‘DWTS’ Pro Lindsay Arnold on Alek Skarlatos and Tamar Braxton — Exclusive
Lindsay Arnold
Credit: Marcy Browe    

Dancing With The Stars

‘DWTS’ Pro Lindsay Arnold on Alek Skarlatos and Tamar Braxton — Exclusive

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Dancing With the Stars pro Lindsay Arnold has made a name for herself on Season 21. It's only her second season as a pro, but she and partner Alek Skarlatos have made it to the semifinals and have their eye on the Mirror Ball.

FEATURE: What Happens in the DWTS Season 21 Semifinals?

Wetpaint recently chatted with the new rising star of the DWTS stage, who dished on her strategy to get Alek to the end, what it was like backstage during Tamar Braxton's dramatic return from the ER, and more — including an update on that date Alek was supposed to go on with pro Emma Slater!

On Making the Semifinals & Alek's Strengths

Lindsay Arnold
Credit: Marcy Browe    

Lindsay gushed her journey with Alek so far has been "incredible," adding, "I am so happy that I got a chance to be a pro this season, and not just that I'm in the semifinals. I'm really really happy, and just so grateful I got paired with Alek as my partner. I feel like he definitely helped me get through this just as much as I helped him."

As for how they got so far, despite Alek being — as Lindsay herself pointed out — not the best dancer, she explained her partner's everyday guy appeal definitely helps.

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ALEK SKARLATOS, LINDSAY ARNOLD
Credit: Adam Taylor/ABC    

"The fact that he came into this with no experience, not even just with dancing but with this whole [entertainment] world ... I feel like that's what America loves so much about him. He's just a normal guy who's just working through all of this craziness. It's fun, because he gets to share this journey with so many people."

Lindsay also dished on her strategy going forward, despite knowing Alek is not magically "going to become a better dancer than Nick, or Carlos, or Bindi." Though the good news is winning is not always about being the best technical dancer.

"I think what he has is different from what they all have," Lindsay said. "I'm really trying to bring his personality ... to the dances each week, so that America is reminded why they're keeping him the competition."

Lindsay Arnold
Credit: Marcy Browe    

Oh, and one other thing: they're going to have fun!

"At this point we want to enjoy every second we have, because it's almost over. So we're trying to have fun, but also work extremely hard."

On Tamar Braxton

Lindsay also opened up about the "insane" experience of being backstage during all the Tamar drama last Monday night.

"Honestly, it really happened so last minute," she said. "It wasn't just for the show. We honestly didn't know if [Tamar] was going to show up until the audience did."

VALENTIN CHMERKOVSKIY, TAMAR BRAXTON
Credit: Adam Taylor/ABC    

NEWS: Val Praises Tamar After ER Drama, Says He Loves Her

"It was very stressful," she added. "We didn't know if she was going to come back, if it meant [Tamar and Val] were going to be eliminated, if they could still dance. We were all very worried about them."

As for Tamar dropping out of the competition, Lindsay says it's "so sad," but was quick to point out “it's definitely the smartest thing for her." Health comes first!

On Alek and Emma

Alek Skarlatos and Emma Slater
Credit: ABC/Adam Taylor    

Of course, we had to ask if Alek and Emma Slater ever went out on that date. The answer is they haven't yet, and Lindsay isn't so sure they will.

"I don't know," she dished. "I'm not really supposed to say, but I do know that Emma might be unavailable. That's all I can say! I don't know if Alex and Emma will happen, but they're definitely still really good friends."

For more from Lindsay, follow her on Twitter @lindsayarnold.

Catch Dancing With the Stars on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Check out more of Wetpaint's coverage of Dancing With the Stars Season 21 below:

VIDEO: Bindi Dances Blindfolded on DWTS, Is Still Perfect!

Tamar Braxton Rushed to ER, Misses DWTS

Best and Worst Dances From DWTS Week 9

DWTS Week 9 Recap: Tamar Is Sick, Alexa Is Healed

Bindi Irwin: My Dad Wasn't a Great Dancer