"DWTS" Week 9: Showstopper Night

We're nearing the end, guys! Last night, the six remaining "Dancing with the Stars" couples performed not once, but twice, with each pro-star pair doing both a standard duet and a dance with another couple. And speaking of double trouble: While "DWTS" is never NOT crazy, as this season ticks closer and closer to its finale, we seem to be getting twice as much drama-rama as usual, too. Trips to the hospital! A shocking elimination! REALLY AGGRESSIVE CHEST WAXING!

But let's start with the positive, shall we? Beginning, as we tend to do these days, with the impossibly adorable Bindi Irwin. This week, she upped the stakes during her elegant Viennese waltz by dancing blindfolded. Because there's pretty much nothing this girl can't do. Tens across the board, obvs.

The other perfect scorer was Alexa PenaVega, who opened up about her struggle with bulimia before performing a moving contemporary routine that earned her a big standing ovation. (Shades of Mia Michaels' "addiction" piece from "So You Think You Can Dance," yes?)

Bindi and Alexa also brought down the house in their joint routine, set to—be still, my heart—a medley from Chicago! Fosse-inspired choreo is never not fun, and it's especially fun when it involves a very glittery quick change and a chorus of ballroom pros getting their jazz hands on. So much YES.

Even though Tamar Braxton—who missed the first round of performing because she was still battling exhaustion in the hospital—earned the lowest scores of the night, it was Alexa who was ultimately booted from the "DWTS" train. Such a bittersweet moment, given her stellar performances. (And husband Carlos' heartbreaking reaction to the news—oh, lord.)

What did you guys think? Should we just call the competition for Bindi at this point—or will someone else have a last-minute surge and steal the Wonder from Down Under's mirror ball trophy? Let us know your thoughts in the comments, friends.

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(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)

Congratulations to Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.

We also want you to get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.

Cover Model Search
Photo by Erin Baiano

In our "Dear Katie" series, Miami City Ballet soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.com for a chance to be featured!


Dear Katie,

When I sit with the soles of my feet together, my knees easily touch the floor, and most exercises to improve turnout are easy for me. But when I'm actually dancing, my turnout is terrible, especially on my standing leg. Why doesn't my flexibility translate to turnout?

Chrissy

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Dear Katie
Via Twitter

Would that we could all live in Taylor Swift's Pride-topia, booty-popping with Todrick Hall and sharing snow cones with Adam Rippon in our rainbow-flag-bedecked RV park. But much as we're loving "You Need to Calm Down" and other similarly upbeat celebrations of Pride month, this is also a time to recognize the battles the members of the LGBTQIA+ community have fought—and are still fighting. That's one of the reasons why "I'm Gay," a new dance video by Eugene Lee Yang of The Try Guys, is so important.

The dark, deeply personal video is Yang's coming-out moment. We see Yang being rejected by his family, condemned by a preacher, and attacked by a hostile mob after attempting to express himself as a gay man. Though not a professional dancer (as we found out in "The Try Guys Try Ballet"), Yang is a gifted mover; he choreographed the project himself, and gathered a group of talented performers to bring the story to life.

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