Freestyle Week on ‘DWTS’ Heats Up the Ballroom for Finale

The pros pulled out all the stops while choreographing their freestyle dances on Monday night’s Dancing With the Stars. Carlos PenaVega and his partner, Witney, called in the reserves and had former contestants Paula Deen, Hayes Grier, and Carlos’s wife, Alexa, back for a cameo appearance in their dance. Paris train hero Alek Skarlatos and partner Lindsay had a military obstacle course set up in the ballroom and danced all over, in, on, and around it. Longtime pro Derek Hough decided against bells and whistles and instead opted for a bare stage that drew the focus to the dancing and his emotion for his partner, Bindi Irwin. And Backstreet Boy Nick Carter got back to his boy-band roots when his partner, Sharna, choreographed a very boy-band-style routine for him. As this was night one of the two-night finale, there was still one more couple to be eliminated. So even though all four couples scored perfect 10s, a popular couple still went home. The mirror ball trophy will be awarded on Tuesday night’s live show.

Related: remember when we weren’t sure Nick Carter would make it to the finale after his misstep on last week’s DWTS?