Viewers walked into Season 19 of Dancing with the Stars ready to crown Alfonso Ribeiro the winner. Yet, there is someone who is climbing her way to the top while charming television audiences everywhere — Sadie Robertson.
When the 17-year-old Duck Dynasty star was announced as a contestant on the ABC show, many scoffed at the series for casting another reality TV personality. However, Robertson has earned quite a sweet reputation on the set for acting her age and maintaining her Christian values.
This nod to her religion came heavily into play on Monday night’s show when she and pro partner, Mark Ballas, were assigned the rumba. The sultry Latin dance is known for being slow and sexy. This had the teen rather worried in rehearsals.
She said in her pre-show package, “I hope this week, it doesn’t come off as sexy, but it comes off as sweet. It’s just so awkward to me, and when I get awkward, I laugh a lot.”
This posed a big choreographic challenge for Ballas, who knew he had to gain approval from Roberston’s mom and grandmother before they hit that dance floor.
He explained, “I wanted to find the correct balance between being appropriate and doing the right dance.”
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Ballas and Robertson hit all of the right notes with the judges, as she was given a score of 35 out of 40. She was moved to tears after the dance. It was clear the stress of her job on the show and sticking by her convictions had gotten to her, even though it was the right thing to do.
Judge Carrie Ann Inaba said it correctly when she described what she saw in that performance, “Exceptionally elegant and gorgeous and age-appropriate.”
Robertson is quietly rising to the top and is proving to be a challenger to other strong contestants, like Ribeiro, Bethany Mota and Lea Thompson. She could even be that sneak attack performer who wins that Mirror Ball Trophy in the end.