Dancing with the Stars recap: Trio Night

Dancing with the Stars Season 25, Episode 8
Trio Night

I have no memory of former contestants performing on current seasons of Dancing with the Stars. You know what? I LIKED IT! Call me crazy, but Dancing with the Stars to the second power should totally be a thing. Or, ABC should bust out an all-star season. Can you imagine how fun that would be?

I truly enjoyed last night’s trios so much (minus one uncomfortable rumba) that I can honestly say again how completely and totally fine I am with whomever ends up winning that mirrorball trophy. I understand that there is legitimate talent on that dance floor **cough…Jordan…cough** and that seems unfair, but we’ve been playing this game for 25 seasons now. ABC is going to pick Disney kids, former dancers, and musical artists every single time. We have to remember that personality and attitude play a big part in who the audience votes for.

That’s why any one of the contestants left on the show could walk away with the trophy. For example:

Terrell and Cheryl
“Bad Boy Good Man” by Tape Five
Cheryl is tough on Terrell, which he appreciates. She especially has her work cut out for her this week since Terrell has never heard of the Charleston dance. Uh oh. Cheryl quickly choreographs an energized number that takes place in a speak easy. She shoves all the JV dancers in to distract the judges from Terrell, which was a total waste of time because Terrell owned that dance! You’d think he’d been Charleston-ing for his entire life. At one point, he effortlessly jumped up onto a table, Crossfit-style, and jitterbugged with the rest of the gang on the floor. He was light on his feet and appeared to be having a ball. I thought he deserved a 10. The judges were saving that particular paddle for others…

Drew and Emma
“Both Sides Now” by Years & Years
Drew must be the sensitive Property Brother. Instead of showcasing his dancing in the pre-package (smart move), he speaks to Emma about his one true love Linda. It brings tears to his eyes thinking about spending the rest of his life with her. We roll off that emotion into real time with Emma and Drew embracing each other. She’s in a pale pink gossamer number and he’s in the tightest grey pants I’ve ever seen on this show. Considering the show I’m currently watching, those are some pretty tight pants.

Every single time Drew performs, the entire ballroom cheers with Sasha (Emma’s finace) leading the standing ovation from the Glitter Box. These people adore him. Two of the judges do, too. You can tell by their blatant omission of dance critiques in their feedback. Bruno praises Drew for having “intentions that are clear.” What does that even mean? Carrie Ann is a bit more helpful. She tells him she loves his top half, but his bottom half is sporadic. That is a true statement. Len just grumbles something about a horrid hold and whips out the 7 paddle.

Victoria and Val
Argentine Tango
“Down” by Marian Hill
Victoria’s routine and demeanor reminded me a lot of Lindsey’s from last week. She’s experiencing back spasm. It’s clear that she is in pain and trying to push through for the sake of the show, her partner, and her desire to win. Val encourages her to be sexy during their Argentine Tango, which she’s not, and Carrie Ann nails it when she comments that Victoria looks uncomfortable with the role Val asks her to play. I always have a hard time with this feedback, because I think it’s okay if Victoria doesn’t feel like writhing up and down the hot guy with his girlfriend looking on from the sidelines. Your brain must go to a specific mental space if you want to achieve this character. I’m not sure if mine could go there.

I’m also not sure about the lasers. I’ve never been a fan. There was a ton of smoke, too. It didn’t help matters that I hated the song. It was valiant effort, but Victoria fell short of bringing sexy back.

Lindsey and Mark
“Morning Drums” by Gregor Salto
Lindsey is healthy again and Mark immediately puts her in a lion outfit. He’s the ring master, she’s Simba the Samba Cat (thank you Tom Bergeron for that gem) and she’s here to prove that she will claw her way back up to the top of the leaderboard using any and every quirky idea Mark throws her way.

There is a brief eight count with a hula hoop where I got nervous, but he ditches that almost immediately. Then the camera guy gets all up in their grill and I can’s see what’s going on. Finally we get a wide shot and I am able to appreciate the samba as Mark intended. When they bust out with some African Anteater Ritual near the end, I know Len is going to dock points, which he did. Carrie Ann and Bruno love the creativity, but not enough to give a perfect score.

Witney and Frankie
Viennese Waltz
“Perfect” by Ed Sheean
I know a thing or two about insecurities, but Frankie needs to pull it together. He’s so hard on himself! When he looks at the leaderboard, he sees Jordan’s name above his own. Witney keeps reminding him that Jordan is a former Disney kid dancer who sings, acts, and once had a role in Hamilton on Broadway. He’s clearly not comparing apples to apples. Moving on.

Witney’s dress is not really a dress. It’s more like a purple leotard with a see-through shift over it with delicate purple flowers. Frankie is dapper in a traditional tuxedo and they move about the floor with ease for the most part. What’s concerning is that I didn’t take a single note, which means I was either too mesmerized (no) to write or halfway bored (bingo). Was it simple and well executed? Yes. Was it forgetful? Absolutely. The weird part is that our judges were divided. Carrie Ann thought it was the “closest thing to perfection” to which Len scoffed at her. It was a mixture of 8s and 9s.Also, what was that Tom Bergeron quip about Witney being pushed around? I was confused. Frankie is visibly upset by his score and isn’t feeling Erin’s ribbing when she reminds him that he told Witney that he would go shirtless if they made it past week 8.

Get ready to see some painted on abs next week!

Jordan and Lindsay
“Chuck Berry” by Pharrell
Here’s what I liked: Lindsay’s turquoise dress with red lining and her red and white shoes. I also love Jordan’s attitude and fun-loving spirit. The dance was great, blah, blah, blah.

Here’s what I hated: The black and white swirls and geometric shapes that constantly filled the ballroom floor with moving spirals. It was distracting and unnecessary. Let’s let Jordan and Lindsay’s dance speak for itself. There’s no need to add all that pomp and circumstance. Don’t believe me? Watch their trio. Nevertheless, the judges rave. Len even stands up. November 6 will go down in history.


Instead of pulling from the JV dancers, or the pros who have been kicked off already, producers reach back into the Dancing with the Stars vault to dust off some former contestants. As I’ve mentioned, I think this is a brilliant idea. It also explains why all the other dancers not competing seemed to have a chip on their shoulder.

Terrell and Cheryl and Kelly Monaco (Season 1 Winner)
“Slow Hands” by Niall Horan
Cheryl lets the audience know that Kelly is one of her best friends. That’s probably why she has not problem telling her BFF, who throws herself at Terrell and suggests he grab her hair, to play a little hard to get. Kelly promises that if they get three 10s, she’ll go out on a date with him. Spoiler alert: They were far from one 10, let alone three.

I don’t know what Cheryl was thinking. The salmon colored outfits were wrong. I saw lots of touching and crawling up Terrell’s long legs. Everyone had a partly open mouth. I felt awkward watching it. Cheryl’s movement translated as sexy, but the other two did not. Terrell was going through the moves and Kelly seemed to forget what was next when her hands grazed Terrell’s sculpted abs. My roommate Lara and I simply grunted or verbally said, “no” during most of the routine. Not a good sign.

Drew and Emma and Rashad Jennings (Season 24 Winner)
Disco-Inspired Cha-Cha
“Get Up Offa That Thing”
I’m not sure if Emma inviting Rashad to dance with Drew was the smartest of choices. I get that he was last year’s winner and his smile can light up the darkest of rooms, but your eye immediately goes to him and not the guy the judges are voting on. Was that strategy? Wouldn’t it have been better to pair him with a former female contestant?

Emma’s silver go-go boots and the guys’ glittery jackets are divine. Thousands of glitter balls and spotlights = blinding the audience. Was that strategy, too? I am told Drew messes up a few times by the judges. I didn’t catch that because I was watching Rashad the entire time, up until the end when Emma lands in the most awkward middle split thing while the boys hold her under the armpits. It’s as convoluted as it sounds. Trust me. There was little to no swag and Rashad knows it. So he whoops and hollers when the judges pull out one 9 and a pair of 8s.

Victoria and Val and Laurie Hernandez (Season 23 Winner)
“Magic” by B.o.B.
Victoria and Laurie are the same. They both are gold medalists, have big eyes, and love Star Wars. Val is excited that Laurie brings a fresh energy to the rehearsal room and his heart melts when Laurie starts helping Victoria with the moves.

Sadly, the moves are a problem. First of all, the story is twitchy. Allow me to explain. Victoria has to stand there and watch footage of Val and Laurie winning the entire shebang two seasons ago. This isn’t in the pre-package…it’s the beginning of the dance! I supposed Laurie is supposed to be giving Victoria the “magic” so she can win this year. If Victoria was a shoe-in, this would be fine. But she’s not. Therefore, Victoria looks completely intimidated by a former winner and her current partner jiving their hearts out. She’s still in pain and clearly phones in her little solo part. All that confetti can’t mask that she was aco-taco. Carrie Ann wants her to act more, Len wants her to be sharper, and Bruno wants more accuracy in her legs. You know, the legs she can’t feel.

Lindsey and Mark and Kristi Yamaguchi (Season 6 Winner)
“Let’s Face the Music and Dance” by Set MacFarlane
Now, take what we just saw and flip it on its side. Lindsey feels equal to Kristi and considers her partner’s former win as a bonus. Mark choreographs an old-school Big Band number that kills. Remember, jazz can be anything you want, so Mark dresses his ladies in navy outfits, dons a tuxedo, and creates a polished routine hand-crafted for Len. Lindsey and Kristi are gorgeous. Mark has just the right amount of facial expressions. Alas, Len saves the 10 for his boy Jordan.

Frankie and Witney and Alfonso Ribeiro (Season 19 Winner)
“Good Place” by Leo Soul
Witney giggles as Frankie and Alfonso compare notes about who works harder practicing on the routine. She claims they both process information the same way and dance the same way. It must be a child actor thing. I wish they hadn’t picked the jive, because as Bruno always points out, it’s very hard to synchronize those steps with two people, let alone three. But they do pull it off. Alfonso pulls a bit of focus, but always tosses it back to Frankie. Witney is the icing on the yellow sequined cake. My favorite part is when they start to do “The Carlton,” but stop and shake their finger at the audience. I love a tongue-in-cheek moment! I did not love the cheerleader bit with their arms in the middle.

It was a clean dance and Bruno appreciated that Witney knows how to bring out the best in these two guys. Carrie Ann points out all of the mistakes and Len wants Frankie to gain more confidence.

Lindsay and Jordan and Corbin Bleu (Season 17 Runner-Up)
“Que Viva la Vida” by Wisin
Disney kids reunite! There’s a five year age difference between Jordan and Corbin. There names sort of rhyme and their careers have paralleled each other. Sweet Jordan tells Corbin that he was enthralled by a “mix kid doing film” and he’s the one who inspired Jordan to do that for a living. Lindsay breaks up the bromance so her teammates can salsa like no one has salsa’d before. With Corbin’s energy, Jordan’s megawatt smile, and Lindsay’s freakishly long, gorgeous legs, I figured this was going to be good. Within seconds, that feeling was confirmed.

It is announced that Frankie is in the bottom, but it was Terrell who went home. Both he and Cheryl looked like they knew it was coming. I hope this doesn’t further crack Frankie’s tender shell. Do you think it will? Did Terrell deserve to go home before Drew or Victoria or Frankie? Is it safe to say that this is Jordan’s to lose?

What am I saying. We all know that nothing is ever safe…

Photo By: abc.com
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November 7, 2017 10:47 am

There is no question that this is Jordan’s to lose. But as can happen, the audience may decide that he had too much dance experience going in, which can bite some contestants (cough Heather Morris cough). It was interesting to hear also that violinist Lindsey has some past dance training, which I thought was pretty evident as she was really good from night one. Methinks the producers keep these little relevant factoids quiet now. I have always believed that whoever works the hardest and shows the most improvement over the season should win. For that reason I am hoping it’s… Read more »

Shannon M
Shannon M
November 7, 2017 11:43 am

I first have to say that both of Jordan’s dances blew me away last night! Period! Lindsay has really come into her own and she deserves to win. I’d like to believe that Lindsey and Mark could give them a run for the money but the judges have already made up their minds so that won’t happen. It’s evident in the scores the teams receive. I also wasn’t surprised that Terrell was the one to go home. He seemed to only put in a ton of effort when he liked the dance and he just looked sort of ho hum… Read more »

November 7, 2017 11:43 am

I loved that they brought back past contestants! It was soo much fun. I agree, Terrell’s dance was alittle awkward, which made me nervous for the rest but all of the others I loved!! This is one of the first season’s I really don’t have a clear favorite because I like them all! I felt so bad for Victoria. She looked to be in soo much pain! You have to admire her for pushing through. Did you notice that she didn’t have heels on in her dance. I hope that she is able to stay in the competition and not… Read more »

November 7, 2017 1:36 pm

I could watch Lindsay, Jordan, and Corbin do a trio dance every week of every season. Oh my goodness! Sooooooo good!

November 7, 2017 3:42 pm

Okay. I have not seen DWTS yet as I had a company dinner to attend, but couldn’t resist reading the blog. The thing that stands out to me in this blog was when Lincee mentions the African Anteater Ritual!!!!! OMG!!!!! Shout out to one of my favorite 80s movies…Can’t Buy Me Love. Thank you, Lincee, for making me smile!!!!

November 7, 2017 4:37 pm

I almost fell out of my chair with the “African Anteater Ritual” comment. So funny! Drew should have gone home. Terrell has improved so much and Drew is going backwards. I felt that Val choreographed that trio so Laurie would be the star. I didn’t like that Victoria felt like an afterthought. Thanks for explaining the story on that one because it made no sense to me. All I could think during Lindsay/Jordan/Corbin trio was this is a rip off of the Amber Riley/Derek/Mark trio from season 17. Same song, very similar choreography too. I am such a DWTS nerd… Read more »

November 7, 2017 10:38 pm

So agree about those crazy circles – I got sort of motion sick!

And I loved Laurie Hernandez during her season, but goodness. She was in the background of almost every scene Monday night! And mugging for the camera.

November 8, 2017 9:09 am

I loved Lindsay and Jordan’s dance, but I agree, the special effects were a little annoying. All right, a lot annoying, but I still loved it. The rumba is my least favorite dance because it makes me hide behind a pillow. I keep thinking of last year with David and Lindsay. Ew. For those keeping track, Kevin is over DWTS this year. He has snoozed through almost every episode.

November 9, 2017 6:24 pm
Reply to  KELLI

Kevin, NOOOOOOOO! Say it ain’t so! Help us out here, little buddy. LOL

November 8, 2017 1:27 pm

They had an all-star season and it was really good! Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani won. I think it’s about time for another all-star round…!

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