“You’re guilty — of killing that tango!” exclaimed “Dancing with the Stars” judge Bruno Tonioli in response to Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez‘s Argentine tango on “Showstoppers Night” (watch above). On Monday night’s show the contestants performed routines inspired by classic Broadway numbers, and quite appropriately Hernandez performed her tango to “Cell Block Tango” from the long-running show “Chicago.”
Tonioli raved about Hernandez’s technique, marveling that she had the “accuracy and precision of a laser … How did you do that?” Fellow judge Julianne Hough concurred, saying, “This was the perfect dance for you to use your strength and your flexibility.” Carrie Ann Inaba thought the gymnast’s physical prowess was put to good use with her pro partner Val Chmerkovskiy: “I am speechless … You were working Val like he was a balance beam and the bar.”
Before she hit the dance floor there was some concern that 16-year-old “DWTS” frontrunner might struggle to channel the sensuality required to portray one of the “six merry murderesses” of the iconic musical — when faced with the prospect of rubbing her dance partner’s chest she likened it to smearing peanut butter. But those worries turned out to be unfounded, and the judging panel, including Tony-winning guest judge Idina Menzel, gave her a perfect score: 40 out of 40.
This is the second week in a row that Hernandez has received a perfect score from the judges, which is a major improvement. After starting the season as a dominant force, Hernandez spent many weeks during mid-season in the middle of the pack, but she’s back to firing on all cylinders. With just five celebs left in the competition, is there anyone who can stop her?
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