'Dancing with the Stars' season 29 recap: Nev Schulman earns a perfect score while Monica Aldama sent home

MEGAN STONE
·4 min read

With fangs bared and red eyes flashing, "Dancing With the Stars" paid homage to Hollywood's most terrifying antagonists for "Villains Night."

Despite the constant thrills and chills brought on by this season's top 10 competitors, the Halloween special ended with "Cheer" coach Monica Aldama being sent home by the judges.

The Netflix star found herself in the bottom two alongside "The Real" host Jeannie Mai, which turned out to be a nightmare of a situation for judges Derek Hough, Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba. All three struggled to decide who deserved to stay in the competition, which ended with Judge Carrie Ann casting the tie-breaking vote in favor of Mai.

During an appearance on "Good Morning America" on Tuesday, Aldama reflected on her experience in the competition and said she might even use some of the moves she learned with her Navarro Squad.

"I've been a fan of the show since the very first season and I have definitely taken ideas that I've seen over the years and incorporated them into some of our pyramids," she said.

"We actually had a pyramid called the 'Dancing With the Stars' pyramid, so definitely we'll be taking some ideas back, maybe that lift we did last night," she added.

Aldama's dance partner, Val Chmerkovskiy, expressed his confidence in his wife Jenna Johnson, who remains in the competition with "Catfish" host Nev Schulman.

"I'm so proud of her," he said. "I'm proud of Nev. I'm excited to root her on for the rest of the season. We have Peta, myself -- we have now been eliminated and will consolidate our votes in Jenna's direction."

MORE: 'Dancing With the Stars' pro Britt Stewart on escaping the bottom 2 and this week's special performance

Johnson and Schulman have consistently brewed in second place since the start of the season. The streak was broken Monday when he gave all three judges and host Tyra Banks "swan bumps" following his "Swan Lake"-inspired Paso Doble.

His sharp, powerful and overall chilling performance delighted Inaba, Tonioli and Hough, who excitedly awarded their team the season's first perfect score.

Meanwhile, the pressure was on for Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir, who was almost sent home last week. The athlete triumphed on the ballroom floor, delivering a fluid and graceful Viennese waltz to Radiohead's "Creep" that hypnotized the judges and earned him the second-highest score of the night, a 27 out of 30.

Also making a comeback Monday night was Disney Channel star Skai Jackson, this season's youngest competitor. The 18-year-old actress, who earned the lowest score last week, shined with her sharp and precise Argentine tango to Billie Eilish's "Everything I Wanted." She secured a second-place finish alongside Weir and rapper Nelly with a final score of 27 out of 30.

Speaking of Nelly, the Grammy Award-winning rapper finally achieved his breakout moment Monday night, performing a creepy yet powerful Argentine tango to The Weeknd's "Can't Feel My Face." All three judges praised the "Country Grammar" artist for breaking out of his shell.

The most notable dance of the night didn't come from a celebrity dancer, however, but from dance pro Cheryl Burke.

Despite suffering a seemingly serious head injury the previous day during practice, Burke powered through the pain to perform a tense and thrilling Tango alongside partner AJ McLean that honored the horror movie "Psycho."

The Backstreet Boy spoke about the panic he felt when Burke fell during rehearsals, saying he was "completely mortified" by the accident. "She's family now. I got to protect her, just like she does for me," McLean expressed.

"If she goes down, I go down," McLean told "GMA." "That's the mentality I have."

As for Burke, the pro dancer assured the audience that she is completely fine and cracked to Tyra Banks, "I'm hard-headed, thank God, right?"

"Dancing With the Stars" will be full of double trouble next week, promising two eliminations and the added challenge of competitors mastering two dances for the first time this season. The episode airs next Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Here are the current standings:

  • Nev Schulman, host of "Catfish," with Jenna Johnson -- 30/30

  • Johnny Weir, Olympic figure skater, with Britt Stewart -- 27/30

  • Nelly, Grammy Award-winning rapper, with Daniella Karagach -- 27/30

  • Skai Jackson, Disney Channel star, with Alan Bersten -- 27/30

  • Justina Machado, "One Day at a Time" star, with Sasha Farber -- 26/30

  • A.J. McLean, member of Backstreet Boys, with Cheryl Burke -- 26/30

  • Chrishell Stause, Netflix's "Selling Sunset" star, with Gleb Savchenko -- 26/30

  • Jeannie Mai, host of "The Real," with Brandon Armstrong -- 25/30

  • Kaitlyn Bristowe, former star of "The Bachelorette," with Artem Chigvintsev -- 24/30

'Dancing with the Stars' season 29 recap: Nev Schulman earns a perfect score while Monica Aldama sent home originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com