I believe that the lesson in last Monday’s episode of Dancing with the Stars was that no matter what turns the path takes, everything always ends up as it should. Despite some confusion towards the end, Dancing with the Stars‘ Week 4 episode was an incredible night. After an initial mixup, Monica Aldama and her partner Val were revealed to be in the bottom two along with Anne Heche and Keo. Anne had performed an incredible paso doble to “Rise” by Katy Perry. It was a number that shared so much brightness and positivity following her story about her relationship with Ellen and its impact on her career. I want to thank her for her vulnerability; her story was both profound and inspiring. Unfortunately, her dancing left her in the bottom two, and all three judges ultimately decided to send Anne home and keep Monica Aldama. It’s always difficult to send someone home after they’ve shared such a powerful and vulnerable moment from their life with us. We wanted to speak to her further but weren’t able to on air due to restricted time, so I’d like to take this moment to say that I was deeply moved by Anne’s peace. I was inspired by her strength and her courage to be the woman that she is in this world and I love the way that she puts her heart and soul into everything she does. I’m sorry that we couldn’t see her dance more because she has such a bright light, and I’m looking forward to see what doors open for her next.
Now, the night might have ended with some unexpected confusion, but it also began with some as well. Ahead of the show, we had my outfit all planned out; I was going to wear a lovely pewter green gown with a tight corset, along with my blonde finger-wave wig. I was so excited for this dress, but the weekend before I had gone camping and had been eating differently than normal. When it came time to put the dress on, it was so tight I was afraid I’d pass out. If you’ve never worn a corseted ballgown, a danger in wearing them is that they can sometimes push on your diaphragm the wrong way and make you faint. That’s why in the 19th century, when corseted gowns were popular, many homes had “fainting couches” specifically designed to catch anyone passing out from a too-tight corset. Luckily, I didn’t need a fainting couch behind my Dancing with the Stars judge’s chair because we plan outfits for future episodes well in advance. I was able to wear a one-shoulder bronze and pewter Ivan Bitton gown picked out for a later episode. For more details, you can read People‘s coverage of my style here. I loved my look, and when I saw Tyra come out in a one-shoulder dress of her own it felt like the stars had aligned and everything was just right.
I want to say that in Week 4, the dancers were incredible. I was profoundly touched by Skai Jackson’s foxtrot that she performed in honor of her friend and co-star Cameron Boyce who tragically passed away last year. I thought that it was flawless; sheer perfection. I know that it’s early in the season for a 10 paddle to come out, but I also know that I have to follow my instincts when judging. The entire time Skai and her partner Alan were dancing, my instincts kept yelling “10!” It was clear that something magical was happening, and when that kind of magic happens, you’ll always see a 10 paddle from me.
I’m blown away by the improvement we’re seeing week to week from all of out dancers. Johnny Weir and his partner Britt gave an incredible performance, as did Kaitlyn Bristowe and Artem. Without any background dancers or distractions from the dancers themselves this year, I think the dancers know that our focus is solely on them. I’m seeing them put more effort into the details, and can feel them really listening to the judges’ comments because it’s the only feedback they’re getting.
I congratulate everyone on what might have been my favorite episode of Dancing with the Stars ever. The growth of the couples has been exceptional, and I feel that many of them have made leaps and bounds forward in their progress. Although the night might have had more confusion than we’d planned for, ultimately everything turned out the way it was meant to be.
I’m looking forward to Week 5: Disco Night! I was in my teens in the 80s and I know it’s going to bring back some fun memories.
(Plus, I can’t wait to see what Bruno’s going to wear!)
To read previous weeks of Carrie Ann’s DWTS diary, click here.