Rashad Jennings Just Drove Dancing with the Stars to Tears As He Danced for His Father
NFL running back Rashad Jennings may have just become the one to watch on Dancing with the Stars.
For tonight’s theme of most memorable year, he recalled his rough relationship with his father.
“My dad was closed off when I was younger. Any time you would try to get closer to him, he would turn to alcohol,” Jennings said in the package before the dance. “His idea of love was to provide financially. He provided, and faded away.”
Then, Jennings had a full scholarship to college and was being considered by NFL scouts when he got a phone call that his dad was going to have to have a leg amputated due to diabetes and a stroke he had suffered. Jennings immediately decided to go home and take care of his parents, even if it meant giving up his own dream.
So, Rashad and his partner Emma Slater danced a beautiful contemporary routine to Katy Perry’s “Unconditionally,” and it was by far this season’s best dance yet.
But even as emotional as the dance itself was, that was nothing compared to the hug shared between Rashad and his parents, who were watching from the audience, at the end of the routine.
“I wasn’t watching dance. I was watching two great artists painting one of the most beautiful works of art expressed through dance,” judge Bruno Tonioli said.
Carrie Ann Inaba called Rashad a born dancer, and Julianne Hough said, through tears, that she had no words for what she was feeling. All the judges gave the dance a 10, except for Len Goodman. Len gave it a nine, but that’s high praise for the notoriously critical Len, so it’s basically a 10 anyway.
Seems safe to say Rashad won’t be going home any time soon.
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.