‘Dancing with the Stars’ Trios Night recap: Maddie Ziegler, Rashad Jennings and more joined the top 10 celebs in the ballroom [UPDATING LIVE BLOG]

Going into week four of “Dancing with the Stars” season 27, there were 10 couples remaining. But it’s been a challenging month in the ballroom for all of the celebs, so this week they got a little extra help. Monday, October 15 was Trios Night, during which the celebs and their pro partners were each joined by a special guest. So was three a lucky number for the contestants, or was three a crowd? Find out below in our live blog with all the minute-by-minute developments as they happen.

Those special guest dancers were mostly past “DWTS” contestants: Amy Purdy, Riker Lynch, Rashad Jennings, Lindsey Stirling, Melissa Rycroft, Joey Fatone and Nastia Liukin. The other three were a reality TV dance star (Maddie Ziegler), a “Bachelor in Paradise” alum (Jordan Kimball) and “Harry Potter” actress Scarlett Byrne. See the full list of trio partnerships here.

Those returning “DWTS” contestants got their fair share of perfect 10s when they previously appeared on the show, so will they boost the scores for this season’s contestants? The judges already gave out their first perfect score in week three: 10s across the board for Juan Pablo Di Pace‘s samba on Most Memorable Year Night. That was one of the earliest perfect scores ever given on the show, and it was especially surprising coming from Len Goodman, who tends to be more conservative and save his 10 paddle for a little later in the season. But on “DWTS” 10s are a little like Pringles: once you pop, you can’t stop. So will there be a parade of 10s from here on out, or will the judges rein it back in?

Follow along below starting at 8:00pm (all times listed are Eastern).

Juan Pablo Di Pace and Cheryl Burke with guest Melissa Rycroft (Cha Cha)

Daniel Montgomery, 8:03pm — Juan Pablo has a lot to live up to after that perfect score on Most Memorable Year Night. I thought those numbers were premature, but his trio includes a past Mirror Ball champ, so they have given him his best chance for success. However, the clip package indicates some friction between him and Cheryl. They gave him the conflict edit tonight.

DM, 8:07pm — I think I saw a teensy bit of cha cha in there. Mostly hip swiveling and thrusting.

Cordell Martin, 8:08pm — Yes, Daniel!

Jeffrey Kare, 8:08pm — I thought that was pretty cool.

JUDGES — Len says, “Three was terrific. A lovely mix of steps” and “your bottom is the tops,” but he would have liked more cha cha content. Bruno Tonioli adds, “That was dead sexy,” though he noticed Juan Pablo went on the wrong foot. Carrie Ann Inaba thought he was “holding back” and “a little controlled,” but he “held the center” despite the limited energy level.

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

CM, 8:12pm — Please let Grocery Store Joe dance next. I can’t wait for that train wreck.

DM, 8:12pm — Those overalls costumes alone during their intro looked … interesting.

Tinashe and Brandon Armstrong with guest Amy Purdy (Tango)

JK, 8:15pm — Here we go, Tinashe!

DM, 8:15pm — I’m curious to see how Amy Purdy will mesh with Tinashe and Brandon. There doesn’t seem to be a clear connection between her and the couple she’s dancing with. They don’t have a pre-existing relationship or common bond in terms of their careers. Amy is a Paralympian, and Tinashe is a recording artist.

DM, 8:19pm — Very solid routine, I loved the parts in hold. And Tinashe’s suit is giving me a Janelle Monae vibe that I’m totally here for.

JK, 8:20pm — That was terrific!

CM, 8:20pm — Loved it.

JUDGES — Bruno finds them “guilty” of brilliance. Carrie Ann thought it was “the most innovative choreography … It was a fantastic tango.” And Len says, “I thought you handled it brilliantly well,” but she needs to improve her posture in hold.

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

JK, 8:23pm — Of course Len would go one point lower.

DM, 8:23pm — I thought those were the right scores for that routine. Even then 8 from Len felt fair to me in this case.

CM, 8:26pm — Prediction: Milo or DeMarcus will have the highest score of the night.

John Schneider and Emma Slater with guest Joey Fatone (Argentine Tango)

DM, 8:28pm — Joey Fatone and John Schneider doing an Argentine tango … I don’t know how I feel about that. “You’re both going to be Greek gods!” says Emma about the routine. That doesn’t clarify much for me.

DM, 8:31pm — Solid performance. John’s posture is pretty good, his timing is on point, but the costumes are less “Greek God” than “Green Arrow.”

JK, 8:32pm — It definitely seemed exotic to me.

JUDGES — Carrie Ann thought “it started out rough,” but when the violins kicked in there was a newfound “gravitas” to both John and Joey. Len says, “It was a bit of a Greek tragedy just to start with,” but he liked that they went “straight into the dance … I loved the way you interacted between the three of you.” And Bruno calls it “a melodrama among the ruins,” but he did an admirable job of keeping up with the difficult rhythms of the music.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (7), Len (7), Bruno (7) — Total: 21 out of 30

DM, 8:37pm — Lowest score of the night so far, but I think the judges got it right. We’ll find out later if Grocery Store Joe can rise to that level; he has yet to even crack the 20 mark.

Evanna Lynch and Keo Motsepe with guest Scarlett Byrne (Salsa)

DM, 8:42pm — Fingers crossed for this trio. Scarlett Byrne worked with Evanna on “Harry Potter,” but she doesn’t have “Dancing with the Stars” experience, so who knows how what skill and presence she’ll have on the dance floor? But Evanna gets “a lot of confidence” from Scarlett, which can only help.

DM, 8:46pm — Solid performance, good lifts, not quite as much actual salsa as I would have liked.

JK, 8:47pm — I thought that was excellent!

CM, 8:47pm — Love her!

JUDGES — Len liked how much salsa content there was, a great routine. Bruno adds that she needs more hip action and she was out of sync at points. Carrie Ann loved how well they matched each other visually, but Evanna got ahead of the music, and Carrie Ann also noticed that they weren’t perfectly in sync.

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

DM, 8:49pm — Whew, I was worried there might be a 7 mixed in there.

JK, 8:50pm — Especially from Len.

DM, 8:50pm — With the way they were talking about her hip action and sync problems, I thought may even Carrie Ann and Bruno might give 7s.

DeMarcus Ware and Lindsay Arnold with guest Rashad Jennings (Paso Doble)

DM, 8:54pm — This is a pretty perfect trio on paper. An aggressive and passionate dance style with a fellow football player who is a good physical match for DeMarcus. Speaking of “physical match,” DeMarcus dislocated his finger just from doing a welcome chest bump with Rashad. This could be a dangerous routine.

DM, 8:58pm — Excellent choreography, but I don’t know, I’m still feeling DeMarcus needs to clean up his movements some. He needs more polish.

JK, 9:00pm –Not only did I think that was a great routine, but I also thought that the camera work was able to find some great ways of capturing it.

CM, 9:00pm — I felt that Rashad out-danced him.

JUDGES — Bruno “found it very hard to concentrate, I don’t know why” (shirtless football players is why); “I loved all of that power and aggression,” but he lost some of the subtlety in the artistry. Carrie Ann appreciated the “physicality,” but she felt like DeMarcus was trying to match Rashad too much and wasn’t expressing his own dance style. Len says, “You’ve got the guns, but not always the ammunition … It was a little bit flimsy on occasion.”

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

DM, 9:03pm — After such a strong start DeMarcus really seems to be backsliding. I don’t see as much growth in his technique as he needs.

CM, 9:05pm — I agree. Glad the judges are scoring him fairly.

Mary Lou Retton and Sasha Farber with guest Nastia Liukin (Charleston)

DM, 9:07pm — Sasha wants to “push the boundaries,” and I think Nastia is a good match, and not just because she and Mary Lou are both gymnasts. Sasha danced with Nastia in season 20 when Derek Hough was injured. But Mary Lou feels insecure during training week because it’s taking her longer to pick up on the fast choreography than Sasha and Nastia.

DM, 9:11pm — I think that was my favorite routine of the night so far. Perfect choreography that took great advantage of the gymnastic duo, in sync, lots of creative lifts and tricks and not a step out of place I don’t think.

JK, 9:11pm — That definitely appeared to be full of enthusiasm.

JUDGES — Carrie Ann thinks Mary Lou has continued to improve: “All of you shined so brightly.” Len is a “happy chappy,” though he thought the Charleston parts needed more swivel. Bruno says it was “Sharp, in sync” and showcased the dancers perfectly.

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

DM, 9:14pm — Well deserved! I hope this isn’t one of those nights where someone gets their best score and then is eliminated at the end of the night.

CM, 9:14pm — I think she’s going home.

JK, 9:15pm — We’ve certainly been down that road before.

CM, 9:17pm — Hopefully we’re proven wrong tonight.

Milo Manheim and Witney Carson with guest Riker Lynch (Salsa)

DM, 9:18pm — I’m really excited to see how Milo dances with Riker. This seems like another great combo. Milo and Riker have a similar physical presence and similar outgoing personalities.

JK, 9:21pm — Hands down, the best performance of the night!

DM, 9:22pm — Yep, definitely, and a MUCH better trio salsa in terms of choreography than Evanna’s routine. That’s what I was looking for!

CM, 9:22pm — Perfect 30, he killed it!

JUDGES — Len says, “Witney, you were flying from Riker to Milo like a frisbee … I would have like a tad more hip action … The bast dance I’ve seen tonight.” Bruno thought it was “electrifying … The details in the choreography were absolutely delicious.” Carrie Ann adds, “It was so many things, but it was absolutely perfect.”

SCORES — Carrie Ann (10), Len (9), Bruno (10) — Total: 29 out of 30

CM, 9:25pm — I think Milo could really win this.

JK, 9:25pm  — Of course Len would be the one to prevent a perfect score from happening.

Joe Amabile and Jenna Johnson with guest Jordan Kimball (Salsa)

DM, 9:29pm — Grocery Store Joe having to follow Milo’s performance in the same dance style … good luck, Joe.

DM, 9:32pm — Well, that was … something. And TWO wardrobe malfunctions.

JK, 9:33pm — Meh … pretty lackluster.

CM, 9:33pm — WTH?

JUDGES — Bruno says, “That was a unique experience,” and he didn’t know if he was watching “Magic Mike” or “Tragic Mike.” Carrie Ann adds, “Jenna gets MVP” for doing so much with what she had to work with. Len concludes, “It’s hard to put into words what I thought of that dance … What you’ve done with Joe and his chum is terrific.”

SCORES — Carrie Ann (5), Len (5), Bruno (5) — Total: 15 out of 30

DM, 9:36pm — Wow, the air went completely out of the room with those scores.

JK, 9:36pm —  Don’t worry, he’ll be safe again — ha!

Alexis Ren and Alan Bersten with guest Maddie Ziegler (Tango)

DM, 9:40pm — I loved seeing Alexis come out of her shell with her contemporary routine on Most Memorable Year Night.

CM, 9:41pm — Hopefully Alexis can keep up with Maddie.

JK, 9:44pm — Looks like she was more than able to. That performance showed a lot of energy.

DM, 9:44pm — Good effort from all of them. I think the music was too big and too fast for that dance style though.

JUDGES — Carrie Ann wanted to see them dance “as one” more. Len thought it was a “good mix of tango content and beautiful attacking,” but they could have done better in hold. Bruno felt it was “strong” and had “elegance and sophistication as well … I don’t know what I watched, but I liked it!”

SCORES — Carrie Ann (8), Len (8), Bruno (9) — Total: 25 out of 30

Bobby Bones and Sharna Burgess with guest Lindsey Stirling (Cha Cha)

DM, 9:51pm — I’m skeptical to a Bobby Bones MC Hammer cha cha, but any excuse to see Lindsey Stirling back in the ballroom is alright by me.

DM, 9:54pm — There was a bit of cha cha in there if you take a microscope to it.

JK, 9:54pm — Okay, that has to be Bobby’s best dance yet!

JUDGES — Len says, “I’ve got to say, you nailed the Hammer part, but the cha cha part was not so good … You got to get a bit more finesse in your technique.” Bruno thinks it’s always “fun” watching Bobby, but the “cha cha got lost in translation.” And Carrie Ann feels “the world is a better place” with Bobby in it, and he didn’t miss a single step, though his technique was a bit of a mess.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (7), Len (6), Bruno (7) — Total: 20 out of 30

CM, 9:57pm — That should’ve been a Jazz routine.


First Couple in Jeopardy: Evanna and Keo

Second Couple in Jeopardy: Tinashe and Brandon

ELIMINATED COUPLE: Tinashe and Brandon

CM, 9:59pm — Oh snap!

JK, 9:59pm — I can’t believe this!

DM, 9:59pm — What the holy hell?

JK, 9:59pm — Could it be that some people felt that Tinashe was so safe, that they felt she didn’t need their support?

DM, 10:01pm — Also, she didn’t have much of a built-in fan base, and he’s a brand new pro, so neither did he.

CM, 10:01pm — Well at this rate, who will be the last woman left standing?

DM, 10:02pm — I think Evanna will be the last woman standing. In week one she and Tinashe were the only women who weren’t in the bottom five, and Tinashe had the top score that week, so we know Evanna is getting some love from fans voting.

CM, 10:02pm — Well I’m officially rooting for Milo to win! But Grocery Store Joe continues to stink up the joint.

DM, 10:04pm — I wonder what the precedent is: how long has someone managed to last on the show with the lowest judges’ score Every. Single. Week.


1. Milo Manheim — 29
2. Mary Lou Retton — 26
2. Tinashe — 26 (ELIMINATED)
4. Alexis Ren — 25
5. Juan Pabo Di Pace — 24
5. Evanna Lynch — 24
7. DeMarcus Ware — 22
8. John Schneider — 21
9. Bobby Bones — 20
10. Joe Amabile — 15


Who will be eliminated? Tinashe

Who will get the judges’ HIGHEST score? Milo Manheim (29 out of 30)

Who will get the judges’ LOWEST score? Joe Amabile (15 out of 30)

How many 10s will the judges give out? 1 to 4 — 2 to be exact

Which judge will give the MOST points? Bruno Tonioli (80)

Which judge will give the FEWEST points? Len Goodman (74)

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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