Typically Halloween on Dancing With the Stars (a match made in dance heaven, let’s be honest) is known for the spooky spectacle of it all, for America’s Dad Tom Bergeron’s relentless holiday puns, and some off-the-wall dancing. This season, however, it’s all about breaking necks. Seriously, Tom keeps a running count of how many routines feature choreography that mimics breaking someone’s neck. It’s four out of nine by the end of the evening, which is like, three too many.
Aside from the repeated viewing of that harrowing image, there are lots of other treats from your nightmares by way of performances from the Jabbawoceez, our pros who are headed out on tour, and Stephen “tWitch” Boss. But not everything is a nightmare— some things are a straight-up dream come true. Um, remember when just two weeks ago I was aching for Allison Holker to grace the dance floor again? She joins her husband tWitch in their routine. You guys, The Secret is real and should not be messed with. If that isn’t spooky enough for you, perhaps our couples’ routines will give you your Halloween fix.
Milo Manheim and Witney Carson
Contemporary, “Toxic” by 2WEI
Witney calls this insane asylum-set contemporary the “creepiest choreography” she’s ever done, so right away you know we’re in for something REAL GOOD because, um, hello, do you remember her contemporary with Frankie Muniz? I still have nightmares. This routine might not be as haunting as that one, but she’s right: the creepy factor is very high. Milo and Witney are so in sync as the patient who has lost his mind and his hallucination. Carrie Ann is right to call out how amazing their partner work has been this season. Even Len, arch-enemy of jazz and contemporary, is all hyped up after this one. That’s how you kick off Halloween Night.
Judges’ Score: 30/30
John Schneider and Emma Slater
Paso Doble, “Main Titles” from Beetlejuice, by Ray Chew Live
I mean, John and Emma are handed the BLESSING that is the Beetlejuice theme and nowhere in their paso do they have giant shrimp hands attacking them. Instead, Emma gets extremely into the story she conjures up about Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII fighting in the afterlife. It’s fun! It’s epic! The judges are extremely harsh on the pair. They thought John never really found his footing and there were mistakes all over the dance floor. Len applauds what they did while in-hold, so that’s something. It’s Len! Still, not even Tom giving them an honorary ‘8’ paddle can make the sting of their low score hurt less.
Judges’ Score: 19/30
DeMarcus Ware and Lindsay Arnold
Salsa, “Under Your Spell” by Leo Soul
Poor DeMarcus and Lindsay were getting tricks well before Halloween Night — as they were part of the “fake in jeopardy” shenanigans of Disney Night. So this week he’s continuing to push his limits, which apparently are his hips. They don’t move! Lindsay focuses in on getting them in shape, which honestly sounds like a dream job. Maybe she should be focusing on that insane dead drop lift they put into the routine because HOLY HELL. But, like, hips, I get it. Their salsa tells the story of a groom in mourning who finds his zombie bride in the cemetery — an extremely bleak story for such a lively routine, but that’s Halloween Night for you. They, meaning DeMarcus’s hips, get rave reviews.
Judges’ Score: 26/30
Evanna Lynch and Keo Motsepe
Tango, “Disturbia” by Rihanna
Oh boy, Evanna and Keo took their ’24’ from the judges during Disney Night extremely hard. “Will I ever get a 10?” Evanna wonders, distraught in the bowels of the ballroom. Halloween is supposed to be spooky and scary, but not sad! Evanna has a new outlook: She’s not dancing to please the judges or anyone else for that matter — she’s dancing for herself. And maybe for cats. The girl loves cats! So she embodies one for this strong, intense tango and it pays off. Carrie Ann is just “a woman loving on a woman who is in her ferocity,” and the boys, too, notice how confident Evanna’s dancing is this week. I guess we should talk about cat energy some more. It seems to be working.
Judges’ Score: 29/30