‘Dancing With the Stars’ Week 8: Ariana Madix and Xochitl Gomez Battle for Top of the Leaderboard

Meanwhile, “Brady Bunch” star Barry Williams stole the spotlight from Jason Mraz

Ariana Madix, Xochitl Gomez on Week 8 of Dancing With the Stars
Ariana Madix, Xochitl Gomez both earned fantastic scores on Week 8 of "Dancing With the Stars" (DIsney)

This article contains spoilers for the Nov. 14 episode of “Dancing With the Stars”

Marvel star Xochitl Gomez earned the season’s first perfect score for an individual dance for a “flawless” Tango, but “Vanderpump Rules” star Ariana Madix regained the lead thanks to a nearly perfect Paso Doble and three extra points from last week.

“Pose” star Billy Porter sat in as guest judge for Whitney Houston night, kicking off the show with a live performance of her 1985 hit “How Will I Know.”

Madix and Pasha Pashkov performed a powerful Paso Doble to “Queen of the Night” that earned 10s from every judge but Inaba. Besides the extra points, The reality star was also exempt from this week’s dance-off.

Gomez and Val Chmerkovskiy’s Tango to “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” scored 10s from all four judges. Despite spraining her ankle last week, Gomez’s dance was, according to Inaba, “flawless.” Derek Hough gushed, “That is how you do a tango. I can tell you guys are going for gold.” Porter said the dance was “magical.” Bruno Tonioli raved “the quality of movement was astonishing,” calling it “dancing at its best.”

Even though he earned the love of the fans and the judges and upstaging Jason Mraz in their dance-offs, “Brady Bunch” star Barry Williams was the star sent home on Tuesday night. “This has been the most wonderful experience of my life,” said the actor. “Everyone here has made this a complete delight from start to finish. And I knew I won after the first night.”

Earlier in the evening, the audience gave his Rumba with partner Peta Murgatroyd a standing ovation. Williams dedicated the dance to his wife, Tina, who is a hula dancer and taught him some pivotal hip moves. Hough said, “Barry, my man you have captured the hearts of America and ours. We love what you do.”

Barry Williams and Peta Murgatroyd on Week 8 of Dancing With the Stars
Despite winning his dance-off, Barry Williams was the celebrity sent home on Week 8 of “Dancing With the Stars.” (Disney)

Williams later beat Mraz in a Salsa dance-off that ended with the 69-year-old actor with an unbuttoned shirt … and three extra points. Hough stood up to exclaim,”When I grow up, I want to be like you. That was astounding.”

As viewers saw last week, when second placer Lele Pons was sent home, higher scores don’t always keep you in the competition.

Harry Jowsey and Rylee Arnold danced a Viennese waltz to “I Have Nothing.” Porter told the Australian reality star, “You have grown exponentially,” but that “the seduction was about a 5 and I needed it to be a 10.” Inaba said she saw “grace and beauty” in his routine, which had vastly improved after Arnold took him to a ballet class. The duo earned all 7s from the judges.

Alyson Hannigan and Sasha Farber performed a moving Contemporary routine to “Greatest Love of All,” including a perfectly executed handstand from the “Buffy” star. Tonioli called it “simply, effective, deeply felt and true.” A teary Inaba said she couldn’t remember the last time she cried on the show. Porter raved, “That was fabulous!” and he could feel why it was the most important song of her life.

Charity Lawson and Artem Chigvintsev’s Viennese waltz was set to “I Will Always Love You.” Porter said her limbs were “lovely but a little olive oil-y” and advised her to work on her turns. Tonioli said it was “so sophisticated” while Inaba and Hough said she still needed to work on connecting her movements and giving them purpose. Lawson earned all 9s from the judges and later won the salsa dance-off against Gomez.

Alyson Hannigan and Pasha Pashkov on Week 8 of DWTS
Alyson Hannigan and Pasha Pashkov danced to “Greatest Love of All” for Whitney Houston Night on “Dancing With the Stars” (Disney

Jason Mraz and Daniella Karagach did a Samba to “Higher Love.” Porter said he loved the routine, but told Mraz that his habit of singing along with the music was “distracting” and to “save it for Broadway.” Inaba told him that his dancing was “a little too casual” that needed more “snap.” Hough was more complimentary, saying, “I must have blinked when the mistakes happened.” He issued a 9 while the other judges all gave 8s.

Jowsey and Hannigan performed dueling Rumbas for their dance-off, with the actress emerging the winner for three extra points. Jowsey landed at the bottom of the leaderboard again, but was saved by the audience vote.

Harry Jowsey and Rylee Arnold dance during Week 8 of DWTS.
Harry Jowsey and Rylee Arnold danced a Viennese waltz to “I Have Nothing” from the movie “The Bodyguard.” (Disney)


Judges’ Scores for Solo Dances
1. Ariana Madix and Pasha Pashkov: 39/40, 42/40 with bonus three points
2. Xochitl Gomez and Val Chmerkovskiy: 40/40
3. Charity Lawson and Artem Chigvintsev: 36/40
4. Jason Mraz and Daniella Karagach: 33/40
Alyson Hannigan and Sasha Farber: 33/40
5. Barry Williams and Peta Murgatroyd: 32/40 [Eliminated]
6. Harry Jowsey and Rylee Arnold: 28/40

Total Scores After Dance-Offs

1. Ariana Madix and Pasha Pashko: 42
2. Xochitl Gomez and Val Chmerkovskiy: 40
3. Charity Lawson and Artem Chigvintsev: 39
4. Alyson Hannigan and Sasha Farber: 36
5. Barry Williams and Peta Murgatroyd: 35 [Eliminated]
6. Jason Mraz and Daniella Karagach: 33
7. Harry Jowsey and Rylee Arnold: 28

“Dancing With the Stars” airs live on Tuesdays on ABC and streams on Disney+ in local time zones and the next day on Hulu.


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