Lauren Alaina Foxtrots to ‘Jolene’ for Cousin Holly on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ [WATCH]
Lauren Alaina got back to her country roots during Week 4 of Dancing With the Stars. The country singer and her dance partner, Gleb Savchenko, danced a foxtrot to Dolly Parton's classic song "Jolene" on Monday night (Oct. 7), following a stressful week at home for Alaina.
In preparation for their foxtrot, Alaina took Savchekno to Nashville to show him around town. DWTS judge Bruno Tonioli called their performance "classy," and the pair earned 32 points (out of a possible 40).
"This dance was your dance," offered fellow judge Carrie Ann Inaba. "It was a beautiful story that you told us through your body and dancing."
Following her performance, Alaina admitted that she'd missed a few days of rehearsals because of a tough family matter: Her cousin Holly, who inspired Alaina to sing in the first place, suffered a brain bleed and required emergency surgery. Alaina had "just" flown to Nashville when she learned the news, she tells ET, and rushed to her home state of Georgia to be with her loved ones.
"Holly is my cousin, but she's like my sister," Alaina says. "She's very, very important to me ... She, like, taught me to sing when I was little. She's literally the reason I'm here right now. She's just an amazing human."
With Holly in a coma, Alaina's family encouraged her to go back for the competition. She dedicated her performance to Holly.
"They, like, thought she would not be -- she wasn't responding at first, so they thought there was maybe too much damage. But she gave a thumbs up, and she wiggles her toes and she moves her feet, and she's starting to breathe on her own," Alaina says of Holly's current condition, "so she's doing much better than doctors anticipated."
Judges' and viewers' votes determine who stays and who goes after each round of Dancing With the Stars dances. In Week 1, when no eliminations were made, Alaina and Savchenko placed third by scoring 19 of a possible 30 points with their cha-cha. During Week 2, when Supremes singer Mary Wilson was sent home, Alaina and Savchenko's "Confident" paso doble once again netted 19 of 30 points, while their Week 3 tango earned 20 out of 30 possible points. In Week 3, ex-NFL player Ray Lewis left the competition due to an old injury in his foot that was being severely exacerbated by his dancing schedule, which meant no official elimination took place.
In addition to Alaina, Wilson and Lewis, Season 28's Dancing With the Stars cast includes actors James Van Der Beek and Kate Flannery, former Bachelorette contestant Hannah Brown, comedian Kel Mitchell and more. NBA player Lamar Odom was eliminated during Week 4. The show pairs celebrities with professional dancers, with the pairings competition in an elimination-style competition until a winner is crowned at the end of the season.
Alaina is far from the first country artist to compete on Dancing With the Stars: Wynonna Judd, Chuck Wicks, Sara Evans, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Jana Kramer also previously appeared on the show. Kellie Pickler won the show back in 2013, while country radio DJ Bobby Bones won the show's 27th season in 2018; in fact, it was Bones who convinced Alaina to accept the competitor spot.
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