'Dancing With the Stars': Who was eliminated and are holiday-themed episodes still relevant?

The latest episode of 'Dancing' was Halloween-themed, with contestants clad in spooky costumes and some selecting seasonally appropriate songs. But with the increasing popularity of streaming TV shows, do holiday-themed episodes still have a place on television?

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
Tom Bergeron hosts 'Dancing With the Stars.'

“Dancing With the Stars” contestants celebrated Halloween on the show's latest episode, with participants dressed in spooky costumes and performing routines inspired by the holiday.

Conservationist Bindi Irwin and her partner, professional dancer Derek Hough, had the most well-received dance of the night, receiving a score of 30 from the judges. Contestant and “Big Time Rush” star Carlos PenaVega and his celebrity partner Witney Carson also did well, earning a score of 28, with the two centering their performance around “The Phantom of the Opera,” while PenaVega’s wife and actress Alexa PenaVega and her partner Mark Ballas received a score of 27 for their routine, which focused on the Tim Burton film “Edward Scissorhands.” 

Vine star Hayes Grier and his partner Emma Slater received a score of 26 for their routine with a “Maleficent” theme, as did country singer Andy Grammer and his partner Allison Holker for their performance. Alek Skarlatos – a member of the military now famous for stopping a train attack in Europe this past summer – and his partner Lindsay Arnold received a score of 25. Former Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter and his partner Sharna Burgess received a 24 score for a “Frankenstein” routine and singer Tamar Braxton and her partner Valentin Chmerkovskiy also received a score of 24.

It was revealed that Grier and his partner Slater would not be moving forward in the competition.

Current TV programs from reality competitions like “Dancing” to sitcoms like CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory” have centered episodes around holidays like Halloween or Christmas. Seasonal episodes have long been a part of TV history, and most viewers fondly remember holiday-themed installments from classic shows like "M*A*S*H" and "Friends." For broadcast TV, holiday-themed episodes probably aren’t going anywhere. However, with the increase in popularity of original TV shows on streaming services, with TV episodes that can be watched anytime, will holiday-themed episodes lose some relevance? 

The answer seems to depend on the show and how it is distributed. With Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black,” all the episodes are uploaded at once, meaning viewers can watch them in a matter of days rather than over a time period between September and May (the traditional broadcast season). However, with “Orange,” holidays occasionally feature into the show, including a Thanksgiving and Christmas episode in season one (despite the fact that the season debuted in July) and a Mother’s Day episode in the most recent season.

While the NBC sitcom “Community” had various famous holiday-themed episodes air in its early days, including one animated in the style of Rankin/Bass holiday specials such as “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” the newest season of the show did not have holiday-themed episodes because the new episodes, which debuted on the streaming service Yahoo Screen, aired between March and May, a non-traditional schedule.

But some of the creators behind streaming programs aren't ready to let go of holiday-themed episodes. Mindy Kaling, whose sitcom “The Mindy Project” recently switched to Hulu after being canceled by Fox, recently spoke about the decision to have episodes of “Project” air weekly rather than to have all the episodes in a season debut at once. “I like a Christmas episode that airs in December,” she said.

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