Eric McCandless/ABC
October 15, 2018 at 11:57 PM EDT

Dancing With the Stars is trying out something new with season 27’s ‘Trio Night.’ Instead of each couple having another pro join them out on the dance floor (always a crowd-pleasing formula in the past), they are having a mix of DWTS alums and contestants’ friends come to join the fun. Why is this change happening? No one knows. How does the change work out? Results are mixed. See below!

Juan Pablo Di Pace and Cheryl Burke with Melissa Rycroft
Cha Cha, “Wavey” by CliQ featuring Alika
Juan Pablo and Cheryl are still riding high after their perfect score last week (I’m still thinking about that samba, please tell me I’m not alone). But that high crashes pretty quickly once they start rehearsing their trio cha cha with All-Star season champ Melissa Rycroft. Things are hectic! Juan Pablo is feeling out-danced! Cheryl has to re-do some choreography because it is just. not. working. But then they come out on the floor and do a very, VERY sexy club music cha cha and it’s as if there were no problems to begin with. There’s not a ton of cha cha content, as Len points out, but there is a ton of hip action. Like, enough to last the entire season. So hot!
Judges’ Score: 24/30

Tinashe and Brandon Armstrong with Amy Purdy
Tango, “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” from Rock of Ages
Hey guys, remember how Tinashe and Brandon, one of the technically best couples in this competition, almost went home last week? Not cool, America. But things are looking up! For their trio tango, they have Paralympic snowboarder and season 18 runner-up Amy Purdy, always a delight on the dance floor. Tango is so focused on framing and dancing in hold, so it’s a tricky style for a trio. Brandon is really impressing everyone with his choreography as a first-time pro, huh? The three dance an innovative trio in which the ladies are hot lawyers and Brandon’s a hot judge and honestly, I haven’t had jury duty in a few years — is this what it’s like now? Why is no one talking about it?
Judges’ Score: 26/30

John Schneider and Emma Slater with Joey Fatone
Argentine Tango, “Torn” by Nathan Lanier
John and Emma are joined by Joey Fatone for their Greek god-inspired Argentine tango — can you believe he was on season 4? Am I 100 years old? Joey’s feeling the pressure to really show up for John, and it turns out he’s a great teammate for the guy. They get along well — maybe too well because Emma wants to rehearse and the two are starting a bromance. The routine itself is a great concept, but there are some less-than-clean parts in the beginning and the judges aren’t afraid to point them out. Emma’s choreography integrating all three of them is great and Carrie Ann really enjoys that instead of playing into the guys’ typical light-hearted personas, she goes dark and moody. A little something different goes a long way.
Judges’ Score: 21/30

Evanna Lynch and Keo Motsepe with Scarlett Byrne
Salsa, “Black Magic” by Little Mix
Our first non-alum trio partner comes in the form of Scarlett Byrne, Evanna’s friend from the Harry Potter movies (she was a Slytherin, so, you know). It’s a risky move to have someone who has never done the show join you — who knows what will happen when it comes time to perform! Scarlett holds her own though. You can tell Evanna is having a blast dancing this kicky salsa with her best gal, too. Len is a fan of the amount of traditional salsa in the choreography, Bruno is a fan of seeing Evanna’s confidence grow each week, I’m a fan of the fact that Keo teleported onto the stage to start the routine. More ab teleportation in the ballroom and in general, to be honest.
Judges’ Score: 24/30

DeMarcus Ware and Lindsay Arnold with Rashad Jennings
Paso Doble, “Fire” by Barns Courtney
Season 24 champ Rashad Jennings walks into rehearsal with DeMarcus and Lindsay and immediately dislocates DeMarcus’s finger. It’s both sad and hilarious. His ‘hello chest bump’ dislocates the dude’s finger. After we all take a barf break once we watch DeMarcus have his finger popped back in, we get to the actual routine. This intense, aggressive gridiron paso definitely showcases the boys’ physicality, as Carrie Ann notes, but the judges are underwhelmed. Len and Bruno appreciate all the attack (Bruno really appreciates it), but there was no subtlety. Carrie Ann thought DeMarcus spent too much time trying to match Rashad instead of dancing his own way. In life and on the dance floor: Just be yourself.
Judges’ Score: 22/30

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