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Did the judges make the right call?
It's spooky szn! And you better believe your favorite dance show isn't missing out on the fun. From an undead dance set to Billie Eilish's "Bad Guy" to kick off the show to a truly terrifying routine by Sean Spicer, Dancing with the Stars went for it this Halloween Night. (Even though Halloween is, you know, Thursday.)
This special themed evening saw the first group dances of the season -- and another surprising dancer is out the door. Here's how it all went down...
Kel Mitchell and Witney Carson
Jive / "The Time Warp" from The Rocky Horror Picture Show
I don't know how Rocky Horror diehards will feel about a snake-ified version of "The Time Warp," but Kel is feeling it. (You can tell by his quick feet and never-ending smile throughout the dance.) The judges are loving it as well. Len says Kel was rocking and he was reeling from it. Kel did great, but honestly, let's give Witney a hand for such a weird, wonderful reimagining of a cult classic.
James Van Der Beek and Emma Slater
Viennese Waltz / "I Put a Spell on You" by Annie Lennox
Only James Van Der Beek can make playing a dancing demon look good. He and Emma are doing the Viennese waltz this week. The backstory to their dance is he's a demon who's upset his dance partner is in a relationship. And for a dance about a demon torturing a woman, it is surprisingly beautiful and elegant -- minus one slip-up where James lost his footing a bit. But it didn't matter much to the judges. "You put a spell on me," Len says in his continued obsession with the former Dawson's Creek star.
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Ally Brooke and Sasha Farber
Tango / "Sweet but Psycho" by Ava Max
After being in the bottom two last week, Ally is ready to prove herself this week--despite the fact she's terrified. And not just of being eliminated: She's scared of snakes, sharks, thunderstorms, etc. But Sasha says she has to be fearless when doing the tango, their dance this week, which Ally's doing dressed as Harley Quinn. If I'm being honest, the song doesn't seem like a good fit for a tango. But I'm not a judge, and the judges love it, so who cares what my thoughts are! Carrie Ann says it's ridiculously good, Len thinks it's a terrific dance, and Bruno says it was a premier league tango.
Hannah Brown and Alan Bersten
Jazz / "Bad Girls" by Donna Summers
The former Bachelorette star is trying to shed her past -- both her low scores from last week plus her pageant background -- with a spooky jazz dance. As a "bad girl," Hannah wins over Len. But that's the only judge who's fully on board. Bruno says that Hannah looks great as a zombie, but she needs to be sharper on the syncopation. Len disagrees, saying that the dance was crisp and clear. And Carrie Ann makes the feedback even more confusing: She says yes, it is crisp and clear but there's something disconnected. With Erin in the sky box, Alan even agrees. He says Hannah is insecure, even though she doesn't need to be, but he's working on it. Will he have enough time?
Karamo Brown and Jenna Johnson
Paso doble / "Survivor" by Destiny's Child
Karamo doesn't scare easily, but one thing that will elicit a scream from him: finding out he's dancing to a Beyoncé song. (I'm not going to split hairs and say it's actually a Destiny's Child song ... so I'll just put it in parenthesis.) They dance the paso doble to a dramatic rendition of "Survivor," and it earns him the highest scores of the competition so far. Carrie Ann gets so excited by it she knocks off her Maleficent horns. Len starts his critique by complimenting the hair, makeup, and wardrobe department -- which feels a bit like Liz Lemon complimenting the lighting -- but he does go on to say Karamo attacked the dance.
Lauren Alaina and Gleb Savchenko
Argentine tango / "Whatever Lola Wants" by Sarah Vaughan
In this week's dance, Lauren is a strong, independent vampire. But I think Gleb might be the one with actual superhuman strength because at one point he does a move where he starts on his stomach and leans back to be STANDING ON HIS FEET. I don't know what kind of muscles you need to do that, but I know I don't have them. Despite one small slip, the judges are in awe of this dance. Carrie Ann says she can tell Lauren's core is getting stronger and stronger -- which is ironic because she apparently fractured a rib on the left side during the first week and hasn't had the three on the right that are bothering her X-rayed yet. Now that is a strong, independent vampire woman.
Sean Spicer and Lindsay Arnold
Jive / "Monster Mash" by Bobby Pickett
I'm going to pull a Len and say the makeup in this dance is fantastic. Sean Spicer is barely recognizable as the monster of Frankenstein in his jive... until you look at his legs. He's still very clearly struggling with dancing, but he tries his best. He really does. The judges don't pull any punches. "Your timing is not your strong suit," Bruno says. Carrie Ann gets punny, saying, "That was a dance only your mummies could love." She even thinks he's backsliding a bit. When the judges give him an 18, there are boos from the audience. Are we all watching the same thing?
Kate Flannery and Pasha Pashkov
Rumba / "Wicked Game" by Chris Isaak
Yet again, Kate surprises. This week she's tasked with doing a rumba, which is all about movement and giving in to the rhythm. And Kate has no problem doing that. Bruno says her and Pasha's performance is beautiful and haunting. He does think that she loses fluidity at times, but that her extensions are improving week to week. Carrie Ann says watching a woman doing a rumba with confidence is her favorite thing to watch, and Kate has that level of confidence. Len not only compliments Kate and her dancing but also applauds Pasha for raising the level of choreography -- for all the pros. Let's all just applaud that Russian werewolf for a minute. I'm a fan.
After individual rounds, the stars are divided up into two groups: Team Trick and Team Treat. Their group scores will combine with individual scores for this week's rankings.
TEAM TRICK: Hannah and Alan, Lauren and Gleb, James and Emma, Ally and Sasha
"Somebody's Watching Me" by Rockwell
The group dance is one that feels like it was made for four newbie dancers who are just starting to learn two dances in a week. It's fairly simple and not fully together, but it's fun and they fully lean into the Halloween theme. The judges love it, though. They're kinder on the celebrities than I am, I guess.
TEAM TREAT: Sean and Lindsay, Karamo and Jenna, Kate and Pasha, and Kel and Witney
"Sweet Dreams" by Beyoncé
Karamo gets to dance to Beyoncé twice. It's his best dream, but the dance is all about the nightmares. I wish I could make a joke about how the dance is a nightmare, but it's not! Once again, it's fun, slightly awkward, but the judges love it. It's "nightmarishly entertaining," according to Bruno. They do acknowledge that the stars weren't always on time, but the group did their best. ("Sean almost kept up!" says Carrie Ann.)
The judge's scores combined with the live votes to bring us to this week's bottom two: Karamo and Jenna and Kate and Pasha. And, yes, if you did the math, that means Sean Spicer is somehow still in this. Seriously, America, are we watching the same show??
The judges can only save one couple: Carrie Ann says the two are evenly matched, but goes with Karamo and Jenna. Bruno leans the other way and saves Kate and Pasha. That means Head Judge Len has to split the tie. He says neither couple deserves to be here, but he goes with Kate and Pasha.
So, Karamo is heading home, but he got to dance to not one, but two, Beyoncé songs, and that's a win in my books.