'Dancing with the Stars' semifinals recap: Emotional night on the dance floor ends in heartbreak

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Tuesday, November 19, 2019
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"Dancing with the Stars" is just one week away from crowning the new mirror ball champion for Season 28 after this week's heartbreaking elimination.

LOS ANGELES -- "Dancing with the Stars" is just one week away from crowning a new mirror ball champion. Still left to duel it out on the dance floor: James Van Der Beek, Hannah Brown, Kel Mitchell, Ally Brooke, and Lauren Alaina.

In the semifinal round, the five remaining celebrity and pro-dancer couples competed in two rounds. First, a "do over," a redemption round where they perform a style of dance they struggled with earlier in the season. In the second round, the couples are asked to perform a style of dance they had not yet done.

Here's a rundown of the week's judges scores, from highest to lowest:

Ally Stone- 29 out of 30, 30 out of 30 - 59 out of 60 total

Len asked Ally and Sasha to redo their Viennese waltz. They did the dance in Week 2 and her scores were not strong. Head coach Len Goodman coached them through some "finishing" movements and after the performance in the ballroom Len was thrilled. He told Ally she was turning from a caterpillar into a butterfly. Bruno Tonioli thought the dance had perfect pitch, and Carrie Ann Inaba told Ally her emotions come out in a magical way on the dance floor. The second dance of the evening let Ally show a completely different side to herself: the Charleston. Len called the routine fast, fun and fabulous; Bruno thought it was sparkling, exuberant fun. And Carrie Ann told Ally that if her goals were to show that she deserves to be in the finals, mission accomplished.

Kel Mitchell- 27 out of 30, 30 out of 30 - 57 out of 60 total

Bruno is assigned to help Kel and Witney with their revamped Tango. Kel is happy because he says Bruno has always given him encouraging words. Bruno called Kel the perfect student who delivered all he asked and gave the audience, and the judges, a proper tango. Carrie Ann called the routine refined and controlled. Kel's second dance was a contemporary and its story left the ballroom in stunned silence in a good way. He related a story about a childhood friend who he lost to gun violence. Witney choreographed a dance to "I Will Always Love You" and it brought Carrie Ann to tears. She thanked Kel for sharing his story and his truth. Bruno called the dance sincere, honest and pure art. And Len simply stood up and gave the couple a standing ovation. The entire ballroom followed his lead.

Lauren Alaina-27 out of 30, 27 out of 30 - 54 out of 60 total

Len also mentored Lauren through another round of Pasodoble. He wants to see more traditional moves in Gleb's choreography. He got what he asked for, and called the routine much improved. Carrie Ann added that Lauren has come very far and is commanding the dance floor. Her second dance was the Viennese waltz, done to one of Lauren's favorite songs "Humble and Kind" by Tim McGraw. She said she tries to live her life by the sentiments of the song, and gives all credit to her family for instilling strong values in her. Len thought the dance was smooth, elegant and graceful; Bruno called it sophisticated with plenty of chemistry and connection; and Carrie Ann said she feels like she's watching her little girl grow up.

Hannah Brown- 27 out of 30, 27 out of 30 - 54 out of 60 total

The rockiest judge visit was with Hannah and Carrie Ann. Hannah said she likes how Carrie Ann pushes her, but apparently it had been a rough day when this visit took place and Hannah was very emotional. Carrie Ann let her know she, and Len and Bruno, are just trying to help with the criticism and offered Hannah a hug. Hannah declined. The Rumba Hannah and Alan performed in the redemption round was much improved, and Hannah and Carrie Ann ended up hugging it out. The second round let Hannah release any angst and emotion she was keeping inside. Alan choreographed a meaningful contemporary routine to Selena Gomez's "Lose You to Love Me" and it fit perfectly. All three judges liked the dance, and the dynamic they show as a duo.

James Van Der Beek-24 out of 30, 27 out of 30 - 51 out of 60 total

Once again, it's Len who serves as coach, this time on a redemption Cha-cha-cha. James did that dance in Week 2, which he said feels like a lifetime ago. Len thought the first dance had too many gimmicks. Unfortunately, Emma choreographed another routine that mixed too much disco with the Cha-cha for Len's taste. Bruno thought James's timing was off a few times, and Carrie Ann said his posture appeared tight. We later found out why James was a little "off." His wife suffered a miscarriage earlier in the week. He planned to drop out, but his wife Kimberly told him she was not done watching him dance. James said when words fail you, you sing; when there are no words, you dance. Of course there were mega tears from just about everyone after he and Emma did a moving foxtrot. The judges all admired James for showing up, and sharing so much emotion on the dance floor.

The moment of truth comes and it's the toughest thing these judges have had to do all season. We learn Kel, Hannah and Lauren are dancing through to the finale. That leaves James and Ally in jeopardy. Both Carrie Ann and Bruno choose to have Ally stay for the last round. That means James is sent home.