Sky Brown’s gave thanks on ‘Dancing with the Stars: Juniors’ and made Adam Rippon cry with this foxtrot [WATCH]

I’ll admit, I’ve been skeptical of Sky Brown‘s potential to win this season on “Dancing with the Stars: Juniors.” Though she has led our Mirror Ball Trophy predictions for much of the season, she hadn’t yet topped the judges’ leaderboard. And on Juniors Choice Night her samba left her in her lowest position yet on the leaderboard. But after Giving Thanks Night I’m officially a convert. She could go all the way. Watch her grateful foxtrot above.

Every contestant on “Juniors” ended up giving thanks to their families, and Brown’s came all the way from Japan to watch her train and perform. That included her adorable little brother Ocean — I’m guessing if the family continues to expend her next siblings will be named Earth, Wind and Fire. She danced a foxtrot to the song “Unconditionally” by Katy Perry to reflect her unconditional love for her parents and brother.

Brown has always been one of the most expressive contestants on the show, and with this foxtrot she had technique to match. It was elegant, emotionally committed, and had beautiful lines. She even made judge Adam Rippon cry before he told her, “This dance is exactly what the show is about. Than you for sharing your heart with us.” Val Chmerkovskiy added, “The world has fallen in love with dance because of performances like that.” And Mandy Moore thought it was technically “incredible” and gave adult pro Alan Bersten praise for how well he mentored them this week.

The scores were just as good as the judges’ comments suggested. Brown got a 9 from Chmerkovskiy and 10s from Moore and Rippon for a total of 29 out of 30. Not only did that put Brown on top of the judges’ leaderboard for the first time, it was also the highest score recorded by any contestant this season so far. We have yet to see anyone get a perfect 30 out of 30 (Chmerkovskiy still hasn’t made use of his 10 paddle yet), but I suspect it’ll come sooner rather than later.

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 Sunday 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.

More News from GoldDerby