“Dancing With the Stars” is just one week away from crowning a new Mirrorball Trophy winner and it’s got the judges and the cast feeling emotional. During the semifinals Monday night, contestants tapped into their feelings, delivering some of the most heartfelt performances of the ABC competition — still, when all was said and done one team was forced to exit the ballroom for good.
James Hinchcliffe and partner Sharna Burgess kick off the show with an ode to both the Indycar racers father and his love of the sport. The two put their heads together in the rehearsal room and pulled out a sexy, powerful tango. James’ girlfriend and parents were in the audience watching along and cheering while he and Sharna stunned. The judges could barely contain their excitement, giving them 10s across the board. The duo set the tone for the night, with nearly all the teams that followed their routine also being awarded perfect scores.
Terra Jolé and Sasha Farber followed with a stunning rumba which they used to showcase the “Little Women L.A.” stars strength, confidence and power. Jana Kramer and Gleb Savchenko were awarded a high score for their kitchy quickstep, followed by Calvin Johnson Jr. and Lindsay Arnold’s bold dance to the White Stripes’ hit single “Seven Nation Army.”
While each of the teams brought an element of raw emotion to the ballroom during the Week 10 semifinals, it was Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy who really stole the show. During their pre-performance package, Laurie and her family opened up about the sacrifices they made to make her gymnastics dreams a reality. Her mother shared with viewers that it was at the urging of her mother — with whom Laurie has become very close — that she and her husband decided to do all they could to help Laurie achieve her goal of becoming an Olympian.
Laurie was shown visiting her grandmother, whom she later revealed was suffering from Alzheimer’s and had not been doing well. The day after the interview was filmed, Laurie’s grandma died. She was able to record a special message for her granddaughter, which the “DWTS” crew played before she and Val took the stage. Despite being overcome by emotion, Laurie was able to deliver yet another amazing performance, wowing the judges and bringing even host Tom Bergeron to tears.
Each team then returned to the ballroom for a performance during which they were asked to chose a troupe member or eliminated “DWTS” pro to join their team. As the judges pointed out, everyone brought their A-game. James and Sharna kicked off the trio dances, enlisting the help of Jenna Johnson who filled in for Sharna during her brief injury. Terra and Sasha called on Artem Chigvintsev, who was previously partnered with Maureen McCormick. Jana and Gleb brought Alan Bursten on board after he filled in for the “DWTS” pro in weeks prior. Calvin and Lindsay called on former pro Witney Carson, while Laurie and Val looked to family, bringing Maksim Chmerkovskiy onto their team.
At the end of the trio performances Tom announced that it was time to say goodbye to one of the remaining couples. Laurie and Val were first to be called safe with two perfect scores in the semifinals. James and Sharna along with Jana and Gleb were the next teams safe from being sent home. That left Calvin and Lindsay or Terra and Sasha in danger of ending their “DWTS” career right then and there. With just minutes left in the show, it was revealed that despite delivering power packed performances for weeks, Terra and Sasha were going home.
The “DWTS” finale kicks off Monday, Nov. 21, at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.