Dancing With the Stars Week 10 Recap: Which Couple Has Your Vote Heading Into Next Week's Finale?

With the Mirrorball trophy so tantalizingly close, the tension during tonight’s two-hour Dancing With the Stars semifinals should have been tighter than Carlos PenaVega’s abs.

But without the prospect of another shocking, tear-stained exit – alas, Tamar Braxton’s withdrawal from the competition earlier this week (due to blood clots in her lungs) means all four remaining couples move safely into next week’s finale – we had to settle for a little DWTS history instead.

For the first time ever, our fearless couples tackled three dances on semifinals night: Couples’ dances; trio dances; and a dance-off challenge (for three extra bonus points). So let’s high-kick right to the highlights, rank tonight’s top dances and discuss your favorites for the Mirrorball trophy, shall we?

10. Nick Carter and pro Sharna Burgess (Tango): Looking a little shellshocked throughout, Nick fumbled through this performance — but didn’t you love, love, love Sharna’s subtle “I got you” mid-dance pep talk? Judges’ Score: 24/30

9. Alek Skarlatos and pro Lindsay Arnold vs. Carlos PenaVega and pro Witney Carson (Cha Cha): Bruno Tonioli called it a “chest off” competition and wanted more “wiggly bum” from both couples, while Julianne Hough, after noting Alek was still nicely waxed, said his musicality and technique were both a little off. Carrie Ann Inaba gave both her “well done” stamp of approval. Judges’ 3 Bonus Points Go To: Carlos and Witney.

8. Nick Carter and pro Sharna Burgess vs. Bindi Irwin and pro Derek Hough (Samba): Bindi was totally hip-tacular and totally stole the show here, but Nick came back strong from his opening stumble. Judges’ 3 Bonus Points Go To: Bindi and Derek

7. Bindi Irwin and pro Derek Hough (Salsa): It’s raining happiness! Julianne wanted a little more “down n’ dirty” salsa and Carrie Ann asked for a little more “edge,” but no matter, Bindi’s joyful performance made the ballroom downright giddy. Judges’ Score: 27/30

6. Alek Skarlatos and pros Lindsay Arnold/Emma Slater (Argentine Tango): Despite a powerful, dynamic start, this performance “lost a little stream” towards the end, according to Carrie Ann. Bruno called it “very, very effective,” but Julianne labeled it “melodramatic” then asked for even more drama! Alrighty, then! Judges’ Score: 27/30

5. Carlos PenaVega and pro Witney Carson (Contemporary): Seriously working a swingin’ rope in all his shirtless glory, Carlos went for something different – to mixed results. “I didn’t quite get it,” said Carrie Ann, to deafening “boos” from the ballroom, which kept coming during Julianne’s lukewarm comments. “As weeks are going by… you guys are losing your connection a little bit.” Harsh! But Bruno loved the innovative performance, calling it “bloody good” and “like watching Tarzan doing Cirque du Soleil.” Judges’ Score: 28/30

4. Carlos PenaVega and pros Witney Carson/Karina Smirnoff (Charleston): “I couldn’t take my eyes off of you,” said Carrie Ann of Carlos and this spectacular performance (though she held out for a “9”), while Julianne threw some good-humored shade at the ladies. “I thought you were the professional out there,” she winked at Carlos. Judges’ Score: 29/30

3. Alek Skarlatos and pro Lindsay Arnold (Waltz): “You captured this sweeping majesty and smoothness of a gliding eagle,” gushed Bruno, while Carrie Ann called this performance his “best ever” and Julianne called it “true dancing.” You could also call it perfect. Judges’ Score: 30/30

2. Nick Carter and pros Sharna Burgess/Peta Murgatroyd (Salsa): “All the Nick we have seen from day one was in that dance,” gushed Julianne, while Carrie Ann said simply, “the Backstreet Boy is back.” Mirrorball trophy alert, anyone? Judges’ Score: 30/30

1. Bindi Irwin and pros Derek Hough/Mark Ballas (Jazz): Bruno called this dance a “work of genius” while Carrie Ann was reduced to borderline cray, multiple repeats of “Whoa!” before she began to make some sense. “That was like a professional contemporary dance company!” she roared. Judges’ Score: 30/30

And with that, it’s your turn. Who’s your pick to win the Mirrorball trophy next week? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Lola says:

    I feel like I should just stop watching this season of DWTS. The show is clearly all Bindi, all the time. They may as well hand her the mirror ball trophy now and be done with it. Why waste tv time? Fans of others don’t even have a fighting chance at this point. Chalk that up as another Derek win. It’s quite obvious where this is going.

    And to air my other grievance with the show. Carrie Ann is showing her true colors more than ever. What’s up with her hate of Carlos? Did he kick her puppy or something? I’m not saying he’s the best dancer ever but she gives Alek higher scores than him? Carrie Ann was super hard on his individual performances, gives him lower scores and then she chose Alek over him in the dance off. Alek was quite awkward and not in sync. It was clear as day that Carlos won that round. Alek should have been gone weeks ago. I applaud these heroes for what they do but I feel like the voters aren’t voting for their dancing but for what they’ve done in life. It was the same with Noah last season.

    With all that said, I’m puling for a Nick Carter win.

    • Dmac says:

      I agree with everything you wrote. Alek drives me crazy, yes he was a hero but that doesn’t make him a good dancer and some of the other shows he acted like a entitled brat. As for Bindi, come on she is a good dancer but the way the judges act they are ready to hand them the mirror ball right now. The judges are very biased towards them.

      • frank says:

        It honestly doesn’t matter about the judges because in the end it’s viewer votes because the judges scores are so close.

        • But the reason the production and the judges have been so incredibly over the top in their praise of and scoring of Bindi and Derek is precisely to influence those voters. Do you really believe Bindi was in jeopardy last night? Absolutely not! That was to make their fans concerned that they might be in danger and to force them to make those votes! DWTS has always been obvious in what couple they wanted to win but this season, they have gone absolutely nuts. They have ruined the show for me this season. It is a shame because this used to be really fun to watch.

        • dwts says:

          This show is rigged. 9 out of 10 times the winner is someone the judges loved.

      • Fact is, the judges are judging the excellence of the dance. And this year, that would be Bindi. Flawless, almost every single dance that she and Derek perform….excellence offends you? How odd.

      • Elvira says:

        The show is called dancing with the stars. Let’s see real stars!!!!!! Athletes , actresses, actors,models and singers. Aleck is not a celebrity or star !!!!!!! He’s boring. Carlos and Alexa danced way better. Andy grammer danced much better than Alek!!! Julianne will never give her brother a low score. It seems as though it’s the Hough siblings show now!!!! They’re the golden children. Maks would make a terrific judge!!!!! Hopefully season 22 will bring a change. In my opinion Nick and Sharna are the best dancers!!!!!!!

    • Ginger Snap says:

      Stopped watching weeks ago and a was obvious then Bindi and Derek will win . Got bored and stopped watching .

      • kake526 says:

        But I enjoy watching her grow each week. That’s what it is about. Nick is already a dancer from Backstreet boys, so why is HE even there. Bendi had NO experience. Come on really?

        • dwts says:

          And being a dancer does not mean you know it all. You can be proficient in one category of dance and still not know other types of dance. DWTS is ballroom based, so Nick might not have experience in that category and it’s kind of like learning how to dance again. So just because Nick was a dancer from Backstreet Boys (who are a 90’s band who just recently started a tour again, so mind you he has not dance in probably a long time) does not mean he has an advantage or means he does not deserve to win.

          And unfortunately for Bindi she has a partner who is MAJORLY favored by DWTS not because of his sister because this has been going on for awhile. It’s sad because Derek is a great dancer but DWTS is like obsessed with him and do not value the other great pros as much.

          • Mary says:

            “Nick was a dancer from Backstreet Boys (who are a 90’s band who just recently started a tour again, so mind you he has not dance in probably a long time)”… you might be right about how Nick is not experienced in ballroom dancing as he is in other styles but I have to stop you right there when you said that the Backstreet Boys recently started touring… they’ve been touring (and recording) non stop, after their 2002/2003 hiatus, since 2005:

            – 2005: Up Close & Personal Tour
            – 2005/2006: Never Gone Tour
            – 2008/2009: Unbreakable Tour
            – 2009/2011: This Is Us Tour
            – 2011/2012: NKOTBSB Tour
            – 2013/2015: In A World Like This Tour

            Sorry for the length of the post but I needed to clarify this. Hope I didn’t bother you.

    • Angie says:

      I agree with this statement. I am getting soooo fed up of the judges giving high scores to people who can hardly dance, such as Alek. Seriously, everyone is grateful for his service. He is an upstanding American, but this show is called dancing with the stars and it should be based on dance, not anything else. I have also noticed how unfair they have been towards Carlos, who danced far better than Alek. It is soooo disappointing.
      My vote is for Nick.

    • Eagle Queen says:

      Agree with everything you said.

    • Kim says:

      My daughter said the same thing…”might as well give Bindi and Derek the trophy now”.
      Feel bad for the other contestants because they must know they don’t stand a chance.
      Keep voting everyone.

    • oh have a cry will ya …then don’t watch ..you might not wanna watch in that case as Bindi just won!!! the mirror ball hahahahahahaha suffer in your jocks …hater!!! hahahahahahaha

      ….Ahhhhh life is good :oD

  2. alek should be in 4th place period
    what he did was great & he is a GOOD dancer but he is not the best dancer there by a mile

  3. Angela says:

    I will be very surprised if Bindi DOESN’T win next week. It’d be fine with me if she did win, too, ’cause I’ve been rooting for her from the start. Her jazz dance with Derek and Mark was definitely a highlight.
    But that said, I think the others gave her a good run tonight in many ways, especially in the trio dance round. Carlos’ Charleston with Witney and Karina was all sorts of fun, and I liked Nick’s dance with Sharna and Peta quite a bit, too. And I thought Alex’s Argentine Tango worked just fine-I liked the tension between him, Lindsay, and Emma. As of now, I’m thinking Bindi and Carlos will definitely be in the final three next week, after that…I dunno. Tough call. Nick and Alex both have their fans and they’ve both had really strong weeks. I’d be fine with whichever of the two takes that third spot, though.

  4. jake says:

    Nick got the lowest votes? He had the best dance tonight — vote!

  5. I loved Carlos’ Charleston tonight. I can’t wait to watch it again!

  6. We all should be cheering for Alek on DTWS. He is a hero! He actually fought in Afghanistan, for God’s sake!

    • jason says:

      yes, and he should receive full props for being a hero – however, it doesn’t automatically make him the best dancer, which is the point of this show. It’s called “Dancing with the Stars,” not “Who’s the Biggest Hero.”

    • Mark says:

      This is dancing, not war. We cheer for who we think is best dancing. If we go to war, I definitely want Alek on my side.

      • Noelle70 says:

        If we go to war, I’d want Alek in my team but Derek on my side. A loyal friend (20 years with Mark) and devoted brother (28 years with Julianne), Derek’s the kind of modest, humble guy who’ll come thru for you like a lion when the chips are down.

  7. Shaun says:

    Props to Val and Jenna,that dance was smoking!!

  8. Lauren says:

    I just did not get Bindi’s jazz performance. It didn’t feel like enough actual dancing. Buck’s trio was amazing. THAT was dancing! He has overcome a lot. He kinda feels like an underdog in this and I am rooting for him big time!

  9. Gloria says:

    Like to see Sharna win one!

  10. Moudsie says:

    I cannot believe Alek is still there–he’s okay, but not a great dancer–it’s gotta be a “sympathy vote” type thing–because it SHOULD be either Bindi or PenaVega who wins–but as we all know–it’s always been a popularity (or who can get as many people to vote for them–how else could Bristol Palin have lasted as long as she did), and the football players who won–when clearly the second place person was the best.

    • dwts says:

      DWTS always has an underdog in the finals and I think that is why Alek is still there. I mean if Tamar did not drop out and performed, her or Nick would have probably left only because they want Alek in the final four.

  11. jr. says:

    Carlos’s cha cha made you want to dance! All the other other dances, were too artzy!

  12. AmazedHuman says:

    Bindi is like a ray of sunshine in this dark world of ours. She and Derek are amazing…and the number they did with Mark? Unbelievably wonderful. I think, of all the ‘best’ couples ever on DWTS, Bindi and Derek might be the very best. And how people can be mad or upset at her for being terrific is beyond me. Me? I enjoy excellence, I admire it will my whole soul – and in this case, it’s Bindi!

    • Louisa says:

      Bindi and Derek are simply the best dancers. If for some reason you don’t care for them; separate that feeling from seeing their talent. They are a delight to watch.

  13. Bindi and Derek are amazing. And the number they did with Mark? Beyond fantastic. Bindi is like a ray of sunshine in this dark world of ours and her dancing skill is phenomenal. How can people be mad or upset at excellence? I admire it, enjoy it, and this year, the shining star is Bindi. She is utterly delightful to watch. Of all the ‘best’ couples that have been on DWTS, I think Bindi and Derek may be the best.

  14. Winn says:

    DWTS is becoming a joke! It is So very obvious that Bindi Irwin and Derek Hough will be handed the mirrorball before they even samba’d onto the floor. They did the same thing when Shawn Johnson was the chosen one. Shawn was a good dancer….but Gilles Marini and Cheryl Burke were GREAT. They were flawless…magical and a crowd pleaser but the judges managed to give the crown to Shawn and her partner. I stopped watching after that. My neighbor still watches it and I was over at her house for the Halloween special and the week before. Tamar Braxton and Val were liquid gold! But it was So obvious that the petty-pseudo judge named Carrie Anne wanted to take Tamar down a peg after Tamar made the statement that she felt she (Tamar) was the best dancer there. And How badly the judges combined co pettiness showed as they wanted to show Tamar that she wasn’t all that! Truthfully, . Tamar and Val should have gotten a 10. …and Carrie Anne should be replaced. Her critique is based on her lust for the contestant and it is WAYYY past her swan song. Julianne Hough should recuse herself as a judge since she is judging her brother. Nowhere on this planet can you judge a sibling in competition or a court of law. And don’t get me started on the high scores for Alek. He IS a Hero…but his feet are “heavy-lead-laden-bricks’. he is NOT graceful and should have exited WEEKs ago. DWTS has NOt regained it’s lost INTEGRITY since the Gilles Marino vs. “America’s Sweetheart” (Shawn Johnson) fiasco. After the way the judges scored Tamar…my neighbor No longer watches it either. Nick Carter and Sharna should win it….But, sadly, Julieanne’s brother Derek (whom I like a lot) and the judges favorite, Bindi Irwin will no doubt walk the trophy out!

  15. Andy Foltz says:

    21 years? Really? I am glad to say that I never once wasted my time watching this crap.

  16. Katherine Burden says:

    Dancing with the Stars is the best show on television!

  17. Barb J says:

    From the signing of her contract, she was going to win. That was the way it was planned. I am just wondering and may be way of the mark but, since she never wore heals and admits to not doing much dancing, could it be she has private lessons before DWTS began? I have never seen anyone dance like her without any experience. Just saying. All of the viewers are burning up the phone lines from here to Australia. Just too much of Bindi and everyone telling her how wonderful she is and the loss of her father and so on and so on and so on.
    She is a cute 17 years old kid that everyone, all over the world seem to just love.
    It only makes sense that she would win from the get go.
    DWTS producers better find people, next year, that really have talent. Also, this multi partner dancing and all the extras are way over the top.
    I can read the headlines now—Bindi DWTS wins mirror ball. You heard it hear. lol

  18. Bindi and Derek are such pros, she has come a long way and should have the mirrorball, her father would be so proud and besides she puts her heart and soul into each dance. Jolian

  19. SC says:

    It’s not dancing and these people are not stars. I stopped watching after the first season. “So You Think You Can Dance” is REAL dancing.

  20. Diana says:

    Once again I feel Derek has a partner he can take all the way. Let’s hope the voting agrees. For second place, I’m in a tie between Nick and Carlos.

  21. Suzy Peters says:

    Of course Derek and Bindi will win. He is the best pro, the judges’ favorite and it’s his turn to win. It’s obvious Bindi has had extensive dance training. Even Derek couldn’t teach her to point her toes, place her hands properly and use facial expression in a few short weeks. Personally I’d like to see anyone but Bindi win.

    • mysafelists19 says:

      ooow!, jealous much!!? …don’t make wild accusations that you can not backup …that’s very liable fighting words right there my friend :o)

      Bindi has never! had any kind of dancing lessons a day in her life, she has been far to busy in the last 10 years running her zoo and being a wildlife warrior, some people are actually naturally talented without even ever knowing it, there are probably things you can do that you have not even realized yet

      And by the way if the vote goes by if your American or not or a war hero or not.. well for your FYI Bindi is half American with a long American heritage …just incase you didn’t know

      She is the best dancer, don’t you yanks celebrate excellence? get over it, geeze!

  22. Kim R says:

    What a great episode! I enjoyed it from beginning to end. The trio dances were really well done. I voted above for Bindi and Derek because I do feel they are the best of the lot but I must be honest, not a fan of their “box, lightbulb on a rope” jazz routine in the trio dance. I felt there was more Mark in the choreography than Derek and it didn’t fit Bindi, for me. But the judges loved it so what do I know?! :D

  23. Allison Davies says:

    Whenever I vote I always vote on who i think deserves it .

  24. AngelWasHere says:

    I want Carlos to win, but Bindi will probably win it. They might as well give it to her now. lol Alek shouldn’t even be in the finale. He might be a hero, but he can’t dance.

  25. Dorothy McBrien says:

    Derek and Bindi have been my favorites since day 1. Hope they get the mirrorball!!

  26. Judy Hahn says:

    I agree Bindi will win….She is good, but so are the others…..I like Derek, but I hope he quits after this season….tired of him winning so much….and you are right about the judges….they gush over the ones they like…you’d think Bindi was a cute little puppy….

  27. Melody cook says:

    Nick had a really good last dance allthough bendihas been consistent the entire season she deserves to win

  28. Fritzie Taylor says:

    Love Derek and Bendi. Love Derek’s amazing routines. And Bendi’s contagious smile and sweet personality. They are my pick for this season. So enjoyed watching this season. Will hate itwhen yall stop Having THE DANCING WITH THE STARS.

  29. Hil says:

    I love dancing with the Stars very much and can’t wait for the next season to start it the best show on Tevelsion that i will watch beside Castle bring on dancing with the stars any time . I wish the show was on every night.

  30. Eleanor says:

    BIndi has never danced in her life, never wore heels ,this is all new for her.To go from taking care of animals to this is amazing.Derk is all about his partners he can make a dancer out of anyone.If you do like the judging do not watch. Ask yourself if you can do what they can do, keep your comments to yourself. I am 87 yrs young and yes I vote for Bindi every week.

  31. betty says:

    I think Bindi is a true winner. She just gets better ever time I watch her. She also truly seems to enjoy dancing and puts all her emotions and energy in every dance. Go Bindi!

  32. Stacey says:

    Love Bindi & Derek! Some say she’s had pre program training. Hasn’t anyone heard of natural talent or ability? How about people who hear a song & then sit and play that song on a piano with no lessons? Some people are just born with the ability to pick up things fast. How do you know Bindi isn’t one of those? Hope het & Derek take the mirtor ball. My favorite couple since Val & Rumer!

  33. Lauren says:

    Wouldn’t it be nice if Derek Hough didn’t win, yet again, another trophy. They set him up every year with the best partner. Personally, I would love to see Sharna win this year with Nick Carter. Her choreography is off the charts and I am seriously enamored with Nick. He is a great dancer!

  34. 1. Bindi and Derek are going to win. The show have become predictable. And predictability is boring.
    2. I stop watching the show as a competition since Kellie Pickler season, and started watching it as a big choreographed production. So, in my mind the producers decided who is going to win in, a board meeting. And then some writers and choreographers plan the whole season. With a story line, characters arcs, maybe even a villain. And then at the season finale the winner is announces. The End.
    3. I think the Pros are the real stars now. I don’t care about, Bindi, Carlos or Alex. I care about, Mark, Val, Sharna etc.
    4. I would love Sharna to win. But I don’t see it happening.

  35. Isabel says:


  36. Isabel says:

    Considering his background Alek is making miracles. It’s frankly underwhelming reading so many people using the word ‘Hero’ as an excuse to spit vitriol over him. Hyprocrisy at its best. Those who wrote he’s just good to save lives and should stick to it should be a bit ashamed of themselves.

    • JBC says:

      Agree! I enjoy the fact that both Alek and Bindi have never danced before and are doing so well. Enjoying this season because there have been so many great dances with most of the contestants.

      • Isabel says:

        Bindi and Alek are the only two who truly embody the original meaning of Dwts: learning dancing from scratches. They look genuine and are not trying to sell me any ‘promotional’ gadget as new songs or shows. Carlos and Nick have spent half of their lives dancing and performing in front of a camera . Basically they are doing what they have always done . It’s just another day at the office.

  37. Laura salini says:

    Bindi and dereck going to win the show I like them very much

  38. Linda Marvin says:

    Bindi is a very fast learner and Derek is an awesome teacher.

  39. Elvira says:

    I would love to see Carlos or Nick win the competition!!!! I think Bindi is a great young lady, but Derek has won too many times!!! He is a great dancer and he manages to always get good partners. Its time for another pro and their partner to win. Plus Julianne shows favoritism for her brother not fair!!! I would like to see Julianne replaced as judge!!! I would love to see Paula Abdul as a judge!!! I agree with the person who said Alek should have been voted off weeks ago!!!!!! I love DWTS but it needs to go through some changes. Liven the show up.There needs to be more models, singers, athletes,. No more so called stars from the internet. No more war heroes. We really want real stars or celebrities!!!!!

  40. Laura says:

    I think Alex has learned a lot during this season and has shown the improvement that goes with what the show stands for. Just when you think you know who is going to win it comes the free dance and they do it anyway they want. Bindi does well but you really never know.

  41. Kathy says:

    Bawling after watching Bindi and Derek Dance! Steve Irwin is the Father all dads should set their standards too! HE loved and loves his children on purpose and more than life itself! He is with her always and He would’ve been in tears watching her this entire season! I’ve loved the Irwins so much! Bindi is amazing gift of Love and extension of her family!

  42. D'Rae says:

    Derek and Bindi will undoubtedly win this year, but that’s because they “deserve” the win! Don’t really know what Lola & Dmac have been watching, but no one comes close to the magic, Yes I said MAGIC, Bindi has brought to the show! I’ve watched Bindi’s Dad on tv for years; remember when he married her mom; and when Bindi was born. And yes, when her dad died, it brought us all to tears. Give her a break, she danced like a Real Pro! Good Job Bindi and Derek! 🌹

    • My friends and I agree that Bindi is magic. She has soul and heart plus being an awesomely gifted dancer. I have felt grateful that the judges and the majority of the viewers have seen what a beautiful being and creative dancer Bindi is.
      This also has been a most exciting season with additional excellent dancers.

  43. Laurel says:

    Just watched finale. Terrible that nick didn’t win. Unbelievable. Bindi didn’t deserve to win, she just kept using the deceased father bit to get votes. Nick was definitely much better than bindi and improved from the beginning. She was so annoying and is so funny looking. Not pretty at all. Big ears, ugly teeth, eyes that look crazy. Always praying n holding her chest. Phony. I’m actually considering not watching anymore. Derek should have gotten Paula deen as his partner. Poor Louis gets the older women and bad dancers. He deserves a good partner so does tony. The judges are ridiculous too. Praising that idiot bindi from the beginning. Obnoxious. So much for fans voting. A waste of time.