It takes a lot to get a high score out of “Dancing with the Stars” judge Len Goodman. He tends to be the strictest judge in the competition and the most conservative scorer. But he made an exception for model Alexis Ren on New York City Night. Even though she was briefly tripped up by a wardrobe malfunction, he thought she gave the very best performance of the season so far and he gave her his highest score yet. Watch her above.
Ren and her pro partner Alan Bersten performed an Argentine tango, but Bersten added an ambitious twist to the choreography: it was inspired by the ballet “Swan Lake.” So the routine began with some more traditional ballet steps before transitioning into the Latin moves. Unfortunately, the tearaway tutu she was supposed to remove during that transition stubbornly refused to come off, leading to a moment of awkward fumbling before it finally gave way and the dance continued.
Much to Ren’s credit, she didn’t seem phased by the momentary setback, and the judges didn’t hold it against her. But Goodman went further than that. He actually called it the best dance of the season so far, and he gave her his first 9 of the season, while Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli both gave her 8s. That added up to a grand total of 25 out of 30, which was just one point shy of the top of the leaderboard. Milo Manheim, Juan Pablo Di Pace and Tinashe all scored 26 out of 30.
A fourth-place score from the judges is usually more than enough of a buffer to guarantee your safety in the competition at this early stage of the season, but Ren might have more reason to worry than most. She also had one of the higher scores in week one, but when viewer votes were factored in she ended up in the bottom five. Is her fan base strong enough to keep her alive, especially with a double elimination on Tuesday night? She had better hope they stick to her as much as that tutu did.
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