Dancing With the Stars Season 32, Episode 7 Recap: The Dancers Take on Video Music Night

(Disney/Eric McCandless)

Welcome back to week 7 of Dancing with the Stars! This week, the dancers will pay homage to music videos with Video Music Night. I’m pumped about tonight’s theme. How will the couples keep the style of their dance while paying tribute to the original video?

And Straight Up, guest judge Paula Abdul joined the DWTS judging panel. I don’t mind guest judges here and there, but this season has a lot of them. And Julianne Hough’s look as Madonna wasn’t as good as it could be.

Each couple will pull double duty, performing a solo performance and then a team dance. The remaining eight couples were split into two teams to earn a second set of scores.

Last week, the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Mauricio Umansky and his partner, Emma Slater, were eliminated. There is a buzz about them being more than just friends. Mauricio is separated from Kyle Richards, who wasn’t happy about the dancing duo previously holding hands.

So, who will exit the ballroom this week?

Remember, your vote counts. During the live East Coast broadcast, fans can vote at ABC.com and also vote via text. As always, votes will be combined with the judges’ scores to determine who is eliminated.

Let’s dance!

Host Alfonso Ribeiro revealed that the couple at the top of the leaderboard after the first round tonight will not have to compete in next week’s dance-off. They will also receive bonus points applied to next week’s judges’ scores. As long as they aren’t eliminated tonight.

Lele Pons and Brandon Armstrong

(ABC/Andrew Eccles)

Salsa to Whenever, Wherever by Shakira.

Social media influencer Lele Pons danced a spicy salsa with Brandon Armstrong.

Judge Derek Hough told Lele that “her hips did not lie.” Paula said that she could be lighter on her feet. Carrie Ann Inaba told Lele how happy she was for her.

Lele earned 33 out of 40 points.

Ariana Madix and Pasha Pashkov

(ABC/Andrew Eccles)

Cha-Cha to I’m A Slave 4 U by Britney Spears.

Vanderpump Rules star Ariana Madix and partner Pasha Pashkov danced a sexy cha-cha. They danced to Ariana’s favorite Britney song.

Paula called her a “dazzling mix of finesse and fury.” Judge Bruno Tonioli told her “to hit me, Ariana, one more time.” He wants Ariana to work on her foot placement.

Derek said that Ariana looked “fantastic” dancing beside the pros.

Ariana scored 37 out of 40 points.

Harry Jowsey and Rylee Arnold

(ABC/Andrew Eccles)

Jazz to It’s Gonna Be Me by NSYNC.

Too Hot to Handle star Harry Jowsey and partner Rylee Arnold performed a jazz routine. NSYNC member and Season 7 finalist Lance Bass dropped by rehearsal to advise Harry.

Harry seemed relaxed during this performance. Carrie Ann said that when the other dancers were in front of him, he did better. Derek said the routine “was a lot of fun.” Paula liked his “vulnerability.”

Harry received 24 out of 40 points.

Jason Mraz and Daniella Karagach 

(ABC/Andrew Eccles)

Jazz to Take On Me by a-ha.

Singer Jason Mraz and partner Daniella Karagach danced a fun jazz routine. Daniella sprained her ankle last week, so Koko Iwasaki came in for rehearsals. That makes me nervous.

Carrie Ann was “a bit underwhelmed.” Derek loved the middle section but agreed with Carrie Ann. Paula called it “relentless” and “a wonderful performance.”

Jason earned 35 out of 40 points. They received a 10 from Paula!

Alyson Hannigan and Sasha Farber 

(ABC/Andrew Eccles)

Quickstep to Candyman by Christina Aguilera.

Actress Alyson Hannigan and Sasha Farber performed a lively quickstep. Derek said, “It was your best dance yet.” Paula noted it was “a proper quickstep.” Bruno said the routine was “danced and acted brilliantly.”

Alyson scored 33 out of 40 points.

Xochitl Gomez and Val Chmerkovskiy 

(ABC/Andrew Eccles)

Jazz to Hollaback Girl by Gwen Stefani.

Actress Xochitl Gomez and her partner, Val Chmerkovskiy, danced a funky jazz routine. She had more creative control this week in rehearsals.

Bruno called her “charismatic.” He pointed out that when her hat fell off, she was a bit thrown. Carrie Ann saw the mistake but felt that Xochitl recovered well. Derek noted a “disconnect” sometimes with the dancing and music.

Xochitl received 34 out of 40 points.

Charity Lawson and Artem Chigvintsev

(ABC/Andrew Eccles)

Jazz to All For You by Janet Jackson.

The Bachelorette star Charity Lawson and Artem Chigvintsev performed a groovy jazz routine.

After a fun ladies’ brunch at Emma’s house, Charity was feeling more confident. Carrie Ann thought she matched the other female dancers well. But she didn’t believe all of Charity’s movements.

Derek called it “pretty, precise.” He wanted more “energy.”

Paula gave Janet Jackson a shout-out for allowing her to choreograph her. She felt that Charity should “step into her power a little bit more” and that she could be at the head of the DWTS pack.

Charity scored 32 out of 40 points.

Barry Williams and Peta Murgatroyd

(ABC/Andrew Eccles)

Quickstep to I’m Still Standing by Elton John.

Brady Bunch actor Barry Williams and Peta Murgatroyd danced the quickstep. Who can resist seeing more shots of Bruno from Elton’s video?

I loved it when Barry sprinkled Bruno with glitter. Carrie Ann said, “He has something magical every time” he dances. There was a mistake, but he didn’t recover as well this time.

Derek complimented his frame and side-by-side work. Bruno said there were some mistakes, but his performances are always enjoyable to watch.

Barry earned 28 out of 40 points.

The couple who won immunity

Ariana and Pasha are spared from the dance-off next week. The duo will also receive bonus points added to the judges’ score next week.

Team Dances

Harry and Alyson were team captains and selected their team members.

Team Young’n Style

(Disney/Eric McCandless)

Gangnam Style by PSY

  • Harry and Rylee
  • Lele and Brandon
  • Xochitl and Val
  • Charity and Artem

This dance was a showstopper. Some of the lifts were amazing. Derek jumped over the judges’ table to hug Harry. Paula called it “incredible fun.”

The judges’ score: 40 points out of 40 points. The first perfect score of the season!

Team 4 Everybody

(Disney/Eric McCandless)

Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) by the Backstreet Boys

  • Ariana and Pasha
  • Alyson and Sasha
  • Jason and Daniella
  • Barry and Peta

Backstreet Boy member AJ McLean came into rehearsals. Ariana almost lost her mind.

I loved this routine, too. Carrie Ann said it “wasn’t as clean” as the previous routine. Paula told the team that “they rock.” Bruno loved Sasha and Barry dancing together at the end of the routine.

The judges’ score: 37 out of 40 points.

The leaderboard

Ariana and Pasha and Xochitl and Val were tied at the top of the leaderboard with 74 points. Lele and Brandon were next with 73 points.

Harry and Rylee were at the bottom with 64 points.

The final three

While not necessarily the bottom three, two of these couples are safe:

  • Lele and Brandon
  • Barry and Peta
  • Charity and Artem

Going home tonight

Lele and Brandon were eliminated. This was a shocker! Brandon said that she didn’t deserve to go home.

Next week, get ready for Billy Porter on Whitney Houston Night. And in two weeks, it will be Taylor Swift Night.

Dancing with the Stars continues on Tuesdays on ABC and Disney+.