Zendaya dances for cancer-diagnosed grandmother
Oakland-born Zendaya Coleman continued to impress the judges with another crowd-pleasing performance during Monday’s “Prom Night” competition on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.
She and partner Valentin Chmerkovskiy earned a 24 out of 30 for their elegant Viennese Waltz and advanced to the fourth round of competition.
She and Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones were even voted the show’s prom queen and king on Twitter and received two bonus points, giving them each a final total of 26.
But it wasn’t all about high scores for the Disney Channel star, as she dedicated her performance to her grandmother who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.
Known professionally by her first name, Zendaya chose to recreate some special moments from her grandmother’s 1957 prom to the tune of Doris Day’s 1956 classic, “Que Sera, Sera.”
She told host Brooke Burke Charvet afterwards that she was glad to see her grandmother in attendance and felt she made her proud through the performance:
“She’s my grandma, so she’d be proud if I did anything. If I ruined the entire dance, she’d still be proud.”
Judge Carrie Ann Inaba told the Shake It Up star that while her performance was good, she believed the best was yet to come from her:
“The emotional connection to every single move is beyond your years. You are just fascinating to watch.”
Judge Len Goodman acknowledged how naturally dance comes to the 16-year-old actress/singer while judge Bruno Tonioli simply described the performance as:
“… enchanting and charming as Venice in the moonlight.”
While Zendaya has led the competition for the past two weeks, country music singer Kellie Pickler is right on her heels on the strength of her recent performances.
She and partner Derek Hough earned a 25 out of 30 for their crowd-pleasing, fast-paced Jive Monday night.
Jones and partner Karina Smirnoff continued moving up the leaderboard as well with their Rumba. They dedicated the performance to his old New Orleans high school, Marion Abramson – which was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Former welterweight boxing champion Victor Ortiz also earned his highest score so far – a 23 out of 30 – for his charming Contemporary routine with partner Lindsay Arnold.
Country music singer Wynonna Judd was eliminated during Tuesday night’s results show, making her the first celebrity to be officially eliminated this season after Dorothy Hamill unexpectedly withdrew from the competition last week due to injury.
Judd, who had the lowest combined score of viewer votes and judges’ scores, said she faced her one of her biggest fears by competing and made a lifetime friend out of her partner, season 15 champion Tony Dovolani:
“This is the hardest job I’ve ever loved. I’m a singer, not a dancer. And I did the best I could, and I can’t wait to get back to making my record. And I love my country music fans more than ever.”