Believe it or not, we have just one week left in this “Athletes-only” edition of Dancing with the Stars, and Olympic bronze medalist (and self-proclaimed “America’s sweetheart”) Adam Rippon is crushing it.
I’ve been pulling for Adam from day one and he hasn’t disappointed.
Charming, self-deprecating and hard-working as hell, Rippon has been everything the TV show’s producers could have wanted.
Performing a contemporary dance last night to “O” by Coldplay (which Adam knows uber-well since he skated to it at the Winter Olympics), Team Rippon came to slay, and slay they did.
Gorgeous choreography (I’m glad Carrie Ann pointed out later how deceptively challenging the steps were), complete commitment and detailed execution made the bird-inspired dance take flight.
And the judges agreed.
DWTS season 24 runner-up David Ross: “By far my favorite dance of the night.”
Judge Len Goodman: “It had great control mixed with flair. It’s the best dance I’ve seen tonight. Well done.”
Judge Bruno Tonioli: “You were like two birds of paradise - mesmerizing and enchanting. It’s impossible to tell who is the professional. This is a masterpiece of a dance.”
Judge Carrie Ann Inaba: “I love that you push yourself that hard. I just wanted to thank you. This is why artists create - to have moments like this. Where it’s just pure perfection.”
Team Adam received the evening’s high-score 39-of-40, which he dedicated to his mom, saying afterward: “The only thing that I’m thankful for is that I’m a beautiful crier.”
From where I stand, the mirror-ball trophy is Adam’s to lose. He’ll face off in the finals next week against fellow-figure skater Tonya Harding, and Washington Redskins defensive back Josh Norman.
Watch Adam and Jenna’s contemporary dance below:
Last night also featured a salsa “ballroom battle” between woofy Olympic luger Chris Mazdzer and the NFL’s Josh Norman.
Both did great but how could I pass up a another chance to gaze again upon Mazdzer’s furry goodness?
He knows what he’s working with. Just saying…