Dancing with the Stars recap: Halloween Night

Dancing with the Stars Halloween Night
Season 25, Episode 7

I don’t know what is wrong with me. I typically love Dancing with the Stars Halloween Night, but for some reason, things seemed off for me this year. Could I be coming down with a cold? Am I in a bad mood? Or was my bar set so high last year with this routine:

I can be sure, but I watched this particular episode with a critical eye. The things the judges loved, I didn’t love. Contestants I traditionally root for were lackluster to me. And the nonsense that went on at the end of the show was annoying enough for me to audibly express my disapproval.

The bright side? I truly enjoy everyone who is left and I have zero idea who is going to win this thing. Maybe you can help me by breaking it down in the comments section. Until then, let’s get to the guys and goules. Let the irritation begin!!!

Victoria and Val
Viennese Watlz
“The Night We Met” by Lord Huron
I truly like Val and Victoria together. I think her story is breathtaking. What bothers me is that Val is hell bent on reminding us all the time that Victoria can’t feel her legs. It rubbed me the wrong way when he said, “At the end of the day, Victoria survived death. She can survive Jordan and Lindsey at the top of the leader board.”

Why did that bother me? I’m unsure. I guess it’s because Victoria doesn’t want to rest in that fact. She wants to be treated normally. And when she ends up at the bottom of the list, Val becomes frustrated that the judges aren’t comparing apples to apples. Visibly, Victoria looks like a great dancer with just a little stiffness. But that’s not the case. We tend to forget that she literally CAN NOT FEEL HER LEGS.

The next minute, Val pushes her to be even better and that’s when she thanks him for not having pity on her. Then he choreographs a really pretty Viennese Waltz where two dead people float around a graveyard. After barking at her that she doesn’t know how to dance with someone she really loves, I see a hint of fire in Victoria’s eyes. She decides right then and there to bring it. And she does. It was elegant, smooth, and to quote Len, “ethereal.”
SCORE: 27

Jordan and Lindsay
Paso Doble
“Animals” by Martin Garrix
I’m glad the show runners put Jordan and Lindsay second in line-up, otherwise they would have received a strongly worded letter from me. For the first time, Jordan is not in first place and Lindsay takes on that blame. She knows she needs to bring it because her biggest competition is her former mentor and teacher Mark Ballas.

Well this explains a lot, doesn’t it? I’d put Lindsay right behind Mark in the creative choreography category. Lindsay leans less quirky and a little more mainstream, but there were some head scratcher parts to her paso doble. I get that Jordan is a werewolf and travels with his werewolf pack of JV dancers. It even sort of makes sense that Lindsay is a naughty version of Little Red Riding Hood. What I don’t understand is why she had vampire teeth. Additionally, why did she strip away the awesome red cloak/skirt halfway through the dance? Was it to show off her snowy white lingerie to all the wolves watching? I don’t know.

I guess the vampire teeth, the cloak, and the Frederick’s of Hollywood special totally distracted me from really watching the dance. According to the judges, it was the best paso in the history of pasos. They L-O-V-E-D it!
SCORE: 30

Nikki and Artem
Jive
“I Put a Spell On You” by Bette Midler
Here’s another example of a confusing execution. The song choice “I Put a Spell On You” is from the Disney Halloween movie Hocus Pocus. It is extremely popular. Why didn’t Nikki dress up as one of the Sanderson sisters and Artem as that dude in the cemetery who has his mouth sewed shut? That would have been perfect! Instead they haul out an entire makeshift Starbucks and bounce around in 60s-inspired costumes. How does that even make sense? Nikki continues to plaster on a smile and Artem continues to look extremely bored. The judges were not feeling it. Neither was I.
SCORE: 24

Vanessa and Maks
Paso Doble
“Game of Survival” by Ruelle
Once again, Maks choreographs an entire routine where Vanessa is apart from him fifty-percent of the time. He goes the zombie approach, which I think would have been so much cooler if both Vanessa and Maks had been zombies. Of course, that could have been what was happening during the middle portion when Vanessa leaps out of the mob of JV zombies to reveal mussed up hair and a few rips in her skirt. There was a ton of facial acting with Vanessa, presumably fighting off some zombies and dancing with her one former true “love” zombie. I think she killed them all in the end. There was so much smoke, I couldn’t really tell. Also, I didn’t really care. Neither did the judges.
SCORE: 24

Terrell and Cheryl
Tango
“Super Freak” by Rick James
Let’s just assume I’m confused by all the dances at their point, okay? In this scenario, Terrell is a trick or treater dressed as a nerd. He knocks on Cheryl’s door and she’s some sort of lady in black. Is she the super freak? Or is Terrell? And why does he have vampire teeth? Was there a superfluous amount of pointy incisors just laying around the wardrobe department?

Terrell stomps around showing his teeth. Cheryl hops up onto a dinner table at the end. It was all very weird. The judges praise him for all his “growth,” which is code for “we like you but you’re not going to win.”
SCORE: 25

Lindsey and Mark
Paso Doble
“Roundtable Rival” by Lindsey Stirling
Poor Lindsey has a displaced rib. I can’t even imagine the pain. But she refuses to go down without a fight. Only a punctured lung can keep her from dressing up like a skeleton from the Day of the Dead and whirling around her skeleton partner. Although she gives it her all, she does look extremely tight and doesn’t attack the moves. There were a few knee drags thrown in for Len and a lot of nods to Zorro, but at the end of the day, the cool makeup and head dress couldn’t keep her from a less than perfect score. When she makes her way to the judges’ table, Mark takes a knee and lets her sit on it like a bench. It was very sweet. And Tom sitting down with them was even sweeter. The judges talk about her bravery and conviction and then give her all 9s.
SCORE: 27

Frankie and Witney
Contemporary
“Every Breath You Take” by Chase Holfelder
Well this is as creepy as creepy gets. Frankie is a sketch ex-boyfriend type, or mass murderer, who stalks Witney through a window. The version of this classic Police song is dreary and a little disturbing. Frankie channels his inner skeevey personality and executes a pretty cool contemporary where he manipulates Witney’s dance movements. What I liked about this interpretation is that it was straight up scary, instead of campy scary like the rest, and that they went for the dark vibe. Traditional contemporary dances are loving and sweet. This was the exact opposite. And it worked.
SCORE: 30

Drew and Emma
Charleston
“Remains of the Day” by Danny Elfman
Drew isn’t the best dancer and he knows it. But he is encouraging and fun and doesn’t want to leave. So Emma creates a quirky, lanky, fun Charleston where she spends most of her time on his shoulders. I found that odd. She’s a bride in purple. He’s a groom with a skeletal face. They get married in a graveyard with fellow skeletons looking on. The music was weird, with various changes in cadence. It remained me of a cartoon. I don’t think they pulled it off, but what do I know, because the judges stood up for the Property Brother.
SCORE: 27

Team Monster Mash
Freestyle
“Monster Mash” by Bobby Pickett
Once all of the individual contestants perform, we switch to team dance coverage. Jordan, Terrell, Lindsey, and Nikki are all on the same side, which is also known as “top of the leader board.” Pro Lindsay and Mark get to work, choreographing all sorts of moving parts that result in what the judges call “a bit messy.”

First of all, the eight characters are not dressed the same. The contestants wear typical Halloween costumes (again with this 60s vibe) and traipse around in a corn maze. Their pros are traditional scary characters. Mark us a tripped out scarecrow, Artem is Jason in the hockey mask, Lindsay is a gorgeous harlequin, and Cheryl is a white Elvira.

The novelty of the corn stalks was extremely creative and I enjoyed the waltzing part at the end. Unfortunately, the judges just didn’t pick up what Team Monster Mash was laying down. My roommate Lara pointed out that they probably didn’t interpret the dance the way we did because they had a one-sided view. I’m sure during several parts of the performance, there were bits and pieces that they couldn’t even see, thanks to a rather large row of corn in their way. Bruno was disappointed that they put so much jive in the group portion and Carrie Ann thought they “under” danced. Ouch.
SCORE: 24

Team Phantom of the Ballroom
Freelance
“Phantom of the Opera” by Sarah Brightman and Michael Crawford
Frankie lays it all out for the audience when he says, “Drew is the leader, Vanessa is the energetic one, Victoria is fun, and I”m the nervous one in the corner.” Witney is pretty stoked that her team has three actors, which I think it darling that she considers Drew an actor. The team seems pretty concerned that the other guys are already dancing, but by the end of the night, they have their basic, safe Phantom dance all ready to go.

Did I think it was the best dance ever? No. Did it seem clunky to me? Yes. Was Vanessa phoning it in? Absolutely. Is Maks ready to walk off the stage and never come back? I’d be willing to bet. Was I excited when they ditched their masks? Of course. Does the “Phantom of the Opera” song drive me totally bonkers at the end? Indubitably. Does this prove I’m in a bad mood or something? I guess so because the judges give Team Phantom of the Ballroom a perfect score.
SCORE: 30

Once Team Phantom basks in celebratory glory, Tom and Erin usher them up to the stage so they can tell them their fate on Halloween Night. We have four teams in jeopardy and no one’s getting any younger. Drew and Terrell are deemed safe. That leaves Vanessa and Nikki. Both look super sad. But nothing prepares me for the DOUBLE ELIMINATION that no one saw coming. The audience actually boo’d and I thought Carrie Ann was going to cut someone. Len didn’t look too thrilled either.

I can’t say the same for Maks and Artem.

Photo By: abc.com

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Christine
Christine

I enjoyed the dances last night, partly because my husband watched with me, which he has never done. His comments amused me. I loved Jordan and Lindsay’s Paso Doble but my husband pretended to be shocked by Lindsay’s lack of clothing. That girl is gorgeous and I don’t think any man would be upset by her skimpy outfit! I think Jordan and Lindsay deserved a 10 if only because she had the nerve to wear her honeymoon lingerie on stage. But they sure can dance too! I love them together.

Julie
Julie

I was a little underwhelmed by the night as well Lincee. Val’s comments about Victoria bothered me too as I agree with you that she doesn’t want to be singled out because of her legs. Wow! The judges did not look happy with that double elimination. It’s clear they would rather have seen Terrel and/or Drew go home. The fan vote is all important. Frankie and Whitney’s dance was a little too strange for me so I was surprised when the judges loved it so much. I am rooting for Jordan and Lindsay but think Lindsay and Mark are fantastic too. Finally, I’m finding these endings so overly rushed and dramatic and would rather the show saved enough time at the end to actually talk to the couple(s) eliminated!

Dee
Dee

I know I was DEFINITELY ready for Drew to go home, for sure! Too bad he is sticking around at the moment . . .

Kelli
Kelli

Definitely underwhelmed. Kevin was snoring on the bed if that tells you anything. The double elimination did shock me, but I am not sorry that either one are going home. Maks used to be my favorite pro but his attitude sucks and I want Derek back instead.

Shannon M
Shannon M

I totally agree with you about both the shock of the double elimination and not being sorry that either of them went home. I would take Derek back in a heartbeat and send Maks packing. I’m so over him and, if I have to admit it, I’m over Val, too!

Dee
Dee

You KNOW it’s a bad sign for the Halloween episode of DWTS if Kevin can’t even be bothered to wake up to watch! Dang! Haha Who is Kevin’s favorite dancer this season? 🙂

Shannon M
Shannon M

It wasn’t just you who was underwhelmed by the show last night. It was pretty lackluster in my opinion. There was very little I could point to and think “Wow! That was pretty awesome!” If I had to pick a favorite of the night, it would have to be Witney and Frankie. I love Drew’s enthusiasm and he certainly seems like he’s having a fantastic time. Jordan was just so-so, my heart broke for Lindsey because you could see the pain on her face, Victoria is becoming forgettable to me and the rest? Ho hum. I do have to say that I was shocked with the double elimination although it makes sense with only a few weeks left in the season. I was not sorry at the two who were eliminated. The whole Vanessa-Maks thing was annoying and Nikki seemed (at times) like she wanted to be anywhere else except where she was. The only other thing I have to say about last night is that Tom is FABULOUS!

Ana.
Ana.

Nikki deserved a better partner than Artem. Maybe if she and Vanessa switched the outcome would be better. Lindsey and jordans’s paso was weak and to over the top the song choice was terrible and i was miffed at the undeserved score. I liked Lindsey’s and Mark’s paso better and i saw no flaws what so ever it was perfect and they both looked like pros. I also loved the contemporary by frankie and i found Drew’s dance amusing and charming i liked it. For Vanessa’s dance i loved loved the song and was miffed they didn’t dance a worthy paso to it. Victoria is forgettable to me and don’t even bother with her dances. I wanted to like team monster mash but with that song it was practically a goner. The other team was better with a more serious classical approach.

Dee
Dee

Yes! Lindsey and Mark’s paso doble with the Day of the Day makeup and costuming for this Halloween episode was EPIC!! I loved it, too.

Alison
Alison

Agree, it was all underwhelming. I thought the judges were overly harsh on Team Monster Mash, it was creative and they had a hard song to work with. I also didn’t get all the fawning over Team Phantom — it was good, but it wasn’t THAT good, and certainly not the best team dance ever, or whatever accolade it was that the judges threw out. Derek was the master of choreographing the team dance, they all needed him! More sorry to see Nikki go than Vanessa, but not that sad to lose either of them. I thought it was a nice ironic dig from the producers that they showed Vanessa saying Nick could stay home with the kids because Mama has a mirror ball to win, when they knew she was the one going home! I don’t get the sense anyone around there will miss her!

Aimee
Aimee

I agree, I though the judges were over critical on dances I liked and praised dances I didn’t get. I loved the Monster Mash routine. I thought it was fun, creative and totally what I think of Halloween around here! There is always a haunted corn maze around here and that brought so many fun memories of going to them! That is what I thought of the entire time. I thought is was very creative. I really have no clue why the judges didn’t like it. I agree, maybe they say it from a bad angle? I have never seen phantom of the opera, so I have nothing to go by, but it reminded me of the haunted house ride at Disney World. How they got a perfect score and the other team didn’t, I am still scratching my head over.

If you watched Tom’s face when the grimm reaper gave him and Erin their cards and he opened his, I knew something was up but I didn’t know because he made an ‘oh crap, this isn’t happening look’. I sat in suspense until then!

Helen
Helen

Yeah the show was meh. Frankie is my fave and although his dance was cool in the beginning with him controlling her movements, I didn’t think there was a lot of actual dancing in the routine. But boy, I just love him and Drew as they come across as so humble and sweet. I did not know that Property Brothers films in Toronto, where I live, so I learned something new ha ha.

Vanessa got on my last nerve, but I did like Nikki. Funny, my hubby asked me when the season ended and how could there be so many people left. And then he said wonder if they will do a double elimination soon and lo and behold…..

Skylar
Skylar

I LOVED the show last night – sounds like I’m in the minority here. Frankie won the night IMO. Frankies dance: DISTURBING. OMG AND I LOVED IT.

And that James & Jenna waltz video you opened with? I swear – I’ve watched it no less than 500xs this past year. That is probably one of my all-time favorite dances, and I think I’ve only missed one or two seasons ever. Jenna needs a good partner.

I thought the Monster Mash was way better than the judges gave it credit for. It was so very creative and I loved the costumes. Team Phantom? Meh. I wasn’t a fan at all of that one.

Susan
Susan

I do agree the show was lacking something in general. I loved Frankie’s creepy dance though! He is so likeable. I agreed with the judges on the team dances. The corn maze was all over the place and I loved the Phantom routine.

Haleyalexis
Haleyalexis

I think Halloween week is usually one of my favorites. I just LOVED both Frankie/Whitney’s contemporary as well as Lindsey/Mark’s Paso. I’m so impressed with both of them. In fact I’m probably going to go rewatch them yet again after I complete this comment. I LOVED the creep/stalker vibe with Frankie’s dance and was surprised to see how committed he could be to that role-I believed him rather than found it silly.

I still am positive Jordan will win, and Lindsey will get runner-up. I look forward to Lindsey/Mark’s dances the most each week, they are a dance match made in heaven. I was not loving the team dances this year-just me? I thought they were usually more impressive?

I am so sad to see Artem go (not because I’m sad to see Nikki leave). My mom and I have this ongoing question of “Who would you want to be paired with?”. I’m usually torn between Mark and Artem.

Dee
Dee

Can I just say, I hated all the “assault of women” that they used for entertainment value in this particular Halloween show. Werewolves and vampires assaulting women and ripping off their clothes, Frankie Muniz as a creepy stalker ex boyfriend who breaks into his gf’s house . . . it was all too much and considering what is happening in the news with all the Harvey Weinstein accusations, it seemed even more to be in extremely poor taste. Ugh.

Lincee, Drew/Emma’s dance to the song “Remains of the Day” WAS from an animated movie: The Corpse Bride, and they were dressed up as characters from the movie doing one of the main scenes. You should check it out, it’s a great movie around Halloween!

I didn’t mind Nikki/Artem’s dance version of “I Put a Spell on You”–it’s actually a classic old rock and roll song from 1956, not originally from Hocus Pocus. Anyway, I thought it was such a fun one to use for this Halloween episode! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Put_a_Spell_on_You

I don’t know why everyone disliked Vanessa so much this season, to me she seemed goofy and confident and sassy and quirky and strong. I really enjoyed watching her this season and would’ve liked to have seen more from her! Too bad she was paired with Val—he prefers being able to kind of strong arm and bully his partners from what I can tell, and I’m sure Vanessa did NOT take that well from him!!