Country singer Lauren Alaina’s Dancing With The Stars journey has been anything but easy. But, the star has fought through family issues and health problems to deliver consistent scores week after week.
Following Alaina’s week 3 performance, she revealed that her cousin Holly had been hospitalized with a brain bleed during the week prior.
“I had a crazy, crazy week,” Alaina told host Erin Andrews after dancing the foxtrot to “Jolene” by Dolly Parton. “My cousin Holly had a brain bleed and she slipped into a coma earlier this week. I went home and we missed a few days of rehearsals. And I was like really stressed and my family told me to come here and I want to dedicate the dance to you, Holly.”
Three weeks later, Alaina marked the one-year anniversary of the passing of her stepfather, Sam Ranker, with a poignant tribute dance choreographed to her latest single “The Other Side,” a song she wrote about Ranker.
“He was always my champion. He was always my number one fan. Now he’s my guardian angel. I can’t believe my stepdad has been gone a year today. This is going to be an extremely hard day for my family, but I know Sam is with us and is so proud of us all,” Alaina wrote on Instagram prior to her dance. “I am dancing for you tonight Sammy. I’m giving mom all the biggest hugs she deserves. We miss you. See you on The Other Side.”
Prior to Monday night’s (October 28) week 7 performance, Alaina revealed that in addition to the emotional roller coaster she’s been on this season, she has also been battling a beat up body. In fact, she shared that she had broken a rib during the first week of rehearsals with her pro partner Gleb Savchenko, and had suffered injuries to more ribs in the following weeks.
“When [Carrie Ann Inaba] said my core looked strong I looked straight at Gleb because all I have been trying to do is pretend my ribs aren’t broken this whole competition,” Alaina told host Erin Andrews following her Halloween-themed performance. “I fractured the one on the left the first week of the show and I haven’t had these X-rayed, but they don’t feel great.”
Alaina’s partner praised her strength and determination saying, “She’s so strong. I’m so proud that she got through it. We had a tough week and I’m really proud of you. You did a great job.”
Watch Lauren Alaina and Gleb Savchenko perform the Argentine Tango choreographed to “Whatever Lola Wants” in the video below.