‘Dancing with the Stars’ Trio Night recap: Past Mirror Ball champs returned & final 5 contestants decided [UPDATING LIVE]

Dancing with the Stars” reduced its field of contestants from eight to six in last week’s shocking double elimination of Nikki Bella and Vanessa Lachey. With just half a dozen celebs remaining going into “Trio Night” the standards are higher and the fight to stay in the competition is harder than ever. So who was best able to rise to the challenge, who succumbed to the pressure, and who was eliminated at the end of the night? Scroll down for our complete minute-by-minute recap of “DWTS” season 25, week eight.

Halloween Night” flipped the usual standings, with frontrunners Jordan Fisher and Lindsey Stirling shockingly finishing in the bottom half of the leaderboard as the result of a team dance that disappointed the judges. Meanwhile, Frankie Muniz topped the leaderboard with two perfect scores, while Drew Scott and Victoria Arlen joined him near the top of the standings. That left football player Terrell Owens in last place and at risk of elimination going into this week’s show, when each contestant had to learn two dances: an individual routine with their usual pro partners and a trio dance in which each celeb was joined by a special guest dancer.

Past trio routines have added a second pro dancer or troupe dancer into the mix, but this time there was a brand new twist: the celebrities and their pro partners were joined by a former contestant. Past “DWTS” winners Kelly Monaco, Kristi Yamaguchi, Alfonso Ribeiro, Laurie Hernandez, and Rashad Jennings, and past runner-up Corbin Bleu returned to the dance floor. So how did they do? Find out below in our live blog, which features commentary by me along with Gold Derby contributors Cordell Martin and Jeffrey KareAll times listed are Eastern.

Jeffrey Kare, 7:55pm — Is anyone ready for tonight’s show?

Daniel Montgomery, 7:57pm — Ready as I’ll ever be.

DM, 8:02pm — Really excited to see the trio dances tonight. Especially looking forward to seeing Kelly, Alfonso, and Laurie back again.

Cordell Martin, 8:03pm — Here we go!

Terrell Owens and Cheryl Burke – Charleston – “Bad Boy Good Man” by Tape Five (feat. Henrik Wager)

DM, 8:03pm — “Charleston … I didn’t even know that was a dance,” said Terrell, expressing frustration while training. The clip package makes Cheryl seem like a tough teacher. Hope it pays off.

JUDGESLen Goodman said, “It was like a trip back to the ’20s … Of all of our celebrities, no one has improved from week one as much as you.” Bruno Tonioli added, “What we’ve got here is the king of the Cotton Club! … Your star is still rising.” And Carrie Ann Inaba concluded, “You were so athletic, so light on your feet … so toned and in control of the dance … You’re peaking at the right moment.”

SCORES — Carrie Ann (9), Len (9), Bruno (9) = 27 out of 30

JK, 8:08pm — Terrell really seemed to have upped his game this week.

CM, 8:09pm — I agree! Too bad he might go home tonight.

DM, 8:09pm — I’m surprised how consistently good Terrell has been with fast-paced dances with lots of quick choreography.

Drew Scott and Emma Slater – Waltz – “Both Sides Now (Torch Songs)” by Years & Years

DM, 8:11pm — “This is such a roller coaster ride,” said Drew during the clip package. His high scores last week on “Halloween Night” have convinced him that he’s really a contender for the Mirror Ball Trophy. Now he’s performing a personal routine inspired by his fiancee Linda.

DM, 8:15pm — One of Drew’s best dances. Great control, fluid movement.

JUDGES — Bruno said, “It was like an intense, romantic dialogue set to music … Your intentions were very clear and very deeply felt,” though he had a fluidity problem while in hold. Carrie Ann added, “The bottom half of your body was not keeping the tempo … but I really loved the expression.” Len concluded, “You’ve got this droopy right elbow … It has to be constant throughout the dance.”

SCORES — Carrie Ann (7), Len (7), Bruno (8) = 22 out of 30

DM, 8:17pm — Ouch with those criticisms.

CM, 8:18pm — Wow! I thought he would’ve gotten a 9.

JK, 8:19pm — At least Bruno was able to give them a boost.

DM, 8:20pm — Those were stunningly low scores. They gave him 9s last week when he actually fell down. Way too low as far as I’m concerned. I don’t know where those 7s came from.

CM, 8:22pm — Me either. I think they’re trying to low-ball him to ensure he gets eliminated next week.

Victoria Arlen and Val Chmerkovskiy – Argentine Tango – “Down” by Marian Hill

DM, 8:22pm — Victoria suffered a spasm during rehearsals today. Hopefully she can fight through it the way Lindsey did last week with her rib injury.

CM, 8:25pm — 9s and 10s.

JUDGES — Carrie Ann said, “You dropped your eyes a lot … but the body movements were fantastic.” Len added, “It had a nice, smoldering intensity about it … It was a very good job.” Bruno concluded, “Looked good, great shapes, great lifts … now you have to act the part … It’s all about maintaining the character throughout the dance.”

SCORES — Carrie Ann (8), Len (8), Bruno (8) = 24 out of 30

CM, 8:27pm — Wow the judges are being really picky tonight.

DM, 8:29pm — The judging really is aggressive this week. I wasn’t necessarily blown away by Victoria’s dance — the choreography was pretty simple and Lindsey’s from “Movie Night” was a tough act to follow on an Argentine tango, but 8s for that routine surprised me.

Lindsey Stirling and Mark Ballas – Samba – “Morning Drums” by Gregor Salto

DM, 8:32pm — “Last week was tough. I was in a lot of pain … I felt like my spirit was broken,” Lindsey said about last week’s injury. I really hope she’s on the mend because the samba is always a challenge and she has the potential to nail it.

JUDGES — Len said, “It didn’t look quite as sure-footed as you normally are … I thought it was full of rhythm, great imagination … Lots of bits I liked, one or two bits I found irksome.” Bruno added, “You definitely made a meal out of it … There was something unexpected and very avant garde about it.” Carrie Ann concluded, “You did not look as sure on your feet as you normally do … but it was a fantastic and brilliant samba.”

SCORES — Carrie Ann (9), Len (8), Bruno (9) = 26 out of 30

DM, 8:37pm — Welcome back Lindsey!! Mark did not go easy on her with that choreography, and she did a fantastic job.

JK, 8:38pm — Very creative circus-esque samba.

DM, 8:40pm — It’s weird that Terrell has the highest scoring dance so far. I thought he did a great job, but I don’t think the other dances were much if any poorer than that.

Frankie Muniz and Witney Carson – Viennese Waltz – “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran

DM, 8:41pm — “It’s a very odd feeling being on top of the leaderboard. I’m not saying I don’t belong there, but I don’t belong there,” said Frankie, expressing insecurity about living up to the success he has had so far.

JUDGES — Bruno said, “It was like being in a starlit dream sequence … Wonderful flow of movement … Sometimes I felt like your shoulders were rising.” Carrie Ann added, “So far for me that was the closest thing to perfection.” Len concluded, “It was far from perfection … It’s about an undulating movement across the floor. I never saw that … It lacked rise and fall. There wasn’t enough in hold.”

JK, 8:46pm — Stunning work from Frankie this week!

JK, 8:47pm — Len really is a nasty, old humbug.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (9), Len (8), Bruno (9) = 26 out of 30

JK, 8:48pm — They at least still got a great enough score.

DM, 8:50pm — That was a much better dance than Len gave it credit for. I feel like a couple of these dances would have easily gotten straight 9s or a couple of 10s a week or two ago. Feels like they’ve changed their standards all at once this week.

Jordan Fisher and Lindsay Arnold – Quickstep – “Chuck Berry” by Pharrell Williams

JK, 8:52pm — Imagine what kind of score Jordan might just receive…

DM, 8:52pm — He might be the only one who could still get 10s just for getting out of bed.

CM, 8:52pm — I agree.

JUDGES — Carrie Ann said, “That was incredible. If Bob Fosse and Austin Powers had a baby, that was it.” Len just responded by giving a standing ovation. Bruno concluded, “It was the most technically demanding quickstep” he’d ever seen.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (10), Len (10), Bruno (10) = 30 out of 30

JK, 8:56pm — And that was excellent!

CM, 8:57pm — Jordan will have a perfect night tonight!

JK, 8:57pm — And Len’s heart has just grown three sizes.

DM, 8:58pm — That was a fantastic dance, and well deserved scores, but after the rest of that first round I’m not sure why they were so hard on everyone but Terrell and Jordan.

CM, 8:59pm — Maybe they will be the two in jeopardy.

Terrell Owens & Cheryl Burke & Kelly Monaco – Rumba – “Slow Hands” by Niall Horan

DM, 9:00pm — “Gotta get those hips ready for Kelly Monaco,” said Cheryl about preparing for a rumba with their trio guest. “That man is sculpted out of heaven,” Kelly notes about Terrell’s, um, dance skills.

JUDGES — Len said, “This one [didn’t suit your personality as much] … I thought you did a great job with Kelly … Well done.” Bruno added, “You definitely brought sexy back … Lots of side by side, well handled.” Carrie Ann concluded, “I wanted to see more movement, more choreography … but it was certainly well performed.”

SCORES — Carrie Ann (8), Len (8), Bruno (8) = 24 out of 30. Total for the night is 51 out of 60.

JK, 9:06pm — For the first trio dance, I thought that was pretty smooth.

DM, 9:07pm — That was a solid rumba. I think Carrie Ann and Bruno were right that it could have used more choreography and difficulty.

Drew Scott & Emma Slater & Rashad Jennings – Cha Cha – “Get Up Offa That Thing” by James Brown

DM, 9:10pm — Let’s see how Drew bounced back after those surprisingly low scores for his first dance. He’s learning swagger from reigning Mirror Ball champion Rashad. Fingers crossed.

JUDGES — Bruno said, “That was definitely glitzy … I loved the funky disco feel. Keeping up with Rashad is a very hard act to do, and most of the time you did … Only on the cha cha proper was your timing not quite on it.” Carrie Ann added, “I give you the new title of prince of soul. You can get down! … It raised your game tremendously.” Len concluded, “I liked the fact that everyone contributed to that performance … A little bit wooden in places.”

JK, 9:15pm — Wonderfully energetic!

DM, 9:15pm — Solid, not too bad, not a showstopper from Drew.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (9), Len (8), Bruno (8) = 25 out of 30. Total for the night is 47 out of 60.

DM, 9:17pm — I actually liked Drew’s first dance better, but I’m glad they scored this one better.

Victoria Arlen & Val Chmerkovskiy & Laurie Hernandez – Jive – “Magic” by B.o.B (feat. Rivers Cuomo)

DM, 9:20pm — This could be really exciting given how extraordinary Laurie and Val were together in season 23.

JUDGES — Carrie Ann said, “You didn’t quite know what to do with yourself when you were alone … And sometimes you fell behind in the legs, kicks, and flicks.” Len added, “I liked the fact that it started slow and built up, lots of recognizable jive in there. It just needed to be a little more sharp and clear.” Bruno concluded, “Jive is all about accuracy and precision in the legs, but it needs to be much sharper.

DM, 9:26pm — “I’m hurting but I’m good,” said Victoria about recovering from her spasm earlier today. She danced in sparkly sneakers instead of her planned high heels. If I were dancing on national television every week I’d dance in sparkly sneakers instead of high heels too.

JK, 9:27pm — Stunning!

SCORES — Carrie Ann (8), Len (8), Bruno (8) = 24 out of 30. Total for the night is 48 out of 60.

CM, 9:28pm — Very interesting night.

DM, 9:28pm — I thought that was also a solid trio, but like with Drew’s and Terrell’s trio routines I kinda wanted a little more from it. I’d agree with those scores.

Lindsey Stirling & Mark Ballas & Kristi Yamaguchi– Jazz – “Let’s Face The Music And Dance” by Seth MacFarlane

DM, 9:30pm — I have high expectations for this routine as a fan of all three of them. Very much looking forward to this performance.

JUDGES — Len said, “On those two performance tonight, you’ve got no troubles tonight.” Bruno added, “Everything I loved, well done.” Carrie Ann concluded, “There was this incredible synergy … classic, clean, and spot-on.”

JK, 9:34pm — Very classy routine!

SCORES — Carrie Ann (10), Len (9), Bruno (9) = 28 out of 30. Total for the night is 54 out of 60.

DM, 9:36pm — Lindsey and Kristi traded notes about Mark while they were training. Apparently Mark likes to smell his partners’ shoes to see how hard they’re working. There has to be an easier way to do that.

DM, 9:38pm — Very classy, great chemistry between all three of them during this performance. Maybe a little understated for my taste. I could have used a bit more wow, especially after that circus samba.

Frankie Muniz & Witney Carson & Alfonso Ribeiro – Jive – “Good Place” by Leo Soul

DM, 9:40pm — “The similarities are so apparent,” said Witney about how Frankie and Alfonso prepare and process information. Though Frankie is a little intimidated by the jive.

JUDGES — Bruno said, “There’s something about Witney that brings the best out of both of you … The sync considering the speed was quite good.” Carrie Ann added, “It was a very strong performance, but I did see the nerves … and I felt like you pulled back.” Len concluded, “I thought it was full of energy, full of content, full of fun … You’re a good dancer, Frankie. Come out and perform.”

SCORES — Carrie Ann (9), Len (9), Bruno (9) = 27 out of 30. Total for the night is 53 out of 60.

JK, 9:46pm — Amazing energy!

DM, 9:46pm — Frankie’s was probably my favorite trio so far.

Jordan Fisher & Lindsay Arnold & Corbin Bleu – Salsa – “Que Viva La Vida” by Wisin

DM, 9:48pm — At this point Jordan would have to lose a lot of points not to finish on top of the leaderboard tonight. I suspect Cordell is right and that we’ll see another perfect score from him.

JUDGES — Carrie Ann said, “You guys were absolutely amazing.” Len added, “Normally they say two’s company, three’s a crowd. In this case, three’s perfect.” Bruno concluded, “That was phenomenal … nailing every move. This dance I think will go down in ‘Dancing with the Stars’ history.”

JK, 9:56pm — INCREDIBLE!

DM, 9:56pm — Yep, that was about perfect. By far the best trio.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (10), Len (10), Bruno (10) = 30 out of 30. Total for the night is 60 out of 60.

CM, 9:57pm — Alright now, Jordan! He should win the show.


First couple announced for semifinals: Jordan and Lindsay

Second couple announced for semifinals: Lindsey and Mark

Third couple announced for semifinals: Victoria and Val

Fourth couple announced for semifinals: Drew and Emma

Eliminated couple: Terrell and Cheryl

Fifth couple in the semifinals: Frankie and Witney

CM, 9:59pmWill next week be a double elimination?

JK, 10:00pm — Sorry Terrell, but it was time for you to go.


1. Jordan Fisher — 60

2. Lindsey Stirling — 54

3. Frankie Muniz — 53

4. Terrell Owens — 51 (ELIMINATED)

5. Victoria Arlen — 48

6. Drew Scott — 47

Final Predictions Contest Results

Who was eliminated? Terrell Owens

Who got the judges’ HIGHEST score? Jordan Fisher (60 out of 60)

Who got the judges’ LOWEST score? Drew Scott (47 out of 60)

How many 10s did the judges give out? 5 to 9 — 7 to be exact

Which judge gave the MOST overall points? Carrie Ann Inaba (106)

Which judge gave the FEWEST overall points? Len Goodman (102)

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.

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