Dancing with the Stars - Gabby Windey's partner tests positive for COVID-19 and a new couple tops the leaderboard

During last night's Dancing with the Stars Halloween episode, this under-the-radar couple surprised all by topping the leaderboard following an awesome group performance

Dancing with the Stars
(Image credit: Disney)

We're only three weeks away from the Dancing with the Stars finale and, if last night's Halloween episode was of any indication, we're in for an exciting few episodes ahead. 

Just two weeks after competitor Selma Blair revealed 'bone trauma and inflammation' after shock Dancing with the Stars departure, the remaining celebrities showed off their very best moves by participating in two dances each - a single act and a group performance, each one inspired by the spooky holiday.

Perhaps most notably, frontrunner Gabby Windey, of The Bachelorette fame, had to get used to a new partner as Val Chmerkovskiy, who has been by her side since the beginning of the season, revealed he tested positive for COVID-19 and would therefore have to sit the episode out. 

After assuring fans he's "feeling fine," Val urged all to vote for Gabby, especially in his absence, so that he could return to the competition and show off his pro moves once more by next week.

A covid-compliant dancing with the stars set up

(Image credit: Getty)

Until then, pro Alan Bersten, who was Jessie James Decker's partner until she was voted off the show last week, stepped in to substitute for Val and dance the Argentine tango with Gabby. The performance earned the duo 71 points, placing them in fourth place on the show's leaderboard last night.

Speaking of the leaderboard: a rather surprising new couple earned top marks and the number one position on the ranking last night - American actor and model Trevor Donovan, who danced a much praised contemporary routine alongside his partner Emma Slater. 

Trevor is now by many considered to be the season's frontrunner, a major step-up from the not-so-great comments that the celebrity received by the judges throughout the first few weeks of the competition. As fans of the show may remember, Trevor was actually saved from the bottom two twice already!

"It's such a beautiful thing to witness the gift of dance and to see the love of dance grow within you," Derek Hough, one of the judges, said to Trevor after his routine to Justin Bieber's Ghost, which earned the dup a whopping 39 out of 40.

Dancing with the Stars

(Image credit: Disney)

Each celebrity was also part of a group dance that delighted fans and judges alike. 

Jersey Shore star Vinny Guadagnino and Koko Iwasaki made up Team Wicked alongside Shangela and Gleb Savchenko, Gabby and Val/Alan, Heidi D'Amelio and Artem Chigvintsev and Jordin Sparks and Brandon Armstrong. The group danced to the song The Witches Are Back from the Hocus Pocus 2 soundtrack and earned 33 points in total, which were added to each competitor's individual score.

Team Scream, on the other hand, performed to Heads Will Roll by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and was comprised of Trevor and Emma, Charli D'Amelio and Mark Ballas, Wayne Brady and Witney Carson and Daniel Durant and Britt Stewart. The judges awarded them with 39 points each and intensely complimented their work.

After announcing next week's theme - '90s night! - and appearances from the likes of Vanilla Ice and Salt-N-Pepa, hosts Tyra Banks and Alfonso Ribeiro revealed that Jordin and Heidi were at the bottom two. 

To the dismay of her fans, spoiler alert!, Jordin ended up being voted off after judge head judge Len Goodman's decision to save Heidi, whose daughter Charli is also still in the running and is by many considered to be the best dancer of the season. 

Will it come down to a mother-daughter showdown when the Dancing with the Stars finale airs in a few weeks? We'll have to wait and see.

Anna Rahmanan is a New York-based writer and editor who covers culture, entertainment, food, fashion and travel news. Anna’s words have appeared on Time Out New York, the Huffington Post, Fortune, Forbes, Us Weekly, Bon Appetit and Brooklyn Magazine, among other outlets.