It was destined to be a tearjerker, not just for Lauren Alaina, but also for her mother. On the one year anniversary of the death of her beloved stepfather, Sam, Lauren and her professional partner, Gleb Savchenko danced to her new song, “The Other Side.”
Lauren’s mom flew out to support Lauren’s performance, but she also expressed her disbelief that her daughter was doing such a courageous thing. “I can’t believe you’re going to dance to a song that you’ve written about him,” she told her. “That song has brought so much healing to me.”
Before dancing, Lauren described the day Sam passed away. “On the last day of Sam’s life, he opened his eyes and it was like all of the pain in his body left. And he was looking up at the ceiling in awe and he described Heaven to my family. And that’s what I wrote ‘The Other Side’ about.”
She went on to say, “I wrote this song so he could live on and never be forgotten. Sam, this one’s for you.”
The beautifully choreographed contemporary dance showed the range of emotions that Lauren’s family felt as they watched Sam pass, and reflected the pull of wanting to keep him in this world after he had seen a glimpse of Heaven. For Lauren, it seemed as if she was reliving that moment and her own emotions grew throughout the dance, surfacing just as the final notes were played and steps were completed.
After hugging her mother, who was equally emotional, Gleb brought Lauren back to the judge’s table where she wept uncontrollably.
Carrie Ann Inaba told her, “You’re a brave woman. Dancing tonight to that song with all that emotion that you have on the anniversary of his passing, I’m sure was probably the most difficult thing you’ve ever done. But I want to thank you because you touched all of our hearts tonight by dancing. Gleb, the choreography was incredible. What you did tonight, it was like angels all over you dancing. It was so beautiful. Hold your head high. You should be proud of what you’ve done tonight. You have blessed us all with a beautiful dance of love and passion and raw emotion. Well done.”
“I can only reiterate what Carrie Ann said,” Len Goodman added. “Such a brave thing to do to come out and dance with so much emotion. And a performance that is worthy of your stepfather and yourself and Gleb.
As Lauren tried to compose herself, Bruno Tonioli said, “Bless you my love. It is very sad, but it makes me so happy to see so much love, truth, and honesty. Never lose it my darling. Always keep it with you.”
With that, the judges presented the couple with a very respectable 26, their highest score yet based on a three-judge, 30-point system. They will return next week for the team dances and Halloween themed routines.