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
“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.”
Jordan and Lindsay
“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!
Nikki and Artem
“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.
Vanessa and Maks
“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.
Terrell and Cheryl
“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.”
Lindsey and Mark
“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.
Frankie and Witney
“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.
Drew and Emma
“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.
Team Monster Mash
“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.
Team Phantom of the Ballroom
“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.
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.