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‘Dancing With the Stars’ Recap: Two Top Teams Leave in Shocking Double Elimination

Trick or treat – or both! The Monday, October 30, episode of Dancing With the Stars celebrated Halloween, with the eight remaining couples performing both in pairs and in team dances. Every dance was spooky and creative, but some proved sweeter than others. Here’s how it all went down.

DWTS Season 25 Cast Photos

'Dancing With the Stars': Season 25 cast
‘Dancing With the Stars’: Season 25 cast

The Good

Val Chmerkovskiy was starting to realize the limitations of having a dance partner who didn’t have any dance experience. He an Victoria Arlen performed a Viennese Waltz with an undead theme that the judges loved enough to give them 9s across the board.

But two other couples matched their 27. Drew Scott was getting frustrated by his lack of movement on the leader board, so he and Emma Slater were bringing their A game tonight. They performed a Charleston with a ghoulish wedding twist that the judges loved and ended up with an impressive 27 for their efforts.

Despite a serious rib injury, Lindsey Stirling was determined to keep up in rehearsals. Instead of going easy on Lindsey, however, Mark Ballas choreographed a crazy-fast paso doble. Lindsey kept up, but the judges, and audience, could tell she was hurting. All of the judges praised her attack, but it wasn’t enough to be at the very top this time and they finished with 27. Still, that was pretty respectable considering she had been in the hospital just the day before.

The Best

Lindsay Arnold realized that the race for the Mirrorball was really between her and Mark Ballas — and that if she wanted to win, she was going to have to up her creativity. She and Jordan Fisher performed a paso doble with a Little Red Riding Hood theme. The routine was very clever and the execution was perfect, prompting Len Goodman to admit that he watches Jordan more closely than the other celebrities hunting for any flaws. He couldn’t find any and they received a perfect 30.

Tying with them were Frankie Muniz and Witney Carson. They were determined to redeem themselves after last week’s disaster — and their contemporary routine did exactly that. Bruno called their performance, which had a loose teen horror movie-theme, “spine-tingling good” and Carrie Ann said they “elevated” what dance could be.

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The Worst

Terrell Owens has undergone a major transformation in the last few weeks, at least, according to his partner Cheryl Burke. This week he played a vampire trick-or-treater who arrived at Cheryl’s house for a tango. Terrell was a little stiff and they ended up with an uninspired 25.

Nikki Bella and Artem Chigvintsev Dancing With the Stars
‘Dancing With the Stars’ partners Nikki Bella and Artem Chigvintsev

Also struggling were Nikki Bella and Artem Chigvintsev. Nikki played a witch casting a spell on Artem. The concept and routine were both quite simple, but Nikki and Artem obviously had fun with it in rehearsal. Still, the judges were underwhelmed. Carrie Ann thought Nikki didn’t connect well with the music and Len thought it just felt flat. They ended up with a 24, near the bottom of the board.

Vanessa Lachey and Maksim Chmerkovskiy Dancing With the Stars
‘Dancing With the Stars’ partners Vanessa Lachey and Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Vanessa Lachey admitted that last week was bittersweet. She got some great scores, but her husband, Nick Lachey, was sent home. This week, she and Maksim Chmerkovskiy performed a paso doble that left something to be desired. He played a zombie pretty convincingly, but the judges felt there was too much production and not enough paso. They landed on 24.

Inside Nick and Vanessa’s Baby Nursery

Team Effort

Terrell and Cheryl, Lindsey and Mark, Nikki and Artem, and Jordan and Lindsay composed Team Monster Mash. They performed a dance set in a corn maze that was creative and complex — but maybe too complex. The judges thought the complicated steps and staging actually took away from the dancing and scored them at 24.

Drew and Emma, Frankie and Witney, Vanessa and Maksim, and Victoria and Val made up Team Phantom of the Ballroom. The dancers on this team knew they were the underdogs, but they were up for the challenge. The women all wore matching ball gowns and the men donned dapper suits for their “Phantom of the Opera” routine – and their effort paid off. Carrie Ann declared it the “most exquisite” team dance ever and the judges rewarded them a perfect score of 30. That seemed a little overly generous, but it was nice to see Drew so excited.

The Gone

Drew and Emma, Vanessa and Maksim, Nikki and Artem, and Terrell and Cheryl were all in jeopardy. That’s when host Tom Bergeron revealed it would be a double elimination. Ultimately, both Nikki and Artem, as well as Vanessa and Maksim, were eliminated.

Tell Us: Did the right couples go home?

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