Alexa PenaVega Surprised Everyone On 'DWTS'

Last week, it was obvious that Alexa PenaVega and her husband, Carlos, would always be cheering for each other on Dancing With The Stars. Given that Carlos’ performance was much better than Alexa’s last week. Alexa’s partner, Mark Ballas, wanted her to branch away from Carlos and focus on her own competition. Thankfully, Mark’s expert advice struck a chord, because Alexa absolutely went wild on Dancing With The Stars ’ Hometown Week.

Though Alexa originally hails from Ocala, Florida, she comes from a big Colombian family, so it was fitting that she was dancing the salsa this week — Alexa claimed it was “in her blood.” From the snippets of rehearsal we saw before her live performance, I would say that yep, it sure seems like Alexa grew up dancing like that! Mark had the idea to dress Alexa up as a leopard, which I would normally naysay, but every time Mark has an offbeat idea, it usually turns out to be really cool (remember his zombie dance with Sadie Robertson?). Well, Alexa’s face paint and leopard bodysuit must have brought out the animal in her, or maybe she was just a better fit with salsa, but damn, she was a different person this week. She hit every step and absolutely rocked it.

I’m really glad that Mark sat Alexa down and told her that, even though her husband was also in the competition, she really needed to focus on herself and give it her all. I understand completely how women strive to take on a caretaker role and put other people first, and Mark telling Alexa to put herself on top for once was an important moment in Alexa’s evolution on Dancing With The Stars. Alexa is certainly one of the best dancers on this season, and it looked like she found her mojo. The judges thought so, as well, and she got straight 8s for a total of 24 points. That should be enough to keep Alexa and Mark until tomorrow (since it’s a double elimination). Will Carlos also survive? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Images: Greg Zabilski/ABC