‘Dancing with the Stars’ recap: Joey Fatone joined ‘Boy Band and Girl Group Night,’ but who was sent home? [UPDATING LIVE BLOG]

As “Dancing with the Stars” season 28 enters the home stretch, it invited a couple of appropriate guest judges to score the dances on “Boy Band and Girl Group Night”: Emma Bunton of the Spice Girls and Joey Fatone of NSYNC. Fatone also happens to be a “DWTS” alum, finishing second in season four back in 2007. So what did they think of the performances by the final six celebrities and their pro partners? Find out below in our live blog with all the minute-by-minute developments as they happen.

In the first round of competitive dances, the contestants performed routines to music by girl groups including the Spice Girls, TLC, En Vogue and the Pointer Sisters. Then in the second round, they danced to songs by boy bands like NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, New Kids on the Block and Boyz II Men.

Country singer Lauren Alaina danced a quickstep and a rumba. Pop star Ally Brooke (herself a girl group alum from Fifth Harmony) performed a samba and a jazz routine. “Bachelorette” Hannah Brown got a salsa and a tango. Comedian and actor Kel Mitchell drew a paso doble and a Viennese waltz. Sean Spicer faced a samba and an Argentine tango. And actor James Van Der Beek got jive and jazz.

There are only two weeks left before the season ends on November 25, so the stakes are only getting higher in the race for the Mirror Ball Trophy. What did you think of this week’s performances? And what did you think of the outcome at the end of the night? Follow along below starting at 8:00pm (times listed are Eastern).


James Van Der Beek and Emma Slater (Jive)

Daniel Montgomery, 8:04pm — James Van Der Beek is coming off his first perfect score of the season. James was in an a cappella group in college, but that’s about as close as he’s ever gotten to a boy band. Tonight he’s dancing to the Pointer Sisters’ “I’m So Excited.”

Jeffrey Kare, 8:07pm — What an outstanding routine to start the night off with!

DM, 8:07pm — Strong start to the night with a great split at the end there from James. Kudos!

Cordell Martin, 8:07pm — Good stuff!

JUDGES — Len Goodman “liked the speed on the underarm turns” and the kicks and flicks. Joey Fatone thought James makes it look easy and has been consistent. Bruno Tonioli thought he danced it “very well,” but “it could have more pump into the leg.” And Carrie Ann Inaba called it “excellence,” and loved to “smoothness and finesse,” though he was a little off at the very beginning.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (9), Len (9), Joey (9), Bruno (9) — TOTAL: 36 out of 40

DM, 8:12pm — We thought Emma Bunton would be judging the girl group routines, but apparently she had to drop out at the very last minute due to a scheduling conflict. So it’ll be Joey for the whole night.

Sean Spicer and Jenna Johnson (Argentine Tango)

DM, 8:14pm — Last week Sean and Jenna got two 7s, and Sean says that’s the direction he wants to keep going in. I honestly don’t think he did go in that direction last week. The judges were pretty generous with those 7s. Tonight he’s dancing to “Bills Bills Bills” by Destiny’s Child, and he’s relieved that they’re doing an Argentine tango because it allows lifts. I’m not sure how that helps him, though.

CM, 8:16pm — Hopefully they score him appropriately tonight.

CM, 8:17pm — James or Kel would’ve killed this.

JK, 8:17pm — Yeah, this is just plain lazy.

JUDGES — Joey says, “It’s not easy being green,” referencing Sean’s outfit. He liked Sean’s frame, but not whatever he was doing with his feet; his “fluidity was stompy.” Bruno agrees that Sean tries “very hard,” but the routine was “more of an Argentine struggle.” Carrie Ann appreciates “how much effort” he’s putting into the competition, but he missing the artistry in his dancing. Len says the best thing about it was that “it wasn’t very long”; Sean was “just walking about,” as far as he was concerned.

CM, 8:18pm — Chile, that was a mess.

DM, 8:20pm — Everyone at that judges’ table needs to be Len. He’s sick of this nonsense, and everyone else is trying to be polite, but they must feel it too.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (7), Len (6), Joey (7), Bruno (6) — TOTAL: 26 out of 40

DM, 8:21pm — What about that warranted a 7? Thanks, judges, for guaranteeing another week of this.

Hannah Brown and Alan Bersten (Salsa)

DM, 8:22pm — Hannah and Alan are dancing to “No Scrubs” by TLC, certainly one of my favorite girl group songs, and I only feel old a little knowing that the song is 20 years old.

JK, 8:24pand — At least we just got a stunning routine from Hannah and Alan wash out the bad taste from Sean.

DM, 8:24pm — I thought Hannah was a little rough tonight. Looked like she and Alan got tangled together at times.

JUDGES — Bruno likes to see her “confidence growing,” but tonight “the timing went off.” However, she’s still “a star attraction.” Hannah reveals that she was trying to save her outfit during the routine. Carrie Ann loved the “attitude,” but the lifts were “out of sorts.” Len thought the lifts were “good,” but she occasionally got ahead of the music.” Joey says what matters is that she had fun, but he admitted that the lifts were “a little sloppy.”

SCORES — Carrie Ann (8), Len (8), Joey (8), Bruno (8) — TOTAL: 32 out of 40

DM, 8:27pm — Those were the right scores, but the idea that she was only one point better than Sean (at least according to Carrie Ann and Joey) is absurd.

CM, 8:28pm — I was just about to type that LOL

Ally Brooke and Sasha Farber (Samba)

DM, 8:30pm — Ally nailed the paso doble last week. I’m nervous about the samba because that dance style is a gauntlet for any contestant. They’re dancing to “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls. Ally actually got to meet Emma Bunton one time, though she won’t get to see her at the judges’ table tonight, alas.

JK, 8:33pm — As for Ally and Sasha this week, I thought their performance was very energetic.

DM, 8:33pm — Solid samba. I wasn’t sure about the timing in a couple of places there with the way the choreography was an odd fit for the tempo of that song, but she pulled it off.

CM, 8:33pm — Yeah it was solid.

JUDGES — Carrie Ann thought it was “amazing,” and they were “so in synch.” She was “flawless.” Len thought there was tons of “recognizable samba” with “great technique.” Joey also thought she was “amazing.” Bruno says, “I’ll tell you what I want: more of that.” He thought it was a “proper, technically absolutely right” samba

DM, 8:35pm — I think she’s getting 10s.

JK, 8:35pm — I have a feeling we’re about to see a perfect score.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (10), Len (10), Joey (10), Bruno (10) — TOTAL: 40 out of 40

CM, 8:36pm — Love her, but she was over-scored.

DM, 8:37pm — I would have given her 9s for that, but I think the judges might be trying to keep her safe, so I don’t mind given that she’s been in the bottom two twice.

Lauren Alaina and Gleb Savchenko (Quickstep)

DM, 8:40pm — A quickstep to “Can’t Hurry Love” by the Supremes, and appropriately contestant Mary Wilson is there in the audience to cheer Lauren on. Apparently, Lauren went through a breakup right before she came on the show. She’s single for the first time in her adult life, so she can relate to the tune.

CM, 8:43pm — That was cute.

DM, 8:43pm — Lauren really nailed that quickstep, good for her! I was worried after last week‘s problems.

JK, 8:43pm — Lauren and Gleb were wonderful just now.

JUDGES — Len loved the choreographic details from Gleb, but there were a couple of moments that “weren’t quite dead on point.” Joey also thought there were a couple of issues here and there — the audience boos, but Joey lets them know he’s been on the dance floor and they haven’t. Bruno felt she captured the emotion of it, but it was “slightly behind” the music. Carrie Ann disagrees with her fellow judges: she thought it was “fantastic.”

DM, 8:45pm — I’m with Carrie Ann on this one.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (9), Len (9), Joey (8), Bruno (8) — TOTAL: 34 out of 40

CM, 8:46pm — Really, Joey?

DM, 8:46pm — Wow, the the guest judge goes lower than Len. I like that Joey is taking this seriously instead of just throwing high scores around.

CM, 8:47pm — I agree, minus the 7 he gave Sean.

DM, 8:47pm — Same. I don’t know what he was thinking there if he thought this was an 8.

Kel Mitchell and Witney Carson (Paso Doble)

DM, 8:49pm — No perfect score for Kel last week, but he did get the first 10 since Bruno raised that paddle for him before anyone else. He’s dancing a paso doble to “Free Your Mind” by En Vogue, and that sounds like a fantastic marriage of song and dance style. Kel actually invites Witney to church during training week since it turns out he’s also a pastor in addition to an actor.

DM, 8:52pm — Not my favorite paso, but I loved his commitment to the character and some of his poses were terrific.

JK, 8:52pm — I thought that was terrific!

CM, 8:52pm — Great job, Kel!

JUDGES — Joey thought he did a great job. Bruno loved “the power of the performance,” but he has to be careful “not to close in the lines” because he “tightened up” a bit. Carrie Ann says, “Free you arms!” because she thought his use of the space was too small. Len thought it had too many gimmicks and “not enough paso doble.”

SCORES — Carrie Ann (8), Len (8), Joey (9), Bruno (9) — TOTAL: 34 out of 40

DM, 8:55pm — Haha, those scores were totally inverted from Lauren’s, but the same total. I think I agree more with Carrie Ann and Len on that one. But the scores overall were fair.

CM, 8:56pm — I’m going to vote for Kel.


James Van Der Been and Emma Slater (Jazz)

DM, 9:00pm — James has known NSYNC for a while and even helped them get into a club by using his ID since he was the only one who was 21 at the time. Now they’re dancing jazz to “Bye Bye Bye,” and I feel like with jazz they could just replicate the music video choreography.

DM, 9:02pmAnother solid one from James. Not a 10 from me, but he sold it.

JK, 9:02pm — Incredible work from James and Emma just now!

JUDGES — Len thought it was too much boy band, not enough dancing “together” with Emma. Joey doesn’t disagree with that assessment, not surprisingly. He thought it was “awesome.” Bruno also thought he could have spent more time dancing with his partner. James has “respect” for the fact that he gives “300-percent,” but his elbows were a little low.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (9), Len (8), Joey (10), Bruno (9) — TOTAL: 36 out of 40

DM, 9:05pm — That gives James a total tonight of 72 out of 80. Joey was obviously a little biased with that 10, but otherwise I thought those were fair scores.

Hannah Brown and Alan Bersten (Tango)

DM, 9:08pm — They’re dancing to “Boy with Luv” by BTS. I kinda wished they’d saved this song for Ally because she could use all those votes from the BTS Army. Training week was tough for Hannah, though. She broke down in frustration one day when she was training, but tango seems like a style she can really excel at.

DM, 9:11pm — Return to form for Hannah, that was a really great comeback after her so-so first dance.

JK, 9:11pm — Though Hannah and Alan were both just terrific.

JUDGES — Joey thought it was “fantastic” and so far “the best dance of the night.” Bruno is “purring like a kitten” at the “pure, undiluted pleasure” of that dance. It brought “passion,” but it was “elegant.” Carrie Ann thinks she brought back her “A game.” Len thought it was “a little bit loose on occasion,” but it was otherwise “well done.”

CM, 9:14pm — Perfect score!

SCORES — Carrie Ann (10), Len (9), Joey (10), Bruno (10) — TOTAL: 39 out of 40

JK, 9:15pm — So close!

DM, 9:15pm — That brings Hannah to a total of 71 for the night, just one point shy of James on the leaderboard.

Sean Spicer and Jenna Johnson (Foxtrot)

DM, 9:19pm — Sean is actually dancing a foxtrot instead of a samba as was originally indicated by the “DWTS” press release. Now he’s one of the only contestants left who hasn’t had to tackle that most difficult dance style on the show. They’re dancing to One Direction. Sean digs Harry Styles because of his hair I guess.

JUDGES — Bruno says, “No surprises there. You’re definitely solid and consistent” and his technique “always goes in one direction,” but he presented it well even though it was “clumpy” instead of “fluid.” Carrie Ann says, “Unfortunately, you lost your step in the middle of it … You’re doing the best you can.” Len thought it “flowed, then it splattered,” and a couple of “drips” and eventually it “stopped completely.” Joey tells him he gives “100-percent.” He takes a “beating” and just keeps going.

DM, 9:22pm — Joey thinks he’s taken a beating form the judges. I think the superior dancer who have been eliminated in recent weeks have taken a lot more of a beating. Just saying.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (6), Len (6), Joey (6), Bruno (6) — TOTAL: 24 out of 40

JK, 9:24pm — He got just the right score this time.

DM, 9:25pm — At least they put those 7 paddles away. Honestly, 4s really would have been the right score, but I guess this’ll do relative to what they’ve been giving him. His total for the night is 50 out of 80, which is about 20 points off the pace, and given how the season has progressed, it might be enough for him to be safe from the bottom two again.

Lauren Alaina and Gleb Savchenko (Rumba)

DM, 9:27pm — A rumba to “I Want it That Way” by the Backstreet Boys. That doesn’t sound to me like a good fit between song and dance style, but AJ McLean was there to show her some moves. Fingers crossed!

JK, 9:30pm — Lauren and Gleb’s second round performance — breathtaking!

DM, 9:32pm — Good dance from Lauren. I thought it could have used a little more passion, but solid work.

JUDGES — Carrie Ann “can’t believe how far you’ve grown.” She liked the “confidence” and “sensuality,” but she needs to worry about breathing through her movements. Len liked it, called it “sure-footed,” “well done.” Joey would give it a zero based on the song (he’s joking, I hope), but the dancing was “amazing.” Bruno thought it was “smoky” and “smoldering.”

SCORES — Carrie Ann (9), Len (9), Joey (9), Bruno (9) — TOTAL: 36 out of 40

DM, 9:33pm — Their total for the night is 70 out of 80.

CM, 9:33pm — You better get those extra votes, Lauren.

DM, 9:34pm — I think Lauren will probably be safe. Funny that she’s second to last on the leaderboard so far, but she’s still 20 points ahead of Sean … and he still might end up safe.

Kel Mitchell and Witney Carson (Viennese Waltz)

DM, 9:37pm — They’re dancing to “I’ll Make Love to You.” Kel is familiar with boy bands since so many of them appeared on “All That” in the ’90s. This is their first slow dance in a while, though, so this will be a mood we haven’t seen from him as much.

DM, 9:40pm — Lovely rise and fall, elegant movement, one of Kel’s better dances I think.

CM, 9:40pm — That was amazing!

JK, 9:41pm — Beautiful work from Kel and Whitney.

JUDGES — Len thought it was a “really polished performance.” Joey thought he did “a great job.” Bruno says, “You danced like a perfect gentleman,” and his musical phrasing was spot-on; they were “sensational.” Carrie Ann agrees with the other judges, but what impressed him the most, and he “took direction” after her criticisms of his first dance.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (10), Len (10), Joey (10), Bruno (10) — TOTAL: 40 out of 40

DM, 9:42pm — A total for the night of 74 out of 80, which perhaps surprisingly, puts him on top of the judges’ leaderboard so far with just Ally left to go.

CM, 9:43pm — He’d better be safe.

Ally Brooke and Sasha Farber (Jazz)

DM, 9:46pm — A jazz dance to “Step by Step” by New Kids on the Block. She’s been looking forward to jazz because you can be more “expressive.” I hope Sasha pulls out all the stops with his choreography because jazz is a pretty loosely defined style on this show.

JK, 9:49pm — What an exciting performance to conclude round two with.

DM, 9:49pm — I think that’ll put her on top of the leaderboard. She did a great job of keeping up with all the pros around her. Great work!

CM, 9:50pm — Yeah the producers clearly want her there.

JUDGES — Joey thought “the energy was absolutely amazing.” Bruno thought it was “pure pop delight,” and he compares Ally to Paula Abdul. Carrie Ann thought it was “flawless again” and “thank you for making it so much fun.” Len thought her bubbly personality was reflected in the dance.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (10), Len (10), Joey (10), Bruno (10) — TOTAL: 40 out of 40

DM, 9:52pm — Ally and Kel are one and two on the leaderboard now. If they’re the bottom two, just throw out the voting system right now. If Sean is still safe when he’s 20 points under the next lowest dancer, throw out the voting system now.

CM, 9:53pm — I think both are safe. The bottom will be either Sean vs. Lauren or Lauren vs. Hannah.

DM, 9:53pm — If after all that Lauren or Hannah goes home, it’s going to be a disaster.


DM, 9:56pm — Safe from elimination are Ally Brooke (hip-hip hooray!), Kel Mitchell (hot damn!), James Van Der Beek (no big surprise there) and … Hannah Brown (thank you heavenly Lord!). Sean Spicer and Lauren Alaina are in jeopardy.

DM, 9:58pm — Carrie Ann says it’s never easy, but but she’s saving Lauren. Well, it’s definitely not true that it wasn’t an easy call. Bruno saves Lauren too. Sean Spicer is out, and our national nightmare at last is over. Now we can actually consider who legitimately deserves to win the show.

JK, 10:00pm — Great! Now everyone can enjoy the rest of the season!


1. Ally Brooke — 40 + 40 = 80
2. Kel Mitchell — 34 + 40 = 74
3. James Van Der Beek — 36 + 36 = 72
4. Hannah Brown — 39 + 39 = 71
5. Lauren Alaina — 34 + 36 = 70
6. Sean Spicer — 26 + 24 = 50 (ELIMINATED)

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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