Everyone was in the Halloween spirit this week Dancing with the stars.
Not only did the contestants give some of their scariest performances, but even the judges walked into the holiday, dressing in their best costumes while dishing out healthy doses of praise and criticism to each of the remaining nine couples.
And it wouldn’t be Halloween without resident con artist Sasha Farber trying to scare couples away during rehearsal. He sneaked up behind some during their interviews and dropped fake spiders in rehearsal rooms, but the pranks mostly fell flat.
Along with their individual routines, the couples also competed in two group performances to compete for extra points to keep them out of the bottom two.
Jordan Sparks and Brandon Armstrong. Praised for her “musicality” last week, the platinum singer’s goal heading into Halloween night was to work out the details and finally perfect her frame as she tangoed to “Oogie Boogie’s Song.” It seemed to pay off, as Chief Judge Len Goodman told him “sparks were flying” during the performance and praised Armstrong for his choreography. Her technique still needs a bit of work, according to the judges, and the performance still wasn’t enough to earn her the 10 she was hoping for. Score: 35 out of 40.
Charli D’Amelio and Mark Ballas. Coming off another week of perfect grades, the social media star hit a bump in the road when Ballas told her he couldn’t rehearse with her due to lower back pain. Pasha Pashkov stepped in to take his place and, thankfully, Ballas recovered in time to make it to the ballroom for Monday night’s performance. Their Argentinian tango inspired by vintage horror movies earned the duo even more praise from the judges. “My head is spinning like Linda Blair from The Exorcist“said Bruno Tonioli. Carrie Ann Inaba said she was always looking for more intensity from the teenager. Score: 39 out of 40.
Daniel Durant and Britt Stewart. The CODA The star and her partner took a different approach to Halloween night, dancing a paso doble to Billie Eilish’s “bury a friend” as video game characters are stuck in a zombie apocalypse. He was also kicked out of his game after missing a rehearsal due to illness, but still had one of his best performances of the season. “It always amazes me every time you step onto that dance floor, like I’m sure everyone does at home,” Inaba said. She and Goodman agreed that they would like to see Durant work on his form heading into the semifinals. Score: 34 out of 40.
Shangela and Gleb Savchenko. After Len called his late-night performance of Michael Bublé “best of the season,” Shangela was ready to shake things up again with his jazz routine to Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do.” Savchenko told her partner it would be the “perfect opportunity” for her to show off her acting skills while performing her technique. “You were in such a deep, dark place, darling mum. I loved every minute,” Inaba said, adding that Shangela managed to improve on her last performance. She hit the ground when she realized she had got a perfect score. Score: 50 out of 50
Vinny Guadagnino and Koko Iwasaki. The jerseyshore The star may be a fan favorite, but he got some pretty harsh reviews last week from the judges, who weren’t impressed with his cha cha at the Michael Bublé party. Guadagnino hoped his nasty paso doble could give him the boost of confidence he needed to give a cleaner performance, explaining that he was “tired of being a good guy”. He seemed to walk the floor with much more confidence this week, but still received lukewarm feedback from the judges. Goodman admitted that “it wasn’t all bad,” but it wasn’t all that great either. “I don’t have any dance experience,” Guadagnino said, telling host Alfonso Ribeiro he was a “work in progress.” Score: 30 out of 40
Heidi D’Amelio and Artem Chigvintsev. Mama D’Amelio is looking to be more “inventive” this week as the comparisons between her and her daughter continue to roll in week after week. “Charli and Mark have been very adventurous with their choreography,” she said. She and Chigvintsev danced a tango with a rubber band tying them together for the first part of the show – a risk that The D’Amelio Show the star said she could pay or put them back in the bottom two. Well, it paid off for some and not for others. “Heidi, bondage suits you!” cried Tonioli. “You had that killer instinct in you tonight. I liked it.” Meanwhile, Goodman and Inaba think she’s on a plateau after giving a few “strong” performances in a row. Score: 37 out of 40
Gabby Windey and Alan Bersten. Former Bachelorette co-star Val Chmerkovskiy tested positive for COVID last week, so Bersten (who along with Season 31 co-star Jessie James Decker was voted out last week) filled out about half of the rehearsals . “It took me a while to feel comfortable with Val coming into my space. Alan and I need to feel comfortable with each other,” Windey said. what they did to ramp up their chemistry worked, as the judges were very impressed with their vampire Argentinian tango. “I’m so proud of you tonight,” Inaba said. “The way you were able to change and pivoting to a new partner and still having that much chemistry, it requires so much vulnerability, but yet you had your strength the whole time.” Score: 38 out of 40
Wayne Brady and Witney Carson. Brady fell in the rankings last week after missing most of his rehearsal time due to illness. He said he left Michael Bublé’s night feeling “disappointed” and hoped to make a comeback this week. Carson said she would use her strengths as a storyteller to help catapult the couple to the top by giving them a character to play. They danced a tough contemporary like some kind of creepy cyborgs, but Inaba and Goodman still felt like something was missing. Score: 37 out of 40.
Trevor Donovan and Emma Slater. After being saved from the bottom two for the second time, Donavan was determined to rise through the ranks with his Halloween night performance. “You have to really feel the dance,” Slater told his partner of their contemporary dance to Justin Bieber’s “Ghost,” where Donovan played a grieving husband and Slater was his wife in the afterlife. Unsurprisingly, their chemistry was off the charts, and the 90210 star brought the emotion needed to earn the judges’ praise. “It’s such a beautiful thing to witness the gift of dance and…to see the love of dance grow within you,” Hough said. The pair rolled three 10s. Score: 39 out of 40
After the individual dances, it was time for the group routines. Team Wicked consisted of Vinny and Koko, Shangela and Gleb, Gabby and Val, Heidi and Artem, and Jordin and Brandon. Score: 33 out of 40
The Scream team was Trevor and Emma, Charli and Mark, Wayne and Witney, and Daniel and Britt. Score: 39 out of 40
The last two were D’Amelio/Chigvintsev and Sparks/Armstrong. Inaba voted to save D’Amelio, while Hough and Toniolo voted for Sparks. Goodman broke the tie in favor of D’Amelio, so Sparks was sent home.
It’s 90s night next week in the ballroom.
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