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Dancing With the Stars recap: Season 23, Episode 11

There’s tricks, treats, and a ballroom dance-off!

Posted on

Eric McCandless /ABC

Dancing With the Stars

TV Show
Reality TV
run date:
Tom Bergeron, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, Len Goodman, Erin Andrews, Julianne Hough
Current Status:
In Season

Welcome, boys and ghouls, to the annual DWTS night of spooktacular dancing tricks and ballroom treats. Also, holiday-themed word play! For what would Halloween be without sparkly pumpkins, skeletons with abs, and crying whilst watching a sexy Willy Wonka perform? Nothing, I say!

There is one true horror on this spooky night: Queen Sharna is out of commission due to last week’s knee injury. James will be dancing with Jenna, who’s great, but the Queen needs to make a speedy recovery. It’s a rough night to lose your partner, as our couples will be dancing in two rounds. In the first round, each couple will perform a Halloween-themed dance, and the pair with the highest judges’ score will win five extra points and immunity, from both round two and elimination. Round two is America’s dance-off. The remaining six couples will pair off and dance either a cha cha, salsa, or jive. The winning couple in each dance-off gets three points added to their score.

Whew! That’s a lot of instructions and I haven’t even had my first candy bar yet. Enough with all the math — let’s dance!

Terra Jolé and Sasha Farber

Cha Cha, “Day-O” by Harry Belafonte

Anyone else still thinking about how lovely Terra and Sasha’s foxtrot was last week? You’re not alone. Alas, we’re on to the next thing. And the next thing turns out to be a cha cha in the vein of Beetlejuice. Terra’s into it. That enthusiasm helps, since she’s having trouble with the style of dance. Cha cha calls for a lot of straight legs, which is difficult for Terra. Out on the dance floor, she and Sasha look like they’re having fun, but according to the judges, fun won’t cut it anymore. Terra’s a good dancer and it’s time they push the envelope. Julianne and her hair want more dance content in their routine, and Carrie Ann calls it good, not great. The semifinals are looming and just “good” may not be enough.

Judges’ Score: 24/30

Laurie Hernandez and Valentin Chmerkovskiy

Viennese Waltz, “Pure Imagination” by Jane Monheit

What in the actual hell, Valentin? Halloween is supposed to be about spooky scary stuff, and instead I’m crying all over my Peanut M&Ms. Not cool, dude. Val is emotional this week because more than anything, he wants to do right by Laurie. He’s so inspired by the pure joy she brings into the ballroom, and apparently just thinking about this joy and the immense gift he’s been given this season renders our Val speechless and teary-eyed. If you weren’t crying during Laurie and Val’s package, they must have gotten you with their gorgeous Willy Wonka-inspired Viennese waltz. The judges throw out words like “magical” and “enchanting.” I’ll have to take their word for it because, frankly, I could barely see the end of the routine, what with all the tears in my eyes. It’s one of the best of the season.

Judges’ Score: 30/30

NEXT: Cheryl’s House of Pain is open for business