“That seven really bugged me,” said Mirai Nagasu during her clip package in week two of “Dancing with the Stars: Athletes.” In the season premiere she tied for third place on the judges’ leaderboard with fellow figure skater Tonya Harding, behind only Josh Norman and Adam Rippon, but while she got 8s from Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli, she only got a 7 from Carrie Ann Inaba. As a competitive figure skater Nagasu certainly knows how it feels to anxiously await scores from judges, so that slight disappointment triggered her insecurity about her dancing prowess. But she came back with a vengeance in her second time out on the dance floor and topped the leaderboard. Watch her foxtrot with her partner Alan Bersten above.
Nagasu performed an acrobatic salsa in week one, so her elegant Disney-themed foxtrot was a significant change of pace. But the dance style suited her well. Not only did she improve on that accursed 7, she got the first 10 of the season. That perfect score came from guest judge Rashad Jennings, while the other three regular panelists gave her 9s. That gave her a total of 37 out of 40, and when that was combined with her score from the team dance later in the evening, she ended up tied for first place with her Olympic figure skating teammate Rippon.
Did you agree with her high scores? See what the judges had to say about her below, and vote in our poll at the bottom of this post if you think she gave the best performance of the night.
Len Goodman: “At the beginning you were sprinkled with a little bit of Disney magic because that, for me, was the best dance so far.”
Bruno Tonioli: “Gorgeous and radiant — literally. You were the embodiment of a fairy-tale princess, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty rolled into one. It really was right up there with the best of Disney.”
Carrie Ann Inaba: “That was gorgeous. This is what I thought you were capable of. Every movement was finessed perfectly. Everything was beautiful. You had the Disney force with you tonight.”
Rashad Jennings: “I thought it was a great dance, great choreography. You have a great partner. I thought this whole entire time it was graceful, it was peaceful. I felt like I was in Disney the whole entire time. But you’re a true athlete: you didn’t like [your scores] last week, so you came out and proved you want better scores.”
Be sure to make your predictions so that the contestants can see how they’re faring in our racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before the next episode airs every Monday on ABC. You’ll compete to win a spot on our leaderboard and eternal bragging rights. See our contest rules and sound off with other fans in our reality TV forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.