'Dancing With the Stars' week 8 recap: Trios with a twist

Victoria Leigh Miller

SPOILER ALERT: This recap of Week 8 of Dancing with the Stars contains spoilers.

Dancing with the Stars was more like Dancing With the Superstars this week when six of the show’s most memorable celebrity dancers returned to the ballroom—and not just as waving, smiling audience members. Instead of the usual eliminated pros or troupe members, this week a six-pack of former DWTS stars performed special trio dances with the remaining contestants.

One week after that gut-wrenching, Halloween double elimination trick, the DWTS powers-that-be gave fans a treat with the return of past mirrorball champions Rashad Jennings (Season 24), Laurie Hernandez (Season 23 ), Alfonso Ribeiro (Season 19), Kristi Yamaguchi (Season 6), Kelly Monaco (Season 1)  and Season 17 runner-up Corbin Bleu. So, what did this all mean? If it takes two to tango, three is even better!

But even with all of the trio night excitement, things didn’t pan out so well for Terrell Owens. One week ago, the former NFL star had no idea what a Charleston was. A few grueling rehearsals later and he was master of the 1920s-era dance, but it wasn’t enough to save him from elimination, even after Len Goodman told him, “Out of all of our celebrities, no one has improved as much as you.”

T.O.’s trio rumba with Cheryl and the very first DWTS winner, Kelly Monaco,  also fell a little short—the General Hospital star promised him a date if they got a perfect score (they didn’t)—but that was the least of his worries as Tom Bergeron waited in the wings with the bad news that his Dancing days were done.

“I had a great time,” Terrell said after his elimination was announced. “[Cheryl] was a great teacher. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”

Except a mirrorball, maybe? Here’s how the rest of the stars did on trio night.

Jordan Fisher and Lindsay Arnold: 30/30 + 30/30 – 60 total
Carrie Ann Inaba had just two words for Jordan and Lindsay’s quickstep: “Brilliant and sassy.” But Bruno Tonioli said a mouthful, describing the dance as “a mixture of psychedelic pop art, swinging ‘60s and technically the most demanding” quickstep he has ever seen. (And he’s seen a lot!)  Len Goodman skipped the small talk and just gave the dance a standing O.

Trio Dance with Corbin Bleu: Two Broadway stars for the price of one! Later in the show, Carrie Ann had some colorful words about the couple’s salsa with Corbin Bleu. “The unison was sick AF,” she said. (ABC censors bleeped her acronym in time.) Bruno, clearly forgetting Lindsay was even there, talked of “two bodies responding with one soul.” “This dance will go down in Dancing With the Stars history,” he said.

Lindsey Stirling and Mark Ballas:  26/30 +28/30 – 54 total
It was a Simba samba as the violinist brought out her inner Beyonce for a cutting edge (or avant-garde, as per Bruno) dance. Carrie Ann and Len both thought Lindsay didn’t seem as “sure-footed” as usual, but since the bar is so high with her, she still received a high score.

Trio Dance with Kristi Yamaguchi: A jazz with returning champ Kristi Yamaguchi had Bruno gushing over the “classic Hollywood movie style” of the dance. Carrie Ann described the dance as “pristine and perfect,” praising the trio’s incredible synergy. “It’s like I paid money to see the dance,” she said.  TMI alert: Mark’s partners revealed that he has a thing for smelling their shoes.

Frankie Muniz and Witney Carson: 26 /30 + 27/30 – 53 total
Near perfection or far from it? The judges had very different opinions on Frankie and Witney’s Viennese waltz to the song “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran. Carrie Ann said the dance was “the closest thing to perfection” she has seen so far from the Malcolm in the Middle star, but Len said it was far from perfect.  “You never straightened your legs!” he told the star. “Last week you were scary, this week it was all airy fairy.”

Trio Dance with Alfonso Ribeiro: Witney Carson was sandwiched between two child actors for a jive—and it worked. With former Fresh Prince star Alfonso back in the house, Carrie Ann said she could see the nerves in Frankie, pointing out that he pulled back a bit during the dance. He also lost tempo during the first solo, but all in all this trio pulled it together for an impressive, energetic dance.

Victoria Arlen and Val Chmerkovskiy:  24/30 + 24/30 – 48 total
A muscle spasm could have sidelined Victoria’s Argentine tango, but the Paralympian pulled through. While Len liked how “clean and exact” the dance was, Carrie Ann noted that the star dropped her eyes a lot, and Bruno reminded her that she needs to act the part as well as dance.

Trio Dance with Laurie Hernandez:  Val’s winning partner was back for a magical jive, but a still-hurting Victoria fell a bit behind with her leg kicks and flicks. Len noted that there was “lots of recognizable jive” in the routine, but he admitted it wasn’t a gold medal performance.

Drew Scott and Emma Slater:  22/30 + 25/30  – 47 total
The Property Brothers star had a little trouble with his waltz— while his intention was “clear,” his moves weren’t. Carrie Ann told Drew the bottom half of his body wasn’t keeping up with the tempo of the music, making him appear unsure of his steps. Len called the star out for his dreaded droopy, wide elbow.

Trio Dance with Rashad Jennings: A trio disco-themed cha cha with reigning DWTS champ Rashad Jennings was nearly blinding, but the judges saw through the glitz, with Bruno pointing out that Rashad is a hard act to follow.  With all that talent on tap, Len said he was glad that everyone was able to contribute to the dance.

Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.

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