Dancing With The Stars / YouTube
Country singer Lauren Alaina marked the one-year anniversary of the death of her stepfather, Sam Ranker, with a touching tribute during her Dancing With the Stars performance Monday night (Oct. 21, 2019).
A visibly emotional Alaina took to the floor with her dance partner Gleb Savchenko to perform a contemporary dance to her new song, “The Other Side.” She wrote it about her stepdad following his death in 2018.
“He made my mom so happy, changed my mom’s life,” she said. “I wrote this song in his memory. I wanted to write a song that did him justice.”
“He couldn’t hear me sing without crying because he was so proud of me,” Alaina added. “It destroyed me…I wrote this song so that he can live on, and never be forgotten.”
The dance, choreographed by Savchenko, was performed as if Alaina were talking to Ranker. And, Lauren’s mom was in attendance to witness the moment and to be there for support. The entire thing was emotional, but in the middle of the dance, you can see Alaina start to cry. Her final pose was looking up at Heaven with her hand raised. Immediately after she sobbed into her hands and ran to her mom to embrace her.
The judges praised Lauren for her vulnerability and bravery following her performance.
“You’re a brave woman.You touched all of our hearts tonight. It was so beautiful. You should be proud of what you did tonight,” Carrie Ann Inaba told her, while Len Goodman said, “To come out and dance with so much emotion and a performance that is worthy of yourself, your stepfather and Gleb, well done.”
Lauren Alaina took to Instagram prior to Monday night’s dance to honor her “number one fan” and share a photo of herself with Ranker and her mother.
“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. 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,” Alaina wrote.
Sam Ranker passed away on October 21, 2018 after a brief battle with cancer. Read more here.
Watch her touching tribute performance in the video below.