“Dancing with the Stars” contestant Normani Kordei went from judges’ favorite to the middle of the pack in the blink of an eye. She finished on top of the leaderboard for the last two weeks, but on “Most Memorable Year” night she dropped significantly. Did she really deserve to, though? She performed a rumba inspired by 2012, the year she joined the music group Fifth Harmony. She opened the show, which is always a tough position to be in since the judges have nothing to compare it to. But even with that in mind her total score of 32 out of 40 seemed unusually low. Len Goodman even gave her a 7, which was the same score he gave to struggling dancers like Mr. T and Nick Viall. That left Kordei in a tie for fifth place on the leaderboard.
“You are a great dancer,” Goodman told her, but then he turned his critique to Kordei’s pro partner Val Chmerkovskiy for his choreography: “I’ve got to see a little bit more content of whatever the dance is. I didn’t see much rumba.” But Julianne Hough called Kordei a “powerhouse. You dance as if your career depends on it … So well done.” Bruno Tonioli added, “I think you know what I like, and you gave it to me! … I felt Val was almost unnecessary.” And Carrie Ann Inaba said, “I felt there was a pride in you that was so wonderful to watch.” Then, of course, Inaba had to deduct a point of her own for a lift. Tonioli was the only judge who gave Kordei a 9. Inaba and Hough gave 8s.
Do you think Kordei actually had the best routine of the night? Watch her rumba above and then vote in our poll below to decide your favorite performance from “Most Memorable Year” night. And if you think she’ll win the Mirror Ball Trophy you can make your predictions here.