When “Dancing With the Stars” falls on Halloween night, that means the band is dressed like there’s a zombie apocalypse in the works, and everyone uses more dance-themed puns than usual — even co-host Tom Bergeron makes a crack about “things that go bump and grind in the night.” The show is only 90 minutes tonight, but we’re guessing it will seem much longer.
Actor David Arquette and Kym Johnson
Dance: Cha Cha Cha to Steve Miller Band’s “Abracadabra”
“If Kym can get my hips moving, then she’s the real magician,” David says to kick things off. Even though it’s only been five minutes, we’re going to stop the pun count right now, because otherwise the number will be astronomical. During rehearsal, David brings in an illusionist to help bring some razzle-dazzle to the performance. This backfires — at the end of a perfectly adequate dance, David reaches in his pocket and grabs what appears to be silly string or confetti ... which immediately falls all over his face and nearly strangles him.
“Abracadabra, you’ve turned yourself into a dancer here,” Len says gleefully, but not before noting that David could use some more rhythm. “You’re a natural at turning tricks,” Bruno chimes in. Then, he makes some sort of remark involving Carrie Ann’s cat costume that gets bleeped, even though he starts to insist it was appropriate for television. We’re sure it was, Bruno. We find out David and Kym had a trick planned for the beginning of the dance, but they couldn’t find whatever materials they needed. Any guesses? Scores: 8, 8, 8 for a total of 24 points.
Actor J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff
Dance: Tango to “Ghostbusters”
Someone must have told the producers that J.R. is getting too much pleasant camera time, because we finally see scenes of him and Karina arguing during rehearsals. Karina gets bleeped a lot and refuses to give into a hug when J.R. wants to make up. Eventually she comes around, and they start their dance on a stage that looks like a graveyard. Karina is wearing the most strategically-cut ghost costume ever, which essentially amounts to a white wig, cape, and not much else. They gracefully twirl around the floor, though J.R. seems to have a bit of trouble with footwork. The dance ends with J.R. locking Karina in a casket, naturally.
The judges gently call them out for missing the timing on a few moves. Len calls it substandard and then blames J.R. for setting such a high standard in the past. Len adds they were too concentrated on the special effects (so he shouldn’t have locked Karina in that casket?) and wowing the audience and forgot to focus on the steps. Scores: 9, 8, 8 for a total of 25 points.
Commentator Nancy Grace and Tristan Macmanus
Dance: Jive to Charlie Daniels Band’s “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”
Nancy is elated by her high scores last week but still manages to annoy Tristan. She pokes her head into his on-camera interview as he’s describing the jive as as a fun dance. She interrupts: “If he’s trying to say I’m not fun, that’s absolutely not true,” she says. The grim look on Tristan’s face is priceless. In the end, however, the song is way too fast for Nancy. She desperately tries to keep up with Tristan during the super-quick fiddle playing, but it’s a mess.
“Well, we have our good days, and our not so days...” Carrie Ann trails off, adding that this was one of the bad days. Len is also disappointed, and Bruno suggests that maybe her shoes were too small, because the footwork was terrible. Things don’t improve over in the Celebriquarium, where Brooke remarks, apropos of nothing, “You’re 52 years old and your body seems to be holding up better than the rest of the cast!” Nancy answers with surprising restraint and says that running after her twin toddlers keeps her in shape. Scores: 7,7, 7 for a total of 21 points.
Reality star Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke
Dance: Tango to “Addams Family”
Rob compares the Kardashians to the Addams family, which is a pretty apt metaphor. “I don’t think my family’s creepy, but they’re kooky.” What an understatement! We get a long montage of everyone pulling pranks on an easily-frightened Cheryl with fake spiders and creepy monster masks, followed by Rob complaining that he’s sore and Cheryl having no sympathy because he’s the youngest one in the competition. Are we going to hear more about how 24-year-old Rob is finally making his journey from boy to man?!
After a particularly adorable shot of Rob’s baby nephew Mason with Rob’s sister, Kourtney Kardashian, the judges are all smiles, complimenting the performance (despite Cheryl having some issues with her Morticia Addams wig) and calling it his best dance yet. Scores: 9, 8, 8 for a total of 25 points.
Talk show host Ricki Lake and Derek Hough
Dance: Paso doble to Beyonce’s “Sweet Dreams”
Uh oh — Ricki’s got an injured rib. She heads to the doctor, who gives us a lot of medical jargon and tells Ricki that if she was an athlete, he would tell her to stay on the bench for a week or two. But this isn’t just sports — this is “Dancing With the Stars!” Sure enough, he agrees to help Ricki get through the next week the best she can. Rib injury or not, Ricki runs around on the dance floor impressively with Derek, wearing a Little Red Riding Hood cape in the process.
“It was a like a blizzard of passion and fear!” Bruno exclaims. Translation: He likes it. Carrie Ann raves about Ricki’s movement, and Len agrees Ricki’s quick footwork and twists were amazing. Scores: 9, 9, 9 for a total of 27 points.
U.S. women’s soccer team Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Dance: Samba to Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London”
Maks hurt his toe after last week’s show, in which he famously told Len that the veteran judge should get out of the dance business. Anyway, Maks is not pleased when Hope actually seems to be having a good time with Teddy, a member of the “DWTS” troupe who’s helping out in rehearsal while Maks is hurt. Hope and Teddy are giggling together, and Maks won’t have it. “At the end of the day it’s my house and I’m the one who’s in charge,” Maks growls. Well, at least he’s staying in character. But as for the actual dance, working with someone other than Maks seems to have worked, because Hope is lighter on her feet than usual.
Indeed, Carrie Ann thinks Hope had a certain lightness in her steps and the dance worked well. Len is a fan of the dance, but even more so with Hope’s costume and makeup. Bruno says Hope was dancing like her life depended on it and that she should be proud of the results. Scores: 8, 8, 8 for a total of 24 points.
Team Dance #1 — Team Tango (J.R., David, Nancy)
Time for the team dance...Team Tango (J.R., David, Nancy) vs. Team Paso (Ricki, Hope, Rob). Team Tango does some trash talking and then launches into their tango, which looks like it’s supposed to be set in a mental institution with the women starting out in a cage. The visual effects are dizzying, and the whole thing seems like a mess. Sure enough, Len thinks that though they came together fairly nicely as the group, the individual duo dances were disastrous. Bruno agrees that everyone made lots of mistakes. Scores: 8, 7, 8 for a total of 23 points that will be added to everyone’s scores.
Team Dance #2 — Team Paso (Ricki, Hope, Rob)
The team decides that they’re going to need to show some skin and take advantage of their team’s eye candy, which may or may not be a terrible plan. Ricki seems to be the weak link with her injured rib, but watching her complain about the pain is less painful than seeing Maks and Hope start bickering again. Derek steps in to help Hope learn some of the moves, luckily. Their dance has far less headache-inducing special effects, so they get an automatic edge — plus, everyone remembers the steps and seems to be much more confident than those on Team Tango. Scores: 9, 8, 9 for a total of 26 points.
Tomorrow is results night — and in even more exciting news, as Tom Bergeron reminds us many, many times, a performance by Justin Bieber.
Last week results: Chaz Bono eliminated from ‘Dancing With the Stars’
Full coverage: ‘Dancing with the Stars’