‘Dancing with the Stars’: Carlos & Alexa PenaVega fight to overcome harsh judges

dancing with the stars dwts carlos penavega alexa penavega witney carson mark ballas

History was made when “Dancing With the Stars” announced season 21 would feature the first married couple to compete against each other for the mirror ball trophy. Big Time Rush singer and actor Carlos PenaVega and his wife, actress Alexa PenaVega, started near the top of our racetrack odds with many speculating that their rivalry would take them all the way to the finale. But the road has been a bit rocky for the couple. Harsh scores from the judges have left each of them vulnerable to an earlier-than-expected exit.

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In week one Carlos lived up to his early-frontrunner status, scoring 23 out of 30 with partner Witney Carson for their jive to “I Got You (I Feel Good)” by James Brown. Right behind with 22 points were Alexa and her partner, Mark Ballas, who performed a jive of their own to Katy Tiz‘s “Whistle (While You Work It).” Those first-week dances proved the PenaVegas were in it to win it, but also proved they weren’t alone – Backstreet Boy Nick Carter and wildlife conservationist Bindi Irwin narrowly outscored them with 24 points each.

In week two it was all even in the PenaVega camp as both scored 24 points on the first night of the two-night event – they tied for second place behind Irwin once again. But after that things began to falter. The second night saw both of them tumble down the leaderboard: Alexa scored just 22 points for her rumba and Carlos a mere 21 for his cha-cha, landing them in sixth and eighth place, respectively.

Refusing to go down without a fight, Alexa bounced back during week three by topping the leaderboard with a jazz routine to the “Breaking Bad” theme song, which scored 36 out of 40 (higher point totals were due to the addition of guest judge Alfonso Ribeiro). Her first-place finish left her husband in the dust: Carlos scored just 31 out of 40, landing him in sixth place for his jazz routine to the “Golden Girls” theme.

But just as Alexa seemed to be on her way back to frontrunner status, week four (“Most Memorable Year”) resulted in another huge stumble to the bottom of the pack. With a foxtrot to “Mama Said” by the Shirelles, Alexa scored an abysmal 21 points – besting only Gary Busey, who was eliminated at the end of that night, and the barely-there performance of Paula Deen. Carlos managed to land in the middle of the pack with 25 points, but more importantly, he likely gained fan votes for his emotional contemporary dance to “Amazing Grace.” Carlos’s opening video package was one of the most memorable of the night, detailing his fall into drug use and eventual rise out of depression through faith and meeting Alexa.

‘Dancing with the Stars’ recap: Bindi Irwin soared with tribute to her dad

After four weeks of dancing and five different routines, Alexa currently has a slight edge in her overall points total, scoring 125 points to date compared to Carlos’s 124. Those totals leave the PenaVegas trailing the top three, who are all tied with 132 points for the season: Irwin, Carter and Tamar Braxton. The inconsistency of the PenaVegas leaves them vulnerable from week to week, especially Alexa, who has the smaller following on social media and thus fewer potential fan voters.

In week five, the contestants will switch partners for one night, which could be the fresh start the PenaVegas need to resuscitate their mirror ball hopes. Alexa will be paired with five-time champ Derek Hough while Carlos will receive new instruction from his current partner’s best friend, Lindsay Arnold.

Do you think Alexa and Carlos can still dance their way to the finale? Or will this rivalry end sooner than expected? Click on the chart below to see how their odds have dramatically shifted in the first four weeks of competition:

dancing with the stars predictions

In our “Dancing with the Stars” predictions center, you get to answer the following questions each week:

Which celebrity will be eliminated?

Who will receive the HIGHEST score from the judges?

Who will receive the LOWEST score from the judges?

Who will win ‘Dancing with the Stars’?

At the end of each week, the eligible contest player with the highest prediction accuracy and most points will win a $100 Amazon gift certificate, so it’s beneficial to keep coming back often and making/updating your predictions.

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Which dancers do you like (and dislike) the most? Sound off in the comments section below, and join the discussion in Gold Derby’s reality TV forum.

Photos: Carlos PenaVega and Witney Carson, Alexa PenaVega and Mark Ballas, “Dancing with the Stars.” Credit: ABC

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