Dancing With the Stars Week 9 Recap: Did the Right Couple Go Home?

With the remaining six couples’ Mirrorball dreams on the line, this week’s Dancing With the Stars started with a real shocker: Host Tom Bergeron dramatically announcing that Tamar Braxton had been taken to the emergency room during dress rehearsal — with no further information on her status. Say what?

As the “Will Tamar Dance?” clock ticked throughout the episode (which featured both individual and team dances), Bergeron kept the suspense building until — you guessed it! — the R&B star/The Real host dramatically hit the ballroom for the show’s final, petal-drenched team dance. “I love live television,” said Bergeron, who’s not an Emmy winner for nothing!

For all you skeptics out there, co-host Erin Andrews closed the show with a “we had no idea!” farewell, so there! With that, let’s high-kick right to the highlights, rank the week’s top dances and reveal the eventual results.

9. Tamar Braxton and pro Val Chmerkovskiy (Contemporary): After a crazy-busy week landed Tamar in the emergency room (and thus unable to perform her couple’s dance live), the judge’s scored her dress rehearsal tape. Sick with pneumonia and exhaustion (according to Val), Tamar struggled, while the judges struggled to cook up critiques. “It’s a wicked shame,” said Carrie Ann Inaba, and who can argue with that? Judges’ Score: 22/30

8. Alek and Lindsay, Carlos and Witney (Team Paso Doble): With the help of the infectious beats of “We Will Rock You,” who wouldn’t be dazzled by the sight of Alek hurling Carlos through the air with a spectacular over-the-shoulder lift? The judges, that’s who! Judges’ Score: 24/30

7. Alek Skarlatos and pro Lindsay Arnold (Salsa): His furry chest may have been freshly manscaped during a cringe-worthy pre-dance segment, but Alek’s moves on the ballroom floor were less than smooth. “There was no hip action,” lamented judge Julianne Hough, while Carrie Ann called it “flat footed.” Judges’ Score: 24/30

6. Carlos PenaVega and pro Witney Carson (Argentine Tango): A disappointed Carrie Ann lamented that this performance didn’t “smack me in the face, and that’s what I need,” while Julianne and Bruno showed us how it’s really done with a heated, spontaneous seat-dance. Judges’ Score: 27/30

5. Nick and Sharna, Tamar and Val (Team Rumba): Facing certain elimination as a no-show, Tamar dramatically hit the stage for a “Hey Jude”–inspired team performance, which was enough to save her for another week. Judges’ Score: 27/30

4. Nick Carter and pro Sharna Burgess (Quick Step): Though Julianne was iffy and Carrie Ann noted they were slightly “out of sync,” Nick kept last week’s perfect mojo (mostly) intact. Judges’ Score: 28/30

3. Alexa and Mark, Bindi and Derek (Charleston): This was a joyous “All That Jazz/Hot Honey Rag” inspired dance that prompted Julianne to shout, “I wish I was in that number with you!” We say, hail yes! Judges’ Score: 30/30

2. Bindi Irwin and pro Derek Hough (Viennese Waltz): Though her hands were still shaking post-dance, Bindi electrified the ballroom with this risk-infused performance. “It was a thing of pure beauty,” marveled Bruno, while Carrie Ann likened it to a sunrise. The marks were equally sunny. Judges’ Score: 30/30

1. Alexa PenaVega and pro Mark Ballas (Contemporary): The ballroom and the judge’s went ballistic for Alexa’s primal, emotionally raw dance – inspired by her struggle with a childhood eating disorder — and Bruno called it “scarily brilliant.” Judges’ Score: 30/30

And now, for the results…

Tamar Braxton and pro Val Chmerkovskiy
Alexa PenaVega and pro Mark Ballas
Carlos PenaVega and pro Witney Carson

Carlos PenaVega and pro Witney Carson
Alexa PenaVega and pro Mark Ballas

Alexa PenaVega and pro Mark Ballas

Through her tears, Alexa said this very gracious goodbye: “I’m so happy that we ended on this note. If we were going to go out, this is how I wanted to go out.”

And with that, it’s your turn. Was Tamar’s dramatic last-minute revival for real? Did the right couple really go home? Sound off in the comments!

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