It’s close to midnight and something evil’s lurking in the dark…oh, it’s not evil, it’s Dancing with the Stars! This week the Spanx-wearing stars are getting spooky with Halloween-themed dances followed by slightly scary team dance numbers. Whatever it takes to get ever closer to bringing that Mirror Ball trophy on home.
Here’s what happened on Dancing with the Stars:
Nick Carter and Sharna Burgess: Last week, Carrie Ann Inaba told Nick that she wasn’t crazy about his dance, a brutal truth that Nick accepted, because he doesn’t need people to “kiss his a**” just because he’s a Backstreet Boy. He seems to take the criticism to heart, though, and struggled in rehearsals. Sharna thinks he’s struggling because he was “the youngest of the Backstreet Boys,” which must be like growing up without running water or eating too many trans fats or something. Despite these hurdles, they manage to hit the dance floor for a Halloween-themed Argentine Tango set to the traditional Evanescence song. It was a solid, if somewhat uninspired performance, although Sharna’s Bride of Frankenstein should earn some extra points. 24/30
Hayes Grier and Emma Slater: During rehearsal, Emma reminds the voting audience that Hayes is “literally growing up on national television.” Literally! As for Hayes, he knows he has to man up for this week’s werewolf-themed waltz with Emma. Instead of taking the opportunity to dance to “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah,” which would have been strangely appropriate, they opted for a smooth spin to Lana Del Rey’s take on “Once Upon A Dream.” It was a cute dance, but nothing to Vine about. 26/40
Alexa Penavega and Mark Ballas: Alexa has been on a roller coaster lately, earning a string of 10s with Derek Hough during the Switch Up and then being in jeopardy last week. So it’s no surprise that she’s crying in the rehearsal room while practicing her Edward Scissorhands-themed paso doble. Her emotions helped her turn the paso into a memorable performance. Carrie Ann said, “It’s like you cut off your head and just danced,” which is apparently a good thing. 27/30
Tamar Braxton and Valentin Chmerkovskiy: After scoring a perfect 40 last week, Tamar is feeling like a contender. To continue her streak towards the Mirror Ball trophy, this week she has to do a frightening foxtrot set to “People Are Strange” by The Doors made Halloween-y thanks to a fog machine, a gown straight out of Elvira’s closet, and copious amounts of guy-liner on Val. The judges thought Val and Tamar were out of sync and missing some holds, a critique that Tamar completely disagreed with. There’s a good chance her overwhelming, unwavering confidence will take her all the way to the finale. 24/30
Leah Remini Proves She’s A Pro: Because it’s Halloween, the DWTS set is lousy with jokesters and evil clowns, one of whom pranked guest host Leah in the middle of a live segment. She collapsed on the ground in horror, but didn’t swear on live television. Erin Andrews probably would have dropped an f-bomb.
Andy Grammer and Allison Holker: Has anyone ever danced a paso doble to Marilyn Manson before? For their leather-clad follow-up to last week’s perfect score, Andy and Allison hit the floor to the grinding clatter of “The Beautiful People.” The judges didn’t think it was the most traditional Spanish routine, but against their better judgement, Julianne and Carrie Ann liked it anyway. Andy may have hypnotized them with his ice-blue contact lenses and extra tight leather pants. 26/30
Bindi Irwin and Derek Hough: This week, Derek had a tough job ahead of him: transforming the bubbly Bindi into an evil vampire queen for their Argentine tango set to a deep cut from the Lost Boys soundtrack. They managed to pull it off thanks to Bindi channeling the fiercest animal in the Australian outback — her father, who told her not to mistake kindness for weakness. She showed her strength in the routine and delivered yet another impressive performance. At the end, Carrie Ann declared, “All hail the queen!” and Bruno Tonioli called it not only an “Argentine tango master class” but also a “spellbinding dance magic.” At that, Bindi couldn’t help but giggle and squeak thank you before running upstairs. 30/30
Alek Skarlatos and Lindsay Arnold: Last week, the so-called “train attack hero” failed to impress the judges with his Elvis impersonation. In the grand scheme of things, the fact that he selflessly saved lives on a French train is a much bigger deal than being a failed Elvis impersonator, but Alek took the critique personally. When he was downhearted in rehearsals, Lindsay recruited Artem Chigvintsev to dole out some tough love and dance tips. It paid off when Alek confidently hit the ballroom floor for a Viennese waltz to Beyoncé’s “Haunted,” which is about ghosts, apparently. 25/30
Carlos PenaVega and Witney Carson: Nothing screams “Halloween theme” like the theme to Halloween, but a close second is Carl Orff’s inherently creepy “O Fortuna” from Carmina Burana, a cantata written specifically to creep people out. It’s a good song for a dramatic paso doble and Carlos ekes out every last moment of drama complete with cape flipping and mask wearing and an intense mirror moment. 28/30
Team #Nightmare: Yes, they’ve incorporated hashtags into the team names. Nick has been anointed Team Captain and chose Tamar, Andy, and Hayes to dance beside him in a gloriously Tim Burton-esque rendition of “This Is Halloween” from The Nightmare Before Christmas. The routine owed a huge debt of gratitude to Burton and Danny Elfman, but it was remarkably fun to watch and even Tom Bergeron couldn’t help but announce that he wanted to see it again immediately. Carrie Anne said that if she was on the other team she would be “pooping in her pants” by now. Julianne called it one of the best team dances they’ve ever seen, which is pretty much picking a fight with her brother, who has never lost a group dance competition before. 30/30
Team #WhoYouGonnaCall: Team Captain Bindi decided that love is real and chose Alexa and Carlos for her team, and then let Alek third wheel with the happy couple. They hitched up their proton packs and suited up for a Ghostbusters themed dance with the women playing ghosts tormenting the hunters with poor flicks or kicks or something. It was a fun routine with Carlos pulling off a cool lift on a hoverboard, but it had lower energy, a few slip ups, and fewer wow moments. The end result was Derek’s first-ever team loss, even though his sister tried to save him (or at least make Christmas less awkward) by giving him a 10. 28/30
In Jeopardy: Hayes and Emma; Tamar and Val; and Alexa and Mark
Who Went Home: Hayes is packing his spray tan and hair gel and heading home. Apparently Vine superstardom doesn’t translate into prime time votes. Even though he’s a Cool Teen™ Hayes looked like he was going to cry, but Emma spared him the indignity by pulling him in for a hug. Altogether now: Awwwwwww.