The MOST SHOCKING Elimination of the Season! – Our ‘DWTS’ Semi-Finals Recap

Julia Delbel @juliadelbel
|3 weeks

The semi-finals of Dancing With the Stars are always high-stakes and heartbreaking, but this season took all of that to a new level. With strange scores, tear jerking stories, and the most shocking elimination of the season, the Season 28 semi-finals were a night to remember…but was it for the right reasons?

The Semi-Finals

The Dancing With the Stars Season 28 Semi-Finals opening number

Redemption Round

Lauren and Gleb

Lauren Alaina and Gleb Savchenko’s redemption Paso Doble on Dancing With the Stars Season 28

Len came in to help Lauren and Gleb rehearse for their Paso Doble this week to “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”. It turned out to be a strong improvement over her first; there were still several mistakes, but no freezing onstage like in several of her other performances.

Carrie Ann: 9
Len: 9
Bruno: 9
Score: 27/30

Kel and Witney

Kel Mitchell and Witney Carson’s redemption tango on Dancing With the Stars Season 28

With the help of Bruno, Kel worked to master the tango, a style that tripped him up a bit back in Week 1. This was another improvement, though at times it looked like he was walking around more than dancing. And we have to note that “Get Ready” isn’t really a fitting song for this style of dance, so kudos to Kel and Witney for doing their best with it!

Carrie Ann: 9
Len: 9
Bruno: 9
Score: 27/30

Ally and Sasha

Ally Brooke and Sasha Farber’s redemption Viennese Waltz on Dancing With the Stars Season 28

Ally and Sasha were aided by Len during rehearsal for their second attempt at a Viennese Waltz. This was much more fluid in the first – though moreso out of hold than in – and we could feel the emotion in the performance. (Fun fact, the song, “Perfect” was actually Sasha and Emma’s wedding song!)

Carrie Ann: 10
Len: 9
Bruno: 10
Score: 29/30

Hannah and Alan

Hannah Brown and Alan Bersten’s redemption rumba on Dancing With the Stars Season 28

Carrie Ann helped Hannah improve upon her rumba, but Hannah had trouble opening up to her about her feelings on the way she had been critiquing her throughout the competition. She later apologized – after an excellent performance to “Dancing with a Stranger” – and Carrie Ann told her that the comments were only meant to help her become a better dancer. (We understand that, but we don’t think Hannah needed to apologize for expressing her feelings in a respectful manner.)

Carrie Ann: 9
Len: 9
Bruno: 9
Score: 27/30

James and Emma

James Van Der Beek and Emma Slater’s redemption cha-cha on Dancing With the Stars Season 28

Len came in to help James and Emma prepare for their cha-cha to “Canned Heat” but the duo didn’t end up taking all of his advice. He wanted them to do away with the gimmicks that were a big part of their previous cha-cha but they didn’t really do that, and Carrie Ann commented on his posture issues. Still, we think the judges scored this dance too low in comparison to how other dances on the same level were scored this week.

Carrie Ann: 8
Len: 8
Bruno: 8
Score: 24/30

Unlearned Style Round

Lauren and Gleb

Lauren Alaina and Gleb Savchenko’s Viennese Waltz on Dancing With the Stars Season 28

Much of this second round turned out to be very emotional, and that started with Lauren and Gleb’s Viennese Waltz to “Humble and Kind”, a song that reminded Lauren of how her family always taught her to strive to be. This dance was breathtaking and without a doubt Lauren’s best of the season.

Carrie Ann: 9
Len: 9
Bruno: 9
Score: 27/30
Total: 54/60

Kel and Witney

Kel Mitchell and Witney Carson’s contemporary on Dancing With the Stars Season 28

Kel and Witney danced a contemporary to “I Will Always Love You” in honor of a friend of Kel’s who died by gun violence at the age of 16. This performance was very moving and Kel danced it beautifully.

Carrie Ann: 10
Len: 10
Bruno: 10
Score: 30/30
Total: 57/60

Ally and Sasha

Ally Brooke and Sasha Farber’s Charleston on Dancing With the Stars Season 28

Ally and Sasha provided some much needed levity amidst all the heavy subject matter of the other Round 2 routines with the very first (and only) Charleston of Season 28! The dance – set to “Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing)” was energetic, action packed, and eve comedic. But as great as it was, there were several noticeable errors the judges somehow didn’t seem to catch; Ally was off timing quite a bit and occasionally had trouble keeping up.

Carrie Ann: 10
Len: 10
Bruno: 10
Score: 30/30
Total: 59/60

James and Emma

James Van Der Beek and Emma Slater’s foxtrot on Dancing With the Stars Season 28

James and Emma danced a haunting, moving foxtrot to “Take Me to Church” which was made even more impactful by the news he shared in the video package beforehand: over the weekend, his wife miscarried the baby they announced was on the way earlier in the season. James had almost dropped out of the competition, but his wife told him to keep going, and both he and Emma dropped to the floor and sobbed once the routine was finished.

Carrie Ann: 9
Len: 9
Bruno: 9
Score: 27/30
Total: 51/60

Hannah and Alan

Hannah Brown and Alan Bersten’s contemporary on Dancing With the Stars Season 28

Hannah has had an absolute roller-coaster of a year between The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and now Dancing With the Stars, and she channeled all her emotions into her contemporary to “Lose You to Love Me”. This was one of the best dances we’ve seen all season…and yet somehow it didn’t get any 10’s. What?

Carrie Ann: 9
Len: 9
Bruno: 9
Score: 27/30
Total: 54/60

A Heartbreaking Elimination

The Dancing With the Stars Season 28 Week 10 elimination

At the end of the episode, it was revealed that James and Emma and Ally and Sasha were the bottom two couples once the scores and votes for the week had been combined. This scenario was both heartbreaking and frustrating, since we can’t help but fsuspect the results would have been different if the scores given out were actually accurate to the quality of the dances.

The judges unanimously decided to save Ally, meaning James and Emma were eliminated from the competition in fifth place. Upon learning the final result, Ally immediately started sobbing and requested to let James take her place in the finals. Both James and the show did not allow that to happen, but we have to say…we think they should have.

An interview with Hannah Brown and Alan Bersten after Dancing With the Stars Season 28 Week 10

While Ally is one of the best dancers in the competition, James was too, and this was his first time in the bottom two, likely due to devastating circumstances affecting his performances. Since this was Ally’s third time in the bottom, it’s pretty obvious she has basically no shot at winning and considering this as well as that the judges are supposed to take the entire season into account when choosing whom to save, we think it would have made more sense (and caused much less backlash, especially to Ally herself, who is already being cyberbullied) for them to keep James around for the finale over her.

Who do you think the judges should have saved this week, and should Ally have been able to bow out in favor of James? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Julia Delbel @juliadelbel

Julia is a writer at Talent Recap and hails from the Greater Toronto Area. She is currently pursuing a degree in Media Studies. When not sharing her latest reality TV hot takes she's likely enjoying a game night with friends, collecting enamel pins, or spending time with her cat, Zoey.