‘DWTS’ Contestant AJ McLean Shares Details About Meaning Of Tonight’s Dance: ‘Very Special And Emotional’

Dancing with the Stars competitor AJ McLean — along with his professional dance partner, Cheryl Burke — announced to his 990,000 Instagram followers who their next performance will be dedicated to. In the short video, the pair stated that their rumba will be dedicated to everyone who has battled — or is currently battling — substance abuse. The pair even revealed that they both have struggled with the problem in the past.

“We have a very, very special and emotional dance ready for you guys,” AJ said at the start of the video.

“It’s so emotional sometimes we can’t even get through it,” Cheryl quickly added before he continued to explain the overall premise of their performance for tonight.

“It represents my battle with addiction and coming from the darkness finally into the light,” AJ explained.

Cheryl admitted she had never before choreographed an emotional rumba that had such depth and meaning to it. She also complimented her partner about his strength for talking openly about such a sensitive issue that most people would stay away from.

“I’m proud of his vulnerability and I’m proud of how you’re just letting it go and not trying to be perfect,” the dancer stated as she placed her hand on his shoulder.

The former Backstreet Boy will be dancing to the song “Way Down We Go” by KALEO, according to ABC.

AJ ended the clip on a positive note by thanking his fans for all their support that they have shown him throughout the series. He also encouraged his fans to vote for him via text or on ABC’s website.

His Instagram followers immediately showed the couple support in the comments section as they left words of positivity and anticipation of watching their performance. Several people also stated that they were proud of him for overcoming his drug addiction.

Originally, tonight’s show was supposed to be a double elimination night. However, Holey Moley host Jeannie Mai was forced to leave the show after being unexpectedly hospitalized, according to a report from CNN. The 41-year-old opened up about what led her to withdraw from the competition on Good Morning America this morning.

“My doctors discovered a health concern with my throat which requires immediate attention and surgery,” Jeannie stated.

Nearly all of the Dancing with the Stars competitors, including AJ and Cheryl, reached out to Jeannie via social media and expressed how hurt they were that she had to leave so suddenly.

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