'Dancing With The Stars': AJ McLean recalls his recovery journey from substance abuse in powerful performance

AJ McLean talks about what made him change his life while reflecting on overcoming his addiction after years of substance abuse

                            'Dancing With The Stars': AJ McLean recalls his recovery journey from substance abuse in powerful performance
AJ McLean and Cheryl Burke (ABC)

AJ McLean delivered an emotional performance this week in the November 2 episode and allowed viewers to see a different side to him. The 'Backstreet Boys' singer opened up about his battle with substance abuse and how, over the years, he tried his best to come out of his old habits. 

AJ revealed that he started drinking at the age of 22 and within three months, things became bad. His life took a turn when he tried cocaine for the first time while shooting for a music video. From then, AJ admitted there was no holding back as the next two years were blank for him as he did not remember anything due to his addiction. 

He admitted that there were two times when he overdosed. Even though this made AJ seek help, it did not last long as he went back to take cocaine and alcohol once again. However, the changing point for him were his daughters. AJ revealed he was in Vegas and had been drinking all the way back to his home. 

At this point, his daughter came in for a hug. Unfortunately, she could smell the alcohol and decided to walk away. When AJ questioned this move, he was shocked to hear her say that he "didn't smell like daddy". Hearing these words, AJ knew things had to change. His partner Cheryl Burke revealed she had been sober for two years and understood the struggle it was to be on the right path.

The pair managed to bring their emotion to the dance floor. The judges were impressed with the performance but thought there were few things where they could improve. Bruno Tonioli admitted it was a good storytelling performance, but added that more action was needed in terms of dancing. 

Carrie Ann Inaba thought the same. She admitted the performance could have been better had there been more moves. Meanwhile, Derek Hough applauded AJ for how far he had come. However, in terms of dance, he thought the pair could improve. All three judges gave the performance an 8 and it made his total score of 24 out of 30. 

'Dancing With The Stars' airs on Mondays at 8 pm ET on ABC.

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