Bindi Irwin wasn’t the first Dancing with the Stars contestant to earn a perfect score during Season 21, but her pro partner did just become the first competitor of the season to earn two perfect scores in a row.
It looks like Alexa PenaVega helped Derek Hough fill up his mojo meter last week. He and Bindi Irwin have been doing pretty “amazing” (drink!) all season long, but Derek really hit his stride during Switch-Up Week — he boosted Alexa’s confidence and helped her nab this season’s first perfect score.
Alexa returned to her regular partner, Mark Ballas, this week, and she lost her momentum. However, Derek Hough is obviously on a roll right now — he and Bindi Irwin nailed their Dirty Dancing routine for Famous Dances Week, and they were generously rewarded for not flubbing that famous lift. Bindi looked like she was having the time of her life after earning her first perfect score, but she and her partner had to overcome quite a few obstacles to get those 10’s.
Bindi Irwin and Derek Hough were nervous about their routine being ruined by a failure to launch, but it turns out that the lift was the least of their worries. According to Derek and Bindi, their pre-show rehearsal was a complete disaster. Bindi told People that she was suddenly struggling with doing turns, which wasn’t a problem that she had experienced during previous rehearsals. To make matters worse, Bindi was suffering from a wardrobe malfunction that had the potential to make their lift literally fall flat.
“We were practicing the lift and Bindi’s dress kept sliding up,” Derek said. “If it came up too high, she would fall down.”
Luckily, Derek has plenty of experience dealing with the “amazing” Dancing with the Stars wardrobe department, and he quickly came up with a solution that involved his partner’s underwear.
“We ran over to wardrobe and I said, ‘Please sew the dress to her underwear so it won’t slide up.'”
The trick worked, and Bindi Irwin didn’t pull a Paula Deen by flashing her underwear on live TV. However, the string on Bindi Irwin’s dress was being cut right before she and Derek hit the ballroom floor, so it’s pretty “amazing” that she didn’t miss a step (hopefully you still aren’t playing the DWTS drinking game at the this point).
Perhaps it helped that Dirty Dancing star Jennifer Grey gave Bindi a few words of encouragement earlier in the week during rehearsal. Jennifer is the Dancing with the Stars Season 11 champion, and Derek just so happens to be her former partner. Jennifer Grey probably had plenty of great advice for Bindi and Derek, but because the couple was struggling with the lift, she probably didn’t tell them that she and Dirty Dancing costar Patrick Swayze didn’t even have to rehearse the famous scene or even reshoot it — they nailed it on the first try.
Bindi Irwin told PEOPLE that performing the lift was sort of like doing a reverse trust fall exercise.
“You just have to jump and know you can rely on your partner. So I did,” Bindi said.
I definitely felt the pressure tonight re-creating this iconic dance with @bindisueirwin . What an incredibly special night. It's a moment that I will never forget.Thank you Kenny Ortega for choreographing such a special film that is both iconic and timeless. And my wonderful Jennifer Grey for coming in this week and lifting us up with your love and energy. To say that I'm relieved and happy is an understatement. Whew!! " Nobody puts Bindi in the corner!" #teamcrikey
Derek admitted that he isn’t a fan of doing lifts, and he was less-than-thrilled about recreating another famous Dirty Dancing scene by practicing the lift in a stinky lake. In the pre-dance clip package, Derek couldn’t stop complaining about the smell and the mysterious floating masses that looked a bit like poo. He continued ranting about the rank-smelling water in his TV Guide blog.
“Yesterday, we went to a lake — and I use that term loosely. It was more of a smelly bog,” he wrote. “It was in the Hills. There’s a little reservoir and it was so gross. The silt was like 3-feet deep. When you stepped in it, the bubbles popped. Believe me, I did not choose that location!”
However, nature girl Bindi Irwin was in her element in the water — the Crocodile Hunter’s daughter flung the poo-like moss out of the way and got to work. Perhaps Bindi should have told her partner that he should consider himself lucky that California isn’t crocodile country.
Paula Deen also did a little dirty dancing after her “Vogue” routine, but she’ll never get to ride Louis Van Amstel like a horse again — the flash-frying flasher was eliminated last night. Andy Grammer and Tamar Braxton joined Bindi Irwin at the top of the leaderboard with their perfect 40’s, and Nick Carter and Carlos PenaVega were close behind with a 39 and 38, respectively. Hayes Grier earned a 32 for his Grease-inspired routine, and Alexa PenaVega and Alek Skarlatos were at the back of the pack with their 30’s.
You can check out the results of all of Bindi Irwin and Derek Hough’s hard work below. Do you think they have the best shot at winning the mirrorball trophy, or has the competition become so tough that it’s impossible to pick a winner at this point?
[Image via ABC/YouTube]