High drama and mad fans after elimination on “Dancing With The Stars”

When you are this close to the DWTS finals, it’s so hard to go home for reasons unrelated to the dancing.

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Would another illness cause one star to go home early from DWTS? Photo: ABC
Would another illness cause one star to go home early from DWTS? Photo: ABC

SAN DIEGO, November 9, 2015 – We expected to see all seven remaining couples performing Monday on “Dancing With The Stars.” But Val Chmerkovskiy walked out without his partner, Tamar Braxton. Earlier during the dress rehearsal, she became ill and was taken to the hospital. Tamar reportedly has pneumonia.

As you will remember from earlier in the season when Kim Zolciak Biermann had a mini-stroke episode and was advised not to fly out to Los Angeles to perform, she had to leave the show according to the DWTS rules of competition. The same rules applied to Tamar and Val, but Tamar didn’t want this to happen to her. The alternative available to them was to submit video from the dress rehearsal before she had to leave. The Contemporary routine was beautifully conceived and staged, but none of the lifts were completed. The judges gave it 22 points. Val took it hard.

This would also affect the Duet Dances. Tamar and Val were scheduled to perform alongside Nick Carter and Sharna Burgess. More on this later.

Mark Ballas choreographed a Contemporary routine for partner Alexa PenaVega depicting her struggle with bulimia. Mark was dressed in black, playing the role of the disorder. Alexa was all in white, fighting against it. It was insightful, visually arrested and well executed. It gave Alexa and Mark their first perfect score of 30 points this season.

Bindi Irwin said she was so excited to dance her Viennese Waltz it made her shake every time. Photo: ABC
Bindi Irwin said she was so excited to dance her Viennese Waltz it made her shake every time. Photo: ABC

Bindi Irwin and Derek Hough danced an exquisite Viennese Waltz. Bindi’s fearlessness coupled with her sheer joy for dancing provided the perfect frame for her grace and skills. The waltz had one of the best spins in 21 seasons. Bindi and Derek also received a perfect score of 30 points.

Nick Carter and Sharna Burgess couldn’t repeat last week’s perfect score due to a few small mistakes, but their Quickstep didn’t lack for attack and attitude, and it still earned a perfect 10 from judge Bruno Tonioli, plus two nines for 28 points.

Nick Carter got moral support on Monday from his fellow Backstreet Boys. Photo: ABC
Nick Carter got moral support on Monday from his fellow Backstreet Boys. Photo: ABC

Carlos PenaVega and Witney Carson danced a technically proficient Argentine Tango to the Justin Bieber hit “What Do You Mean?,” but both Carrie Ann Inaba and Julianne Hough said while skilled, it lacked the heat and fire of a classic Tango. The song choice wasn’t the best and it seemed rushed. The routine scored 27 points.

Alek Skarlatos was subjected to the full manscaping treatment in preparation for his Salsa routine with Lindsay Arnold. He was a good sport, even about the waxing. Did it help? Perhaps a little, but Alek’s progress is stalled compared to some of the other performers. He isn’t complaining; as he said, he’s been in worse places. The judges wanted to see more hip action. He received 24 points.

Tamar and Val’s Contemporary routine was beautifully staged and creative, but Tamar did not have the strength to fully perform the lifts in the routine. The judges had to comment on what they were given, and it scored 22 points. Val Chmerkovskiy is a professional but he still took it hard.

Viewers were informed before the Duet Dances round that Tamar was trying to make her way back to the studios at CBS Television City in Hollywood in time to compete live. Would she make it? Through Los Angeles traffic in the late afternoon? Do reality TV shows thrive on drama?

First up, Carlos and Witney with Alek and Lindsay danced a Paso Doble inspired by the musical “We Will Rock You.” Carlos got Alek more fired up than his norm, but judge Carrie Ann Inaba said the dance seemed to small for the big rock anthem. It scored 24 points.

Alexa and Mark and Bindi and Derek tackled the numbers “All That Jazz” and “Honey Pot” from the musical “Chicago” with all the razzle dazzle, attitude and sass it requires. The judges loved it; Julianne Hough paid what for her was the ultimate compliment, saying she wished she could have danced the number with them. It received a perfect score of 30 points.

Would Tamar make it back in time for her Duet Dance? Photo: ABC
Would Tamar make it back in time for her Duet Dance? Photo: ABC

Yes, Tamar made it back in time to join Val along with Nick and Sharna for a Rumba inspired by the Cirque du Soleil production “Love” set to the music of “Hey Jude.” Many fans haven’t warmed up to Tamar so far in the season, but everyone must admire her determination to stay in the competition, or at least go down swinging. It was fortunate the routine was a relatively gentle Rumba, and Tamar made it through nicely. The routine scored 27 points.

When it came time for elimination, it was important to remember it’s based on last week’s judges scores and fan votes. Standing under the red lights in the end were husband and wife, Alexa and Carlos. Minutes after having a perfect night on the scorebaord, it was Alexa and Mark who were eliminated. Fans expressed their unhappiness on social media; but in the end it’s fan votes that save a competitor or send her home.

Week 9 Results

Alexa PenaVega and Mark Ballas: Contemporary, 10-10-10 = 30 points
Duet dance: Jazz/Charleston, 10-10-10 = 30 points
TOTAL: 60 points ELIMINATED

Bindi Irwin and Derek Hough: Viennese Waltz, 10-10-10 = 30 points
Duet dance: Jazz/Charleston, 10-10-10 = 30 points
TOTAL: 60 points
1-855-234-5604

Nick Carter and Sharna Burgess: Quickstep, 9-9-10 = 28 points
Duet Dance: Rumba, 9-9-9 = 27 points
TOTAL: 55 points
1-855-234-5610

Carlos PenaVega and Witney Carson: Argentine Tango, 9-9-9 = 27 points
Duet Dance: Paso Doble, 8-8-8 = 24 points
TOTAL: 51 points
1-855-234-5605

Tamar Braxton and Val Chmerkovskiy: Contemporary, 8-7-7 = 22 points (Dress rehearsal)
Duet Dance: Rumba, 9-9-9 = 27 points
TOTAL: 49 points
1-855-234-5612

Alek Skarlatos and Lindsay Arnold: Salsa, 8-8-8 = 24 points
Duet Dance: Paso Doble, 8-8-8 = 24 points
TOTAL: 48 points
1-855-234-5601

Voting information: Viewers may cast their votes for their favorite couples via phone on Monday night during the show and up to one hour after the end of the DWTS broadcast in each time zone. Online voting at www.ABC.com and on Facebook at https://apps.facebook.com/votedwts/ is open for 24 hours, beginning from the start of each episode on the East Coast at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and closing at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Wednesday.

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Media Migraine in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +

Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities Digital News” when quoting from or linking to this story.  

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