“DWTS” Week 8: Taylor Swift Makes a Surprise Appearance on Whitney Houston Night

November 15, 2023

This week on “Dancing with the Stars,” the stars and pros took to the dance floor to honor an icon—the Voice, the Prom Queen of Soul, the one and only Whitney Houston. And the night started with all of our faves getting to dance…with somebody who loves them. 

We also saw the competition heat up even further, with a special side-by-side dance-off following the remaining couples’ individual routines. So in case you missed last night’s episode, we’re here with all the dancing, and all the drama—including the first perfect score of the season, a controversial elimination, and, that’s right, a special appearance from Taylor Swift. 

Xochitl Gomez and Valentin Chmerkovskiy: Tango

After suffering a sprained ankle before last week’s Music Video Night performance, star Xochitl Gomez worried her performance this week would suffer too. But as evidenced by last night’s dance, she didn’t need to worry. 

Xochitl and partner Valentin Chmerkovskiy pulled out a perfect tango, set to the Whitney Houston classic “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me).” Xochitl nailed the crisp, concise movement of the dance, attacking the tango, “like a black panther,” according to judge Carrie Ann Inaba. 

The judges deemed the performance flawless. And they meant it, awarding the pair the first perfect score of the season. 

Charity Lawson and Artem Chigvintsev: Viennese Waltz

Charity and Artem, we will always love you! Last night, the pair performed a stunning, classic Viennese waltz set to Whitney Houston’s iconic ballad “I Will Always Love You”, and let’s just say it made us feel all the feels. 

Charity dedicated the performance to her fiancé, former “Bachelorette” contestant Dotun Olubeko, and it showed. Her Viennese waltz was full of love as well as graceful, elegant movements from start to finish. The judges showed the performance plenty of love too, awarding the pair four 9s for a total 36 of 40 possible points. 

Ariana Madix and Pasha Pashkov: Paso Doble

Last week, star Ariana Madix scored a spot at the top of the leaderboard. And this week, she was determined to keep up her momentum, with a powerful paso doble. Her drive showed in her performance, set to Whitney’s “Queen of the Night.”

We love how far Ariana’s confidence has come, especially in the past few weeks. And last night was no exception. In fact, it was maybe her most comfortable, confident performance of the competition. Ariana embodied the energy of the paso with strong, sharp movements. 

The judges adored Ariana’s attack, giving her and partner Pasha one 9 and three 10s, for a total 39 of 40 possible points. 

Once the individual dances were finished, it was time for the dance-off. After finishing last week with the highest scores, Ariana and Pasha were exempt, leaving the other dancers to duke it out. And after some intense competition, we saw Alyson Hannigan and Sasha Farber, Barry Williams and Peta Murgatroyd, and Charity and Artem come out on top against their rivals. 

But before it was time for the week’s elimination, the ballroom got a special visit from another music legend: the one and only Taylor Swift, announcing next week’s Celebration of Taylor Swift. And, yes, she did make the whole place shimmer. 

After Taylor’s cameo, it was time to get down to business. With the combined scores from the individual dances and the dance-off, stars Harry Jowsey and Jason Mraz were slotted into the two lowest spots on the leaderboard.   

But in a shocking turn, only moments after winning his dance-off alongside partner Peta Murgatroyd, it was revealed that Barry Williams would be eliminated from the competition. We’re not going to comment, but it’s safe to say a few people on social media thought the wrong “Arry” went home…