‘Dancing with the Stars’ Villains Night recap: Who was the best at being bad, and who was killed off at the end of the night? [UPDATING LIVE BLOG]

The celebrate the spooky season, “Dancing with the Stars” skipped its usual “Halloween Night” festivities in favor of a similarly ghoulish evening. For “Villains Night,” the top 10 celebrities performed dances inspired by some of the most famous bad guys in pop culture history. So who scared up the highest scores and who was killed off? Find out below in our live blog with all the minute-by-minute developments (and our commentary) as the night progresses.

Last week had four celebrities at the top of the judges’ leaderboard for “Top 11” night: Justina Machado, AJ McLean, Monica Aldama and Kaitlyn Bristowe. Were they able to keep up their momentum? Aldama channeled the sinister Nurse Ratched for a jazz routine. Machado did a “Carrie” tango and hoped to make Stephen King proud. McLean also took on a tango while celebrating yet another classic “Psycho,” namely Norman Bates. And Bristowe had to flip her sunny personality to portray Cruella de Vil during a paso doble. (See the complete list of dances and songs here.)

It has been an up-and-down season for Skai Jackson, though, bouncing between the top and bottom of the leaderboard thanks to a couple of major mistakes. But at her best she’s one of the show’s most formidable competitors, so after her rough cha cha last week she was hoping to murder her Argentine tango as — wait for it — “Bride of Chucky.” That sounded like a pretty good outlet to vent any residual frustration from last week’s scores — judges beware!

Who do you think was the best baddie of the night? And did the right celebrity get their comeuppance at the end of the night? Follow along below starting at 8:00pm (times listed are Eastern).

Daniel Montgomery, 8:01pm — Damn, great makeup work on Nelly as Freddy Kreuger, he’s definitely got the character down just from the brief intro of all the dancers.

Jeannie Mai and Brandon Armstrong (Paso Doble, Hannibal Lecter)

Daniel, 8:03pm — She’s dancing in order to work through the trauma of seeing “The Silence of the Lambs”; she turned vegetarian for two years after seeing that movie. But hopefully she stills refrains from eating human flesh. Appropriately, they’re dancing to “Maneater” by Nelly Furtado. But they’re doing a paso doble, which requires a lot of balance and technique. If she nails that, she’ll definitely have the character down, so it’ll be a good night for her. Fingers crossed.

Daniel, 8:06pm — Good intensity, good posture, and she nailed the character of that dance. Thumbs up from me.

Jeffrey Kare, 8:07pm — I thought that was a very chilling performance.

Cordell Martin, 8:08pm — I thought it was solid.

JUDGESDerek Hough says, “You absolutely ate up that paso,” but her shoulders were too high, according to the mean side of Derek’s Two-Face costume (which Tyra Banks mistakes for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde). Bruno Tonioli adds, “You made a meal out of that.” She has a lot of “gusto” and “intention,” but she needs to work on extending her lines through her hands. Carrie Ann loves the way she dances “full-out,” but she wants Jeannie to rein in some of the energy to give her more grace.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (8), Derek (9), Bruno (8) = 25 out of 30

Johnny Weir and Britt Stewart (Viennese Waltz, Dracula)

Daniel, 8:13pm — “Last week was a dumpster fire,” says Johnny about landing in the bottom two last week. Johnny’s “gonna get that jugular,” he  adds about playing a vampire. Not sure if he’s planning to bite into the dance or to the judges. But his clip package is surprisingly moving. He remembers being approached by an agent when he was 16 and told he could have a huge career, but he couldn’t be gay. Gotta say, really messed up thing to say to a teenager in front of his mom. I hope that agent gets eaten by one of these villain characters.

Daniel, 8:16pm — I think he was a little ahead of the music at one point, but he has such great lines and posture, and he really got fully into the character of that dance. I’m really admiring how the celebs are going all out on the performance aspect so far.

Cordell, 8:17pm — Yeah he’s going to be safe this week.

Jeffrey, 8:17pm — Johnny and Britt’s routine tonight – terrifyingly good.

JUDGES — Bruno says, “It was very, very good … The price of darkness reawakens and rules the dance floor.” He had “wonderful sweeping motions” and nailed the “gothic romance feel.” Carrie Ann agrees, “You floated through that … interpretation with the music more than I’ve seen.” Derek loved the version of the song and how Johnny redeemed himself after last week’s poorer showing.

Cordell, 8:20pm — He might get a 10 or two.

Daniel, 8:21pm — I’m thinking 9s.

Cordell, 8:22pm — Yeah I can see that.

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

Chrishell Stause and Gleb Savchenko (Paso Doble, Maleficent)

Daniel, 8:25pm — “I do have some practice playing evil,” says Chrishell about her Emmy-nominated performance as a killer on “Days of Our Lives.” Chrishell loves having a theme that lets her play dress-up, but she didn’t always celebrate Halloween. Her mom thought it was a devil’s holiday … Well, yeah, that’s the fun part. In her clip package Chrishell also pays tribute to her sisters in her big family. I think she’s got promise, but a little worried for her paso.

Daniel, 8:28pm — Really cool choreography by Gleb, and Chrishell held her own in that dance more than I expected her to. Maybe 7s/8s?

Jeffrey, 8:29pm — I found that to be a very haunting dance.

JUDGES — Carrie Ann thought Chrishell was “in her element” with great storytelling and “simple moves executed beautifully.” Derek agrees that the routine called for the simpler movements; there were a few off-balance moments, but “overall everybody’s crushing it tonight.” Bruno compliments her “spot-on” focus and intention, but she lost her “fluidity” at times; “overall it was a very strong performance.”

Cordell, 8:31pm — I agree with Derek. I thought it would be a disaster, but she held her own.

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

Cordell, 8:32pm — Are you serious?

Daniel, 8:32pm — Wow, I did not see 9s coming. She’s gonna be safe.

Cordell, 8:33pm — Well they are going to go hard on Nelly. Or give everyone high scores and let the fans pick.

Daniel, 8:33pm — I think Jeannie’s paso was better. They’re weirdly hard on Jeannie.

Monica Aldama and Val Chmerkovskiy (Jazz, Nurse Ratched)

Daniel, 8:35pm — Monica is great a graceful ballroom dances, so I wonder if it’ll be a challenge for her to get into the character of a jazz routine as a sadistic health care practitioner. But during training Val reminds her of how much every appreciated the fun she had in her previous routine. If she can really have fun and play into the escapism of the character and dance style, she could do great. Especially since her kids say she definitely has a little sadist in her.

Jeffrey, 8:36pm — Her Nurse Ratched costume definitely looks more inspired by Sarah Paulson’s than that of Louise Fletcher’s.

Daniel, 8:39pm — Damn, Monica bringing the sex appeal more than I expected. That was Nurse Ratched by way of Velma Kelly, and I thought it was excellent.

Cordell, 8:40pm — Better than expected.

JUDGES — Derek compliments the musicality, the “seductive energy,” but he lost the character in her side-by-side moments. Bruno didn’t get a fever, he got “more of a mild chill.” He loved her leg extensions, but she needs to dance more through the body and not just arms and legs. Carrie Ann agrees with Bruno; the shapes were great, but she was missing the intention of the characters — “It wasn’t your best dance.”

Cordell, 8:42pm — Really judges?

Daniel, 8:43pm — Those judges were way harder than I expected. I thought that was one of the better performances of the night so far, and it sounds like she’s gonna get the lowest score

SCORES — Carrie Ann (7), Derek (8), Bruno (7) = 22 out of 30

Daniel, 8:43pm — They should swap Chrishell and Monica’s scores.

Cordell, 8:43pm — Yes.

AJ McLean and Cheryl Burke (Tango, Norman Bates)

Daniel, 8:45pm — AJ gets to channel one of his favorite villains, and Cheryl even suggests that he start the routine dressed as Norman’s mom. But the fun and games are over when we get to rehearsal, when we see Cheryl fall back during a move and hit her head on the ballroom floor. Looked like a nasty spill, and we’re hoping she’s well enough to dance the actual routine. But we won’t find out until after the commercial break.

Daniel, 8:49pm — “Cheryl is okay and cleared to perform,” Tyra tells us. Not surprised. If she had been taken out of the competition, we probably would’ve learned that sooner.

Daniel, 8:52 — Tango works really well with the theme from “Psycho,” the best marriage of music and dance so far tonight. and AJ’s performance is solid, aided by a great blood-red lighting effect at the end of the routine. A little stompy in places, but I liked it a lot.

Jeffrey, 8:53pm — That performance gave me chills.

JUDGES — Carrie Ann thought he brought “light and shade,” but he needs to work a little on his posture. Derek loved the intro as Norman Bates’s mother, and he paid close attention to his “well-done” footwork, but he needs to work on the balance of sharpness and softness. Bruno admired how AJ translated the mood of the character into the footwork, but he needs to work on his frame.

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

Daniel, 8:54pm — More 9s when I thought it was more of an 8s kind of dance. The last couple of weeks it seemed like the judges were trying to protect Monica, now it seems like they’re trying to get rid of her.

Nelly and Daniella Karagach (Argentine Tango, Freddy Kreuger)

Daniel, 9:00pm — “He’s a funny guy,” says Nelly of Freddy Kreuger, which isn’t an adjective I’d use to describe him. But Nelly likes supernatural serial killers who crack jokes before they murder you. Nelly also likes dancing to “Can’t Feel My Face,” which he has danced to with his longtime girlfriend Shantel, whom he’s dedicating this dance too. But let’s see if he can handle a tango in character with the claws.

Jeffrey, 9:03pm — Just imagine having a dream (or nightmare) that goes like that.

Daniel, 9:03pm — He did alright, though Daniella was definitely doing most of the work in that

JUDGES — Carrie Ann thought it was by far his “best dance.” Derek says, “That was definitely not a nightmare,” but he wanted to see more Argentine tango footwork, though he was a good partner to Daniella. Bruno thought he “killed that Argentine tango.” He held himself well.

Daniel, 9:05pm — I am just not on the same wavelength as the judges tonight.

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

Cordell, 9:06pm — Told you guys!

Daniel, 9:07pm — Two of my three favorite dances (Monica and Jeannie) are at the bottom right now.

Jeffrey, 9:08pm — We better give both of them 10 online votes tonight.

Daniel, 9:08pm — Depends on what they do to Justina lol

Jeffrey, 9:09pm — Indeed.

Justina Machado and Sasha Farber (Tango, Carrie)

Daniel, 9:10pm — So excited to see Justina tango, though to be fair I think bullying was the villain of “Carrie” more than Carrie actually was. She was a traumatized girl from an abusive home that snapped. Justina doesn’t like Halloween since she remembers being chased with eggs, which may seem like a disadvantage for her tonight, but she loves horror movies and loves “Carrie.” She remembers the relationship between Carrie and her sympathetic teacher, and so she’s inspired in this dance by a teacher who inspired and supported her. “This dance is for all of those fabulous teachers,” says Justina — the ones who didn’t die in that gymnasium that is.

Daniel, 9:13pm — Justina and Sasha have both killed (pun intended) that performance!

Daniel, 9:14pm — Damn those screams was awesome from Justina, and she was on point with that tango, though I thought it took a little long to get into the heart of the tango choreography.

JUDGES — Derek says, “You literally set this place on fire,” and her “frame is exquisite” and she travels well across the floor, though she needed to keep her feet together a little more during those last turns. Bruno thought it was a little too “hoppy” and “steppy,” but otherwise it was “so powerful.” And Carrie Ann agrees with Bruno, even though she’s “one of the best dancers here” and she “owns” the space, and she has a real chance to win the whole thing.

Cordell, 9:16pm — Oh so now they want to actually judge. Clearly she must be killing it in the viewer votes.

Daniel, 9:17pm — If that gets anything less than 9s I’ll be pissed.

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

Cordell, 9:21pm — Really Bruno?

Daniel, 9:21pm — I’mma kill you, Bruno lol

Jeffrey, 9:22pm — Of course, Bruno had to be the one to give one point lower than a 9.

Nev Schulman and Jenna johnson (Paso Doble, Black Swan)

Daniel, 9:22pm — “You’re gonna see a side of me I’ve never seen before,” says Nev. Not only is he a fan of the film “Black Swan,” he’s also a fan of the New York City Ballet. He went to the ballet with his dad, so he’s dedicating this performance to him.

Daniel, 9:25pm — A couple of moments in there where I thought he lost a bit of the intensity, but he got it right back. I had no idea of what to expect from Nev as Black Swan, and it turned out to be kinda badass.

Jeffrey, 9:26pm — Incredible! Probably their best performance yet!

Cordell, 9:26pm — My favorite performance tonight

JUDGES — Bruno says it was “perfect,” true to “Black Swan,” and he “lived up to the expectations.” Carrie Ann thought he “exceeded” expectations with great lines and negative space and character. Derek thought it was beautiful, and I think he’s pondering 10s.

Daniel, 9:27pm — He’s getting 10s from these comments.

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

Cordell, 9:28pm — Well deserved. Now c’mon Skai!

Daniel, 9:30pm — I hope Skai gets her groove back. Tonight has been all over the place with the performances and the judging.

Jeffrey, 9:30pm — I couldn’t agree more.

Skai Jackson and Alan Bersten (Argentine Tango, Bride of Chucky)

Daniel, 9:32pm — “Last week I complete messed up,” Skai admits about last week’s performance. She thought she was going to be at the bottom, but despite having the lowest scores the fans saved her from elimination. Skai’s a big fan of Halloween, and Skai dressed as a dead bride last year. She loves “Bride of Chucky” too, and when she was six she had a Bride of Chucky doll. Okay, that’s way too young to have been seeing “Bride of Chucky,” but alright. I’ll refrain from calling child protective services.

Daniel, 9:35pm — Like I thought, her poise and posture were perfect for Argentine tango, and most of those lifts were like butter, great comeback for her.

Jeffrey, 9:36pm — This was probably the best they’ve done in a while.

Cordell, 9:36pm — Loved it.

JUDGES — “I am so proud of you,” says Carrie Ann. She has had the “roughest road” this season, but she was better than ever with just one little wobble. Otherwise “mesmerizing.” Derek thought she was on a mission, “focused,” “amazing lifts.” Bruno thought the way she extended her shapes and placements were her best ever.

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

Daniel, 9:38pm — Hmmm, I did think there’d be at least one 10 in there from the judges’ comments.

Cordell, 9:39pm — I agree! But I’ll take the 9s. I think Monica and unfortunately Jeannie in the bottom two.

Daniel, 9:40pm — Yeah, they really underscored both of them.

Jeffrey, 9:40pm — For the bottom two, probably Monica and Jeannine. Chrishell I think could definitely be a spoiler.

Kaitlyn Bristowe and Artem Chigvintsev (Paso Doble, Cruella de Vil)

Daniel, 9:42pm — Kaitlyn wants to get her first 10 after Carrie Ann told her she wanted more out of her. It’ll be tough for her to play Cruella, though, because Kaitlyn has actually rescued dogs named Ramen and Pinot. They make Kaitlyn want babies of her own. Judging from her dogs, her children will be named Brie and Kombucha.

Daniel, 9:45pm — Solid from Kaitlyn, she nailed all of that tricky choreography.

Jeffrey, 9:46pm — Very skillful routine.

Cordell, 9:46pm — The music threw me off. Per usual, she dances well but I just needed more.

Daniel, 9:47pm — I felt the same way. Nothing wrong with it at all, but it was missing something.

JUDGES — Derek wants to adopt sexy puppy Artem, and he appreciated how well she handled all the choreography. Bruno agrees that Artem makes a “lovely pet,” though the routine was a little rushed and the timing wasn’t as “crisp.” Carrie Ann didn’t think she was resisting enough and she gave up from time to time.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (7), Derek (9), Bruno (8) = 24 out of 30

Cordell, 9:49pm — Carrie Ann, that was a bit much. That 7 was unnecessary.

Daniel, 9:51pm — Wild that Kaitlyn is next to last on the leaderboard when Nelly got straight 9s, Chrisell got 9s. The costume makeup was maybe obscuring the judges’ vision tonight.

Cordell, 9:51pm — I think Monica is a goner.


1. Nev Schulman — 30
2. Skai Jackson — 27
2. Nelly — 27
2. Johnny Weir — 27
5. Justina Machado — 26
5. AJ McLean — 26
5. Chrishell Stause — 26
8. Jeannie Mai — 25
9. Kaitlyn Bristowe — 24
10. Monica Aldama — 22


Daniel, 9:54pm — Okay, let’s see how those wacky scores translate into results.

Daniel, 9:55pm — Safe celebs are Nev Schulman (duh), Johnny Weir (well deserved), Skai Jackson (get it, girl!), Nelly (no surprise there), Chrishell (as I thought from her scores), Justina Machado (whew, they had be scared for a minute there), AJ McLean (no surprise there either) and … Kaitlyn Bristowe (I had a feeling). That leaves the criminally underscored Jeanne Mai and Monica Aldama as the bottom two.

Daniel, 9:57pm — And the judges give their verdict: Bruno votes to save Jeannie Mai. Derek votes to save Monica Aldama. So it’s a split decision. That leaves to Carrie Ann Inaba, who votes to save … Jeannie Mai. That means Monica Aldama is officially eliminated.

Jeffrey, 10:00pm — Not too surprised to see Monica go. At least she was able to end her run on what I thought was a good note.

Daniel, 10:00pm — And on top of that, next week the contestants are all performing twice, and there will be a double elimination. Yikes!

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