Adoption inspired the most acclaimed dance of the season so far on “Dancing With the Stars.”
Singer-actor Jordan Fisher saluted his grandparents — and adoptive parents — Monday night with a contemporary dance that was poignant yet exuberant. Judge Bruno Tonioli called the routine “exquisitely flawless.” Fisher drew the first 10s of the season from Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba; tough-to-please Len Goodman gave a 9.
SPOILER ALERT: The ejected celebrity was former NBA player Derek Fisher.
The night’s theme was the celebrity’s most memorable year, and the routines produced many tears.
The other standouts were violinist Lindsey Stirling and ESPN personality Victoria Arlen. To recall her comeback from being told she would never walk again, Arlen started her dramatic foxtrot in a wheelchair. Stirling honored her late father with an imaginative Viennese waltz designed by Mark Ballas. Tonioli said the Stirling dance was gorgeous and magical, and he said the Arlen dance showed her strength of character.
Four weeks in, Jordan Fisher, Stirling and Arlen are the most skilled dancers. They may not be big names, but they have been the most consistent.
Frankie Muniz may be the most likable. He shared his story of memory loss and drew loving words from “Malcolm in the Middle” co-star Bryan Cranston. Then Muniz performed a delightful quickstep, and Inaba praised the dance’s joy.
Muniz earned 24 points — 8 per judge — and the judges were holding up the 8 paddle a lot.
Also collecting 24 points were Terrell Owens for an emotional Viennese waltz, Nikki Bella for a contemporary dance about a comeback from injury, Sasha Pieterse for a foxtrot, Vanessa Lachey for a rumba and Drew Scott for a jive.
Scott’s jive had a surprise: Brother and “Property Brothers” co-star Jonathan Scott joined the dance, which became a trio, and did very well. Inaba said Jonathan was Drew’s secret weapon.
On the dance floor, Lachey was working just fine with partner Maks Chmerkovskiy after reports that they have been at odds in practice.
The next celebrity to go could be Nick Lachey, Vanessa’s husband, who scored the fewest judges’ points for a contemporary dance about his marriage.
The dances were some of the best this season, but there were many tears, too.
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