“Dancing with the Stars” season 25 is so evenly matched that every week looks like it’s going to be a nail-biter. For most of the season it has looked like Jordan Fisher and Lindsey Stirling will duke it out for the Mirror Ball Trophy, but for the rest of the contestants there isn’t that much separating a potential finalist from potential elimination each week. So what happened when the nine remaining contestants entered the ballroom for “Movie Night” to pay homage to classic cinema genres? Scroll down for our live, minute-by-minute recap of all the highlights, lowlights and results.
Nick Lachey had the lowest judges’ score on “Disney Night,” and he had the lowest score the week before as well, so our users went into “Movie Night” thinking he was a goner, heavily favoring him for elimination. But his wife Vanessa Lachey was second to last on last week’s leaderboard, and Drew Scott also appeared to be vulnerable despite his considerable improvement over the weeks. That was one of the burning questions for tonight’s show.
Another question was how the night’s special guest appearance by Shania Twain would impact the competition. She performed her song “Soldier” from her new album “Now,” but she also joined Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, and Bruno Tonioli at the judges’ table to evaluate the dances. How did she and the contestants do, and who was ultimately sent home? Find out below in our live blog, which features commentary by me along with Gold Derby contributors Jeffrey Kare and Cordell Martin. All times listed are Eastern.
Daniel Montgomery, 7:50pm — Ready for “Dancing with the Stars” tonight?
Cordell Martin, 7:50pm — I’m ready to see who goes home tonight. Jeffrey, who are you predicting to go home?
Jeffrey Kare, 7:51pm — Nick.
DM, 7:51pm — I have a sneaking feeling Nick will survive again. I’m predicting Vanessa as a surprise elimination, but I hope I’m wrong.
JK, 7:52pm — I do have them in my top two.
CM, 7:53pm — I thinking Nick as well.
DM, 8:00pm — Opening tonight’s show with a group dance number by Mandy Moore to “Hooray for Hollywood” with Val Chmerkovskiy as an aspiring screenwriter and Sharna Burgess as his star.
DM, 8:04pm — Looking at the contestant introductions, the makeup and costume job on Lindsey Stirling has got me really excited to see that sci-fi routine.
CM, 8:04pm — Shania Twain for “DWTS” Season 26!
Nikki Bella and Artem Chigvintsev – Argentine Tango – “Dernière Danse” by Indila (Foreign)
DM, 8:05pm — “I have fallen in love with dance,” says Nikki about her experience on the show, “but my technique does not compare to Jordan or Lindsey.” She’s struggling to be vulnerable and to speak up when she’s frustrated.
CM, 8:08pm — All 8’s.
JK, 8:08pm — And her performance I thought was stylishly sexy!
JUDGES — Len Goodman says, “I didn’t need subtitles to follow this story … You have got a tenderness about your dancing that you should explore more … I thought that was great.” Shania Twain added, “That was so romantic … That was beautiful.” Bruno Tonioli said, “It had that kind of Parisian chic and poise … It was elegant.” And Carrie Ann Inaba concluded, “That was a stunning display.”
SCORES — Carrie Ann (9), Len (9), Shania (9), Bruno (9) = 36 out of 40
CM, 8:12pm — Sexy but it was a bit sloppy.
DM, 8:13pm — And on top of their strong scores, Tom Bergeron has already announced that they’re already safe from elimination.
DM, 8:14pm — I didn’t think it was that sloppy, except for the one loss of balance. I thought maybe it could have used a little more attack, but the technique was on-point.
CM, 8:15pm — I do agree about having a bit more attack.
RESULTS — Some more results before the next performance: Drew Scott is safe, Frankie Muniz is safe, Nick Lachey is in jeopardy, Terrell Owens is in jeopardy, and Victoria Arlen is in jeopardy.
CM, 8:19pm — WTH?
JK, 8:19pm — Looks like Vanessa won’t be going home this week.
Drew Scott and Emma Slater – Paso Doblé – “Legend” by The Score (Action)
DM, 8:20pm — Should take some of the pressure off of Drew knowing that he’s safe tonight. Emma is hoping that Canadian solidarity will help Drew get a high score from guest judge Shania.
JUDGES — Shania said, “I thought all the drama was captured, and the balance between the feminine and masculine strength was very well executed.” Bruno added, “You went for it like a demented killer, but you went wrong. You lost a bit of timing.” Carrie Ann said, “I felt like the dance got away from you … It was entertaining, but there were mistakes.” Len concluded, “I’m pleased you’re safe, but I’m not over-convinced you’re going to be safe next week because that was an awkward routine.”
CM, 8:23pm — I thought that was really entertaining. Drew is really coming into his own as a dancer.
JK, 8:26pm — It looked pretty inventive.
CM, 8:26pm — Oh no judges.
DM, 8:26pm — I’m not as mad at it as the judges were, but I actually agree with the judges on this one. It was kinda clunky and awkward in places.
SCORES — Carrie Ann (7), Len (7), Shania (9), Bruno (7) = 30 out of 40
JK, 8:27pm — At least Shania gave them a boost.
DM, 8:28pm — Those scores were actually lower than I expected. I would have thought he’d get at least a couple of 8s.
CM, 8:28pm — My thing with the judges is that they are so inconsistent with their judging. Looks like operation “Get Drew Out” is in full effect. The judges have to find a new punching bag assuming Nick leaves tonight. Too bad that Drew has the votes to stay for a while in my opinion.
JK, 8:30pm — Who knows? He could be eliminated next week.
CM, 8:31pm — Possibly but I think he will probably outlast Nikki, Terrell and possibly Vanessa.
Nick Lachey and Peta Murgatroyd – Samba – “Wild Wild West” by Dru Hill, Will Smith & Kool Mo Dee (Western)
DM, 8:32pm — “I should go home,” said a frustrated Nick after last week’s judges’ scores. He was shocked to be safe from elimination, not even in jeopardy.
CM, 8:35pm — God bless him.
JUDGES — Bruno said, “It was a post-apocalyptic samba … The line dancing was fabulous.” Carrie Ann added, “I think you’re selling yourself too short. When you did that breakdown tonight, it was fantastic, you nailed it.” Len said, “Carrie Ann is right for a change. When you’re doing that solo stuff, you’re terrific … but as soon as the samba starts you stiffen up.” And Shania concluded, “I felt the tension and apprehension in your moves, but it was so entertaining … It was very engaging.”
JK, 8:38pm — Okay, out of all the songs Nick and Peta could’ve danced to, they chose the theme from “Wild Wild West.” But they still did a solid job, it was definitely much more worth watching than that movie.
SCORES — Carrie Ann (7), Len (6), Shania (7), Bruno (6) = 26 out of 40
DM, 8:40pm — Wow, those were rough, I thought we were done with 6s. I even thought he’d get a 8-for-effort from someone.
DM, 8:41pm — But the scores were probably fair. I was worried they’d give him higher scores than Drew thinking Nick would be eliminated anyway, but I see they’re not taking any chances.
Victoria Arlen and Val Chmerkovskiy – Paso Doblé – “We Will Rock You” by Queen (Sports)
DM, 8:45pm — Let’s see if Victoria has better luck with the paso doble than Drew had. She has the added pressure of being in jeopardy tonight, and she needs to show more aggression than we’ve seen from her in past routines.
JUDGES — Carrie Ann said, “You were contained, strong, well rehearsed.” Len added, “I liked the concept … Overall it was a great job.” Shania said, “That is the most innovative hockey game I have ever seen.” And Bruno concluded, “It was very conceptualized, but I could see a proper paso doble … Well done.”
CM, 8:50pm — That was cute.
JK, 8:51pm — Inventively energetic.
DM, 8:51pm — I’d give that about an 8.
SCORES — Carrie Ann (8), Len (8), Shania (7), Bruno (8) = 31 out of 40
DM, 8:52pm —Wow, Shania was the stingy one? “Well someone retired her 9 paddle pretty quick,” said Tom Bergeron.
CM, 8:52pm — Okay Shania!
JK, 8:53pm — And she was kind to Drew.
DM, 8:53pm — They should bring Victoria back out to score Shania’s performance.
Terrell Owens and Cheryl Burke – Jive – “Feel It Still” by Portugal. The Man (Spy)
DM, 8:57pm — Terrell Owens, spy movies, and jive aren’t exactly concepts that seem to go naturally together, but I’m hoping for continued improvement from him.
JUDGES — Len said, “Wasn’t quite double-O-heaven … But it was your best dance so far.” Shania added, “Your determination was very clear … The attention to the detail was so gorgeous.” Bruno said, “You had such a slick, sexy, cool persona … Light on your feet, great timing.” And Carrie Ann concluded, “I’m going to have to call you Sade because you’re a smooth operator … Every move was sinewy and sexy.”
CM, 9:03pm — That was a solid routine.
DM, 9:03pm — Probably my favorite performance from Terrell, really sharp and solid.
CM, 9:04pm — I agree.
SCORES — Carrie Ann (9), Len (9), Shania (10), Bruno (9) = 37 out of 40
JK, 9:05pm — And Shania was kind once more by giving Terrell a 10.
DM, 9:06pm — I thought the 9s were deserved, but Shania was definitely overcompensating with that 10 after that last low score she gave to Victoria. I think she wanted to get back on the crowd’s good side.
Shania Twain performance of her song “Soldier” from the film “Thank You For Your Service”
DM, 9:09pm — Shania is performing her ballad center stage while troupe dancers perform all around her, though it seems as if she’s lip synching.
CM, 9:11pm — I was about to say the same thing.
JK, 9:12pm — It certainly doesn’t sound live.
DM, 9:12pm — I know she has struggled with vocal chord issues over the years, which put her music career on hold for a while.
Frankie Muniz and Witney Carson – Jazz – “Holly Rock” by Sheila E. (Animation)
DM, 9:13pm — Frankie Muniz was thrilled to get 10s last week, but he was understandably shocked to be in jeopardy. “It’s all about being a little over-the-top,” said Frankie about his voice-over performances in animated shows over the years. That’s what he needs to bring out for his jazz routine, which looks like it has a “Trolls” motif.
JUDGES — Shania said, “I loved that.” Bruno added, “It was a psychedelic treat … [Witney] really worked to his advantage.” Carrie Ann said, “It was really entertaining, but there were a lot of missteps.” And Len concluded, “Full of spirit, full of enthusiasm … Well done, so entertaining.”
DM, 9:22pm — I love Frankie, but there were a few missteps and I don’t know what that choreography was about.
CM, 9:22pm — It was really entertaining though.
JK, 9:23pm — I thought that was perfectly energetic.
SCORES — Carrie Ann (7), Len (8), Shania (8), Bruno (8) = 31
DM, 9:25pm — I liked the parts of that dance where there were actual steps in hold, but a lot of the side-by-side dancing just felt random.
RESULTS — Some more results before we get to the remaining dances. Jordan Fisher is safe (duh), Lindsey Stirling is safe (also duh), and Vanessa Lachey is safe (whew).
Vanessa Lachey and Maks Chmerkovskiy – Quickstep – “Let’s Be Bad” from “Smash” (Musical)
DM, 9:29pm — “My performance last week wasn’t my best,” said Vanessa, who admits to being distracted by having her kids in the audience. Luckily she’s not in jeopardy, and I was worried she would be eliminated.
JUDGES — Bruno said, “You were absolutely gleaming … You killed it.” Carrie Ann added, “It was such a fantastic performance.” Len is debating whether it deserves another 8, less, or more. Shania said, “It was sass, humor, and class … You kept your composure so [the wardrobe malfunction] didn’t matter.”
SCORES — Carrie Ann (9), Len (9), Shania (9), Bruno (9) = 36 out of 40
CM, 9:35pm — And she’s back!
DM, 9:36pm — I was wondering about that skirt malfunction. It looked like it was supposed to tear away, but it looked like it just fell off her randomly. Glad they explained that it was supposed to tear away later, but Vanessa didn’t let it shake her, which was great.
JK, 9:36pm — That was great! I also appreciated them performing to that song from “Smash.”
Jordan Fisher and Lindsay Arnold – Rumba – “Supermarket Flowers” by Ed Sheeran (Drama)
DM, 9:40pm — Jordan is dancing to the movie genre of “drama,” which seems like an extremely broad category. I wonder where they’ll go with it. After getting a perfect score Jordan is worried about pushing himself too hard and suffering injury, which he remembers from his early days training as a gymnast.
CM, 9:43pm — 40!
JK, 9:44pm — Breathtaking!
JUDGES — Carrie Ann said, “When you move you stretch and elongate and contract. Everything is one movement.” Len added, “It was well-crafted … Little things get on my nerves a bit … Your arms should be as expressive as your face.” Shania said, “I felt like you had her with you even when she was distant.” And Bruno concluded, “You had strength and fluidity … It feels effortless, like it just springs out of you.”
SCORES — Carrie Ann (10), Len (9), Shania (10), Bruno (10) = 39 out of 40
CM, 9:47pm — Oh Len!
DM, 9:47pm — I’m never going to be able to get that “twiddly fiddly” hand movement Len complained about out of my head now.
DM, 9:49pm — I’ve got to say that Jordan performance was fantastic, but I don’t feel like I’m watching him grow much. He started super fantastic, and he’s in the exact same place. I’m not sure there is much room for improvement since he’s already such a polished performer, which is a good thing in a lot of ways, but growth is such an important part of the show.
Lindsey Stirling and Mark Ballas – Argentine Tango – “Human” by Sevdaliza (Sci-Fi)
DM, 9:51pm — Mark is playing a mad scientist, which “isn’t much of a stretch for him,” according to Lindsey. I’m really excited for this performance, especially since it’s closing the show.
JUDGES — Len said, “I thought the choreography was phenomenal. I thought the dancing was brilliant. I gave you a 10 last week because you deserved it, and you deserve another 10.” Shania said, “It was so graphic and intense. I’ve never seen such sharp edges look so elegant.” Bruno added, “Mr. Ballas, you’ve created another work of genius. It reminded me of Fritz Lang’s ‘Metropolis’ … and it was a superb Argentine tango … It was the best dance of the season.” Carrie Ann concluded, “You upped your game to something phenomenal.”
SCORES — Carrie Ann (10), Len (10), Shania (10), Bruno (10) = 40 out of 40
DM, 9:58pm — Wow wow wow … I LOVED the character of that performance, blending the robotic movements with the Argentine tango.
CM, 9:58pm — Told you guys Lindsey was going to bring it!
JK, 9:59pm — That was inventively slick.
DM, 9:59pm — That’s the difference for me between being a great dancer (Jordan) and also bringing another level of creativity and excitement and innovation to it (Lindsey).
Couple declared safe: Victoria and Val
Couple eliminated: Nick and Peta, which means Terrell and Cheryl are safe to dance next week.
JK, 10:00pm — This season has just become a little more competitive.
CM, 10:02pm — Top three dances of the night? Lindsey, Jordan and Terrell for me.
DM, 10:02pm — Same top three for me.
JK, 10:03pm — Nikki, Jordan, and Vanessa.
CM, 10:04pm — Alright, who’s going home?
DM, 10:04pm — Probably Drew, but I’m worried about Frankie.
JK, 10:05pm — Maybe Drew?
CM, 10:05pm — I’m going to say Nikki or Drew. I feel that Drew’s fans will rally behind him and keep him safe. Nikki, although she’s coming into her own might be that contestant where people assumes she’s safe.
DM, 10:06pm — I think Nikki might have scored high enough to insulate her even if she doesn’t get a lot of votes. Stranger things have happened, but her elimination would be a surprise for me.
Complete Judges’ Leaderboard
1. Lindsey Stirling — 40
2. Jordan Fisher — 39
3. Terrell Owens — 37
4. Nikki Bella — 36
4. Vanessa Lachey — 36
6. Victoria Arlen — 31
6. Frankie Muniz — 31
8. Drew Scott — 30
9. Nick Lachey — 26 (ELIMINATED)
Final Predictions Contest Results
Who was eliminated? Nick Lachey
Who got the judges’ HIGHEST score? Lindsey Stirling (40 out of 40)
Who got the judges’ LOWEST score? Nick Lachey (26 out of 40)
How many 10s did the judges give out? 5 to 9 — 8 to be exact
Which judge gave the MOST overall points (not counting guest judge)? Carrie Ann Inaba AND Bruno Tonioli (76)
Which judge gave the FEWEST overall points (not counting guest judge)? Len Goodman (75)
Did Carrie Ann Inaba comment on an unauthorized lift? No
Be sure to make your predictions so that the contestants can see how they’re faring in our racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before the next episode airs every Monday on ABC. You’ll compete to win a spot on our leaderboard and eternal bragging rights. See our contest rules and sound off with other fans in our reality TV forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.