It's the spookiest night of the season on Dancing with the Stars as the stars and pros tackled some seriously haunting material for Halloween Night!
After last week's surprise ending (Disney magic kept everyone alive and there was no elimination!), it's easy to think our surviving nine couples would get complacent, but that was not the case! They danced their little hearts out, and some of them were even scary good. But sadly, Disney magic can only last for so long; the elimination round showed no mercy this week!
Read our full recap of the night below...
The dance: The video package where Milo went "crazy" during rehearsals may have been a little corny, but the routine that followed more than made up for it. This contemporary dance was CRAZY, with lifts and flips all over the place, and Witney wasn't kidding when she said it was the creepiest thing she'd ever choreographed. I wasn't even mad at the whole arm-lick thing because I was so into the creepy-crawly-ness of it all by that point. This routine is definitely one for the history books!
What the judges said: The judges praised Milo for letting his acting abilities come out during this dance, and Bruno even thought he might get a call from Ryan Murphy for American Horror Story after his stunning performance. Even Len, who usually hates contemporary and jazz routines, admitted this dance worked for him, saying, "For some bizarre reason, I thought this was spellbinding,"
Perfect score! But eww, he should have gotten negative points for that fake blood gag!
The dance: John was not getting the whole "King Henry and Anne Boleyn Battle in the Afterlife" theme on or offstage. John has never been the most graceful of dancers, which makes classical ballroom stuff very difficult for him, poor thing. There were several times when he was off the count and his arms were flopping all over the place — there was even a point where he nearly dropped Emma during a lift because he stepped on her dress. YIKES.
What the judges said: "I appreciate the fact that you attacked it like a warhorse, but there were so many mistakes," said Bruno. Carrie Ann had a similar sentiment, calling it heartbreaking since he tried so hard but just couldn't make it work. The posture and the gravitas were just missing for her. Bizarrely, Len was the one to find the silver lining, saying everything he did in hold looked pretty good.
Grocery Store Joe might not get the worst score of the night for once!
The dance: How did DeMarcus get this far in the competition without doing a single body roll? Has he seriously not had to salsa before this? Wowza. All in all, this routine was 10 percent awesome, 90 percent forgettable. Besides the one crazy drop lift (that made me worry Lindsay was about to fall straight on her head), the choreography was all kinds of vanilla. Once again, this couple proved that when you focus on the steps and techniques instead of the flare, DeMarcus goes from a contender to a long shot for that mirrorball.
What the judges said: Carrie Ann loved all the lifts and Len thought DeMarcus managed to keep up with the pros dancing next to him fairly well. He actually thought this routine was a breakthrough for him, which I think is taking it a little far — it wasn't anywhere near his best performance — but that's Len for you. I zoned out for Bruno's bits, but let's just assume he said something salacious, deal?
The dance: Frankly, there was a serious oversight not giving Evanna a routine to "I Put a Spell on You," and I'm not sure what happened. These producers are asleep at the wheel, guys. The cat theme worked though, and it gave Evanna one of her best routines yet! For the first time, it didn't feel like she was counting the steps or trying to think her way through a routine, it just looked like she was dancing it. Sexy is something I was worried she couldn't really pull off, but this Tango proved me wrong! And my girl crush on Luna Lovegood just got way stronger, in case anyone was wondering.
What the judges said: Len had nothing but nice things to say about her "sharp, crisp as a Pringle" technique, which was a weird metaphor, but whatever. Bruno made the obligatory "pussycat" joke that made us all wildly uncomfortable, though he made up for it by also complimenting her technique. Carrie Ann clearly took Evanna's disappointment about not getting 10s to heart, since she totally gave the game away in the feedback section about giving her one tonight.
The "kitty cat energy" works for Evanna!
Bobby Bones and Sharna Burgess: Argentine Tango - "Mr. Sandman" by SYML
The dance: Poor Bobby Bones, his schedule is a literal nightmare! If you were getting up at 1 a.m. every day, you'd turn into an Evil Sandman too! I'm honestly surprised he hasn't tried to get himself eliminated yet just to grab a few extra hours of sleep, but no such luck! Bobby attacked this routine with the same gusto and confidence as always, and even though Sharna was doing the bulk of the work this time around, Bobby still held his own most of the time. I feel like he just does better with the quicker, more energetic stuff?
What the judges said: The judges may have loved the storytelling element of this routine, but they took issue with the fact that this tango felt a whole lot like a contemporary routine. And you know how Len likes to deduct points for not following style! Carrie Ann was on a totally different page, saying she was mesmerized and it was Bobby's best dance so far. Girl, check yourself before you wreck yourself.
Someone give Bobby a NAP!
The dance: Mary Lou's confessional during the video package was very emotional, and it was kind of a huge decision to share the details of her divorce on live TV. That's kind of why I feel bad about what comes next... I've often praised Mary Lou for being more adventurous and graceful and on the beat than other contestants, but I'm sad to say none of that was present in this week's routine. Everything felt stiff and slow and stilted. The quick turn and graceful lifts we've gotten out of these two before were just gone, making me wonder if there was an injury they forgot to disclose or something. This was not the night to play it safe, and for some reason, they did.
What the judges said: Carrie Ann agreed that the dance felt forced and kind of got away from her. She even said it lacked elegance, which is as mean as Carrie Ann gets! Len took issue with Mary Lou's feet, but Sasha's decision to hone in on the tango content might have won them a few points with him. The shoulder critique was back during Bruno's section of feedback, which kind of bummed Mary Lou out.
The only scary thing about this routine is how close it's putting Mary Lou to elimination.
The dance: Wow, umm... are Alexis and Alan legit going to get together? Usually, the showmances on Dancing with the Stars are just funny gags or behind-the-scenes rumors, but this was a full-on Real World-style confession of love from Alexis. And the worst part is Alan doesn't seem very into it! Awkward. Focusing back on what matters though... this whole dance was a little bit of a mess. The choreography and the partnership were both there, but the music track started echoing at some point, making the lyrics kind of fade in and out. That threw Alexis off big time, and then both she an Alan struggled to get that lift off the ground. It was not their best, to be sure.
What the judges said: Bruno complimented Alexis' ability to make every dance she gets look effortless, especially the lifts. Dude... did you not see them both struggle big time with that last lift? Carrie Ann focused on the joy Alexis brings to the routines, which is her nice way of saying, "Ehhhh, A for effort!"
So do we think that showmance storyline was just a bid for votes or...?
The dance: You know what? Even though this was not great and Joe just can't dance to save his life... I've got to say that this was the best he's ever done. He never lost the beat, he stayed in character and he was sharper than we've ever seen him before. Jenna continued to use the time-honored method of choreography for bad dancers, aka she kept Joe's feet planted as she danced and posed around him, but honestly, I couldn't have cared less this time because it was the first night I didn't feel embarrassed for Joe! OK, so that last lift where he nearly broke Jenna's back had me feeling it a little, but that was more about fear than anxiety.
What the judges said: The judges agreed that this was Joe's best dance yet! "For once it actually looked like an Argentine Tango... your timing tonight was the best ever!" Bruno praised. Carrie Ann was like a proud mama bear, and she even promised to give Joe a bonus point for not giving up on the lift that went wrong. Well, I'd hope so! If he gave up, Jenna would be dead for real right now!
His highest score of the competition!
The dance: Juano Pablo continues to impress, but I was genuinely worried he'd never get back to that epic salsa win that got him a perfect score so many weeks ago. This week's routine washed that worry away, and I'm pretty sure it's the strongest we've ever seen him. The footwork was excellent, those sexy, spicy hips were back in action and the whole thing was just fun, fun, fun! I'm calling it now, Juan Pablo is making it to the finale, no problem!
What the judges said: None of the judges had much to say since this routine was so strong. Len praised the technique and its perfect mix with the theme, saying there was nothing he didn't like about this dance. That's a rave review! Carrie Ann called it "sheer perfection," and Bruno called it "perfection all the way through." Get it, Juan Pablo.
Another perfect score for Juan Pablo!
Elimination: Mary Lou and Sasha played it safe on a night where they really needed to impress, which is why they ultimately went home at the end of the night. Mary Lou took it like the champion she is, smiling through the disappointment. "This has ben the time of my life. I hadn't challenged myself in decades, but I challenged myself and I'm off to a fresh new start!" Mary Lou told Tom as she said her goodbyes.
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.