‘Dancing with the Stars 21 review: Carlos PenaVega, Alek Skarlatos lead off top 7 show

Carlos -

Tonight, “Dancing with the Stars” is exploring quite a few different avenues. For one, the Stars are going to paying tribute to some of the people who inspired them over the course of their lives. Also, they are going to also have a chance to do a showdown that pits many of the contestants against one another to earn a few more points. As you would expect, the spirit of competition is perhaps even more alive than it has been in the past.

We’re going to have some other updates on many of these performances over the course of the night. Therefore, be sure to refresh the page often!

Carlos PenaVega and Witney Carson, salsa – You never want to go first on the night, since it feels mostly like the judges are always harder on the first batch of people. Still, kudos to Carlos and Witney for giving an energetic and pretty-fun number accented only by a few minor technical issues here and there. On the whole, a nice performance. Score: 27.

Alek Skarlatos and Lindsay Arnold, contemporary – We are not going to deny that the story of Alek is truly moving. However, at the same time we also have to comment on some of the sloppier steps and the almost disastrous lift that was in the middle of this routine. Alek is a nice guy, but his time on the competition may be starting to run short. Score: 25.

Andy Grammer and Allison Holker, Viennese waltz – We felt like maybe the judges were a little harsh on Andy here, though to be fair, we do think that he was in part distracted by thinking about his mother (who he dedicated this dance to) during the majority of the routine. The heart was there, but there were a few holes throughout when it comes to the technique. Score: 22.

Alexa PenaVega and Mark Ballas, Argentine tango – It’s interesting, but are we starting to see the competition get to everyone’s head tonight? There have been more struggles tonight than we are used to at this stage of the competition, and we’re not sure if it is nerves or the pressure of being so far along. The mood was right, but there were some mistakes in here. Score: 25.

Nick Cannon and Sharna Burgess, contemporary – “Best judge ever” was a term bandied about here, at least when comparing this to Nick’s other routines. We’d agree. This was one of the first times we really felt him completely open up his heart in addition to deliver the dance moves and the performance of the routine. We could tell that this did not come easy for Nick, and that may be why we enjoyed it more. Score: 30.

Bindi Irwin and Derek Hough, foxtrot – Hey, they couldn’t get perfect scores forever, right? This was still a fun foxtrot that gave Bindi a lot to do, and she did great despite having a lot of bumps and bruises thanks to the competition. We don’t think she’ll be in any danger for a while after this one. Score: 28.

Tamar Braxton and Val Chmerkovskiy, paso doble – Okay, let’s ignore the edited package about how they don’t like the edited package. Complaining about editing gets you nowhere! Ultimately, what matters is that she is an excellent danger, and she has a chance still of winning the competition. Score: 28.

Ultimately, we found the dance-offs to be relatively useless. Alexa and Carlos got a little bit of a boost to their scores, and that’s really it. Andy Grammer did, but he’s now gone.

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