‘Dancing with the Stars’ recap: Were we in for even more surprises on ‘Top 10’ night? [UPDATING LIVE BLOG]

Season 28 of “Dancing with the Stars” has been nothing if not eventful. There’s a controversial new voting system in place, already one surprise elimination, and two contestants who have already had to drop out due to injury: Christie Brinkley, who was replaced at the last minute by her daughter Sailor Brinkley-Cook, and Ray Lewis, who was not replaced since the competition was already underway. What more surprises were we in for on week four for “Top 10” night? Find out below in our live blog with all the minute-by-minute developments as they happen.

No one was eliminated from the show last week on “Movie Night” after Lewis’s withdrawal, but we still got to find out who the bottom two contestants were when judges’ scores were combined with that night’s live viewer votes: basketball player Lamar Odom and actor Kel Mitchell. This is the first season when the show lets the judges decide who stays and who goes after the show reveals the bottom two, but so far we’ve had two completely different sets of two at the bottom: Lewis and Mary Wilson on the first night of eliminations, then Odom and Mitchell the week after.

So what did that mean for tonight’s results? Perhaps Odom and Mitchell’s fans were spurred to action by seeing their favorites face the executioner. Or maybe it meant they didn’t have enough fans to keep them alive anyway. The paint is barely dry on these new rules, so we’ll need at least a few more data points to try to reach any conclusions about how the new system affects the outcomes. Did you agree with tonight’s elimination? Who gave the best performances and who gave the worst? Follow along below starting at 8:00pm (times listed are Eastern).

SEE: How to vote for your favorite couple on week 4 of ‘DWTS’

Daniel Montgomery, 8:00pmLeah Remini reminisces with Len Goodman about her time on “Dancing with the Stars” during the show’s intro. She finished fifth in season 17, which was six years ago, and now she’s back as a guest judge. Sweet revenge! Though I guess it would be sweeter revenge if she could judge the judges.

Sean Spicer and Lindsay Arnold (Paso Doble)

Jeffrey Kare, 8:03pm — Sean Spicer’s going first tonight? Looks like we might be getting that out of the way.

DM, 8:04pm — Yeah, I’m happy to get the Spicer segment over with tonight.

Cordell Martin, 8:05pm — Welp, he’s staying.

CM, 8:07pm — Oh lord this is bad.

DM, 8:07pm — Yeah, paso doble is one of my favorite dance styles on this show, and this performance did the style no favors.

JUDGES — Len didn’t think the dance was technically very good, but he appreciated the attitude. Bruno Tonioli says he “took the bull by the horns” but all his movements seemed disconnected from the core of his body. Carrie Ann Inaba though he did “committed” work with his arms, but his seriousness was too stone-faced. Leah says Sean is clearly not a dancer, but he’s committed and tries his best.

DM, 8:09pm — I wish he would have brought a sense of commitment to his last job, which he did just as poorly. Though I guess you could say he was quite committed to deteriorating the public’s trust in its institutions, and he did a great job of that.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (5), Leah (6), Len (5), Bruno (5) — TOTAL: 21 out of 40

JK, 8:10pm — Leah’s 6 to me might’ve been a little too generous.

CM, 8:11pm — Yeah.

Ally Brooke and Sasha Farber (Jive)

DM, 8:14pm — Ally excelled at the rumba last week, but the jive is a completely different beast. Sasha puts Ally into dance boot camp to improve her stamina. If she can pull this one off, it’ll show she’s got the versatility to go all the way.

JK, 8:17pm — Excellent!

DM, 8:17pm — Solid work from Ally, not as good as her rumba, but I dug it.

JUDGES — Bruno is “tingling with delight” after Ally’s “diva jive,” which was “totally in command of the stage.” Carrie Ann thought it was “amazing” and she “nailed it” despite the high bar for a Tina Turner song like “Proud Mary.” Leah calls her “amazing” too. Len was “proud of watching that performance.”

DM, 8:19pm — Ally has really turned a corner with the judges. Feels like she’s one of a handful of celebs who could go all the way at this point.

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

DM, 8:21pm — Two weeks in a row with nothing but 8s. She’s definitely moving in the right direction this season.

CM, 8:23pm — Will Leah get to Vote at the end of the show?

JK, 8:24pm — That should be interesting.

DM, 8:24pm — I kinda hope not. It feels like that should be reserved for the core judges. Also, if she gets a vote there’s a possibility that they’ll split down the middle two for one contestant and two for the other.

Kel Mitchell and Witney Carson (Cha Cha)

DM, 8:25pm — Kel is relieved that he was safe last week after he landed in the bottom two. He looked a little stiff last week in his rumba, so the cha cha should loosen him up.

JK, 8:28pm — I think this has to be the best Kel has done so far in the competition.

DM, 8:28pm — Great personality from Kel and possibly his best technique this season so far.

CM, 8:28pm — I agree.

JUDGES — Carrie Ann says, “That is what I have been waiting for,” and she jumps out of her seat in delight. Leah thinks Kel needs to “own it” and that he “owned it tonight.” Bruno thought Kel had the cha cha in his pocket. Len was complimenting Kel, but Leah got him a little flustered.

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

JK, 8:31pm — And he just achieved his highest score yet.

DM, 8:31pmThat was the breakthrough Kel has been needing. I don’t think he has to worry about the bottom two tonight.

Kate Flannery and Pasha Pashkov (Argentine Tango)

DM, 8:35pm — Kate loves being the “old broad” kicking the butts of the young folks. I love the Argentine tango, which will be a completely different side of Kate as a performer. She’s thrilled to be a 55-year old who gets to dance with a hot Russian. She’s been a late bloomer all her life, getting “The Office” and falling in love in her 40s. Get it, girl!

JK, 8:39pm — I thought that was terrific.

DM, 8:39pm — Another solid routine. Not a lot of big tricks, but she’s got the steps, personality, and musicality.

JUDGES — Leah can relate to Kate as a funny lady trying to be sensual, and she thought Kate was “amazing.” But Len felt Kate “struggled to get into the character of the Argentine tango.” But Bruno thought Kate held onto Pasha “like a cougar holds on to its prey,” but Kate lost a little balance and it was a bit jagged. Carrie Ann also thought Kate struggled to bring the personality to the dance, but she loved how she used her legs.

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

CM, 8:42pm — What the hell?

DM, 8:42pm — I thought that would be straight 7s — so stingy, Bruno and Len!

James Van Der Beek and Emma Slater (Quickstep)

DM, 8:46pm — There’s about to be another Van Der Beek in the world! He already has five kids and he and his wife are expecting a sixth, though Van Der Beek reveals that his wife miscarried three times and he wants to de stigmatize that experience. So that proves it: Van Der Beek dances so well it can literally get a woman pregnant.

JK, 8:50pm — Another outstanding turn from James this week.

DM, 8:50pm — Is it possible this dance can get his wife pregnant again?

JUDGES — Len would have liked to see more of this dance in hold, but it was otherwise full of “clever choreography.” Bruno agrees with Len that the “little details and transitions” weren’t quite as precise despite being strong overall. Carrie Ann tells him he’s a bit “out of sync” with Emma. But Leah says he’s “been amazing from day one.”

DM, 8:52pm — I liked this one better than the judges did, but he better not get anything less than 7s.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (7), Leah (7), Len (7), Bruno (7) — TOTAL: 28 out of 40

DM, 8:53pm — When you combine this week and last week’s scores, Ally is on top (56 out of 70), while Sean is way down at the bottom (36 out of 70).

Hannah Brown and Alan Bersten (Paso Doble)

DM, 8:58pm — Let’s see if Hannah can wash the bad taste of Sean’s paso doble out of our mouths. Carrie Ann thought Hannah looks a little too much like a cheerleader last week, and Alan is giving Hannah an order not to smile, but it’s hard for her to shake her pageant training. I definitely hope we can see her unleash some hell.

JK, 9:00pm — Hannah and Alan were incredible tonight!

DM, 9:00pm — I still think Hannah struggled a bit with the mood of the dance, but she’s got most of the moves down.

JUDGES — Bruno says “the sexy beast is out of the cage”; it “started magnificently,” but she got out of breath towards the end and “tightened up.” Carrie Ann thinks her criticism last week actually worked to make Hannah better, “passionate and delightful.” Leah noticed a little smile towards the beginning, but she got it together. Len thought it was “fast and clear,” and had “an air of calmness” and “control.”

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

DM, 9:04pm — More stellar scores that keep her right in the thick of the competition for the Mirror Ball Trophy, but Ally still has the top combined score from last week and this week.

Lamar Odom and Peta Murgatroyd (Viennese Waltz)

DM, 9:08pm — “Just remembering the routine has been my worst enemy,” says Lamar. I really like the idea of him doing a waltz this week since the choreography might be a little easier for him to pick up, but a dance in hold might be a challenge given the height difference between him and Peta.

JK, 9:12pm — Once again, Lamar was overshadowed by Peta.

DM, 9:12pm — Lamar’s best dance yet. Not perfect, but he remembered the choreography much better than usual, and he managed to avoid being hunched over in hold.

JK, 9:12pm — I guess I can agree with that.

DM, 9:13pm — And I agree he was overshadowed by Peta, but it really appreciate how hard he’s working to improve.

JUDGES — Carrie Ann thinks it took courage for Lamar to come out and be “vulnerable” after getting tough critiques and scores in previous weeks. Leah is emotional because she understands how hard he’s working, and she thinks he was “amazing.” Len called the dance “gentle,” and he credits Lamar for “climbing mountains.” Bruno felt Lamar had the softness, but lacked the rotation.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (5), Leah (7), Len (4), Bruno (4) — TOTAL: 20 out of 40

CM, 9:17pm — 4s, really? Lord, let him be safe. I want Spicy gone tonight. Lamar can go next week.

JK, 9:17pm — This has to be the most diverse scores I’ve seen from the judges not only tonight, but this season.

DM, 9:17pm — Leah was definitely being generous with that 7, but those 4s were really unfair when they give Sean Spicer 5s week after week. I thought Carrie Ann was spot on with the 5. He’s actually improving, but Len and Bruno keep giving him the same score. I’m not saying he should be getting 8s, but come on!

Sailor Brinkley-Cook and Val Chmerkovskiy (Cha Cha)

DM, 9:20pm — Sailor is getting a little help from her friend (and former Mirror Ball champion) Rumer Willis when preparing for their cha cha. Both of them grew up with famous parents, and both of them have danced with Val. Sailor isn’t at Rumer’s level yet, but I think she has the potential to get there.

JK, 9:23pm — Very skillful routine from Sailor and Val this week.

DM, 9:23pm — I liked it. A bit rough around the edges, but she could still be a diamond in the rough.

CM, 9:23pm — That was cute.

JUDGES — Leah says, “You make me smile.” Len called it “another terrific performance” and a “well executed cha cha” with good hip action. Bruno thinks her “light is shining brighter every week,” and he appreciates the work she’s putting into the proper footwork. Carrie Ann agrees with all the praise, but sometimes her steps are too big or too small, so she needs better consistency.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (7), Leah (8), Len (8), Bruno (8) — TOTAL: 31 out of 40

DM, 9:27pm — A total of 54 out of 70 when you combine the last two weeks, which makes her one of the very best, so I expect she’ll make it to “Disney Night” next week with no problem.

Lauren Alaina and Gleb Savchenko (Foxtrot)

DM, 9:32pm — They’re dancing a foxtrot to a song by her favorite artist: “Jolene” by Dolly Parton. So she took her partner Gleb to Nashville to hang out with season 27 champion Bobby Bones and watch Lauren perform. (It never stops feeling weird that Bobby Bones is a Mirror Ball champion).

JUDGES — Len didn’t like the stuff on the swing, but he liked everything that happened when they got into the actual dance. He especially liked the heel turn Lauren did. Bruno thought it was a “classy foxtrot” from a “classy lady,” he likes how she danced across the beat instead of just on it. Carrie Ann says, “You have arrived. This dance was your dance.” Leah was “moved” and loved how Lauren told the story with her dance.

JK, 9:37pm — Yeah, I thought it was pretty stunning.

DM, 9:37pm — I thought it was a lovely routine. I was worried with “Jolene” that Gleb would give her another sexpot routine to make her dad uncomfortable again.

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

JK, 9:38pm — So many 8s tonight.

DM, 9:39pm — “I got an 8! No more 6s, praise the lord!” Lauren exclaimed. Another breakthrough performance from a middle-of-the-pack dancer tonight.

CM, 9:40pm — Is this the record for the most people at the top of the leaderboard in a single week?

DM, 9:41pm — Who knows, maybe Karamo will get a 9? It seems unlikely given his previous performances, but other dancers have really improved this week, so he could do the same.

Karamo Brown and Jenna Johnson (Tango)

DM, 9:43pm — Come on, Karamo! He’s performing a tango to “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X, so Jenna is training Karamo by bringing him to a horse farm. I think she might be taking “Old Town Road” a little too literally, but okay. I think Karamo has what it takes to have a breakthrough moment, but it just hasn’t come together yet.

JUDGES — Bruno thought he was “looking good” and “turned on the leading man attitude” with “no mistakes,” but he needs to be careful “not to make the tango too steppy.” Carrie Ann says, “That was my favorite dance of yours,” but alas, she’s knocking them for an unauthorized lift, even though it was just their starting position. Leah begs to differ about the lift call, and she thinks he “owned it tonight.” Len didn’t like Karamo’s “right elbow near the end,” but there were elements he liked and didn’t like, and he’s not sure what score he’s giving just yet.

JK, 9:50pm — This has to be their most competent routine so far this season.

CM, 9:50pm — His best performance.

DM, 9:50pm — Whew, I think that was Karamo’s best yet. He really seemed to work hard to dial in the technique this time.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (7), Leah (7), Len (7), Bruno (7) — TOTAL: 28 out of 40

DM, 9:50pm — Len tried to fake him out by pretending to raise that 5 paddle again. Those were very well deserved scores. Hopefully that keeps him safe tonight. He deserves more chances to keep improving.

JK, 9:51pm — With the exception of the elephant of the room (Sean Spicer), everyone seemed to have upped their game this week.

DM, 9:52pm — It’s funny that so many people had breakthroughs tonight. Because everyone stood out, it’s almost like no one really stood out again. Of course, I prefer that to a week where everyone is mediocre.

RESULTS

DM, 9:55pm — Safe this week are Kel Mitchell, Hannah Brown, Sailor Brinkley-Cook, James Van Der Beek, Ally Brooke, Lauren Alaina, Kate Flannery and (for crying out loud) Sean Spicer. That means Lamar Odom and Karamo Brown are the bottom two.

DM, 9:58pm — Unsurprisingly, the judges picked Karamo to stay in the competition, so Lamar Odom is officially out. I kinda hoped Karamo would have landed in the bottom with Spicer since the judges would almost definitely have kept Karamo either way.

JK, 9:59pm — At least the judges were able to save Karamo.

CM, 10:00pm — Okay Spicy’s gotta go now.

JK, 10:00pm — If he isn’t eliminated next week, I will literally flip a table.

DM, 10:01pm — I’m worried because he still hasn’t landed in the bottom two at all yet.

JUDGES’ LEADERBOARD

1. Lauren Alaina — 32
1. Ally Brooke — 32
1. Hannah Brown — 32
1. Kel Mitchell — 32
5. Sailor Brinkley-Cook — 31
6. Karamo Brown — 28
6. James Van Der Beek — 28
8. Kate Flannery — 26
9. Sean Spicer — 21
10. Lamar Odom — 20 (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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