Needham's own Aly Raisman danced a smooth and seductive Argentine tango Monday night on "Dancing With the stars," judge Len Goodman said of her performance with partner Mark Ballas. Sporting a dark, edgy costume, Raisman left behind her sweet side as she fiercely took the dance floor to earn 29 out of 30 points, topping the leaderboard for the individual dances. Before their routine, Ballas said Raisman is the "most innocent girl," and that she would need to become a harlot for this dance.
"The transformation I've seen in you is unbelievable," judge Carrie Ann Inaba said after Raisman performed. She also said Raisman's lifts needed some work. Inaba was the only judge to offer constructive feedback to the Olympic gold medalist.
"The ballroom tango is about a guy dancing with his wife. This is about a guy dancing with his mistress," Goodman said. "It was terrific." Bruno Tonioli thought Raisman's lifts were perfect and commented on her ability to take on the character of the dance. "I didn't know you were so good at being bad," the animated judge said. "It was sensational."
After their dance, Raisman joked that she didn't want to know what her dad, who was in the audience, thought about her sexy number. "I'm just trying to be myself and have a good time," she said when asked about her own assessment, thanking Ballas for being a supportive partner.
Later in the night, Raisman danced a spunky jive as part of a trio to the song "Hit the Road Jack." The group earned praise from the judges. While Tonioli said it was a "fantastic performance," Inaba again offered some criticism. "You were a little flat footed, but keep going in this direction," she said.
Country singer Kellie Pickler and partner Derek Hough, who tied with Raisman and Ballas last week during the individual routines, received 28 points out of 30 for their Viennese Waltz, trailing just a point behind Raisman. But Pickler and Hough also earned high marks for their trio, keeping the competition tight between Raisman and Pickler. The former "American Idol" contestant said her late grandmother would be the one person she'd like to dance with even for a moment if she could. She said she let her grandmother's memory influence her dance, helping her be more emotional as she moves.
"Today I definitely saw that you went beyond the steps," Inaba said of Pickler's routine. "This, to me, is you unlocking the key to becoming a winner." Goodman agreed that it was lovely dancing. "Well done," he said. Meanwhile, Disney star Zendaya has continued as another stand-out performer, earning the first perfect score of the season -- 30 points -- for her trio routine during the second half of the show. We'll see how Raisman will fare overall along with Pickler, Zendaya, and the other remaining contestants during the elimination round on Tuesday at 9 p.m. on ABC.
Did you watch Raisman's tango and jive? What did you think? Should she take the title? Or should it go to another contestant? Share your opinions here in the comments.
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