Violinist Lindsey Stirling is one of four celebrity competitors advancing to the finals of “Dancing With the Stars.”
Stirling along with singer Jordan Fisher, HGTV’s Drew Scott and actor Frankie Muniz claimed their spots in the reality TV show’s finals on Monday night. Paralympic swimmer Victoria Arlen and her partner Val Chmerkovskiy were sent home a week short of the final competition.
In the semifinals, each couple was asked to dance two routines. The celebrity’s professional dance partner chose a song for the first routine that best encapsulated the celebrity’s personality. For the second routine, the couples recreated iconic, perfect-score-receiving performances from previous seasons of “Dancing With the Stars.”
For Stirling’s personality dance, her professional partner Mark Ballas created a contemporary routine that represented Stirling’s ability to fight and reach for her goals when no one else believed in her.
“She manages to stay joyful and keep her head up,” Ballas said in the video. “I find that very admirable.”
The duo danced to “Head High” by Alexander Jean, receiving a near-perfect scored of 29 out of 30.
“It really captured the feeling of what it is to be free to oneself and let it all hang out,” said judge Bruno Tonioli.
For Stirling’s iconic routine challenge, she was assigned to recreate a Tango originally performed by season 18 winner Meryl Davis and Max Chmerkovskiy. Davis — a American ice dancing Olympian who won gold with partner Charlie White in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games — encouraged Stirling over Skype prior to the performance. Stirling felt the pressure of these historic routines.
“It’s definitely a lot of pressure because these aren’t just really well done dances, they’re iconic dances, they’re favorites,” Stirling said following her performance. “We got to talk to Meryl beforehand, and we knew we weren’t going to be able to do that dance, but we wanted to make it our own and we wanted to make it something that they would be proud of having a homage to them. And I think we did a really good job.”
Chmerkovskiy, who created the original routine to “Feel So Close” by Calvin Harris, came out on stage to congratulate Stirling and Ballas, who earned a 28 out of 30 for their performance.
“You don’t compare art to art. We put in hard effort. It took us 2.5 months to get to this point to do that Tango. This was just as special. It’s a different couple. It’s a different season. You guys did an amazing job.”
Before coming on “Dancing With the Stars,” Stirling included Derek Hough, a professional dancer on the show, in her music video, “The Arena.” Hough performed a ballroom dance with Stirling in the video that is for a song in her album, “Brave Enough.”
In 2015, Stirling received her degree in recreation management from BYU. A classically trained violinist from Gilbert, Arizona, Stirling earned her way to fame through her YouTube channel. The BYU graduate has a unique style of music that blends pop and violin — and it is all accomplished while she dances.
The four finalists will compete for the mirrorball trophy on Monday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. MDT. On Tuesday, Nov. 21, “Dancing With the Stars” will crown the winner at 8 p.m. MDT.