It was time for some real “Showstoppers” during Week 9 of Season 21 of Dancing with the Stars! For the first routine, the couples revealed a dance style not yet performed this season. Later in the show, they moved into teams to perform a side-by-side dance. There was some drama just before things got started when one star had to be rushed to the hospital. The show went on and, at the end of the night, one team had to head home.
Alek Skarlatos & Lindsay Arnold did the Salsa to “Back It Up” by Prince Royce featuring Jennifer Lopez + Pitbull. In order to ramp up his sexiness, Alek went through the painful process of having all his chest hair waxed off during rehearsals. Unfortunately, the judges didn’t feel his Salsa was as smooth as his upper body. Alek and Lindsay still managed to pull in a trio of 8s.
Alexa PenaVega & Mark Ballas did a Contemporary routine to “Make it Rain” by Ed Sheeran. The intense dance brought the crowd to its feet. Bruno felt it was brilliant and that Alexa danced like she’d never danced before. Carrie Ann added that it was more than just dancing; it was healing from a time when Alexa had suffered through bulimia. Perfect 10s from all three judges.
Carlos PenaVega & Witney Carson did an Argentine Tango to “What Do You Mean?” by Justin Bieber. There appeared to be a bit of a confidence issue during rehearsals—with the pro, not the star, having some doubts. Carlos did his best to pump up partner Witney, but the judges didn’t feel the passion shining through in this particular routine. They liked it, but didn’t love it. Actually, they loved it enough to give them three 9s.
Bindi Irwin & Derek Hough did a Viennese Waltz to “Roses and Violets” by Alexander Jean. Tom Bergeron pointed out that Bindi’s hands were still shaking after the dancing was done. It makes sense. The judges also got chills during the amazing routine as evidenced by the trio of 10s that popped up on the paddles.
Tamar Braxton & Valentin Chmerkovskiy did a Contemporary routine to “Wicked Game” by James Vincent McMorrow. Before the live show began, Tom Bergeron announced that Tamar had to be taken to the hospital. She was unable to return before it was time to do her routine, so the judges, by rule, were allowed to judge the recording from her dress rehearsal. There were some issues with the practice dance, which the judges pointed out as Val did his best to protect his partner. When all the talking was done, scores of 8-7-7 were dealt.
Nick Carter & Sharna Burgess did the Quickstep to “A Cool Cat in Town” by Tape Five. The routine was slick and stylish from the start, but Carrie Ann pointed out that the team was a tad out of sync. Julianne also had some minor critiques about the holds. Bruno, however, loved the dance. So did all those Backstreet Boys seated in the front row. The scores from the judges were 9-9-10.
Showstopper # 1: Alek, Lindsay, Carlos & Witney did a Paso Doble to “We Will Rock You” by Queen. The end of the routine covered the two male dancers covered in paint. Julianne felt the time when Alek and Carlos danced together didn’t live up to its full potential, but she loved the lift. Carrie Ann also felt they didn’t fill the shoes of such a big song. The crowd sure liked it enough though. Three 8s came from the judges.
Showstopper #2: Alexa, Mark, Bindi & Derek performed a Charleston to “All That Jazz/Hot Honey Rag” from Chicago. The team traveled to New York for inspiration, which may explain why they gave such an inspired dance. The stylish number had the crowd and judges going wild. Once all the cheering was done, three 10s appeared on the paddles.
Showstopper #3: Nick, Sharna, Tamar & Val danced a Rumba to “Hey Jude” from Ciruqe du Soleil® The Beatles® LOVE™. Amazingly, Tamar made it back to the studio in time to take part in her team dance. It was a true show of courage in what turned out to be a fine routine that earned three 9s from the judges.
At the end of the evening, a husband and wife were in jeopardy. Carlos would live to dance another day, but Alexa PenaVega had to say goodbye to the ballroom. The five remaining teams are headed for the semifinals in their quest for the coveted Mirrorball trophy.