It’s almost Halloween, so that means lots of costumes in the ballroom that don’t look like the usual, plus an inordinate amount of routines that end with one of the partners breaking the other’s neck.  It’s kind of a metaphor for how exhausted we are as a nation this week, if you think about it.  But let’s put all that aside for a bit, and get to the scores!

Milo Manheim and Witney Carson (30) These two are so great…they do a contemporary dance set in an insane asylum (Tom: “because you do that!”) and it’s so.flipping.cool.  Len calls it spellbinding and notes the acting involved. Bruno calls it impeccably acted and name checks Ryan Murphy as someone who might come calling on Milo for future gigs.  Carrie Ann notes the control and strength of the partnership. No shock that it’s a perfect score!

John Schneider and Emma Slater (19) Their medieval paso doble is a bit better than I was expecting from John, honestly.  You can tell he worked hard on his shaping, but it’s not good when he steps on Emma’s kind of bulky looking dress.  Bruno says there were a lot of mistakes but he appreciated the passion. Carrie Ann felt like he never got his feet under him and says it was among his roughest performances. Len thought the bits in hold were terrific but wanted better posture, so John looked less like a waiter passing out hors d’oeuvres.

DeMarcus Ware and Lindsay Arnold (26) Their salsa starts out a bit shaky, and DeMarcus looks a bit awkward, but I kind of think that’s the point as it goes on.  His hips loosen up considerably and he completes a scary lift of Lindsay that culminates in him dropping her inches from her head hitting the floor.  The routine ends with her killing him, so you know, cool? Carrie Ann calls it “clear” and loved their lifts. Len says DeMarcus kept up with the pros, and calls the dance a breakthrough.  Bruno says it was great.

Evanna Lynch and Keo Motsepe (29) Their tango to Rihanna’s “Disturbia” is definitely the sexiest she’s been on this show, and she does a great job.  Len calls it sharp and “crisp as a Pringle”, saying she sold the whole dance. Bruno calls her a wild panther, which is the highest praise he can offer.  He said she was right on time. Carrie Ann says she nailed it and gushed accordingly.

Bobby Bones and Sharna Burgess (22) A creepy Argentine tango that reads almost like a contemporary routine, it’s suspenseful but it’s hard to find the tango steps.  Bruno actually says basically the same thing, and calls it intriguing. Carrie Ann calls it bizarre and yet his best dance so far. Len wanted more tango content, but he sort of begrudgingly admits he liked it.

Mary Lou Retton and Sasha Farber (24) Their tango is heavy on character and a bit awkward on content.  Carrie Ann feels like the routine was a little bit forced and not as elegant.  Len says it needed stronger feet and she “lost her neck” on occasion, but he liked the amount of content.  Bruno calls out her hunched shoulders, but says it was well done overall.

Alexis Ren and Alan Bersten (27) It’s a jazz routine that looks like Willy Wonka’s factory exploded, and they’re just adorable.  It’s very jive-y, but could do with less props, honestly. Len really liked it. Bruno appreciated how effortless the lifts looked and the 50’s vibe.  Carrie Ann loves their partnership along with their flexibility and technique.

Joe Amable and Jenna Johnson (22) It’s not exactly a smooth Argentine tango, but it’s probably the best this guy’s done on the dance floor, save for the super awkward flip turn at the end that could have literally broken Jenna if she didn’t know how to brace herself. Bruno says it was his best yet, which is a low bar.  Carrie Ann says his presence and commitment was a huge improvement. Len calls it his best dance, which, again, is not anything like anyone else in this cast’s best dance, but it’s all good.

Juan Pablo DiPace and Cheryl Burke (30) I don’t think I’ve ever seen an Egyptian themed jive, so now I’ve seen it all.  Carrie Ann calls it sheer perfection, right down to the costumes, which apparently Juan Pablo designed.  Len calls it balanced between the theme, dance, technique and performance. Bruno calls it a triumph and says the jive was spot on.

Elimination time! Mary Lou and Sasha are put in jeopardy along with Alexis and Alan.  It’s Mary Lou and Sasha who are knocked out and Alexis is visibly relieved.  Once again, the mind boggles as to how Grocery Store Joe is still around, but someone clearly has some powerful network backing.  EJ will be back with Country Week, which I’m sure he’s super pumped about!

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