Maggie Fremont
November 24, 2015 AT 07:24 PM EST

After last week’s drama-filled Dancing With the Stars outing, I’m sure we’re all asking ourselves the same question: Is Carlos still crying? Oh, I’m sorry, I meant: What does Tamar’s early exit from the ballroom (due to health reasons) mean for the four remaining semifinalists? Only time and Tom Bergeron will tell. Good on Tamar for taking care of herself, but it is a bummer that the timing couldn’t have worked out more in Alexa’s favor — especially after she hoisted herself up to the top of the leader board with two perfect scores.

But, what we lost last week in two excellent celebrity dancers, we gain this week with three rounds of pure dancing joy: An individual round, a dance-off for bonus points, and one of my favorites, the trio round. They say good things come in threes, right? Well, let’s find out if that holds true in the ballroom.


Bindi and Derek

Salsa “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile”

Has there ever been a more perfect pairing of dancer and song choice? Bindi “It’s raining happiness” Irwin uses her salsa to remind the judges exactly what she brings to this competition: pure joy. Although Julianne, Bruno, and Carrie Ann agree that Bindi is a bright spot on the dance floor, they were all missing some of the “down and dirty” hip action that salsa usually takes on. They want more edge! But you know who thinks Bindi did just fine and couldn’t be prouder? Her little brother, Robert. We’re 10 minutes in, and I’m already crying. It’s going to be a long night, people! 

Judges’ Score: 27

Alek and Lindsay

Waltz |“America the Beautiful”

Alek’s friends and family confirm what we all suspected: Alek goes after all his endeavors at full speed. He never does anything halfway, and that’s become very evident throughout the season. It’s no secret that out of the four couples remaining, Alek has the least amount of technical skill. But all of the extra work he’s putting in to compensate really pays off tonight. Alek’s patriotic and insanely elegant waltz turns out to be his best dance yet. The judges notice his improvement in his turns and award him a perfect 30. I’m still finding Alek a little stiff out on the floor, but the dude looks great in a suit, so I’ll ride this high.

Judges’ Score: 30

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Carlos and Witney

Contemporary “Drag Me Down”

Update: Carlos has in fact stopped crying since Alexa’s elimination last week. In fact, that blow has only re-ignited his desire to win this competition — and it really shows in his contemporary routine. Not only did all of his rope work put his “muscle power to good use,” according to Bruno, but that move where he held Witney with ONE ARM as she ran in slo-mo was a stunner. Carrie Ann and Julianne had mixed feelings on the routine, and Julianne wants the pair to work on their chemistry should they return next week. But Bruno was a huge fan of Carlos’ powerful number and awards the guy a 10. I’m a little surprised the ladies would score Carlos under Alek, but I’m not the one holding the paddles (well, not an official one, anyway).

Judges’ Score: 28

Nick and Sharna

Tango | “Scars”

One thing we’re learning with these packages tonight is that most of our celebs are the same on the dance floor as they are in life. For Nick, that means sometimes he’s his own worst enemy. Nick suffers a few mistakes with his footing and totally loses it in the middle of his dance. The only thing bringing him back? That angel partner of his, Sharna. SHE’S GOT YOU, NICK. Seriously, I think I need a clip of Sharna winking at me to play on a loop any time I’m feeling down about myself. The two finish their tango, but they’re both a bit disheartened. The judges aren’t worried about Nick, though! He has two more rounds to go, and he’s proven himself to be a comeback kid time and time again. Plus, his little bro, Aaron Carter, has taken a time out from Aaron’s Party to support his brother. He believes in you, Nick — we all do! 

Judges’ Score: 24


Carlos and Witney vs. Alek and Lindsay

Cha-Cha “Fun”

Alek and Lindsay take the floor first in hopes of winning those three-extra bonus points, and the judges’ earlier comments about Alek excelling in ballroom over Latin dances ring true. He doesn’t look as comfortable in this routine. Oh well, he knows where his bread is buttered, and he rips open his jacket in front of the judges’ table, assuring us all that his chest is indeed still waxed. Carlos, too, knows that a little booty-shaking won’t hurt his scores, and overall, he and Witney look much more in control during their last minute cha-cha. Carrie Ann was surprisingly impressed with Alek, but overall this was an easy decision.

Winner: Carlos and Witney

NEXT: Bindi and Nick go head-to-head

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