"DWTS" Week 9 Recap: Boy Bands and Girl Groups

We're all kinds of obsessed with James Van Der Beek's boy band-inspired look. (Erin McCandless, courtesy ABC)

Last night's episode of "Dancing with the Stars" saw our pros and stars performing to music by all of our fave boy bands and girl groups, including the Spice Girls, One Direction, and K-Pop sensation BTS. As a bonus, the judges were joined by "DWTS" alumni and boy band aficionado/veteran Joey Fatone.

As we get closer and closer to the finale (the semi-finals are next week, folks!), the dancing is only getting better. And last night also featured the elimination of one of the most controversial stars in "DWTS" history—talk about drama! In case you missed it, we rounded up the episode's danciest highlights.


Kel Mitchell and Witney Carson: Paso Doble

If you're looking for "game face," look no further than Kel Mitchell and Witney Carson. In recent weeks, this couple has totally shocked us with their performances, and this week was no different. Our beloved "Good Burger" goofball transformed into a sexy, smoldering paso doble champ, right before our eyes. Kel isn't messing around anymore, folks—he's ready for the finale. The judges gave Kel and Witney two 8s and two 9s, for a total of 34 out of 40.

James Van Der Beek and Emma Slater: Jazz

Be still, our 90s-loving hearts! Watching James Van Der Beek (of "Dawson's Creek" fame) performing to *NSYNC's "Bye Bye Bye" was a surreal, and perfect, moment. Dawson James and his partner Emma Slater brought all the body rolls and hair flips we ever could've dreamed of—and gave us a glimpse of what their freestyle might look like, if they make it through the semi-finals. The judges seemed a bit conflicted when it came to the scores, though, and gave James and Emma an 8, two 9s, and a 10 for their performance.

Hannah Brown and Alan Bersten: Tango

It's been a tough season for our girl Hannah Brown. Though she seemed to hit her stride with last week's breakthrough performance, rehearsal footage from this week showed Hannah struggling with her perfectionist tendencies. Her first performance of last night's episode received disappointing scores—but then she and partner Alan Bersten brought us this fabulous tango, full of challenging choreo. "Permasmile" pageant queen Hannah is no more: She's in beast mode now, just in time for the semi-finals. The judges gave her tango one 9 (give us a break, Len Goodman!) and three 10s, for a total 39 out of 40.

The episode ended with a surprising, though overdue, elimination. For the first time this season, former White House press secretary Sean Spicer and partner Jenna Johnson ended up in jeopardy, alongside country queen Lauren Alaina and Gleb Savchenko. Though the judges spoke to Sean's tenacity, they didn't hesitate to send him home.

What do you think? Who's headed for the Mirrorball Trophy?

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