It’s been a provocative couple of weeks for country singer Lauren Alaina on “Dancing with the Stars.” The demure Southern belle had her skirt ripped off by pro partner Gleb Savchenko in week two of the competition, and then she channeled cinema’s most famous call girl in “Pretty Woman.” So when we found out she would be dancing to Dolly Parton‘s classic plea to a man-eater “Jolene” in week four, I wondered if Alaina’s conservative dad would have to look away from his TV screen again. But their elegant foxtrot proved to be a breakthrough moment for Alaina in the competition. Watch it above, and vote in our poll below to tell us which dance was your favorite.
Parton has been a country-music inspiration for Alaina, so she was thrilled for the opportunity to perform to her music. She even got to take Savchenko to Nashville, where she performed and got to hang out with season 27 Mirror Ball Trophy winner Bobby Bones, who encouraged her to join the cast of the show in the first place. And when it came time for Alaina to finally take the stage during the live show her love for Parton came through with what the judges rated as her best performance yet.
Bruno Tonioli thought it was a “classy foxtrot” from a “classy lady.” Len Goodman didn’t like the beginning of the dance on a swing, but he did appreciate the choreographic details when Savchenko and Alaina finally got to the heart of the dance. Guest judge Leah Remini was moved by Alaina’s physical storytelling. And Carrie Ann Inaba said, “You have arrived. This dance was your dance.”
The judges gave her straight 8s for a total of 32 out of 40. She was so excited that she exclaimed, “No more 6s, praise the lord!” But not only did she get out of 6 territory, she actually tied for the top of the leaderboard for the night along with Ally Brooke, Hannah Brown and Kel Mitchell. Unsurprisingly, she advanced safely to the next round, which will be “Disney Night.” And now she’s in a whole new world in the race for the Mirror Ball Trophy.
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