with the Stars” said goodbye to one pair on Monday night, setting up a major showdown for Tuesday’s Season 21 finale.
alert! This story reveals who went home on “DWTS.”)
opening paired routines were all stellar, and this season’s freestyles were
original and powerful, but one pair who competed on Monday were cut before the
Carlos PenaVega and Witney Carson said goodbye at the end of Monday night’s show, after a perfect scoring evening for the duo.
“First of all, I thank God for this opportunity,” Carlos said after learning he and Witney were leaving the competition. “It has been life changing. My marriage is so much stronger, I’ve made some amazing friends [and] most importantly like, I’ve learned so much about myself and I have the best partner in the world.”
Carlos and Witney got a warm sendoff when they were embraced by the three pairs who are going on to compete in Tuesday’s finale – Bindi Irwin and Derek Hough, Nick Carter and Sharna Burgess, and Alek Skarlatos and Linsday Arnold.
It was a huge night for celebs Bindi and Nick, who tied at the top of the leaderboard with their respective pro partners, as both pairs took home perfect scores across two rounds of competition. Their freestyles though, in the second round, were what really impressed.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the “DWTS” house after Bindi and Derek took to the floor for an emotional contemporary-flavored freestyle that was acrobatic and moving. Their number ended in an embrace by the partners as a photo of a young Bindi with her late father, Steve Irwin, appeared on the stage screen behind them.
“That was brilliant and that was a dancer’s freestyle,” a very-moved Carrie Ann Inaba said.
“I want to start off by saying thank you to your mom and dad for
creating you because this has been such a joy for me to watch, to
experience you every week, the way you dance. I kind of gloss over it
because I know everybody knows how fantastic you are, I was like the
determination, the power, the charisma, the artistry, the vulnerability,
the poignancy — what you do is you do each moment to its fullest
potential, you do each dance to its fullest potential and I am grateful
for you,” she added.
Fellow judge Julianne Hough had to choke back tears to share her praise for the teenage competitor.
“You’ve completely left an imprint on each and every one of us and all of our hearts… it was beautiful,” Julianne said.
Bruno Tonioli was equally moved by the Bindi/Derek freestyle.
“My darling, what you did, you showed us the power of dance in its most pure and affected form. You danced from the heart and you touched everybody’s soul, not just here, but I think all over America, and that is a great achievement.”
After wiping away tears, the audience was treated to a high-powered showstopper that closed out Monday night’s show. Nick and Sharna performed a routine to the Backstreet Boys’ “Larger Than Life,” and they thrilled the crowd and the judges.
“It was so tight,” Julianne raved. “You were up there with all professional dancers and you nailed every single bit [of choreography].”
Bruno said he wished he could have gotten in on the act.
“What a way to finish the night. I felt like a fan, I wanted to join in,” he laughed.
Carrie Ann was also floored by Nick’s freestyle, calling it “freaking awesome,” and said he and Sharna “killed it.”
The evening ended with the two celebs – Bindi and Nick – Season 21’s earliest frontrunners heading into Tuesday’s final battle for the mirrorball on equal footing.
But no one should count Alek and Lindsay out. While their first routine of the night found them earning just 27 points (out of 30), their freestyle netted them a perfect score. It impressed judges and the audience as the pair managed to combine an obstacle course into the choreography.
“No obstacle is insurmountable and no challenge is too great when you have faith, and you have translated this perfectly into dance,” Bruno said.
The leaderboard on Monday night was:
- Bindi & Derek 60/60
- Nick & Sharna 60/60
- Alek & Lindsay 57/60
— Jolie Lash
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