‘DWTS’ Season 23: Laurie Hernandez Dazzles, Earns Perfect Score in Week 4

PHOTO: Olympic gold medalist Laurie Hernandez with her "Dancing With The Stars" professional dance partner Val Chmerkovskiy.PlayCraig Sjodin/ABC
WATCH 'DWTS' Season 23: Laurie Hernandez Earns Perfect Score in Week 4

In a special show tonight, competitors on “Dancing With the Stars” performed routines that were all inspired by various Cirque du Soleil shows, and they were even joined on the ballroom floor by Cirque’s acrobats and other performers.

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At the end of the night, Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez topped the leaderboard with 30 points -– earning not only the first 10s of the season but the season’s first perfect score. Singer/music producer Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds brought up the rear with 18.

The star with the lowest combined total of judges’ scores and viewer votes is generally eliminated during the weekly results show that follows the performance show, but co-host Tom Bergeron announced tonight that the stakes will be even higher than before: two couples will be going home tomorrow.

Tonight’s high scorer: The Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast channeled her inner Michael Jackson for a sassy jazz routine that electrified the ballroom audience and judges and earned her three 10s for the first perfect score of the season. During the judges’ critique Julianne Hough initially made amazed faces without speaking, then said: “I literally have nothing to say other than the fact that Michael Jackson may be the king of pop but you are the queen of the ballroom!”

Tonight’s standout moment: Racecar driver James Hinchcliffe turned in a showstopping Broadway-inspired quickstep that earned him cheers from the audience and rave reviews from the judges. Bruno Tonioli compared Hinchcliffe and his pro partner Sharna Burgess to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, saying the routine was “absolutely fantastic.” Added Hough: “I just want to ask, like, who are you? Like who are you IndyCar driver that’s like the most charismatic and got like the vocal cords and the acting chops. Like literally you could go and do Broadway ... that was amazing, you are the real deal.” Hinchcliffe earned 28 points.

Judges’ Scores:

Laurie Hernandez and Valentin Chmerkovskiy: 30

James Hinchcliffe and Sharna Burgess: 28

Terra Jolé and Sasha Farber: 25

Amber Rose and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 24

Maureen McCormick and Artem Chigvintsev: 24

Calvin Johnson Jr. and Lindsay Arnold: 23

Jana Kramer and Gleb Savchenko: 23

Vanilla Ice (Robert Van Winkle) and Witney Carson: 23

Ryan Lochte and Cheryl Burke: 22

Marilu Henner and Derek Hough: 21

Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and Allison Holker: 18