‘Dancing With the Stars: Athletes’ Recap: Adam Rippon, Tonya Harding & Josh Norman Make Top 3
Success on Dancing With the Stars is not just about being fleet with your feet, it’s also a matter of establishing a heartwarming story that resonates with the judges and the fans. And in a season as short as the current Athletes edition, those connections have to be established quickly.
Last night’s semifinal episode was “MVP Night,” in which the remaining contestants dedicated their performances to the most valuable person in their lives
Tonya Harding has been riding some public goodwill in the wake of the release of I, Tonya, and she has now taken that positivity all the way to a spot in next week’s finals. Her chosen MVP was her father, who passed away nine years ago, which unsurprisingly led to her getting emotional at the end of her rumba performance set to Tyler Ward‘s rendition of “See You Again.”
Also moving forward is Redskins cornerback Josh Norman, who named all four of his brothers his MVP’s. Then things get a little smoky and sultry as he and his partner Sharna Burgess busted out their contemporary routine to the tune of “Stand By Me,” netting them 9’s across the board.
Rounding out the Top 3, no surprise, is Adam Rippon (who named his “smart,” “selfless” and “kind” mom his MVP). The openly gay figure skater has the story, serving outspokenness at this year’s Olympics, and the skills, as he has managed to earn the highest scores every week so far. He did not slow down at all, as he and his partner Jenna Johnson offered up a graceful, athletic interpretation of Coldplay’s “O” (which he skated to at the Olympics), netting them a 9 and three 10’s.
Rippon will be the only 2018 Olympian in this season’s final, as figure skater Mirai Nagasu and luger Chris Mazdzer had their last go-round, with softballer Jennie Finch Daigle rounding out this week’s eliminations. Nagasu’s departure is a little surprising, as her overall point total this season was second only to Rippon’s.