‘Dancing with the Stars’ 21 review: Bindi Irwin, Nick Carter, and Alexa PenaVega try to up their game

Bindi -

Tonight’s new episode of “Dancing with the Stars” is intense, but at the same time, it is also a little bit abnormal compared to everything that we have seen so far this season.

If you missed it, the news has already broke regarding Tamar Braxton and her illness. Hopefully, she will be back later to perform, but nobody knows at the moment. We’ll hopefully have some other information later, but for now we have to go ahead and get to the performances … live.

Alek Skarlatos and Lindsay Arnold – We feel like this package plus the performance was Alek openly admitting to being the guy who, in terms of skill, probably should go home. Yet, he did the chest-waxing and took part in a fun routine that at least entertained us … even if the moves are off. Score: 24.

Alexa PenaVega and Mark Ballas – It was easy to be carried away into the emotion of this routine, mostly because Alexa was talking about something in the process of it that is so raw in comments that were made to her about her weight in the past. This dance was something that she put everything into, and it showed. Score: 30.

Carlos PenaVega and Witney Carson – Carlos’ routine had a long passion and great tango movements, but what was with the door? It felt a little disjointed and never really rose to that next level. It should be good enough for Carlos to stay still … provided that voters do the predictable thing. Score: 27.

Bindi Irwin and Derek Hough – There was a lot of hype going into this dance about Bindi wearing a blindfold, and she did for a part of the dance. With that said, what we really enjoyed about it more was the fluidity, the musicality, and that leap near the end. Score: 30.

Tamar Braxton and Val Chmerkovskiy – The rehearsal footage was judged and scored, since Tamar was not able to be there to do the routine live. As a result, it was clear that this looked like a rehearsal. The passion and the connection was missing, but then again, they probably did not intend for this to be scored. Score: 22.

Nick Carter and Sharna Burgess – We closed part one with a solid performance from Nick that really can be described as such: “Solid.” It was far from the most memorable performance. We liked the routine itself, but felt that it just didn’t have that spark. We though Nick would’ve had it in spades after watching everyone else. Score: 28.

Now, let’s move on to the pair routines!

Carlos / Witney and Alek / Lindsay – Given how close Lindsay and Witney are in real life, we expected something a little more electric. This was serviceable, but there is almost no chance we remember this in one week’s time. Score: 24.

Bindi / Derek and Alex / Mark – A great tribute to “Chicago.” Plenty of fun, tight choreography, and a lot of energy in here. This was probably the sort of thing that these dances were made for in the first place. Score: 30.

Tamar / Val and Nick / Sharna – She made it back! The funny thing here is that while this was not a great routine and probably over-scored (Tamar was clearly out of it), her recovery may actually help her get votes. Score: 27.

For tonight’s results, head over to the link here now! Also, sign up here to gather up some other TV news on everything we cover via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: NBC.)

Love TV? Be sure to like CarterMatt on Facebook for more updates!