Heather Morris may not have pro partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy by her side on the “Dancing With the Stars” stage on Monday, but the “Glee” alum showed she has what it takes to shine under any circumstances.
Morris and her substitute partner, Alan Bersten, hit the dance floor to perform a tango set to Britney Spears’ hit “Toxic,” and the talented star hit all the right beats to make the audience go wild, and to finally get some positive feedback from the judges.
Rocking a skin-tight beige bodysuit emblazoned with strategically placed crystal embellishments — a call-back to Spears’ own risqué, glittery garb from the “Toxic” music video — Morris couldn’t have been better.
Also, Chmerkovskiy cheering her on from the sidelines couldn’t have hurt when it came to delivering her powerhouse dance.
The sexy, high-energy tango won over all the judges, including Len Goodman, who has been notably critical of Morris over the last few weeks. However, she was finally able to get through to him with her skillful routine.
“If you were playing poker, you went all in,” Goodman praised of the actress’ Vegas Night performance. “You put in all your chips, went all or nothing, and you came out a winner!”
Julianne Hough also complimented Morris on becoming more comfortable with Bersten after a somewhat shakey outing last week.
“Tonight, you guys felt so connected,” Hough marveled. “You guys had subtleties, and you had little things, and your chemistry, which was off the charts!”
For their efforts, the pair earned the first nine of the whole season from Carrie Ann Inaba, while Goodman, Hough and Bruno Tonioli awarded the duo three eights for a total of 33 out of 40.
Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles and her partner, Sasha Farber, later also earned a nine for their quickstep set to “Viva Las Vegas,” — for a total score of 32 out of 40 — while figure skater Nancy Kerrigan and partner Artem Chigvintsev earned a nine for their samba set to Ricky Martin’s “Shake Your Bon Bon.”
However, the highest score of the night went to Fifth Harmony’s Normani Kordei, whose foxtrot to Shirley Bassey’s “Hey Big Spender” earned her and pro partner Val Chmerkovskiy two nines for an impressive 34 out of 40.
After Morris and Bersten’s dazzling tango, Chmerkovskiy joined the pair backstage to talk with co-host Erin Andrews, and the sidelined pro gave a bit of an update on his injury.
“I’m walking now, and I’m making strides a little faster than expected,” Chmerkovskiy shared. “I’m hoping for a full comeback by the end of this week.”
For more on Chmerkovskiy’s painful calf injury, check out the video below.
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