Get ready for a night of frights because Dancing with the Stars is all about Halloween. The eight remaining couples are all set to perform ghoulish individual routines, ending the night with the highly-anticipated team dances. But the scariest part is that one of these eight worthy couples will be eliminated.

'Dancing with the Stars' Recap: Scary Team Dances on Halloween Night

Will Derek win the team round as he always does? Who will go home? How “amazing” is it that Leah Remini is back as co-host for a second week in a row? And are you as excited as I am for three Paso Dobles and two Argentine Tangos?

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The show opens with the “Monster Mash,” naturally.

Nick Carter and Sharna Burgess: Argentine Tango

They’re taking on Frankenstein and his bride. It’s intensely beautiful, though the highlight is a long and exciting lift. But technically, the judges thought it was too clunky and lacked the hard, sharp hits the style requires.

Judges’ Scores: 8+8+8=24

That might be a bad score tonight.

Hayes Grier and Emma Slater: Waltz

He’s going full-on Teen Wolf. Instead of scary, they go for a romantic, dream-like routine that works quite effectively. As always, his lines are spectacular and add a lot to the feeling of the dance. The judges like him, but still point out a few little technical issues that keep him from going to the next level. Julianne Hough loved it a lot.

Judges’ Scores: 8+9+9=26

The werewolf facial hair seemed to boost his confidence.

Alexa PenaVega and Mark Ballas: Paso Doble

Mark is Edward Scissorhands because there’s nothing he loves more than playing dress-up. The dance is fast and fun with tons of passion. Their character work is outstanding, even with dancing bushes surrounding them. How can you not love Mark’s creativity? It’s nonstop dancing and the judges love that she got out of her head for once during a routine.

Judges’ Scores: 9+9+9=27

I’ll be shocked if we see a 7 this week or ever again for the rest of the season.

Tamar Braxton and Val Chmerkovskiy: Foxtrot

They’re doing a haunted carnival. In rehearsals, Val finally feels like Tamar is listening to him and she has a lot of confidence, thinking she’s the best dancer in the competition. I’m not wild about her cocky attitude, but her dancing is fierce and on point. It’s bewitching and backs up her outrageous claim. The judges saw some lack of synchronicity between the two of them. She might be the best solo dancer, but she’s not the best at partner work. I feel like the judges are trying to take her down a peg after her comments in the video package.

Judges’ Scores: 8+8+8=24

Sasha Farber, dressed in a clown mask, snuck up on Leah during the interview and scared the heck out of her. Can we please get Sasha back as a pro partner next season? He’s a delight.

Andy Grammer and Allison Holker: Paso Doble

They’re dancing to Marilyn Manson’s “The Beautiful People,” which is next-level creepy. He’s happy to play a scary guy, but Allison’s bar is much higher now that they’ve tasted perfection. It’s different from the last Paso, much more hard-hitting and robotic. It’s fine, but I don’t think Andy is that dark, and his posture is very weak. Bruno Tonioli thought it lacked shape, but Carrie Ann Inaba was OK with it and Julianne was turned on.

Judges’ Scores: 9+9+8=26

The ladies were voting with their libidos.

Bindi Irwin and Derek Hough: Argentine Tango

They’re going straight-up vampire with this dance. Being scary isn’t easy for Bindi because she’s so gosh-darn cute. It’s another fantastic routine from her, largely due to the fact that Derek can choreograph the hell out of an Argentine Tango. But there’s no denying that she killed it. The judges rave about the technique and the ferocity of Bindi.

Judges’ Scores: 10+10+10=30

By my count, this is the 40th perfect individual routine in Derek’s DWTS career, only counting routines where he was the primary partner. The next closest are Mark Ballas and Cheryl Burke, who have 20.

Alek Skarlatos and Lindsay Arnold: Viennese Waltz

They’re inspired by the Woman in Black, which isn’t anything. Alek feels like the judges robbed him, so Artem Chigvintsev shows up in rehearsals to toughen him up. This style fits his military precision, but I have some issues. First, there’s too much smoke and second, he just comes across as dull. The judges liked it more than they did before, even though they couldn’t see his footwork through the smoke.

Judges’ Scores: 9+8+8=25

That’s a reasonable score, despite the boos.

Carlos PenaVega and Witney Carson: Paso Doble

The third Paso of the night has a Phantom of the Opera theme set to the scariest piece of classical music ever, “O Fortuna” from Carmina Burana. Carlos might be the first person ever to admit to being overscored last week. The rehearsal is hard for him because it’s fast and he has to use a cape. Once again the smoke machine obscures some of the dancing, but it’s an amazing routine that’s full of the kind of masculine power that I look for in a Paso. The judges loved the operatic look and feel, but it wasn’t quite perfect.

Judges’ Scores: 9+10+9=28

And he beats out his wife by a single point. It says a lot that the three highest individual scores are all on the same team. Speaking of which, it’s time for the team dances!

Team Nightmare

Captain Nick Carter gets Tamar, Andy, and Hayes (who was picked last) on his team, giving them the three oldest stars left plus the youngest. They’re celebrating Halloween Night with The Nightmare Before Christmas. They’re having a monster dinner party. It perfectly captures the twisted magic of the claymation film and the group parts are incredibly spot-on. They are all in sync, which isn’t easy for a team this big. Hayes stood out for Julianne and the judges loved it.

Judges’ Scores: 10+10+10=30

Well-deserved! Now the next team needs to be perfect or Derek’s streak of never losing a Team Dance will be over.

Team Who You Gonna Call?

Captain Bindi Irwin chose Alexa, Carlos, and then Alek. They’re taking on Ghostbusters and we learn that Bindi is awful at trash talking. The guys are the Ghostbusters and the girls are sexy ghosts. They’re using giant throws and hoverboards. The dance is definitely not as good as the first one. The group work suffers from Alek being out of sync and the first 20 seconds are a little awkward. The individual bits don’t have much in common and Carlos and Witney’s hoverboard stuff was a tad distracting. The judges point out the lack of being in sync in the first part, with Bindi getting the blame.

Judges’ Scores: 9+10+9=28



The first couple IN JEOPARDY is…Hayes and Emma!
The second couple IN JEOPARDY is…Tamar and Val!
The third couple IN JEOPARDY is…Alexa and Mark!

Wow, three couples in danger.

Hayes Grier and Emma Slater ARE ELIMINATED!

I predicted it, but I’m not happy about it. He had so much potential and absolutely killed it tonight. He definitely would’ve been safe next week if he stayed and he was the biggest surprise of the season, such a joy to watch.


The team dance scores evened things out and just 1.3 percent of votes currently separate first from last for next week’s elimination.

58: Bindi Irwin
56: Andy Grammer, Carlos PenaVega
55: Alexa PenaVega
54: Nick Carter, Tamar Braxton
53: Alek Skarlatos

(Image courtesy of ABC)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.