Okay, we might have been crying a little watching James Van Der Beek's foxtrot (Erin McCandless, courtesy ABC)
If you haven't yet watched last night's episode of "Dancing with the Stars," we're going to kindly recommend that you grab the tissues before doing so. Because, OH. WOW. We were teary-eyed through the whole darn thing. And we weren't the only ones: The entire ballroom seemed to be on the verge of waterworks, from the stars to the pros to, yes, even the judges.
That's not a huge surprise, really. It was the semi-finals, so naturally tensions were running high. And we only have one more week left with all our incredible stars, which is cause enough for crying. But before we start tearing up again, let's get to some of the incredible dancing we saw last night—of which there was plenty!
Kel Mitchell and Witney Carson: Contemporary
Kel Mitchell decided to use his contemporary routine as a platform for a cause he really cares about: reducing gun violence. He dedicated his performance to a childhood friend who died at a young age from a gunshot wound. The song? "I Will Always Love You" (cue the tears). Kel and partner Witney Carson delivered a gorgeous, heartbreaking number that merited three 10s from the judges, and even a standing ovation from head judge Len Goodman.
James Van Der Beek and Emma Slater: Foxtrot
James Van Der Beek also dedicated his dance to an important person in his life: his wife, who (as he explained just before his performance) suffered a miscarriage over the weekend. James explained that he wasn't even sure he would perform this week, but we are so glad that he did. His foxtrot with partner Emma Slater was emotionally raw, and absolutely beautiful. The judges awarded them three 9s, for a total of 27.
Hannah Brown and Alan Bersten: Contemporary
Hannah Brown's contemporary routine was inspired by her tumultuous time on "The Bachelorette," and the love she found and lost on the show (we still don't forgive you, Jed). But maybe she needed to lose that love to find...this incredible performance? We were blown away by how absolutely Hannah trusted partner Alan Bersten. The two performed some seriously jaw-dropping lifts that required Hannah to totally let herself go, and she did. The judges gave the duo three 9s, for a total score of 27.
Of course, it wouldn't be a Season 28 episode without a shocking elimination. For the first time this season, James and Emma ended up in jeopardy, alongside Ally Brooke and Sasha Farber. Even though Ally and Sasha had landed in the bottom twice before, the judges chose to send James and Emma home—which sent an audible gasp through the ballroom. We're going to miss those two, and we're sending all the love to James and his family.
What do you think of last night's episode? Did the right couple go home?