It was now or never for all of the couples during the semi-final round of season 28 of Dancing With the Stars. After landing in the bottom two the previous week, Lauren Alaina was feeling the pressure to deliver in order to continue on to the finale and have a chance at the mirrorball trophy. It turns out, redemption was hers.
Each of the couples was asked to perform two dances during the evening’s competition: a “redemption dance” chosen by the judges based on one of their lowest scoring routines of the season. Fortunately, one of the judges also joined them in the rehearsal room to give them input on how to raise their previous score on the dance. The second dance was of the couple’s choosing and some chose to dedicate those to special people in their lives.
First up for Lauren and her professional partner, Gleb Savchenko, was their redemption dance — the paso doble. With Len Goodman, the sternest of the judges, in the rehearsal room Lauren’s paso was definitely elevated.
Dressed in a provocative black outfit that included garters attached to thigh-high boots and a black velvet skirt, Lauren and Gleb danced to Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You).” Lauren’s steps were bold and strong, and the routine included a sliding split.
The judges’ comments were as follows:
Len Goodman: “It had a lovely mix of expression and aggression. And I love to see that. I asked you to give me more shaping and I saw that throughout the dance. Gleb, there was that chasse cape bit that we worked on. I would have liked another bit somewhere else that I could say, Oooo, look what he put in.’ Well done, Gleb. It was a terrific routine and so much improved. Well done.”
Bruno Tonioli: “You handled it beautifully. So much stronger, more centered. The shapes were better, the tension was there. You lost only one hand and neck only once over the routine. Great, great job.”
Carrie Ann Inaba: “I was just watching the video from the first time you did it and you have come so far. You have become a woman who commands the dance floor now and in the paso that’s exactly what we’re looking for. Sometimes, because maybe you’re nervous, you’re locking your knees just a little bit, maybe a little too tight. I know it’s the semi-finals, I bet everybody is full of nerves, just keep dancing with that commanding spirit and you’re going to sail through.
Total Score: 27
Next up for Lauren and Glen was a Viennese waltz to Tim McGraw’s “Humble and Kind,” which the country star dedicated to her parents.
Wearing a pure pink ball gown, with her hair up, the singer looked every bit the part of an elegant and polished professional dancer. And the judges were quick to give their approval, not just of her appearance, but of her performance.
Even fellow country star Tim McGraw chimed in on the elegant dance in support of Lauren and Gleb. “Great job @Lauren_Alaina on your dance tonight to Humble and Kind…got my vote.”
Great job @Lauren_Alaina on your dance tonight to Humble and Kind…got my vote!
— Tim McGraw (@TheTimMcGraw) November 19, 2019
Len Goodman: “It was smooth, it was elegant, it was graceful. I liked those elements of slow waltz that you put in, as well as the Viennese waltz. And I’ve got to tell you, Lauren, you look terrific.”
Bruno Tonioli: “So sophisticated, so classy, but what I liked was the chemistry between you two, the connection, you were absolutely sizzling. You were joined together, it was like looking at a dream couple. Simply elegant, beautiful.”
Carrie Ann Inaba: “Because of the continuous rhythm that’s relentless and has to look effortless, you do have to dance as one and that’s what I love so much about you guys. You have become one, but not with one dimension, with so many dimensions, but one. And I feel like when I watch you, it’s like watching my little girl grow up. You have truly blossomed.”
Total Score: 27
At the end of the evening, Lauren and Gleb landed solidly in the middle of the leaderboard and, after the viewing audience’s scores were adding into the judges, they escaped elimination to Lauren’s surprise and made it through to the finale.
Several country artists, including Carrie Underwood, used their social media pages to encourage fans to vote for their fellow singer songwriter and it is likely they’ll do it again next week for the finals. Tune in to see if the music industry brings home another mirrorball!