Dancing with the Stars pulled out all the stops for the bad guys night. Host Tyra Banks and the three judges – Bruno Tonioli, Carrie Ann Inaba and Derek Hough – kicked off with a Blair Witch-style opening that outlined how the contestants all turn into bad guys. Then they were each dressed up as famous villains in the ballroom. Bruno was Beetlejuice, Carrie Ann was Pennywise, Tyra was Mistress of Darkness, and Derek … well we thought he was Two-Face, but Tyra said he was Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Could go either way.
Here’s how everyone did it and who was sent to pack tonight.
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Jeannie Mai and Brandon Armstrong
Dance / song: Paso Doble / “Maneater” by Nelly Furtado
How they did it: Jeannie’s villain was Hannibal Lecter, which was … a bit weird. Sexy Hannibal Lecter isn’t something we thought we’d ever see, and they dropped the “Silence of the Lambs” motif pretty early on, which was kind of crap actually. You should have leaned on Lecter more. But the actual dancing was great, very crisp and dramatic, like a Paso Doble should be. Jeannie even performed one of those tricky twists that normally only the pro dancers try. The judges agreed.
Johnny Weir and Britt Stewart
Dance / song: Viennese waltz / “Creep” by Vincent
How they did it: Johnny’s villain was a vampire, but his routine was much more of being told he couldn’t be gay if he was figure skating and how his mother supported him. It was incredibly emotional and incredibly well done. Johnny’s background in skating made him perfect for this type of flowing, lyrical dance. The only problem was that both the overwhelmed singer and the fog machine were in full swing and really interfered with the beautiful dance. That could have been a little trickier and stripped down. But the judges loved it.
Chrishell reservoir and Gleb Savchenko
Dance / song: Paso Doble / “In the Air Tonight” by Helmut Vonlichten
How they did it: Chrishell’s villain was Maleficent, which is perhaps the best villain of all time. They also leaned tightly into their subject, which worked very well. The dance felt very combative between Maleficent and Prince Phillip (Gleb) and was super intense, especially because she killed him in the end! Dark. Jeannie’s Paso should have looked more like this.
Monica Aldama and Val Chmerkovskiy
Dance / song: Jazz / “Fever” by Beyonce
How they did it: Monica was Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, although they definitely matched the Netflix version of Sarah Paulson rather than the 1970s version of Louise Fletcher. Anyway, Monica’s athleticism got her to do some very impressive moves, but the dance felt a little disjointed, like they were just moving from a flashy move to a flashy move instead of doing a dance routine. It was definitely not smooth jazz. It was way too sexy to fit the ratched theme, too. It was a shame more couples didn’t really lean on their bad guy like Chrishell and Gleb.
AJ McLean and Cheryl Burke
Dance / Song: Tango / Subject of Psycho
How they did it: In the pre-performance package, they showed Cheryl having a hard time rehearsing and banging the back of her head on the ballroom floor. But luckily she rallied and she and AJ did a great job with their tango. The psycho score actually made surprisingly good tango music and its fancy footwork looked really good – the level of difficulty looked really high.
Nelly and Daniella Karagach
Dance / Song: Argentine Tango / “I Can’t Feel My Face” by The Weeknd
How they did it: Nelly had killer makeup by Freddy Krueger, but even that wasn’t enough to detract from the fact that he’s just not a great dancer. He tried very hard, but Daniella really carried the routine, which always annoyed us about this show. Male celebrities can make a flashy female professional look so good that it is much more difficult to do the opposite. The judges praise Nelly, but his bar wasn’t very high, and even Derek said that Daniella couldn’t have done “all these amazing things” without Nelly being so solid. That’s a polite way of saying that Nelly just stood there while Daniella did the heavy lifting. Hmph. But then they gave him all 9s. It was outrageous that this routine got a 27 and Chrishell’s routine got a 26.
Justina Machado and Sasha Farber
Dance / song: Tango / “Bring me to church” by MILCK
How they did it: The costume and makeup were just right for this routine and they did some really cool things to make it look like Justina Carries had telekinetic powers. Justina did a great job holding her body too. The whole thing was very intense, interrupted by Justina’s screaming. Way to lean into the subject.
Nev Schulman and Jenna Johnson
Dance / song: Paso Doble / “Swan Lake Remix” by District 78
How they did it: Her Black Swan Paso Doble was the best dance of the night (and we wrote that without seeing the last two dances). It was super intense, Nev showed impressive athleticism and they really picked up the subject of the film. Incredibly well done.
Skai Jackson and Alan Bersten
Dance / song: Argentinischer Tango / “Everything I Wanted” by Billie Eilish
How they did it: This was a very good dance in the technical sense – Skai is so petite and such a good dancer that she can do some pro level moves. However, the music did not match the theme or dance and did not flow at all. It felt like the most disconnected, dispassionate dance of the night. The energy level was super low, the whole thing was kind of a mess. But technically it was excellent, so there was no way Skai should be in danger of going home.
Kaitlyn Bristowe and Artem Chigvintsev
Dance / song: Paso Doble / “Disturbia” by Rihanna
How they did it: Kaitlyn’s Cruella de Vil performance was spectacular and matched the intensity of the dance very well. Kaitlyn is definitely one of the toughest contenders, she did a great job this week. Every year on this show, some celebs get along with personality and others are talented enough at dancing to do the moves really well, but the really big ones can do both. Kaitlyn can do both. That wasn’t quite as good as Nev and Jenna’s Paso Doble, but it was very good. We totally disagree with Carrie Ann who gave her a 7.
Elimination: The bottom two couples were Jeannie Mai & Brandon Armstrong and Monica Aldama & Val Chmerkovskiy. The judges voted to save Jeannie and Brandon, which meant Monica and Val were eliminated.
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Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays at 8 / 7c on ABC.