Dancing with the Stars NZ: Walter Neilands' cha-cha savaged by judges as 'just not up to standard'

For his latest routine on Dancing with the Stars NZ, Walter Neilands received the harshest feedback of the competition so far.

The former Sticky TV presenter took to the floor with partner Melissa McCallum and two back-up dancers for a sultry cha-cha to CeCe Peniston's 'Finally'.

Clad in a metallic letterman jacket, Neilands strutted his stuff, executed some lifts and pulled off a flawless forward drop that could have easily turned into a face-plant. But the judges weren't impressed.

"The cha-cha is about hip action, and there was absolutely none of that," Rachel White said. "The routine was very simple and not executed well."

She said while Neilands is a great guy, his dancing is "just not up to the standard".

Camilla Sacre-Dallerup was even harsher.

"Did you call David Seymour and ask for tips?" she said, a reference to the hapless ACT leader's notorious moves from last season.

Neilands admitted Seymour has been in touch - but only to offer emotional support.

Ultimately the pair were awarded two 4s and a 5 for a score of 13, placing them at the bottom of the leaderboard.

While Neilands has struggled to win the judges over, he's a firm crowd favourite - boos could be heard after some of the more critical comments.

The next episode of DWTS NZ will air on Monday at 7pm on Three. The full episode can be watched again on ThreeNow.