‘Dancing With the Stars’: A Terrifying Horror Night Narrows Down the Competition (RECAP)
With Halloween just around the corner, Dancing With the Stars got in the festive spirit with a horror-inspired Episode 7.
The competition is heating up after Melanie C and partner Gleb Savchenko’s shocking elimination during last week’s Grease Night. The final 10 couples continued to battle it out on the dance floor as some of the most iconic spooky and supernatural characters from the silver screen in hopes of avoiding elimination ahead of next week’s Queen-themed episode. Additionally, judge Derek Hough put on his dancing shoes for a “spooktacular” routine alongside his girlfriend Hayley Erbert and dancers from his Las Vegas residency show.
Check out tonight’s creepy routines below, including those inspired by the films IT, A Quiet Place, American Psycho, and more.
The Miz’s dance to “Wicked Games” by RAIGN (Paso Doble)
Happy to get into the spooky spirit, The Miz made several attempts at scaring his partner Whitney Carson during rehearsals to no success. It wasn’t until their families hung out for some kid-friendly Halloween fun that he managed to catch her off guard. After the pair “nailed” their paso doble inspired by the film Hellraiser, the wrestling superstar confessed his biggest fear is dancing in front of the judges every week. He had no need to worry, as the judges loved his terrifying routine, especially how he incorporated Pinhead’s stiffness into his performance. Despite a few small critiques regarding posture and hand placement, the pair earned a score of 34 out of 40 points.
Kenya Moore’s dance to “Take My Breath” by The Weekend (Argentine Tango)
Kenya Moore and partner Brandon Armstrong were thrilled to have received their first nines of the season last episode after being in the bottom two for two weeks. Going into their Argentine Tango inspired by the film Arachnophobia, Kenya drew inspiration from her childhood Halloween experiences. Growing up a Jehovah’s Witness, she never got to fully experience the holiday but did experience Detroit’s annual “Devil’s Night,” in which residents burn down abandoned buildings and homes throughout the city. Bringing the fighting spirit of her hometown to the ballroom, they spun a web around the judges, with Bruno calling the performance “beautiful and deadly.” Though a few of the judges called out a bit of wobbling and posing, they managed to earn a solid score of 32 points.
JoJo Siwa’s dance to “Anything Goes” by District 78 ft. Patrice Covington (Jazz)
From a teen pop sensation to a killer clown, JoJo Siwa terrified the judges as Pennywise for her IT-inspired jazz routine with partner Jenna Johnson. During rehearsals, JoJo stated how much she loves seeing kids dress up as her for Halloween, so she surprised Jenna dressed up in her matching outfit and red nails, even down to her brown hair! Her family surprised the pair in rehearsals to see a sneak peek at their performance, which the judges adored. Carrie Ann applauded how she pushed herself more than ever during this week’s routine, with Bruno stating, “You turned a nightmare into a work of art.” Though he loved the performance, Derek found JoJo’s look terrifying due to his fear of clowns, even if JoJo joked that her outfit made her feel even more herself. They managed to scare away bad scores, as they continued their perfect score streak for the second week in a row.
Cody Rigsby’s dance to “There Will Be Blood” by Kim Petras (Cha Cha)
Cody Rigsby was ready to get into the Halloween spirit for Horror Night, dancing the cha cha with partner Cheryl Burke inspired by the thriller American Psycho. The pair video chatted with Cody’s boyfriend Andrés during rehearsals, in which he gave his partner the advice to “be yourself, but psycho.” Inspired by their relationship and love for the horrifying holiday, the Peloton instructor dedicated his performance to his beau, saying, “Andrés, this one’s for you.” Donning the businessman/serial killer Patrick Bateman’s emotionless stare, Cody had Carrie Ann scared of him “for all the right reasons.” Len was thrilled that he finally showed the power of his potential, with Derek calling it his best dance of the season. Earning their first nines across the board, the two earned a score of 36 points out of 40, one of the highest of the night.
Jimmie Allen’s dance to “Say Something” by Daniel Jang (Contemporary)
While revealing a contemporary routine inspired by A Quiet Place, Jimmie Allen joked that his family wouldn’t last long in the film’s universe due to the noisiness of his newborn baby. But he strongly related to the characters’ strong familial ties, and he and partner Emma Slater were excited to pay homage to the film by incorporating sign language into the choreography. The emotional performance brought the pair to tears and took the judge’s breath away. Carrie Ann loved how the routine proved the power of dance, stating, “This is why I love this show so much.” Breaking the tension, Derek joked how such an emotional dance came out of Horror Night. The pair earned their first 10 of the season with a score of 38 points out of 40.
Olivia Jade’s dance to “Beggin” by Måneskin (Paso Doble)
Despite earning their highest score of the season last week, Olivia Jade and partner Val Chmerkovskiy found themselves in the bottom two but were saved by the judges’ vote. She expressed her insecurities over audiences voting for them during rehearsals, so the two looked to prove why they deserve their place in the competition with their paso doble inspired by The Purge. Living up to the challenge of Val’s intense choreography, the judges were amazed at her ability to keep up with the difficulties of the routine, even questioning themselves as to how the pair was almost eliminated. Len compared her to a zombie, having been close to death last week but coming back to life with the night’s performance. They walked away with a score of 36 points out of 40.
Melora Hardin’s dance to “Hound Dog” by Elvis Presley (Jive)
Melora Hardin was excited that her Horror Night dance would be inspired by the film Cujo, as her father Jerry Hardin starred in the Stephen King classic as the character Masen. Further connecting her parents to her time on DWTS, her acting coach mother once taught former Season 30 competitor Brian Austin Green, among many other famous actors. Her parents stopped by rehearsals to visit her and partner Artem Chigvintsev, after which she expressed how lucky she is to still have them around and wanted to dedicate her performance to them. Bruno and the judges loved the way they continued to play off each other and bring a fun energy to each of their dances, though Carrie Ann and Derek wished she would have pushed herself a bit more. Seven weeks into the competition, the judges are looking for the competitors and their partners to challenge themselves. Despite the criticism, they still earned a solid score of 34 points.
Iman Shumpert’s dance to “I Got 5 On It (Tethered Mix from US)” by Luniz ft. Michael Marshall (Contemporary)
Iman Shumpert loves dressing up for Halloween almost as much as he loves being a “Halloween Dad” and trick-or-treating with his kids. His partner Daniella Karagach recalled how she was previously nervous about their pairing due to their significant height difference, but the partnership they have built over the past six weeks perfectly prepared them for their contemporary routine inspired by Jordan Peele‘s Us. The mesmerizing performance brought the audience to their feet, earning a standing ovation from the judges and their fellow competitors. Carrie Ann called the routine “genius” and “sheer perfection,” while Len congratulated Daniella’s amazing choreography and ability to make Iman shine. Dubbed by Bruno as a “masterpiece performance,” they earned their highest score of the season and the second perfect score of the night, tying with JoJo and Jenna.
Suni Lee’s dance to “Bad Habits” by Ed Sheeran (Tango)
Going into Horror Night, Suni Lee managed to scare her partner Sasha Farber during rehearsals, but he quickly sought revenge as the week went on. Known for his annual Halloween pranks, Sasha managed to get her back in a spooky mask, to which she was not amused. However, she was very excited to take inspiration from her favorite show, The Vampire Diaries, for her Tango to Ed Sheeran’s “Bad Habits.” She even received a message from Elena Gilbert herself, Nina Dobrev, later on in the night! While Carrie Ann continued to praise her ever-growing confidence, the judges noticed some mistakes in her frame and footwork. Specifically, Derek noted that her footwork wasn’t always on time with the beat of the song, but the opening dress change and fun energy still made the routine a fun one to watch. They walked away with a score of 36 points.
Amanda Kloots’ dance to “Paint It, Black” by Ciara (Argentine Tango)
To prepare for Horror Night, Amanda Kloots and partner Alan Bersten took a trip to the Nights of the Jack Halloween event in Los Angeles. She was happy to get into the holiday spirit and expressed her excitement about taking her son Elvis trick-or-treating for the first time this year. While rehearsing their Argentine Tango inspired by the gory horror flick Saw, Amanda began struggling with self-doubt, making the night’s performance a stressful one. The judges managed to pick up on that, as Carrie Ann and Len stated that she was trying too much to the point where she appeared stiff at times. Regardless, the pair pulled off another amazing performance that managed to scare the judge’s socks off, largely due to Amanda’s horrifying transformation into the villainous Jigsaw. With two tens from Derek and Bruno, they earned one of the highest scores of the night with 38 points out of 40.
Who went home?
JoJo and Jenna and Iman and Daniella escaped elimination thanks to their perfect scores, along with many of the night’s top couples. Returning to the bottom two once more were Kenya and Brandon, this time joined by Suni and Sasha. With the judges left to determine which couple would return to dance another week, Carrie Ann, Derek, and Bruno all chose to save Suni and Sasha, meaning there was no tie for Len’s vote to break. Though the couple’s DWTS journey has come to an end, Kenya and Brandon managed to persevere through the challenges that came their way, ending their time in the competition on a high note.
Dancing With the Stars, Mondays, 8/7c, ABC