Things got heavy on Dancing with the Stars this week, as country hitmaker Jimmie Allen took the dance floor with Emma Slater to honor his late father with an emotion-filled performance.
This week, the remaining 13 contestants were challenged to transform into iconic Disney characters and to partake in the Mickey Dance Challenge, where they were tasked to incorporate steps from Mickey Mouse into their routines.
Contestants were also asked to honor their heroes, which for Allen was an easy task.
“When I think of heroes, I think of my Father,” Allen emotionally shared during rehearsals for their Paso Doble. “He’s the one that raised me on ‘never make an excuse’ and that’s helped me so much with my career.”
View this post on Instagram
As tears filled his eyes, Allen went on to remember his dad, who was known as “Big Jim,” and his final moments with him.
“He died in 2019 from Kidney failure. I definitely miss him everyday. So, I knew my Dad was going to die in the next day or so [at the time] and I was going to go to the hospital, but they said he was non-responsive, couldn’t talk,” Allen recalled. “So I was like, ‘do I want to be in this hospital just watching him lay there like that?’ So, I went to me and my dad’s favorite fishing spot. For me, that was a peaceful way to remember my Dad and be okay just knowing that I was going to have kids he’ll never meet.”
Allen worked as hard as possible to perfect the dance as he dedicated it to his late father.
“If I botch this dance, I’m not dedicating it to my Father, but if I kill it… It’s for my Dad. In the words of my Dad, ‘get it done or don’t,’ and I want to get it done.”
Allen and Slater, dubbed “Team Jemma,” thoroughly impressed with the Paso Doble, which was set to the tune of “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from the movie Mulan.
Sporting Mulan’s signature red robe and battle attire, the pair flawlessly made their way around the dance floor, leaving the judges and audience in awe.
“That was incredible, there was dignity, there was passion,” Carrie Ann Inaba complimented. “I loved how you did the Mickey challenge. You added that spice… Everything about that dance made me feel… It was just delicious. I just loved it.”
Len Goodman praised the pair and also offered a bit of criticism.
“The Paso Doble feeling for the dance, there was a little bit of walking around going on which I wasn’t too keen on, however, what I really liked was the Mickey dance challenge,” Goodman said. ”That was right in character, full of passion, strength. Fantastic, well done.”
Derek Hough noted that Allen sang every word to the song and joked that it was like a “full music video.”
“Jimmie, what I’m so impressed about you with is your texture and your movement, the resistance when you move something you don’t just hit it,” Hough said. ”You actually move through it, it looks just wonderful and also this is my favorite Mickey dance challenge so far. So well done brother.”
“Are you auditioning for the live version on Broadway?” Bruno Tonioli interjected.
“I’m working on it…” Allen replied, before Tonioli said, “Carry on like this, you’re going to get it.”
Team Jemma ultimately earned a score of 30/40 with 8’s from Inaba and Hough and 7’s from Goodman and Tonioli.
Dancing with the Stars returns on Tuesday (Oct. 12) at 8/7c with performances inspired by Disney Villains.