'Dancing With the Stars': Emotional Semifinals End In Heartbreaking Elimination -- See Who Got Sent Home
By Zach Seemayer
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Dancing With the Stars returned on Monday and the final five couples are facing off in a heated semifinals round.
This week, the celebs and their pro partners are performing two different dances in an effort to score points from the judges and earn viewer votes. The couples will first perform a redemption dance -- i.e. a dance style they struggled with earlier in this season -- and then a new, original routine.
As Judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli judge the performances -- and hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews add their own commentary to the competition -- ET is following along throughout the two-hour episode to break down all the best dances, emotional moments and the most shocking scores.
The show kicks off on Monday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC, and ET is bringing you all the highlights in real time.
Who's Going to the Finale and Who's Going Home?
Kel and Witney are the first couple to move on, followed by Hannah and Alan.
The third couple going on is Lauren and Gleb.
This means the bottom two is made up of the season's two best couples -- Ally and Sasha, as well as James and Emma.
It was a very tough call for the judges, but Carrie Ann and Bruno both vote to save Ally, and the decision makes her burst out into tears -- not of joy, but of legitimate sadness over James' elimination.
Ally even tries to "give it to James," offering to let James go on instead of her, but that's not really allowed, according to the judges.
James, for his part, seems resolute in the decision and hugs Ally -- as well as the rest of his cast mates, who are all as stunned as Ally is.
Wow, that was a truly shocking conclusion to one of the most emotional DWTS episodes in years.
Hannah and Alan Act Out A Heartbreak in a Touching Contemporary Routine
Hannah gets emotional once more in her touching pre-taped package, telling Alan, "My Bachelorette experience did not go like I thought it would," and revealing that her time on the reality dating show left her more confused and turned around than she could have anticipated.
"The disappointment and the heartbreak is what has made me strong," she shares. "I do want to find love one day, but I am totally fine being on my own."
As they hit the stage, the pair deliver a beautiful contemporary routine set to Selena Gomez' recently released new single "Lose You to Love Me."
The pair act out an entire relationship in their routine, from the love and intimacy to the fighting and heartache, and it was a gorgeous work of fluid art.
Bruno praises the number, while Carrie Ann says the trust they show in each other is wonderful.
Even Len, who says he isn't a fan of contemporary routines, complimented how they managed to dance together.
"This dance, especially, was theraputic," Alan says while the pair chat with Erin.
For their efforts, the duo earn three 9s for a total of 27 out of 30 for another combined total of 54 out of 60.
James Dances Through Personal Family Tragedy.
The fact that James is even dancing with week is insane. He revealed in his pre-taped package that he and his wife suffered a miscarriage.
James explained, through tears, that his wife is the one who encouraged him to perform this week, and it's through her strength that he's able to carry on.
James and Emma take to the stage for a powerful foxtrot routine set to "Take Me to Church" by Hozier, and it's a stunning number, made all the more powerful by James' emotional reveal.
James broke down crying after the number as he and Emma fell to their knees on the stage after the song came to an end.
"When tragedy strikes, it puts everything into perspective... for you to come out and dance with so much feeling and emotion, I respect you so much," Len says.
Bruno says he and the fellow judges were so involved in the dance, it was hard to even watch because of it.
James was hugged by his daughter after the feedback while speaking with Erin, and James used the opportunity to thank his wife for pushing him and shares his love for her.
In terms of their scores, the duo earned 27 out of 30 for their routine, for a total of 54 out of 60.
Ally and Sasha Deliver a 'Classic Hollywood Musical Number' With Their Amazing Charleston
For their Charleston, Ally and Sasha are going retro to the big bang Benny Goodman hit "Sing, sing, sing," and the pair dance, dance, dance their hearts out in one of the most lively numbers of the night.
Rocking matching canary yellow suits, Sasha and Ally bust out some moves we've not seen on the show in some time, and Ally proves she truly does deserve a place in the finals with the kind of routine that will be used in DWTS best-of packages for years to come.
Carrie Ann says "If your goal was to prove you deserve to be in the finals, consider it done, done, done!"
Len says, "It was fast, it was fun, it was fabulous. It was a joyful performance."
Bruno says the dance was "barnstorming fun" and that it was a "tonic for the spirit." He also praises how it looked like a "classic Hollywood musical number."
The pair snag the night's second perfect score, making their combine total for the night 59 out of 60.
Kel and Witney Gets a Standing Ovation (Even From Len!)
For their second dance, Kel and Witney are dancing a contemporary routine set to Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You," and things get emotional even before the performance.
In their pre-taped package, Kel somberly recalled a story of how he lost his best friend in childhood to gun violence, and he dedicates their contemporary number to his late friend.
Kel and Witney's beautiful performance is steeped in an ethereal quality and the comic is brought to tears by the emotion of the moment.
Bruno calls the dance "pure art" and praises the "sincerity" of the performance.
Carrie is brought to tears by the routine, and Len doesn't give feedback at all, simply standing up and clapping for the performance -- a rare sight from the famously cantankerous judge.
"I was thinking about Sam. We just recently had a high school shooting in California, I was thinking about that," Kel said, before begging everyone to "choose love" over violence.
The effusive love from the judges is reflected in their trio of 10s, giving the pair the night's first perfect score and a combined total of 57 out of 60.
Lauren and Gleb Show Off 'Humble' and Classy Viennese waltz
For her second semifinals dance, Lauren dedicates the performance to her parents, for fostering and supporting her dream of being a country singer.
And it's a beautiful tribute as the songstress and her partner hit the dance floor for an elegant Viennese waltz set to Tim McGraw's "Humble and Kind."
Rocking a beautiful, billowing pink gown, Lauren looks every bit the angelic princess she clearly is on the inside.
"It's elegant, it's beatiful and it's graceful," Len marvels.
Bruno said it was "sophisticated" and "classy" and said Lauren and Gleb's connection is "beautiful."
Carrie Ann says the pair have learned to truly dance as one, which is key to the Viennese waltz.
While the dance was met with nothing but praise, the pair can't quite crack the ceiling they've faced this season and earn three 9s for another 27 out of 30, making their combined score 54 out of 60.
James and Emma Bring the "Heat" for Their Disco Cha-Cha
The cha-cha has been James' weakness -- in fact, when he and Emma performed it in Week 2, they got their lowest scores of the whole season. So, as the pair got Len as their mentor, it only makes sense that he's choose that style for their redemption dance.
James and Emma brought disco to life with their mirror ball-inspired ensembles, and James used his charismatic energy to slay the stage as the two danced a fun, wild cha-cha set to Jamiroquai's "Canned Heat."
Sadly, Len doesn't like "the gimmicks" that they have in the dance, and he thinks there was "too much messing about going on throughout the dance."
Bruno, meanwhile, calls it a "disco cha-cha extravaganza," but critiques James for being a bit off his timing, which he says surprised him.
Carrie Ann says the number was "really entertaining" but critiques his posture.
Surprisingly, the pair earned three 8s for a total of 24 out of 20 -- a notable improvement over the 20 they earned in Week 3, but the pair are understandably underwhelmed.
Hannah and Carrie Ann Hash Out Their Differences Before Sultry Rumba
Hannah and Alan (predictably) get paired with Carrie Ann -- with whom Hannah has always had something of an adversarial relationship with.
In their pre-taped package, the pair have something of an emotional confrontation during the rehearsals. As Carrie Ann critiques the dance, Hannah is overcome and brought to tears.
Carrie Ann feels bad about the way Hannah has been impacted by her comments in the past, and ends up crying herself.
However, there's nothing to cry about when it comes to Hannah and Alan's super romantic rumba set to "Dancing With a Stranger" by Sam Smith and (DWTS alum) Normani.
The pair send almost the entire dance almost kissing, and deliver easily the most sensual performance of the season or maybe of all time.
"I am so sorry if it seemed like I was dismissive of you trying to help me... I was having a really hard day that day," Hannah tells Carrie Ann before the judges' feedback. "I'm so sorry if it seemed like anything else."
The pair then hash out their disagreements with a hug (while Alan hugs Bruno, just for fun).
Carrie Ann says the dance was "well done" and that she's "proud" of Hannah's work.
Len says it was "a very nice dance" and that they married the different elements of the rumba beautifully.
Bruno is also effusive in his praise for her footwork.
In Week 3, the pair delivered a rumba that earned them 21 out of 30. This time around, the couple earn a 27 out of 30 with three 9s.
Ally and Sasha Dance a 'Perfect' Viennese Waltz
Ally and Sasha get paired with Len for their redemption, and the judge is having them re-do their Viennese waltz -- which they performed in Week 2 and didn't exactly wow Len the first time around.
This time around, the pair are dancing in the dark, performing their number to the romantic Ed Sheeran tune "Perfect." And, much like Lauren and Gleb's dance set to "Stronger," the title of this song is very apt for the dance they deliver.
Ally is brought to tears by the emotional performance and Sasha once again proves he's a perfect gentleman.
Len says the dance is a "metamorphosis" for Ally, adding that she's gone "from a caterpillar to a butterfly" during the show.
Bruno says the dance was "a joy to watch."
Carrie Ann says Ally's emotions and her personality are "a gift."
"I'm just so blessed to be his partner... and this whole journey has been so life changing and wonderful," Ally said through tears as she hugged Sasha. "I just love him."
The pair earned a 20 out of 30 for their Viennese waltz the first time around. This time, they knock that out of the water with an impressive 29 out of 30, earning 10s from Bruno and Carrie Ann and a 9 from Len.
Kel and Witney Dish Out a Tempting Tango
For Kel and Witney's redemption dance, the pair are mentored by Bruno, who wants them to re-do their lackluster Week 1 tango.
This time around, the duo return to the ballroom and tango their hearts out in a routine set to "The Way You Do the Things You Do" by The Temptations.
The beaming couple rock matching flower print ensembles as they slay on the stage and wow the judges.
"I am so proud of you, you're the perfect student," Bruno marvels. "You delivered everything that I asked."
Carrie Ann is wowed by how "refined" Kel's dancing has become, and his "attention to detail" and she says she thinks he's "come the farthest" of all the contestants.
Len says he liked "the intensity" and praises Kel for the way he "attacked the dance."
In Week 1, the pair earned a 16 out of 30 for their tango. This time around, they snag a 27 out of 30, so their progress is incredibly apparent.
Lauren and Gleb Show Off 'Stronger' Paso Doble
For Lauren and Gleb's redemption, the pair are mentored by Len, who challenges them to re-do their paso doble in an effort to really wow him.
Given some pointers on exactly what Len's looking for, Lauren and Gleb hit the dance floor for a super steamy, powerful paso doble number set to Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger."
As it turns out, the song's title is very appropriate for the number, which showed a very fierce, commanding energy from the country songstress that we really haven't seen this season.
Len says the dance "had a lovely mix of expression and aggression."
Bruno says Lauren "handled" the dance "beautifully" and that it was, over all, a "great, great job."
Carrie Ann says Lauren "has become a woman who commands the dance floor."
As expected, the scores are definitely stronger than their first paso doble (back in Week 2, when they earned a 19 out of 30). The pair get three 9s across the board for a total of 27 out of 30.
The Semifinals Are Here
As Tom says, "We are in for a thrilling night with a lot of confetti," and it's almost too exciting for words!
Let's get to these redemption dances!
Here's how the stars stand as of the end of last week:
Ally & Sasha - 40, 40 (80)
Kel & Witney - 34, 40 (74)
James & Emma - 36, 36 (72)
Hannah & Alan - 32, 39 (71)
Lauren & Gleb - 34, 36 (70)