Oof, we're now at the truly heart-breaking portion of the evening, because it's time for JR's story. Obviously, his most memorable year is the year he was injured. He was driving and hit a land mine. He was 19 years old and he felt like his life was over, and he even wished that he had died rather than have to live this way, with his disfigured face and body. But at one point, he chose to fight and be upbeat and positive. He wants his rumba to be a tribute to the servicemen and women that didn't get a second chance like he did. Oh, Lord. I mean, he has earned every bit of that, but it's heavy.
You know, he's a war hero, and he has every right to be bitter and a jerk. And yet, he's an amazing person and even an asshole like me can see that. And he's also a great dancer. His rumba is really, really good. The extension on his arms and legs is amazing, and his movements are very graceful. He has hip action in all the right places. I really can't find much fault with the routine. And despite all the weight that was laid upon the routine, it somehow avoids schmaltz and is truly just affecting. Look, you guys. I don't like being this way. I want to rip on something. I hope someone awful is coming up soon because I'm about to lose my recapper badge. The audience applauds wildly and JR is overcome with emotion, and the producers wisely just let it go on for a while. Judges? Carrie Ann is all verklempt as well. She tells JR that he did something extraordinary and profound. Len tells him that JR has surprised him with his excellence, even if it could have been a little more musical through the arms (which means that Len isn't giving him a 10 and has to justify it.) Bruno says that he felt every emotion that JR put out there, and his technique was great as well. Scores: Carrie Ann 9, Len 8 and Bruno 9. I'm glad they didn't give him 10s. It's too early in the season.
The best thing that happened to Nancy Grace on this show was being paired with Tristan. People love that dude. I don't know if it's the accent or that he's super cute. So Nancy Grace is dancing to "Moon River" because it's the first lullaby she ever sang to her twins. They were born prematurely (like many twins), although Nancy doesn't say how many weeks they were or how long they spent in NICU. Not that it matters, since any time your children are threatened, it's life-changing. As a fellow twin mom, though, I'm always interested in the gory details. Anyway, she's dancing for her twins (her kids, not her boobs), who are healthy and happy toddlers now.