‘Dancing with the Stars’ ’80s Night recap: The celebs who went back in time, but who went back home at the end of the night? [UPDATING LIVE BLOG]

Dancing with the Stars” traveled back in time for week five of the competition, when the remaining dozen celebrities and their pro partners performed routines inspired by the music of the 1980s. So who had the best retro throwbacks, and who had a manic Monday? Scroll down for our live blog with all the “’80s Night” drama, developments and our commentary as it happens.

Last week‘s “DWTS” had a pretty manic ending itself. A strange behind-the-scenes error caused host Tyra Banks to mistakenly announce actress Anne Heche and football player Vernon Davis as the bottom two. After they caught the mistake Banks corrected the record: Heche was actually at the bottom with “Cheer” coach Monica Aldama, who had wrongly been announced as safe. Because Aldama had a better track record this season overall and a higher-scoring performance on the night, the judges unanimously decided to save her and eliminate Heche. Aldama must have had whiplash after that roller coaster ending.

Did that stressful mix-up affect the dancers on “’80s Night”? They had to contend with a couple of new dance styles for the first time this season, though those styles afforded them opportunities as well as challenges. Three contestants performed jazz numbers: Justina Machado, Skai Jackson and Jeannie Mai. Since jazz is stylistically freer, without as many of the rigid choreographic requirements as ballroom and Latin dances, it was a chance for the celebs to show off their personalities.

The other dance we’re seeing for the first time this season is contemporary, and Johnny Weir lucked out with that one. Contemporary dances are flowing and emotive, so we often see celebs get a big bump in their scores when performing the style. Then there were four stars doing tangos: Aldama, Davis, Kaitlyn Bristowe and Jesse Metcalfe. Rounding out the routines were AJ McLean with a waltz, Nev Schulman with a quickstep, Chrishell Stause with a cha cha and Nelly with the dreaded samba. Find out how everyone did below starting at 8:00pm (times listed are Eastern).

Jeffrey Kare, 8:01pm — That opening was pretty clever.

Daniel Montgomery, 8:02pm — A LOT of spandex, and then Tyra explains the “technical issue” that caused the wrong names to be listed on her results card last week … though it’s still not clear what that technical issue was.

Jeffrey, 8:02pm — Good for Tyra to acknowledge the mishap from last week.

Justina Machado and Sasha Farber (Jazz)

Daniel, 8:03pm — Justina was a teenager in the ’80s, so she loves this theme night. She tried to look like Madonna and then Prince when she was a kid. Her earrings were so big they stretched out her ears. Now she’s dancing to “Maniac” from “Flashdance.”

Daniel, 8:05pm — That was a really joyous jazz number full of personality, and then Justina got doused “Flashdance” style, loved it!

Jeffrey, 8:06pm — Justina and Sasha both sure got physical tonight.

JUDGESDerek Hough thought it was a great way to start to show, “so much fun to watch.” Bruno Tonioli calls it “wet, wild and wonderful,” and Sasha’s neckline gives him vertigo. It was “deliciously ’80s.” And Carrie Ann Inaba thought it was “incredible” even with Carrie Ann’s high expectations, and she and Sasha were incredibly in sync despite one little mistake.

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

Daniel, 8:09pm — I thought those were fair numbers, hoping Justina moves up to the 9s soon.

Jesse Metcalfe and Sharna Burgess (Tango)

Daniel, 8:13pm — Jesse has reached his potential yet this season. He needs a real breakout moment. He related to Judd Nelson in “The Breakfast Club” because he wasn’t popular as a child. “This week, I’m ready for a breakout performance,” he says, but I’m a little worried about a tango to Tears for Fears. Seems like an odd fit, but Jesse wants to bring his “vulnerability” and “heart” to the routine.

Daniel, 8:15pm — He clearly worked his ass off on getting those steps down, so kudos to him for that, but it didn’t feel very passionate.

Cordell Martin, 8:16pm — I agree, nice try though.

Jeffrey, 8:16pm — For the most part, I thought Jesse provided solid work for what it was.

Cordell, 8:17pm — The song choice didn’t help them. We’ll see how strong his fan base is tonight.

JUDGES — Bruno says he started very well, but he went wrong several times. Bruno tells him that the performance and the technique need to be at the same level, and the technique wasn’t there. Carrie Ann agrees that the technique was problematic, but he had a more confident connection to the music this time. Now he just needs to connect more to Sharna. Derek thought the frame was a little closed off, and he wants it opened up to the crowd.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (7), Derek (6), Bruno (6) = 19 out of 30

Chrishell Stause and Gleb Savchenko (Cha Cha)

Daniel, 8:19pm — Chrishell is obsessed with New Kids on the Block, so she’s excited to say the least. Her favorite was Donnie Wahlberg. She’s dancing this routine for her favorite boy band boys.

Daniel, 8:21pm — I thought Chrishell was pretty good, especially in hold, though I noticed one or two bobbles.

Jeffrey, 8:22pm — Yeah, definitely one of her better performances.

JUDGES — Carrie Ann thought it was “entertaining to watch,” but there wasn’t enough cha cha content. Derek loved the side-by-side moments, but she needs to close her feet and ankles, and she tends to throw her arms instead of carefully placing her movements. Bruno says, “Only you two could turn a cha cha into ‘Dirty Dancing,'” but he agrees with Derek that she needs to place her feet better to improve her hip action.

Cordell, 8:24pm — I agree, Carrie Ann. It was bland. I hate when Gleb goes overboard with the sexy choreography for his stars.

Daniel, 8:25pm — Yeah, Gleb could probably find a way to work pelvic thrusts into contemporary.

Jeffrey, 8:25pm — That was nice of the New Kids on the Block to give Chrishell their messages.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (6), Derek (6), Bruno (7) = 19 out of 30

Daniel, 8:27pm — I’m glad the judges went back to giving 6s when warranted, though.

Jeannie Mai and Brandon Armstrong (Jazz)

Daniel, 8:28pm — “I was bummed about the three 7s,” says Jeannie about last week’s scores. I agree, she was kinda screwed last week. She didn’t deserve to be at the bottom of the leaderboard. This week she’s dancing with “Like a Virgin” by Madonna, and I could see her having a breakthrough moment with this routine given her personality. But Brandon is adding a bathtub as a prop for the routine. Props are always risky.

Daniel, 8:31pm — Crazy good lifts, really great side by sides, I think it’s the best dance of the night so far, really excellent.

Cordell, 8:31pm — I agree. Entertaining, fun, exciting and clean.

Jeffrey, 8:32pm — Yeah, I thought it was terrific.

JUDGES — Derek says “there’s a confidence” in Jeannie that makes it fun to watch. It was a “simple and clean” routine. Bruno thought it was “Madonna gone PG, and in the best possible taste.” Carrie Ann called it an “amazing performance,” and Jeannie is the “most exciting” performer in the whole competition, even though she sometimes goes overboard with her energy.

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

Cordell, 8:34pm — Well deserved.

Daniel, 8:35pm — The judges scores are way more on-point tonight so far.

Cordell, 8:37pm — Let’s see if they’ll come down on Nelly

Daniel, 8:37pm — Poor guy getting the samba, that could be a tough one.

Monica Aldama and Val Chmerkovskiy (Tango)

Daniel, 8:37pm — They thought they were safe last week, then they had to come back out when it turned out they were in the bottom two, but the judges saved them, and Monica doesn’t seem like it has thrown her off much. “You’ve been working your butt off, and I’m proud of you,” says Val, and she gets more words of encouragement from one of her cheerleaders on video. The good news for her is that she probably won’t be at the bottom of the leaderboard, but she’ll need to get those fan votes.

Daniel, 8:41pm — Not gonna top the leaderboard with that, but really solid routine, she got the tango moves and the character better than Jesse did.

Cordell, 8:42pm — I agree. Monica is definitely coming out of her shell

JUDGES — Bruno thought she was like a “laser-guided missile” with every step in place, but she needs to watch out for her posture in hold. Carrie Ann thought it was an “incredible performance” from a “dynamic performer … I’m so proud of you.” Derek thinks her close brush with elimination lit a fire under her, and this was the first tango he saw this season that really traveled across the floor.

Cordell, 8:43pm — Carrie Ann and I are speaking the same language this week! She might get overscored to save her.

Jeffrey, 8:44pm — Monica and Val both seem to be getting better.

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

Daniel, 8:44pm — Or maybe she will top the leaderboard. I agree with Cordell that it might have been to help her survive. They Ally Brooked her.

Jeffrey, 8:45pm — The scores may help Monica and Val.

AJ McLean and Cheryl Burke (Waltz)

Daniel, 8:47pm — AJ too grew up in the 1980s. He would make up songs and dance routines even as a kid. “I wanted to be a star,” says McLean. They’re dancing to “Open Arms,” and Cheryl is working closely with AJ on his footwork and framing for proper ballroom posture.

Jeffrey, 8:49pm — That was so breathtaking!

Daniel, 8:50pm — That was lovely and solid footwork, nice bounce and glide in AJ’s movements.

Cordell, 8:50pm — AJ is definitely coming into his own in this competition.

JUDGES — Carrie Ann thinks his frame still crumbles sometimes, but she admired the elegant he brought to the routine. Derek appreciated AJ’s control on such a slow, challenging routine, though he could see AJ trying a little too much. Bruno admired the “great motion,” but he needs to work on his underarm turns.

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

Skai Jackson and Alan Bersten (Jazz)

Daniel 8:56pm — They’re doing a “Back to the Future” routine to “The Power of Love,” and Skai has a lot to live up to after last week’s 10 from Carrie Ann. I worry a little about Skai on this routine because she seems more reserved than Justina and Jeannie, who also had jazz routines. She needs to “go big” and “have fun.” The good news is that Jackson is familiar with the 1980s even though she was born in 2002 (yes, I feel old too). She had ’80s movie nights with her mom.

Jeffrey, 8:58pm — Very electrifying performance!

Cordell, 8:59pm — I agree.

Daniel, 8:59pm — Started a little slow, and I was afraid Alan was gonna drop Skai once there, but it really picked up midway through. I think her best parts were in hold.

Cordell, 9:00pm — I got a little nervous with the lifts as well.

JUDGES — Derek thought it was “fun,” and she lights up in her side-by-sides. But when she’s in hold her energy goes down a little. Bruno says she has the styles and the moves and she survived the lifts — watch the dismount! Carrie Ann agreed that she needs to work on his dismounts, and she needs to expand her movements because she’s so petite.

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

Vernon Davis and Peta Murgatroyd (Tango)

Daniel, 9:06pm — “My memories of the ’80s are pretty vague,” says Vernon, who was born in 1984 — one year younger than me! I was more of a ’90s child too. Peta tells Vernon that he needs sharp frame and movements. I do worry about Vernon a little on the tango. He could be a little stiff.

Daniel, 9:08pm — Vernon started really rough there, but it got a little better as it went along. You could really see him concentrating. He seemed nervous.

Cordell, 9:09pm — Yeah, I agree.

Jeffrey, 9:09pm — He rocked that performance.

JUDGES — Bruno says it started well, but he went wrong, and then his footwork became flat. Carrie Ann liked the quality of movement, but he needs to go bigger when he’s out of hold. Derek thinks Vernon thrives in softer dances. With the tango he wanted more attack, just like in the paso.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (7), Derek (7), Bruno (7) = 21 out of 30

Jeffrey, 9:11pm — Seems about right.

Cordell, 9:12pm — I’m expecting big things from Kaitlyn tonight.

Daniel, 9:12pm — Tangos have been really hit and miss tonight. Kaitlyn will turn that around.

Kaitlyn Bristowe and Artem Chigvintsev (Tango)

Daniel, 9:15pm — Bristowe was born in 1985, so she only had five years in the ’80s, but she still had crimped hair and scrunchies when she grew up with her big sister. In her clip package she shows off her running man and her robot, but she knows this is a tango, right?

Daniel, 9:17pm — Took a little too long to get into the actual tango, a lot of “messing about” as Len would’ve put it, but solid, clean performance.

Cordell, 9:18pm — I didn’t like the hip hop bit.

Jeffrey, 9:18pm — That routine on paper probably shouldn’t have worked as well as it did, but two thumbs up to Kaitlyn and Artem for pulling it off.

JUDGES — Carrie Ann thinks Kaitlyn was the best in frame of anyone else who danced the tango tonight. Derek thought it was a “beautiful” tango with great musicality. Bruno calls it “an action-packed ’80s blockbuster.” The accents and staccato were great too.

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

Daniel, 9:20pm — That would’ve been an 8 for me.

Cordell, 9:21pm — Me too.

Nelly and Daniella Karagach (Samba)

Daniel, 9:23pm — A samba to “Rhythm of the Night.” I really hope Nelly does well with this, but the samba is dangerous. Nelly was a child in the ’80s who liked video games and baseball … and the movie “Porky’s.” Nelly actually sampled DeBarge in one of his songs, so maybe he’ll have the musicality down?

Daniel, 9:25pm — I had really low exppectations for this, but that was … not bad. Not necessarily pristine technique, but good musicality.

Cordell, 9:26pm — Wow! He did that.

Jeffrey, 9:26pm — I thought it was perfectly adequate.

JUDGES — Derek thought it as Nelly’s best dance of the season so far, and it was a “legit samba” with the choreographic content. Bruno thought he was “so much lighter” on his feet with good footwork and rhythm. Carrie Ann says, “That made me so happy.”

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

Cordell, 9:29pm — Well deserved.

Daniel, 9:30pm — He might be a contender after all if he stays on this trajectory.

Jeffrey, 9:30pm — Yeah, he does seem to be getting better.

Cordell, 9:30pm — He just needed to come out of his shell.

Cordell, 9:34pm — Jesse or Chrishell is leaving tonight.

Jeffrey, 9:34pm — I can definitely see that happening.

Daniel, 9:34pm — If Monica still lands in the bottom two, then she has NO fans at all. If it’s down to Jesse and Chrishell, I think the judges should save Chrishell. Her best dance this season is much better than any of Jesse’s so far.

Johnny Weir and Britt Stewart (Contemporary)

Daniel, 9:35pm — “I get to be pretty,” says Johnny, and he’s very excited about it. But even though figure skating is similar to contemporary, Johnny has trouble picking it up, but when Britt takes Johnny to a skating rink, he starts to get the idea.

Daniel, 9:37pm — Wow, great lyrical movement, great control, Johnny really nailed that contemporary.

Jeffrey, 9:38pm — Incredible!

Cordell, 9:38pm — We figured he was going to kill it. Great job.

JUDGES — “Connecting, projecting, emoting,” says Bruno about the routine, and he filled the room with the emotion. Carrie Ann says, “Turn around and take a bow. Consider that contemporary crushed … The artistry was incredible.” Derek says it was “perfect” with beautiful quality of movement.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (10), Derek (10), Bruno (9) = 29 out of 30

Jeffrey, 9:40pm — So close to getting the first perfect score of the season.

Cordell, 9:40pm — Well deserved.

Daniel, 9:42pm — Right now 24 is exactly the middle of the leaderboard. Five couples tied with that score. Could be dangerous at elimination time depending on how the viewer votes pan out.

Nev Schulman and Jenna Johnson (Quickstep)

Daniel, 9:44pm — Nev has a lot to live up to after Johnny’s contemporary, but I think Nev will nail the quickstep to “Take on Me.” But the ’80s were tough on him because he was diagnosed with ADHD, which made him one of the earliest diagnosed cases. But when he was introduced to dance it gave him a great place to channel his energy. That explains his prowess on the show. He did have a little dance experience in the past.

Daniel, 9:46pm — Really excellent quickstep, creepy mullet wig notwithstanding,

Cordell, 9:47pm — Great way to close the night. Nev is such a dynamic performer.

Jeffrey, 9:47pm — Might be his best performance yet.

JUDGES — Carrie Ann thinks Nev is one of the most consistent dancers of the season, but his balance was a little off, he looked a little far from Jenna in hold, and his movements were a little smaller than usual. Derek thought it was a great way to end tonight. Bruno thought he took to the quickstep “like a duck to water,” and he maintained the timing with the intricate footwork.

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


1. Johnny Weir — 29
2. Kaitlyn Bristowe — 27
3. Monica Aldama — 26
3. Nev Schulman — 26
5. Skai Jackson — 24
5. Justina Machado — 24
5. Jeannie Mai — 24
5. AJ McLean — 24
5. Nelly — 24
10. Vernon Davis — 21
11. Jesse Metcalfe — 19
11. Chrishell Stause — 19

Cordell, 9:52pm — Hmm, I think bottom two will be Jesse and Vernon. With Chrishell and Monica as spoilers.


Daniel, 9:55pm — Here are the results! (Hopefully the right ones.) In no particular order, the safe celebrities are … Monica Aldama (whew), Nelly (well deserved after a breakthrough night), Jeannie Mai, Johnny Weir (duh, but deserved), Justina Machado (get it, girl!), AJ McLean, Nev Schulman, Skai Jackson (slay!), Kaitlyn Bristowe and the last one safe is Chrishell Stause! Vernon Davis and Jesse Metcalfe are the bottom two.

Daniel, 9:58pm — Judges’ verdict time! Bruno decides to save Vernon, and Carrie Ann saves Vernon, which means Jesse Metcalfe gets the boot. It would’ve been unanimous too as Derek reveals he also would’ve saved Vernon.

Jeffrey, 10:00pm — Not too surprised to see him go.

Daniel, 10:00pm — We know Chrishell has got some fans.

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