This is not a drill. David Ross, retired Chicago Cubs back-up catcher, made it through to the final four on “Dancing with the Stars.” He was not eliminated on Tuesday’s show, and I’m not sure that anyone, David included, thought he’d make it this far.
But he has! David Ross has made it, thanks to his dancing, his relentlessly positive attitude, his inspirational story, and the overwhelming love of the fans, who continue to vote for him week after week.
This week, the professional dancing partners got to choose the first song. Lindsay Arnold chose Tim McGraw’s “Humble & Kind” for their first dance, and combined with the waltz, it was an absolutely perfect choice.
It’s very different than the pair’s first dance last week, where they did a delightfully weird sci-fi salsa. The combination of the waltz and the song made for a very touching, emotional few minutes. Lindsay has said that she looks at David like a second father, and so they took on the roles of father and daughter for the routine.
It was beautiful, and David was 100% committed to it. Not that I’d expect anything less, but during the performance you could tell how hard he worked and how proud he was of his dancing. He didn’t miss a single step, and when it was over, he was so emotional that he teared up. It was by far the best dance David has done on the show.
The judges thought so, too, and let him know with their glowing reviews. After judge Len Goodman complimented David for attempting the correct footwork on the waltz (which celebrities rarely do), he told the pair “It was quiet, it was understated, it was poignant, and it was 100% your best dance.” Julianne Hough told David that he’s the heart of the competition, and what the show is all about: a non-dancer committing themselves to learning how to dance, and seeing growth week after week. Lindsay and David were given a 36/40, one of their best scores ever.
But the dancing wasn’t over. Just like last week, Lindsay and David did a second dance. It was trio week, so they welcomed professional dancer Hayley Erbert as the third member of their team. They performed a Paso Doble to Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise.” And it was … well …
I’m not sure what that is. Or why that is. Or how that is. There were “Game of Thrones” inspired costumes, there was some weird acting, there was lots of spinning, and it was all to the overblown orchestral strains of “Gangsta’s Paradise.” Without the words, and with that arrangement, it vaguely sounds like a battle song, but it’s still “Gangsta’s Paradise.” So it’s a little hard to take this routine seriously.
And the dancing wasn’t great. Watching David try to dance with two women at once was pretty awkward. And at one point, all he was doing was windmilling his arms while two women spun around on either side of him. The trio obviously had a great time, but the judges were not impressed. Len Goodman said it was “rough” and there was “no dance quality out there.” So he definitely did not like it.
The rest of the judges were a little kinder. Bruno Tonioli said that David looked like “Godzilla chasing jet fighters,” but it was said with love. Carrie Ann Inaba complimented their first dance again, but only to say that it was clear they put all their time and energy into that one, while their second dance was “plodding” and “clumsy.” It’s hard to argue with any of these criticisms, because that second dance was insane.
David, Lindsay, and Hayley got a 29/40 on their Paso Doble trio routine, the lowest of the trio dance scores. Next week the competition gets down to the final three, and while his scores (at least for the trio dance) cast some doubt on his future, we should know by now not to count David Ross out yet.
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