“This was my last dance, and I was here to prove that I belong here,” said Tonya Harding after performing her freestyle routine with pro partner Sasha Farber in the season finale of “Dancing with the Stars: Athletes.” It didn’t end up winning her the Mirror Ball Trophy, but it did get her a perfect score from the judges: straight 10s across the board from Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli. Do you think she earned redemption this season? Watch her performance above and vote in our poll at the bottom of this post to let us know if the right contestant won the title.
Farber choreographed a disco-infused freestyle routine that was a “celebration for Tonya.” Farber felt there was “hate and negativity” surrounding Harding’s appearance on the show 24 years after she was disgraced from figure skating due to the attack on her rival Nancy Kerrigan, “but what got us through this competition was America.” Harding’s degree of involvement in the Kerrigan assault is still a matter of some debate, but the recent Oscar winning film “I, Tonya” revisited those events and cast Harding in a more sympathetic light. So by the time she was done with her “DWTS” run she got a big hug from Inaba, who told her, “I love you!”
Check out what the judges had to say about Harding’s performance below, and vote in our poll at the bottom of this post.
Len Goodman: “If you could survive that routine, you can survive anything. It was full of fun, full of energy. You chucked everything you could think of into one-and-a-half minutes of joy. It was terrific, well done!”
Bruno Tonioli: “Tonya, you’ve become the ultimate disco diva. The whole nation has contagious Monday night fever. She was dancing as if her life depended on it — ‘I’m going to nail this dance if it’s going to kill me!'”
Carrie Ann Inaba: “I love you! That was so much joy. I love all the freestyles I’ve seen in 26 seasons, but that was so much fun. It’s all about impact, and you made an impact.”