Five couples hit the ballroom floor on Monday night (Nov. 18) to deliver two dances as part of the grueling semi-finals of the latest season of Dancing with the Stars. The first half of the two-hour episode saw challengers taking part in the “Redemption Round” – a round that gave each contestant an opportunity to improve on their lowest scoring dance-style of the season.
First up was country contender Lauren Alaina, who performed a Paso Doble set to Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” alongside pro partner Gleb Savchenko. Before the routine, Alaina and Savchenko received some advice from judge Len Goodman, who told them he’d be looking for strong shaping and traditional choreography.
Alaina and Savchenko didn’t disappoint. On the floor, they incorporated plenty of twists and turns into their theatrical routine, which earned them a higher than average score of 27/30 from the judging panel.
“It had a lovely mix of expression and aggression. I love to see that.” Goodman applauded of the dance. “I asked you to give me more shaping, and I saw that throughout the dance. It was a terrific routine. So much improved. Well done!”
For the second dance of the evening, Alaina stayed true to her roots. She and Savchenko turned out an impressive Viennese Waltz to Tim McGraw’s “Humble and Kind.” Alaina, who wore a flowy, pink gown for the dance, dedicated the couple’s beautiful routine to her parents, who she said sacrificed so much for her throughout her life.
“It was elegant. It was graceful. I like those elements of a Slow Waltz that you put in, as well as the Viennese Waltz. And I’ve got to tell you, Lauren. You look terrific!” Goodman said after the performance.
“So sophisticated. So classic,” Bruno Tonioli added. “I like the chemistry between you two. It was sizzling. You were joined together. It was like looking at a dream couple. It was simply elegant.”
After hearing from the judges, Alaina and Savchenko made their way backstage to DWTS co-host Erin Andrews, where they received their second score of the night – a 27/30.
As usual, the end of the show resulted in the elimination of one couple. Luckily for Alaina and Savchenko, they received enough votes to keep them from entering the bottom two. Dawson’s Creek star James Van Der Beek and his pro partner Emma Slater weren’t so lucky. They landed in the bottom two and were eliminated from the competition.
Alaina will now head into the finale, where she’ll compete for the Season 28 DWTS Mirrorball trophy against Bachelorette star Hannah Brown, Comedian Kel Mitchell, and Fifth Harmony’s Ally Brook. Fans can catch the Dancing with the Stars finale Monday, (Nov. 25) at 8/7c on ABC.