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Dancing With the Stars recap: Hometown Week

America’s Hero Alek shines during Hometown Week

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Adam Taylor/ABC

Dancing With the Stars

TV Show
Reality TV
run date:
Tom Bergeron, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, Len Goodman, Erin Andrews, Julianne Hough
Current Status:
In Season

It’s only the second week of Dancing with the Stars, but we’re already in for a double night of eliminations as the cast celebrates Hometown Week.

The episode kicks off with a lovely new opening montage set to One Republic’s “I Lived,” featuring solo shots of the contestants and the town they’re from. Two words come to mind: baby pictures! I’m positive we’ll be getting some more of those tonight. The live show soon begins as our fearless hosts, Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews, kick off the two hours.

Nick and Sharna

Jive | “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” by Bette Midler

An early favorite, this Backstreet Boy certainly lived up to his dancing roots and proved the now man-bander is one to watch. Nick tells us he’s from Tampa, and it wasn’t the safest place to grow up. He immediately gives credit to his teacher Sandy who helped him see a path on stage. I think I speak for all of us when I say thank you, Sandy! Nick and Sharna begin their dance under the sheets before revealing their adorable white and gold outfits and hopping on stage. I’m not thoroughly impressed as Nick seems a step behind the entire time. Apparently, as Julianne points out, he slipped, which must’ve messed him up. Bruno, who may have spent a lot of time in the sun this weekend, thought Nick was confident — I didn’t see that — and Carrie Ann agrees he was too much in his head. Overall, Nick seems a bit off his game, but it is only the second week, so I’m not too worried.

Judges’ Score: 21

Paula and Louis

Rumba | “Midnight Train to Georgia” by Gladys Night and the Pips

Footage from last week shows that Paula was surprised by how hard the judges were on her — um, this is a competition — so she’s ready to let her beautiful hometown of Savannah, Ga. inspire her. She admits she wants to redeem herself (for the dance or for that scandal?). It’s a sultry number and while her footwork is a little slow at first, she massively improves by the end of the performance. I mean, that twist? Not bad! As Carrie Ann says, it’s a whole new lady out there!

Judges’ Score: 19

Hayes and Emma

Foxtrot | “This Is How We Roll” by Florida Georgia Line ft. Luke Bryan

Hayes talks about growing up in Mooresville, N.C. and how it’s shaped all 15 years of his life. His mom actually gets emotional talking about giving up her baby boy to the world. Entering the ballroom in “Team Slayes” jackets, the duo mixes a motocross theme with a good old country tune and it… kind of works? For a teen, Hayes is really confident in his slower dancing and has some fantastic arm extension. And can we talk about how cute it was when he embraced his mama after? And him crying to Erin after? I wanted to eat him up in the least creepy way possible.

Judges’ Score: 22

Chaka and Keo

Foxtrot | “Chicago” by Frank Sinatra

Chaka isn’t going to let one night get her down, she says. The singer is dedicating tonight’s dance to both her dad, who she compares to Sinatra, and the city of Chicago. Dressed in a burgundy, velvety number, Chaka is a massive improvement from the premiere. She’s keeping up with Keo, she’s smiling and, as Carrie Ann says, she exudes a warmth about her. If Chaka can just remember the choreography a bit better, she’ll hopefully make it through tomorrow (if she makes it beyond tonight).

Judges’ Score: 15

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