Did Grocery Store Joe really have a ‘Dancing with the Stars’ breakthrough on Halloween, or did the judges go overboard? [WATCH]

There are three certainties in life: death, taxes, and Grocery Store Joe finishing last on the “Dancing with the Stars” leaderboard. At least, that used to be the case. Over the first five weeks of the competition “Bachelorette” and “Bachelor in Paradise” alum Joe Amabile tied Bill Engvall‘s record for the most times in last place in the show’s history (six). He was about to break that record, but the judges thought his Halloween Night Argentine tango was a real breakthrough for the struggling celeb. Was it really, or did the judges go way overboard with their scores? Watch it above.

Amabile has been pretty discouraged by his low scores over the course of the season so far, and most people in that position would have been eliminated long ago, but every week his “DWTS” candidacy has been reanimated like Frankenstein’s monster by the viewing public, who have kept voting for him to stay. The persistence of the “Bachelor” Nation finally paid off. He actually did play Frankenstein’s monster during his Argentine tango, and it was his most proficient dance yet, except for one mishap towards the end where he almost dropped his partner Jenna Johnson.

Proficient, but was it extraordinary? Bruno Tonioli thought his timing was the “best ever.” Len Goodman thought it was Amabile’s “best dance.” And Carrie Ann Inaba was “blown away” by his “huge change.” Amabile got 7s from Tonioli and Goodman, which didn’t surprise me given the extent of his improvement, but he also got an 8 from Inaba, giving him a grand total of 22 out of 30.

That was his best score by a mile, and it was also three points higher than John Schneider, who ended up at the bottom of the leaderboard for what I thought was a well executed paso doble. But the judges have learned to have vastly different expectations for the two contestants, so I think the judges graded them on vastly different curves, one that might have just saved Amabile for another week and maybe doomed Schneider. Was that unfair, or do you think Amabile really deserved those much higher marks?

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