'Dancing With the Stars': Lauren Alaina Pays Tribute to Late Stepfather With Emotional Dance

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Lauren Alaina
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Lauren Alaina beautifully paid tribute to her "No. 1 fan" on Monday's Dancing With the Stars

The teary-eyed country star took to the dance floor with pro partner Gleb Savchenko to perform a heartbreaking contemporary number to her deeply personal new song, "The Other Side." The performance wasn't an easy one for Alaina, as Monday also marked one year since the death of her stepfather, Sam Ramker, whom she wrote the song about following his death last October from cancer.

Prior to the dance, Alaina teared up while discussing just how difficult this night was going to be for her and her family. "He made my mom so happy, changed my mom's life," she said. "I wrote this song in his memory. I wanted to write a song that did him justice."

"He couldn't hear me sing without crying because he was so proud of me," she continued. "It destroyed me ... I wrote this song so that he can live on, and never be forgotten."

Savchenko choreographed the stunning routine, revealing that he wanted Alaina to dance as if she were talking to her stepdad. Alaina also shared that her mother was flying out to be in the ballroom this week, to witness the memorable dance and be there for support. 

"You're a brave woman," judge Carrie Ann Inaba told Alaina after the dance. "You touched all of our hearts tonight. It was so beautiful. You should be proud of what you did tonight.

"To come out and dance with so much emotion and a performance that is worthy of yourself, your stepfather and Gleb, well done," added Len Goodman. The performance received a total of 26/30 from the judges.

Earlier in the day, the 24-year-old singer spoke with former DWTS champion Bobby Bones on his radio show, where she said she was "definitely going to cry" while performing on the emotional day. On Instagram, Alaina paid tribute to Ramker with a sweet photo of the pair posing with her mother, Kristy.

"He was always my champion," she wrote of her late stepfather. "He was always my number one fan. Now he’s my guardian angel. I can’t believe my stepdad has been gone a year today. This is going to be an extremely hard day for my family, but I know Sam is with us and is so proud of us all. I am dancing for you tonight Sammy. I’m giving mom all the biggest hugs she deserves. We miss you. See you on The Other Side."

Alaina received an outpouring of support from her DWTS family on the post, with host Erin Andrews commenting, "Love u babe," while fellow contestant Karamo Brown offered, "If you need anything at all today I’m here for you." Savchenko and Sailor Brinkley-Cook also commented on the post with several heart emojis.

The singer has had a few trying moments so far this season. Following her week four performance, she revealed to Andrews that she missed several days of rehearsal that week because her cousin, Holly, had been hospitalized and had to undergo emergency brain surgery.

"She's doing much better than the doctors anticipated and I just wanted to dance for her tonight," Alaina told ET's Lauren Zima following the show. "I feel like, in a way, I channeled that, and Holly got us four 8s!"

See more on the country star's DWTS journey in the video below. 

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