‘Dancing with the Stars’: Normani Kordei’s ‘Movie Night’ tango deserves ‘Academy Award for Best Dance’ [WATCH]

“I can safely say that the Academy Award for Best Dance of the Night goes to Normani and Val! That was one of the classic dances that makes this show so special,” said Bruno Tonioli, giving rhapsodic praise to Normani Kordei and Val Chmerkovskiy for their Argentine tango on “Dancing with the Stars” for “Movie Night.” They performed a routine to “Quizas Quizas Quizas” by Jennifer Lopez as a tribute to foreign films, and they were rewarded with 10s across the board from the judging panel for a total of 40 out of 40 — only the second perfect score of the season, following Heather Morris‘s bittersweet final dance last week.

Sign up to get Gold Derby’s free newsletter with experts’ latest predictions and breaking news

This was Kordei’s fourth time on top of the judges’ leaderboard this season, so while gymnast Simone Biles has been the odds-on favorite to win the Mirror Ball Trophy since we opened our predictions two months ago, it might be time to reconsider that. Carrie Ann Inaba was also effusive in her praise: “That was incredible,” she said, “What is so insane about you is that not only are you strong and fierce, you are elegant. Not only do you dance in a way that is pure beautiful artistry, you spread it out and dance in all planes at once. It’s an honor to watch you dance.”

Len Goodman admired her technique and Chmerkovskiy’s choreography, which had “a hint of staccato, which you want to see in tango, but that was blended with a softness, which you want to see in Argentine tango.” Choreographer Mandy Moore was a special guest judge for this week’s show, and you couldn’t ask for a better person to give feedback. She’s an Emmy nominee with credits ranging from “So You Think You Can Dance” to “La La Land,” and she pointed out something specific that set Kordei’s performance apart: “What I was most impressed by was your leg action,” Moore said. “If I just watched you from the waist down, you’ve gotten so strong in your legs. You were not like that in week one … For me, technically you have grown a lot.”

Predict ‘Dancing with the Stars’ now; change them until the show starts on Monday nights

Do you think Kordei had the best routine of the night? Watch her Argentine tango above and then vote in our poll below to decide your favorite performance from “Movie Night.” And if you think she’ll win the “DWTS” Mirror Ball Trophy you can make your predictions here.

More News from GoldDerby