'Dancing With the Stars' Episode 8: Hannah Brown Has the 'Comeback of the Season' (RECAP)
Tonight, after the individual performances, the couples go head-to-head with one another in honor of "Dance-Off Night" for the chance to earn bonus points. Read on to find out who was eliminated and which star earned the first perfect score of the season!
Sean Spicer's dance
The former White House Press Secretary had an extra challenging week as he had to practice and perform with a brand new pro dancer. His regular partner, Lindsay Arnold, sadly lost her mother-in-law and flew home to be with her loved ones during this difficult time. But the show must go on, and Jenna Johnson, who previously paired with Karamo, stepped in temporarily.
Spicer and Jenna performed a nautical inspired number to "Come Sail Away" by Styx. Overall, the judges were still not impressed with his technique, but his ability to adapt to a new partner last minute certainly deserves some credit.
"We keep throwing you off the boat and the viewers keep throwing you a life preserver," joked judge Len Goodman, playing off of the theme of the dance. "Sean I respect your effort, well done."
"You don't have many Jazz bones in your body, do you?" added Bruno Tonioli. "When it comes to fish out of water, nobody does it better."
The new pair earned two 7s and a 6, totaling 20 out of 30.
Lauren Alaina's dance
After earning her highest score of the season last week, the country star had her work cut out for her. This week, she and Gleb Savchenko performed an upbeat Jive dance to "Hound Dog" by Elvis Presley. Complete with high knees and sharp kicks, it's no surprise the judges were pleased.
"The king himself would've loved this performance," Bruno said, but stil called out the singer for making a few technical errors. "At this stage in the competition, you really have to be careful not to make those mistakes, but it was still a great performance."
Though Lauren welled up a bit in fear that her missteps could cost her the competition, Len reassured her, saying that she "deserves" to be there.
Even with the mistakes, the Southern belle earned 8s across the board, totaling 24 out of 30.
Kel Mitchell's dance
The former Nickelodeon star danced a high-energy Salsa to "This Is How We Do It" by Montell Jordan, who also starred on All That back in the '90s.
"The way you move Witney, you are leading! She's trusting you. All that and a bag of chips," Carrie Ann Inaba said.
"Plenty of junk in the trunk, those hips were going to town. As Carrie Ann said, what I like: You were large and in charge," Len added. Bruno couldn't agree more, saying Kel is "always the main attraction."
And the positive sentiment reflected in his scores — including the first 10 of the season — two 9s and a 10.
Ally Brooke's dance
The popstar performed a Paso Doble to her own song, "Higher" in a captivating performance that blew the judges away.
"It was a mix of good technique and high performance and that is an irresistible combination. Well done," Len said. Carrie Ann agreed, calling Ally a "friggen superstar." "My mind is blown and you better work, honey," she added.
Ally's phenomenal performance earned her a perfect score (first one of the season!), which brought the popstar to tears. "I literally cannot say how happy I am. It's so special to be able to sing and dance to my own song. I'm just so thankful," she said.
Hannah Brown's dance
After a rough week with tough criticism from Carrie Ann, the former Bachelorette returned to the dance floor with a mission to be connected to her performance. This week, she performed the Quickstep with pro partner Alan Bersten to "American Girl" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and redeemed herself tenfold.
Bruno called her performance a "game-changer," as the reality star truly looked like she was having fun and living in the moment. "It was just beautiful, my darling."
Carrie Ann got out of her seat to give Hannah a hug after the incredible performance. "You were open-hearted. Every time you come on this dance floor, it's an opportunity to be your fullest self and that's all I was trying to encourage. And I know it was hard last week but I'm so proud because that was the comeback of the season."
The 25-year-old earned two 10s and a 9, totaling 29 out of 30.
Kate Flannery's dance
After landing in the bottom two last week, the actress had a lot of work to do. This week, she danced the Jive in matching outfits with Pasha Pashkov to "Heatwave" by Linda Ronstadt.
Len, who always has positive feedback for Kate and Pasha week after week, continued as usual: "You two are an absolute joy for me to watch and that was such a joyful performance. I look forward to seeing you both come back every week. It was not your best, but it certainly not your worst."
The Office star earned 8s across the board, totaling 24 out of 30.
James Van Der Beek's dance
The Dawson's Creek star performed a Contemporary dance to "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey, a song that reminds the actor about the difficult, early stages of his career.
After the beautiful, captivating performance — which left the audience in tears — the actor ran out into the audience to hug his parents, whom he credits for his career in show business.
The judges referred to his performance — which earned him a perfect score — as "absolutely exquisite," "flawless," and totally compelling."
In the dance-off round, every star (with the exception of James, who is exempt due to having the highest cumulative judges' score throughout the season) was paired up with another to go head-to-head. The winner of each round earned an additional two bonus points.
Kel vs. Ally
The actor and popstar competed against each other, dancing a Jive performance to "Don't Stop Me Now" by Queen.
Len was pleased with both performances, calling them "terrific." Carrie Ann agreed, adding, "You guys were both on fire, this is really hard. You certainly don't make our job easy."
Overall, Kel came out on top, with votes from Carrie Ann and Bruno.
Sean vs. Kate
The underdog competed against the actress with a Cha Cha to "Everybody Dance Now" and although Kate is a more technical dancer, Sean certainly brought the fun.
Not surprisingly, Kate won the dance-off, with votes from all three judges.
Hannah vs. Lauren
In a battle of the Southern belles, the reality star competed against the country singer, performing the Salsa to "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You" by Gloria Estefan.
"You guys brought the A-game. It's like the battle of the titans," Carrie Ann said. "You guys, I can't believe neither one of you have done these dances before. That was an amazing showcase of I don't know what. The girls are in it to win it."
Though both ladies absolutely killed their performances, it was ultimately Hannah who won the dance-off, with votes from all three judges.
Who was eliminated from Dancing With the Stars?
Everyone thought Sean was the obviously choice for elimination, he was the first one called as safe tonight — to even his own surprise. It was Ally and Kate left in the final two tonight, with Kate being the one unfortunately sent home.
Dancing With the Stars, Mondays, 8/7c, ABC