Dances: Foxtrot and Freestyle
Songs: The Weeknd "The Hills"/Missy Elliott "WTF"
SCORE: 10 + 10 + 10 = 30 / 10 + 10 + 10 = 30
First of all, we really couldn’t be much happier than to still be writing about Carlos’ appearances on DWTS after all 11 weeks. When the season began, we knew he had both the drive and the talent to be competitive to the end, but you never know how things are going to play out on a show like this. So seeing him earn his way through to the Finals and appear on every single episode of the season is really almost everything we could have hoped for! But before wrapping up the season, let’s revisit last week’s Season 21 Finals.
On the first night of the Finals, each of the four remaining couples performed two dances, a Judge’s Choice and a Freestyle. Carlos and Witney kicked off the night with their Judge’s Choice. In their opening package, Carlos mentioned being the only couple not to receive a perfect score so far. But Week 10’s dances were his favorite so far, and were so close to perfect. He was up for the next challenge. For their Judge’s Choice, they were advised by Bruno, who selected the Foxtrot, which they had performed in Week 2, earning three 8’s from the judges. Bruno coached Carlos to keep his shoulders open, joking, “It’s not ‘Gorillas in the Mist’, darling, it’s ‘Dancing with the Stars!’” But Bruno also interviewed that, “Carlos can definitely win, he’s got the abilities to win.”
Team Brown Sugar’s reworked Foxtrot was gorgeous. Dressed in elegant black and maroon, the pair created a sexy, moody, artistic performance to The Weeknd’s “The Hills.”
Julianne loved it, saying, “I feel like we’re back at the AMA’s from last night, because that was the sexiest Foxtrot I think I’ve ever seen. It was beautiful. And I so appreciate Bruno coming in there. And those lines were beautiful and you stretched, it was a huge improvement.”
Carrie Ann also praised the performance saying, “Last time you did this was week two, right? And I remember I said to you, you were a contender. And tonight, you have proven you are so deserved of being here tonight. I feel like it was, not only are you worthy of being here, you gave us the most dynamic and exciting performance I’ve ever seen from you. You have commanded the stage tonight. Well done.”
Up in the SkyBox, before receiving their scores, Erin asked why they looked a bit concerned during the judges’ comments. Carlos replied, “Man, tonight is crazy, there’s so many emotions going on right now. Our dress rehearsal didn’t go so well, so my nerves were like up to here, I mean…thank you judges! That was amazing! And Witney, I have the best partner in the world.”
But there was no need to be concerned in the end, as the judges awarded Carlos and Witney a perfect 30 for their performance! Erin commented to Carlos, “Hey, not a bad time to get a perfect score, right?”
“That’s the first one!” Carlos exclaimed aloud, then to Witney as they hugged, “That’s our first one!!” Erin asked, “Was it good for you Carlos?” Carlos replied, “It’s really good!! I feel great! Thank you guys, wow!! WOW!!”
Team Brown Sugar’s second dance was their freestyle. The best thing about making the Finals is the opportunity to create a freestyle dance that really showcases the strength and personality of the star and the partnership they’ve created with their pro throughout the season.
In their pre-dance package, Carlos said they chose to do a Hip Hop/Salsa fusion dance to Missy Elliott’s “WTF”. The team is seen working through the creative process, figuring out where to put the wow moments, and Carlos worrying about keeping up with the group of pros that will be dancing with them. As he interviews, “The freestyle can either win you the mirror ball, or lose you the mirror ball. And that just puts a lot of pressure on Witney and myself.”
But they are also shown asking the producers if it would be ok to use past contestants in their dance for a few seconds. Witney voices over that, “This cast is like a family to Carlos, so we’re having Hayes, Paula, and Alexa in our freestyle. It’s never been done before.” Carlos added, “Witney and I really want to make our freestyle kind of a celebration of our entire journey here, plus I finally get the chance to dance with my wife. It needs to be so strong, and so powerful, and so entertaining, that people see me as a serious champion.”
Julianne got to provide the first feedback on the performance. “That definitely has never been done before. And did it work? I think it did! I liked it! And you know what I loved about it so much? Is that this season…you are a stand-up guy, and I think that’s what that showed, that it is such a celebration, and it is such a journey, because I’ve been there, and you get so close to these cast members, so, like, I get it, and I thought it was a great move. That’s called taking risks, that’s called going for gold basically, and I really loved!”
Bruno also praised the dance declaring, “Hip Hop Hooray! That was fresh! It was right on trend. It was loaded with cheeky fun. So tight, and I actually have to praise your generosity, because you have to share your big moment with your colleagues and loved ones, and it could have backfired, you know, it’s a big, big risk, and you did it beautifully, thank you for a fantastic performance!”
In the SkyBox, Erin asked how good it felt. Carlos’ answer, “You know the freestyle is probably the most fun dance because it’s all about you as a performer on the show. You really get to collaborate, and the fact that we got to bring back Hayes, my wife, Miss Paula, I wish we could have brought back everybody, it was so much fun. We came here to party and we partied tonight!”
And the judges agreed, awarding the couple their second perfect score of the night. “Do you know what this means? Did you do the math?” Erin asked Carlos.
“ONE MILLION POINTS!!” Carlos sweetly shouts.
“No,” laughs Erin, “but you did have a perfect night... this is huge!"
We had thought Carlos & Witney were in pretty good shape heading into the elimination, having the second highest total points from the judges for the prior two weeks, but ultimately they couldn’t overcome the train hero’s very strong voting bloc. In jeopardy were Carlos & Witney, and Nick & Sharna, with Carlos finally losing out at the end of the night.
Asked to comment on his DWTS journey, Carlos said, “Well, first of all I thank God for this opportunity because it has been life changing. My marriage is so much stronger, I’ve made some amazing friends, most importantly I’ve learned so much about myself, and I have the best partner in the world.”
W: “My little brother!”
C: “Little brother? I’m bigger than you and I’m older than you.”
W: “No you’re my little brother”
C: “Get out of here! I’m older than you!”
W: “I boss you around, you’re my little brother.”
Carlos wrapped up his interview saying, “This season has been one of the coolest experiences of my life. And I cannot believe I’m saying this, but my life was changed from doing “Dancing with the Stars.”
So with that, Team Brown Sugar officially finished in fourth place for season 21. But all four finalists were truly exceptional, so congratulations to the remaining three for moving on to Tuesday night.
Carlos also got a second feature in the finale. The show put together a fun little “bromance” vignette between Carlos and Alek. It was a great way to highlight Carlos’ fun and outgoing personality, and help viewers continue to get to know Alek a bit more. Watch the bit below.
At the end of the night Bindi and Derek were awarded the Mirrorball, and really, who could fault that? They were amazing! And Bindi is truly a remarkable girl. Congratulations to her and to all the finalists and competitors in Season 21. It was an inspiring season all around.
Thank you also to Witney Carson, who has proven to be one of the best pros on DWTS. She did an amazing job coaching Carlos, and taking his skill set from boyband basic to Broadway ready! Many thanks to the talented and amazing Witney!!
This may be the end of Dancing with the Stars Season 21, but Carlos has already started working on his next project! Carlos will be appearing in FOX’s upcoming production of “Grease: Live” as Kenickie. The production airs LIVE on January 31st, 2016. Stay tuned to Carlos’ social feeds as well as ours to keep up with the preparations for this awesome event!! And MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW!! DON’T MISS IT!!