Everyone was in the Halloween spirit this week Dancing with the stars.
Not only did the contestants give their most terrifying performances, but even the judges got in on the fun in their best costumes, dishing out a healthy dose of praise and criticism to each of the remaining nine couples.
And it wouldn’t be Halloween without resident prankster Sasha Farber trying to scare couples during rehearsal. He would sneak up behind some during interviews and throw fake spiders into rehearsal rooms, but the pranks mostly didn’t work.
In addition to the individual routines, the couples also competed in two group performances to compete for extra points to keep out of the bottom two spots.
Jordan Sparks and Brandon Armstrong. The platinum-selling singer, who was praised for her “musicality” last week, is making it her Halloween night goal to nail the details and finally perfect her form during her tango to “Oogie Boogie’s Song.” It seemed to pay off as head judge Len Goodman told her that “sparks were flying” during the performance and praised Armstrong for his choreography. According to the judges, her technique still needed some work and her performance still wasn’t enough to earn her the 10 she was hoping for. Rating: 35 out of 40.
Charlie D’Amelio and Mark Ballas. After another week of great scores, the social media star was hit with a bump when Ballas told her he wouldn’t be able to rehearse with her due to back pain. Pasha Pashkov took his place and, fortunately, Balas recovered in time to enter the ballroom for Monday night’s performance. Their Argentinian tango, inspired by vintage horror films, earned the duo even more praise from the judges. “My head is spinning like Linda Blair’s Exorcist– said Bruno Tanioli. Carrie Ann Inaba said she still expects more intensity from the teenager. Rating: 39 of 40.
Daniel Durant and Britt Stewart. The CODA star and his partner took a different approach to Halloween night by dancing the pasa doble to Billie Eilish’s ‘Bury a Friend’ as video game characters caught up in a zombie apocalypse. He was also ruled out after missing some training time due to illness, but somehow still produced one of his best performances of the season. “It still amazes me every time you hit that dance floor, just like everyone back home,” Inaba said. She and Goodman agreed that they would like to see Durant work on his form as the semifinals approach. Rating: 34 out of 40.
Shangela and Gleb Savchenko. After Len called her Michael Bublé night “the best of the season,” Shangela was ready to shake things up again with her jazzy routine to Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do.” Savchenko told his partner that it would be a “perfect opportunity” for her to show off her acting skills as well as practice her technique. “You were in such a deep, dark, dearest place for mom. I loved every minute of it,” Inaba said, adding that Shangela successfully pulled off her final performance. She fell to the floor when she realized she had gotten a perfect score. Rating: 50 out of 50
Vinny Guadagnino and Coco Iwasaki. The Jersey Shore star may be a fan favourite, but last week he came in for some pretty harsh criticism from the judges, who weren’t impressed with his Michael Bublé cha-cha night out. Guadagnino hoped his bad-guy passo-double could give him the confidence he needed for a cleaner performance, explaining that he was “tired of being the good guy”. He seemed to step on the floor with more confidence this week, but still received some warm comments from the judges. Goodman admitted that “it’s not that bad,” but it’s not that good either. “I have no dance experience,” Guadagnino said, telling host Alfonso Ribeiro that he was “a work in progress.” Rating: 30 out of 40
Heidi D’Amelio and Artem Chigvintsev. D’Amelio’s mom is looking to be more “resourceful” this week as the comparisons between her and her daughter continue week after week. “Charlie and Mark were very adventurous with their choreography,” she said. In the first part of the performance, he and Chigvintsev danced a tango, connecting them with a rubber band – a risk that The D’Amelio Show star said it could pay off or put them in the bottom two again. Well, for some it paid off, for some it didn’t. “Come on, slavery becomes you!” – exclaimed Tanioli. “You had a killer instinct tonight. I liked it.” Meanwhile, Goodman and Inaba think she’s plateaued after several “strong” performances in a row. Rating: 37 out of 40
Gabby Windy and Alan Bursten. Former “Bachelorette” co-star Val Chmerkovskiy tested positive for COVID last week, so Bursten (who along with his Season 31 co-star Jessie James Decker was eliminated last week) filled in about halfway through rehearsals. “It took me a while to get comfortable with Val coming in for me. Alan and I have to feel comfortable with each other,” said Windey. Whatever they did to speed up their chemistry, it worked because the judges were very impressed with their vampiric Argentine tango. “I’m so proud of you today,” Inaba said. “The way you were able to change and turn to a new partner and you still had so much chemistry that required so much vulnerability, but you still had strength the whole time.” Rating: 38 out of 40
Wayne Brady and Whitney Carson. Brady slipped down the leaderboard last week after missing most of the practice time due to illness. He said he left the Michael Bublé night feeling “disappointed” and hoped to return this week. Carson said she would use his strengths as a storyteller to help the pair get back on top by giving him a character. They danced complicated contemporaries in the form of some creepy cyborgs, but Inaba and Goodman still felt that something was missing. Rating: 37 out of 40.
Trevor Donovan and Emma Slater. After escaping the bottom two for the second time, Donovan was determined to climb the leaderboard with his performance on Halloween night. “You have to really feel the dance,” Slater told her partner in their contemporary dance to Justin Bieber’s “Ghost,” in which Donovan played a grieving husband and Slater was his wife in the afterlife. Unsurprisingly, their chemistry was off the charts, and 90210 the star brought the emotion needed to win the judges’ high praise. “It’s so beautiful to see the gift of dance and … to see your love for dance grow,” Hugh said. The couple got three dozen. Rating: 39 of 40
After individual dances, it was time for group numbers. The Wicked team consisted of Vinnie and Coco, Shangela and Gleb, Gabi and Val, Heidi and Artem, Jardin and Brandon. Rating: 33 out of 40
The Scream team consisted of Trevor and Emma, Charlie and Mark, Wayne and Whitney, Daniel and Britt. Rating: 39 of 40
The bottom two are D’Amelio/Chigvintsev and Sparks/Armstrong. Inaba voted to save D’Amelio, while Huff and Taniola voted for Sparks. Goodman broke the tie in favor of D’Amelio, so Sparks was sent home.
Next week is a 90’s night in the ballroom.