Adam Rippon dipped into a very familiar well for his contemporary routine on Monday’s “Dancing with the Stars: Athletes.” The figure skater and his partner Jenna Johnson danced to Coldplay’s “O,” which has also been his free skate music (in a medley with “Arrival of the Birds”) the past two skating seasons. His ethereal performance at the Pyeongchang Olympics was a huge part of the United States’ bronze medal win in the team event. But which Rippon “O” routine do you like more: on the ice or in the ballroom?
Unfortunately, neither of Rippon’s full Olympic routines are online, but there are plenty of videos of his free skates from his past two years. His performance at the U.S. Nationals in January wasn’t too hot — he finished in fourth place before being named to the Olympic team on the strength of his body of work. But when he’s on, he’s on — no quads needed. In keeping with the lyrics of the song, Rippon portrays the leader of a flock of birds with a broken wing in the routine.
Rippon maintained the bird motif for “Dancing” — even more so with the duo decked out in white feathers and starting off in a cage. Granted, the 90-second routine, which Rippon dedicated to his mom, Kelly, is nowhere as long as a four-minute figure skating routine equipped with jumps, but it’s a beautiful, emotional number that felt like Rippon and Johnson were floating in air. The pair earned 39 points, the highest score of the night, and moved safely into the final.
Which “O” performance is your favorite?
“Dancing with the Stars: Athletes” airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.
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