‘Dancing With the Stars’ Episode 8: A Shocking Bottom 2 After Relay Dances (RECAP)

Alan Bersten Skai Jackson Dancing With the Stars
Spoiler Alert

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 29, Episode 8 of Dancing With the Stars.]

The show must go on … without one of the couples. Jeannie Mai has exited Dancing With the Stars after being diagnosed with epiglottitis (“she is doing well,” host Tyra Banks said), and instead of a double elimination, only one of the rest of the celeb-pro pairs was sent home Monday.

After the episode opened with the celebrities encouraging everyone to vote (in the election, not for them, though Chrishell Stause requested both), the couples had a first for the season: two dances, solo and relay. Below, we’re breaking down both and the scores. Read on to find out who impressed and who was eliminated. Plus, scroll down for a look at Mai’s DWTS journey.

Kaitlyn Bristowe’s dance to “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen (Jive)

With pro Artem Chigvintsev, the Bachelorette was smooth and very bounce-y, and she clearly knows the moves. But she hasn’t won over the judges entirely just yet, especially Carrie Ann Inaba. She did, however, note she came back “with grace and energy” in one of her “better performances.” Both Derek Hough and Bruno Tonioli think she can go all the way but want to see more attack from her.

Score: With eights from Carrie Ann and Bruno and a nine from Derek, they scored 25 out of 30.

Nev Schulman’s dance to “Stuck with U” by Ariana Grande & Justin Bieber (Viennese Waltz)

After a perfect score, the Catfish host and partner Jenna Johnson, Nev had a lot to live up to, and while it wasn’t their best — as Carrie Ann noted, there were a couple missteps — he continued to be so graceful and the two dance so well together. “You were oozing charm and charisma,” Bruno said. “You were in control, light on your feet, extremely musical.”

Score: With nines across the board, they scored 27 out of 30.

Justina Machado’s dance to “Magalenha” by Sergio Mendes (Samba)

One thing that is clear every single time the One Day at a Time star steps on the dance floor is how much fun she has — and that once again came cross here, with pro Sasha Farber. You could see it in every single move, though, as Carrie Ann noted, there was a stumble, but she recovered well. “You’re so fun to watch,” Derek said, and Bruno agreed: “You have such an exuberant, joyful presence.”

Score: They also received three nines for 27 out of 30.

Nelly’s dance to “Nobody Knows” by The Tony Rich Project (Rumba)

With pro Daniella Karagach, the rapper looked more comfortable in the ballroom in a dance that was so sweet and touching after he spoke about the sister he lost. But the judges did have a few notes for him, including about his footwork. And while he’s not at the level they’d like to see, Carrie Ann said, he gave them “everything” in the dance.

Score: With three sevens, they scored 21 out of 30.

Chrishell Stause’s dance to “Love on the Brain” by Rihanna (Viennese Waltz)

The chemistry is certainly clear between the Selling Sunset star and her partner Gleb Savchenko in the ballroom, and as she showed with this performance, she has definitely improved and become one of the most consistent dancers. “That was very graceful and elegant, sexy also,” Carrie Ann said. But Bruno advised her that while she has very good moments, she has to “sustain it.”

Score: They scored 24 out of 30, with three eights from the judges.

Skai Jackson’s dance to “Work It” by Missy Elliott (Salsa)

The Disney Channel star and pro Alan Bersten made a strong impression from the start with a lift … and just kept going with one crazy lift after another, which, admittedly, was a bit of a distraction from the rest of the performance. (Derek even wondered if “there was one or two too many.”) But as Carrie Ann noticed, Skai was “really aggressive” this week, and both Bruno and Derek noted she’s more grounded.

Score: With eights from Carrie Ann and Bruno and a nine from Derek, they scored 25 out of 30.

Johnny Weir’s dance to “Wonder” by Shawn Mendes (Foxtrot)

It was another solid performance from the Olympic figure skater and partner Britt Stewart, though he did seem very conscious of the rise and fall of the foxtrot. Carrie Ann called that an “artistic choice” (which she liked). “Your frame was fantastic,” Derek praised, with Bruno adding, “you have this wonderful, sweeping movement that filled the stage.”

Score: With three nines, they scored 27 out of 30.

AJ McLean’s dance to “Way Down We Go” by KALEO (Rumba)

After the Backstreet Boy and pro Cheryl Burke opened up about their addictions, they delivered the most intense performance of the night, with their past struggles evident in every movement. But as the judges noted, there wasn’t as much rumba action as they would have liked. “I was so captivated by it because the intensity, the intent, the drama the purpose, the storytelling, you were just killing it,” Bruno said. “What a passionate, powerful performance,” Carrie Ann added. “You moved us. I could feel you were dancing from your deeper, darker places.”

Score: All three judges gave them eights, for a score of 24 out of 30.

Relay Dances

The couples were split into three groups. Each group danced to a different song, and the couples took turns. One judge ranked the couples within each group, and those rankings determined the bonus points they received. Those were then combined with the individual scores and live voting to determine who was up for elimination.

Cha Cha Relay to “Rain on Me” by Lady Gaga

Carrie Ann judged Nev, Chrishell, and Nelly. She noted that Nev got off to a weaker start that she’d expected, while Chrishell had “more content” this time, and Nelly was the most improved from the first time.

Bonus points: She gave Nev three points (they “outshined everyone else”) and Chrishell and Nelly both two.

Viennese Waltz Relay to “I Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston

Derek judged Justina and Johnny. (Jeannie was in their group.) Both dances were so elegant, and he called Justina and Sasha’s “beautiful,” but wanted “a little more energy,” while Johnny and Britt were “phenomenal.”

Bonus points: He gave Justina two points and Johnny three.

Samba Relay to “Levitating” by Dua Lipa

Bruno judged AJ, Kaitlyn, and Skai, all of whom “really got the feel of the dance,” he said. AJ was “very rhythmical,” Kaitlyn “so well-finished,” and Skai “much, much improved.”

Bonus points: He gave AJ and Kaitlyn both three points and Skai two.


After combining the scores and fans’ votes, the celebrities in the bottom two were Skai Jackson and Chrishell Stause. Carrie Ann chose to save Skai, as did Bruno. (Derek also would have if he had had to vote.) Chrishell Stause was eliminated.

What did you think of the latest elimination?

Dancing With the Stars, Mondays, 8/7c, ABC