It was most memorable year night on ‘Dancing With The Stars,’ which always seems to be the most emotional episode of the season. See who was in tears and who got sent home below — plus, which cast member is expecting!?
Dancing with the Stars champion Alfonso Ribiero filled in for host Tom Bergeron this week, as Tom spent time at his dying father’s bedside. Though thoughts were with Tom, it was tears and smiles in the ballroom, as one contestant was sent home, another announced she was pregnant and the first 10 of the season was awarded! Warning: spoilers below!
Alexa PenaVega and Mark Ballas danced Foxtrot for the year 2000, when she booked her breakout role in Sky Kids. “Tonight is obviously going to be very emotional but we have to judge the dance on what it is. That said, it was fun, it was entertaining, the concept was brilliant. There was a little mishap and I’m so sad because it was a great way to start the evening,” Julianne Hough said. “You brought the strength of last week but it was elegant and fun…it’s so nice to see you expanding,” Carrie Ann Inaba added. Bruno Tonioli gave them notes on frame and hold. They got a 21 out of 30!
Next, Gary Busey and Anna Trebunskaya danced for the year 1979, when he was in The Buddy Holly Story. They also explained his traumatic brain injury, when he was in a horrible motorcycle accident in 1988. “Your passion for the character made me almost forget your unique interpretation of the dance,” Bruno said. Carrie Ann said his dancing makes her happy but that he isn’t really improving. “At the end of the day, you entertain,” Julianne said. They got a 16!
Tamar Braxton and Valentin Chmerkovskiy danced Rumba to her new song. 2012 was her most memorable year because she almost lost her husband, who had multiple blood clots. After 40 days in the hospital, he recovered, and 3 months later, she was pregnant with her son. It was definitely their best dance, and left Tamar in tears! “Your story touched me deeply and your dance touched me even more deeply. Such an incredible dance,” Carrie Ann said. “I have not given you a 9 yet …there has always been this little thing for me that was missing but [not tonight],” Julianne said. “Your connection was wired to perfection,” Bruno said. They got a high score of 27!
Then, out of the blue, Allison Holker announced she is pregnant and said she will be staying in the competition! “We’re the only team with 3!” her partner Andy Grammer said. Watch the announcement below:
Hayes Grier and Emma Slater danced contemporary for 2014, when he became a Vine star. It was completely amazing! “What just happened! I am completely shocked! Honestly, that was great,” Julianne said. “What a breakthrough. Technically, it was so demanding and you didn’t miss a beat. Superstar!” Bruno said. Carrie Ann added that it was graceful and incredible. They got a 27!
Alek Skarlatos and Lindsay Arnold danced for 2015, when he stopped a terrorist attack on a train. On Thursday, 4 days before the live show, Alex went home to Oregon, where a shooter killed nine students at his community college. “I have a lot of respect for you always…it was strong and sturdy, just the way you’ve always been,” Carrie Ann. Julianne praised their connection. They got a 24, and Alek thanked his partner for getting him through the tough week — he’s so sweet!
Next, Nick Carter and Sharna Burgess danced to a BACKSTREET BOYS song. FINALLY! In the package, Nick spoke about his troubled childhood. “The boys saved me,” Nick cried. The dance was Jazz to “Backstreet’s Back” with 300 fans in the “audience!” “Sharna, every girl who was a fan of the Backstreet Boys wants to be you right now! You were good when you were in the Backstreet Boys but you are far superior now!” Carrie Ann said. Julianne said it was “hot, hot, hot!” and made a sign that said “I <3 Nick!” Bruno called it a “mega sexy, mega hit!”
Carlos PenaVega and Witney Carson danced the Waltz for 2012. Carlos was at the height of success with Big Time Rush…but then the tour ended and he went into a depression, where he was smoking pot every day. He went with a friend to Bible Study, and there he met his now wife Alexa. His entire life changed in one week. The dance production was a little over the top, in my opinion, but beautiful nonetheless. “I can tell that you were genuinely connected. That was beautiful,” Julianne said. Bruno said it was “totally mesmerizing.” Carrie Ann said: “tonight, you danced from your soul.” They got a 25!
Next, Paula Deen and Louis van Amstel danced the Cha Cha for 1989, when she filed for divorce and started her own business. “You made a step in the right direction,” Bruno said. “I think the way you move is so hot and sexy but you keep losing focus,” Carrie Ann said. I missed their score because I was so distracted when Paula started whipping her hair.
Andy Grammer and Allison Holker danced for 2009, when he lost his mother to breast cancer. They danced an energetic Cha Cha! “Tonight, there was an awkwardness to you,” Carrie Ann said. “I disagree! I think this is the most comfortable you’ve been since week one,” Julianne said. They got a 23! P.S. Allison is 4 months pregnant and her abs are flatter than mine.
Bindi Irwin and Derek Hough danced a tribute to Bindi’s dad Steve Irvin, who died at just 44 years old from a stingray accident. They danced Contemporary to “Every Breath You Take.” I was crying before the dance even started! It was so moving and Bindi completely broke down at the end of the dance. “That took my breath away as well. We said it at the beginning, we can’t judge the packages, we have to judge the dance, but that dance was breathtaking,” Julianne said. “He was dancing with you every step of the way. He’s proud of you. Australia and the world is proud of you. And so am I,” Bruno said. “It such an honor to see such a bright light dance with such beauty and passion,” Carrie Ann said. They got a 28, including the first 10 of the season from Bruno! Then she hugged all the judges in an adorable moment (brb, totally still crying).
In the end, Gary and Anna were sent home. He continued rambling to the camera through the credits.
Are you sad Gary is gone? Remember to watch the Switch Up next week!
— Dory Larrabee