasha puts Simone in some shredded leather and a long weave, dons his own gold pants, choreographs some hairography and booty syncopation, and encourages Simone to include more a$$ in her performance. Nice. In true Simone form, she plasters on a smile and executes a controlled, clever samba. It was not sexy. And I’m okay with that. STOP TRYING TO MAKE HER SEXY. SHE DOES NOT WANT TO BE SEXY. Rant over.
Bruno’s Best Line: Your future is set in gold. You are sassy madame. Oh yes.
SCORE: 35

Bonner and Sharna
Rumba
“I Want It That Way” by Backstreet Boys
Bonner knows that he’s the weakest dancer on the show. Sharna does too. She admits that she’s figuring out how to help him earn higher points. Her solution? Musical theater. True statement. Bless it. B-L-E-S-S I-T. Sharna makes Bonner lip sync the opening lyrics of the song in an old fashioned telephone. Then she makes him writhe against a wall, while she writhes on the other side. This was such a weird direction to go. Then I figured the judges couldn’t see Bonner on his side of the wall and that was probably on purpose.

They finally comes together halfway through the routine. Sharna rubs up against Bonner. He’s shirtless. Smart move. There were several times where they almost kissed, but didn’t. Her dress was pretty. He had the same face the entire time. He loves Sharna. She does not like him that way, but will pretend until the red lights of doom confirm that she doesn’t have to anymore. My favorite part was when Carrie Ann applauded them for being in sync. She said that with a Backstreet Boy sitting right next to her. CLASSIC! I think it’s also important to know that Nick scored his old partner the same score he gave Simone. What?
Bruno’s Best Line: You got the girl in the end. I didn’t think it was going to happen.
SCORE: 30

Nancy and Artem
Paso Doble
“Free Your Mind” by En Vogue
Guess what? Nancy is freaking out. Artem doesn’t understand why, until Nancy informs him that Mel B. and Maks performed a paso to “Free Your Mind” back in Season Who Cares. To say Nancy is a fan is to say Heather is a pro dancer. Artem finally becomes irritated that they waste so much time being unproductive. Nancy is good. Why are we crying in the halls all the time? Get in the cage and look sexy, woman!

A ton of JV dancers stroke Nancy’s crimped hair as they spin her around and around. I’m thankful they stop so she can exit the darn thing. While I try not to puke, I notice how her skirt is silver on the outside and black on the inside. It was very paso-y. I like that there was a ton of skirt choreography too. There were two things that bothered me though, beside the cage stuff at the beginning. 1. The laser light show was too distracting and could possibly cause seizures. 2. Nancy’s face stayed in a permanent pout. The entire time. Just like Simone’s permanent smile. This has to be muscle memory Olympic training or something. The judges said they liked it, but their scores didn’t really reflect the love. Nick said that Nancy freed his mind. I’m sure Bruno was annoyed that he stole his line.
Bruno’s Amended Best Line: I thought you were a lady and you unleashed the beast tonight.
SCORE: 33

Nick and Peta
Jive
“Fun, Fun, Fun” by The Beach Boys
Nick said he was really looking forward to the jive. Then his face fell when Peta said it is really, really hard. He sticks with his original mantra: Don’t suck. Peta invites all the JV dancers, guys and girls included, to wear 1960-inspired bathing suits. The boys were in the “band.” The girls fell all over Nick. We’ve learned from previous episodes that this is his sweet spot. He comfortable being surrounded by women. He appeared to have fun during the campy jive. His mouth remained open. It lacked polish, but it wasn’t horrific. I agree with Bruno…
Bruno’s Best Line: It was fun, but it was jive with a sun stroke.
SCORE: 28

Normani and Val
Salsa
“When I Grow Up” by the Pussycat Dolls
Normani can do whatever Val throws her way. I appreciate that, but sometimes, I just want the two of them to go out onto the dance floor and dance. Why do we need construction workers, and scaffolds, and caution tape, and hard hats, and man holes puffing up steam? The girl is good. Let her dance in her glittery bra and denim shorty skirt. Let the dance speak for itself.

As Normani does, she kicked, popped, locked, stomped, and grinded her way through the routine. Sadly, there wasn’t much salsa. Only one judge cared that he was watching a hip hop routine instead of Latin ballroom. Guess who it was? The only one to give her an 8, while the others gave her a 10. I’m looking at you, Len Goodman.
Bruno’s Best Line: I think you melted all my wiring.
SCORE: 38

David and Lindsay
Argentine Tango
“I Want You Back” by NSYNC
The hard work and physicality is weighing on David. It doesn’t help that his partner insists he lift and fling her around for the majority of their Argentine tango. Lindsay chastises David, spouting that she never once said it was going to be easy. He pops back with, “You’re not my coach.” Ah-ha! But she is! According to David, they are teammates. There’s a big difference. Maybe he’s tired of the young 20-something not listening when he says, “I THINK I’M GOING TO DROP YOU.” Which he almost did. But David is a strong man and when his arms began to wobble, he lifted her right back up over his head. He probably has a herniated disc as a result, but we can worry about that tomorrow.

They are both in a deep crimson outfit. Lindsay’s is in a barely there lace number. David is in a suave maroon tux. They look great, but it doesn’t translate to their faces. Both appear annoyed and frustrated. Could this be the end to a beautiful partnership?
Bruno’s Best Line: You were a man on a mission to get the job done. You nearly did it.
SCORE: 29

Emma and Rashad
Tango
“Reach Out I’ll Be There” by The Four Tops
Emma has bangs! That’s the first thing I noticed. I also giggled when she said, “You need to man handle me. Treat me like a football.” Boy did Rashad come through. In fact, he man handled so hard, that it was almost too jerky! But I liked it. Emma is growing on me. I think she’s a remarkable choreographer. She managed to create a tango routine to a Motown song, and look sophisticated while doing it. Her dress was basically gossamer with feathery birds on her boobs. Rashad drug her in the splits halfway across the floor to the ooh’s and aah’s of the audience. They stayed in hold almost the entire time. I knew Len would love it. And he did.
Bruno’s Best Line: When the going gets tough, the tough gets winning.
SCORE: 37

Heather and Maks
Rumba
“Waterfalls” by TLC
Maks is back. And he packs everything he knows about the rumba into one dance. There’s storytelling. Lots of passion. Sex appeal. A ton of hip action. It’s sultry and smooth. Heather is in a bright red lace/toga combination that works. Her legs are a mile long and Maks makes good use of them. The dance was flawless in my opinion. I was nervous about the rap part in the middle, but it was only eight seconds or so. Then back to rumba. Lots of quick steps into slow moving ones. I stand by my assessment that she looks like a pro. Absolutely stunning. So was her clutch purse.
Bruno’s Best Line: It was like watching Kim Bassinger in Dancing with the Stars Confidential.
SCORE: 40

Team Dances
Boy Bands vs. Girl Groups

All of the teams come back out onto the stage. The boys are on one side and the girls are on the other. Tom announces that one of the teams is safe and the other is in jeopardy. Everyone knows it’s the boys who are in jeopardy. Except the voters, who forgot to vote for Heather. The girls stare at each other, knowing one will be going home after this group dance. No pressure, Nancy.

The boys go first and they clearly on the high from knowing they are all safe. It was a hot, uninspired, chaotic mess. Wait. Let me add shirtless in there somewhere. It was a hot, uninspired, shirtless, chaotic mess. The rules state that the competitors have to choreograph 20-seconds of routine that they will perform by themselves without their pro. The boys decide to Magic Mike their time. They hump and gyrate against a chair, topless, for 20-seconds. When not under my couch, I found I was able to get through the moment by watching Rashad. Just Rashad. Len laughs, knowing that the boys would have to resort to gimmicks and crowd-pleasing moves in order to beat the girls.
SCORE: 33

Poor Simone is upset to learn that she has to go into sexy mode agin during the girl routine. On a chair. Could this day be any worse? She asks Normani how to channel her inner sex kitten. Normani says that none of this is real. There’s no connection. It’s just acting. Val comes behind her and says, “Good to know.” Ha!

Their routine starts off with some musical theater. It wasn’t the best, but they needed their 20 seconds of non-pro time. The gist? They were getting ready for ladies night. There was zero dancing. Then they find their pro and receive lap dances from Maks, Artem, Sasha, and Val. The girls performed actual group ballroom, twirling all over the floor. The cameras were way off and at one point, we lost the lights. WELCOME TO LIVE TV! After all that drama, Carrie Ann had the audacity to say she was underwhelmed. Huh.
SCORE: 34

Erin ushers the girls back onto the stage to take their spots. Normani and Simone are deemed safe. Nancy knows she’s going home with Heather at her side. When Tom announces, “With her first perfect score, Heather will be leaving us,” the crowd boo’d with the force of a thousand Bachelor: After the Final Rose audience members. Heather manages to maintain her composure, while Maks give the look of, “Where were all you jokers during voting time last week?”

They give a shout out to Alan for being awesome and Heather runs over to have a picture taken with Chile of TLC. That moment right there was worth it for her.

What did you think? Do you get why Heather was sent home? Is Bonner next? Or will the girls slowly be picked off each week? Do you think Nancy will feel bad because the audience essentially boo’d that she stayed behind instead of Heather? Sound off in the comments section!

Photo By: ABC.com

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MissEllys
MissEllys

Simone just doesn’t get into character for her dances. She gives a good routine but not a performance. I was sad to see Heather go. People had it in for her from the moment she was cast. I really want Rashad to win this season, although I wouldn’t mind seeing Normani win.

CO Kathleen
CO Kathleen

I really love Rashad too. Of course he’s obviously talented at dancing but it’s his sweet spirit and good heart that makes him endearing toward me. I think Simone’s downfall will be as you mentioned…she doesn’t get into character enough. Seems to fight it too much. Not that she has to be ultra sexy, but she needs to embrace the performance part of the routines more. I do enjoy her though.

MissEllys
MissEllys

Great recap. I love your comments on the dances.

MissEllys
MissEllys

I feel like all Sharna’s partners must fall a little bit in love with her. But, yes, Sasha needs to develop a new game plan for Simone: , to quote former almost-Bachelorette Caila, no more “sex panther” stuff.

Evenshorter
Evenshorter

Heather has had a lot of dance experience, to be sure – as have so many others before her (Nicole, Riker, Melissa, etc). But for her to go while David, Nick and Bonner are still there? Boggles the mind. And I wouldn’t mind if I saw them improving every week, but Bonner is getting worse to me, instead of better. Nick? Well, he tries. I actually watched the Boy’s dance again and focused on just him. Didn’t do a bad dance and he showed rhythm at least which is more than I can say for some of the others.

Jennifer
Jennifer

He probably has a herniated disc as a result, but we can worry about that tomorrow.

Lol ! My favorite line!

I don’t think people voted for Heather since she was an experienced dancer. So either the voting public didn’t like that and didn’t vote for her or maybe assumed she didn’t NEED their votes….. I do feel that there is a pretty big Glee audience that does watch…. pretty sure a member of Glee won a few years ago with Derek.

DeeDee
DeeDee

I agree that it’s likely that many people were put off by Heather’s high level of dance skill going in to this season. I can see what Lincee is saying when she states “Heather looks like a pro” . . . because she IS a pro!! No ifs, ands, or buts, Heather IS already a professional dancer, one who danced backup on multiple tours with Beyonce. It’s not much fun watching someone on this show who is already a pro and doesn’t have much learning or growing to do throughout the season. I personally would enjoy her more if she was behind the judges’ table instead.

abby
abby

holy cow, i cannot believe heather went home! she and normani are the best by far. crazy. especially when you still have bonner, david, and nick in the mix…like, WHAT? none of them deserve to be there longer than heather. oh, well. quick question, if you don’t mind indulging me: what is the back story with maks and why some people have an issue with him? this is my first season watching.

Jessica
Jessica

Sometimes Maks can be a jerk towards his partners and the judges. He doesn’t always take criticism well, especially when he doesn’t follow the rules or tradition. However, he will stand up for and defend his partners and his choreography . The season he won he definitely showed (or producers edited to show) a softer side of him.

tracee
tracee

I’ve only watched a few seasons and I haven’t seen that side of Maks????? I do know he had problems with Len and Derek in past seasons. He did a World Class job this week.

Mollie A
Mollie A

I’m over the high production non dance piece of the performances that Val puts together. To be able to go out and correctly just do the dance is so much more entertaining. David will continue to stick around because of Cubs Nation. I’d like to see Rashad take the trophy home. Great recap, Lincee!

Tricia
Tricia

So, I think the Heather thing was people were annoyed that the judges fall over her dancing ability and they wanted her out of the way for their personal favorites plus she didn’t give you anything to connect to as a fan emotionally. I would agree with saying many were upset because she has held the title of professional dancer but that is on Producers. Let’s be honest – they are running out of “stars” judging by some of the castings the last couple of years. Yes, the majority of the singers that have been on have had dance training and have to dance in bands like Normani, Riker, NIck Carter, Nicole etc. but I think they would all tell you they see themselves as singers/musicians first who had to either learn to dance or call upon childhood dance training. Heather was a dancer first who managed to turn that into some acting. Musicians along with athletes do have an advantage because they usually have more rhythm, they learn quickly and they can just push their bodies harder. I think we’ve had a couple of seasons where the best technical dancer doesn’t win because there has been someone who has improved greatly to become a good dancer but has won the crowd with their charisma & makes you want to cheer for them. I’m also not a Maks fan because of his attitude so I have to really really like his partner to vote for him. Same with Val. He is not doing Normani any favors with the gimmicks. She is strong enough to just go out and dance. I had to rewind to see that they were supposed to be doing a salsa. I thought this was their week for jazz based on choreography alone. It’s time for Bronner & Nick to go. Nick mainly so that he and Vanessa can stop pretending they are still together, I’m not buying that is a long-lasting relationship. Finally, I was so uncomfortable during the guys group dance Magic Mike sequence but then I watched the ladies and had to give them credit for not wasting time “acting”. Those 4 pros messed up. They had as much talent to work with in a group dance in many seasons and they blew it.

Leigh
Leigh

I quit watching American Idol after a few seasons because it was a popularity contest rather than a singing contest as far as audience votes went. After last night, I feel the same way about DWTS. When the fan votes send one of the best dancers home and leave the obviously very poor but popular dancers to dance another week, then I am out.

Keely
Keely

I don’t know Heather or watch Glee or Beyoncé. I felt like she felt entitled. She has Maks and dance experience so shes the winner before the show even aired. That’s how I felt.

I like the dancers who have that story the gets you right in the heart! Plus that they can dance. Nancy is my fav this season. It’s been what 20 years since she was in the olympics? My other fav is Ross only because if us so funny!

Emily
Emily

I was devastated (strong word for such a campy show, I know, ha) to see Heather go. But I honestly think viewers didn’t connect to her. I’ve read on some forums that people interpreted her facial expressions during the judges’ critiques as thinking she was better than this (which I didn’t really see).

I also think it’s really interesting that the two women who did light-hearted Disney dances as “princesses” ended up in the bottom two. It reminded me of the year that Nastia did a Frozen dance on Disney week — I remember feeling underwhelmed by it.

abby
abby

I was also shocked to see Heather go, but I totally understand and agree with the comments you read regarding her facial expressions. I certainly noticed it myself each week…something about the way she looked while listening to the judges rubbed me wrong every.single.time. She was the best dancer, no doubt (and I have never voted, so I suppose I can take a fraction of the blame-ha!), but I could see how her expressions would be enough to lose her votes.

tracee
tracee

Great re-cap Lincee! Glad you addressed the obvious First.

I would like Artem to talk me down. Stop sniveling Nancy.

Maks coaching this week amazing.

Bruno’s comments after the Boy Group finished were PRICELESS…….N’Stink and One E……..tion

Go Rashad!

Ann
Ann

This week’s elimination was ridiculous. That David, Bonner and Nick stayed while Heather was eliminated is nuts. And you know David would be the first to admit that – I do love his fun-loving attitude.

This show is in serious need of a “Tim Gunn save” option.

Sara

I love Rashad. I would love to see him win. David seems like such a great guy, I’d love to see him stick around a bit longer. Plus, Lindsay is my fav. It’s probably time for Nick to go home, but I love watching his awkwardness. I think it’s endearing. Speaking of bachelors, how crazy is that news about Chris Soules?!?
Thanks, as always, for the recap, Lincee!

Michele
Michele

I feel bad for Heather. As Lincee said, it was the producers of DWTS who invited her to compete. Why would she turn it down? It’s in her wheelhouse! If I had a chance to dance with any of the pros, I’d be delighted to (and I’m not even a real dancer.) I didn’t find her attitude off-putting at all. I thought she accepted the critiques of her performances thoughtfully and politely. She certainly had an advantage for having previous dance experience, but I wish she could have stayed in the competition longer. I simply enjoyed watching her dance–she’s REALLY good! (I saw some episodes of Glee, but didn’t watch it much, so my opinion is strictly about her dancing ability, not as a regular fan of hers.) Maybe in the future the judges could be allowed one “save” each season — override an elimination of a competitor they thought was exceptional and allow him/her to stay in the competition. I’m sad we won’t be seeing more performances from Heather. (Sometimes in the past the judges on SYTYCD have been allowed to save one of the three people with the lowest votes–the elimination was not strictly on vote counts.)

And I agree with others who have not been impressed with the large production numbers. I guess I’m a purist who loves to watch the dancing itself. Some of the big production numbers are just too busy for my taste. (Especially Val and Normani’s salsa at the construction site. OK, there was some good eye candy, but the dance seemed too disjointed and frantic to me and I didn’t need the distraction of the other construction workers/dancers.)