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Sadie Robertson Fails to Impress 'Dancing With the Stars' Judges with Zombie-Themed Routine, Evokes Boos From the Audience

( [email protected] ) Oct 28, 2014 05:39 PM EDT

Sadie Robertson and Mark Ballas
Sadie Robertson and Mark Ballas. Photo: ABC

After last week's uplifting performance on ABC's Dancing With the Stars, Duck Dynasty star Sadie Robertson tried something a little different on this week's episode that stirred up criticism and disagreements from the judges.

The 17-year-old Robertson and her partner on the show, Mark Ballas, performed a zombie-themed dance for this week's Halloween episode, complete with a bit at the end that raised some eyebrows.

The couple's practice during the week was labored and often interrupted, according to a behind-the-scenes video and confessional shown before the performance. Outside of their normal Los Angeles studio comfort zone, Sadie and Mark were forced to practice in Lousiana while Sadie fit in filming for Duck Dynasty. The sheer amount of cameras that followed the duo during rehearsal seemed to mess with Mark's usual creative process.

"I'm not used to having that many people around me when I'm trying to, like, get into the creative zone, so I was a little overwhelmed," Ballas admitted during practice. "I'm out of my surroundings here. It's hard for me to figure it out, you know?"

Despite the distractions, Ballas and Robertson concocted a dance routine that centered around zombies and undead to fit in with the Halloween theme of this week's episode. It wasn't exactly in the same style as Sadie's Christian-value dance from last week, and that seemed to bother some judges. In the final moments of the routine, dancers dressed as zombies, including Ballas, appeared to attack and ravish Robertson. The judges weren't all that impressed, giving the couple a total score of 30 out of 40.

Judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Len Goodman had issues with the routine's movement and style, with Goodman commenting that "the theme of the whole thing got in the way of the dance" for him. Both critiques evoked boos from the show's audience.

But it was judge Julianne Hough who stuck by Robertson and Ballas to say that she enjoyed the content of the dance overall. Mark Ballas had the final word at the end when he defended Robertson's performance.

"This is entertainment," he added. "This is a TV show. We want to entertain the loyal fans at home. We want to put on a great show for this beautiful audience tonight, and I'm really proud of Sadie."

Be sure to check out the video in its entirety to judge for yourself.