'Dancing With The Stars' season 27: Joe Amabile performs the perfect routine but nearly breaks pro-partner Jenna Johnson's back in the end
Looks like all the 'Disney Night' magic finally arrived a week late for Joe Amabile on ABC's 'Dancing With The Stars' season 27's 'Halloween Night' episode. The Chicago-based 'Bachelor in Paradise' star's latest dance on the show, which was every bit as spooky as the theme of the night called for, finally earned him and pro-partner, Jenna Johnson, their highest score in the show so far, and for the first time ever, Joe wasn't at the far bottom of the leaderboard. But it did come with a price, and that was a slight misstep that made Jenna almost break her back!
While Joe and Jenna's Frankenstein-themed Argentine tango to 'El Tango de Roxanne' managed to earn them rave reviews from the judges, they also pointed out the one error in the performance where Joe almost dropped Jenna during a lift right at the end of their dance routine.
"Actually, your tango didn’t scare me because, for once, it actually looked like an Argentine tango," judge Bruno Tonioli said, noting the significant improvement in the star's dancing skills. "I’m very, very pleased to say that your timing tonight was the best ever," he added. "There was just the slight incident at the end, but I suppose it was because of the lift, something went wrong, but up until that moment… you were on it."
Fellow judge Carrie Ann Inaba was particularly impressed with the remarkable improvement Joe displayed. "Truthfully, what a huge change," she remarked. "Now you understand what we’re talking about: presence, commitment, following through with every move. You did it in every single move, even the end. And I’m going to give you a bonus point for that because, yeah, Jenna almost fell, but you didn’t give up, which is what you normally do. You held it to the end. Well done! Hallelujah Joe!"
Indeed it was a happy moment for Joe who had admitted right at the beginning of the season that he had no prior experience or skills in dancing, but sadly, the performance also trailed in Jenna's harrowing encounter with almost severely injuring herself. In a blog post she wrote for Us Weekly, the DWTS pro admitted: "During the last five seconds of the dance, Joe grabbed my hips in a bit of a wrong position. It was correct, but it wasn’t all the way around my waist and I knew that if I flipped over, I was probably going to die. I just was like, it’s Halloween night and I have to take one for the team, so I just went for it."
But that feeling of fear wasn't all she has carried with her since, as Joe's remarkable improvement wasn't lost on her either.
She continued, writing: "I borderline broke my back, but I feel great. Somehow, we landed it, and I think it just made it more surprising and shocking. Sometimes, mistakes are beautiful perfections. If something goes wrong on live TV and someone’s not used to performing or isn’t a dancer, it’s really hard to come back from that. So the fact that he kept going and was still in character and then ripped my head off at the end, I was like, 'What? Who is this guy? Not Joe week one! He’s a dancer!'"
Sadly, however, it wasn't a happy ending for everyone - especially with the impending end-of-the-episode elimination looming all over them. Going home this time was former Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton and her pro-partner, Sasha Farber, after the duo landed in jeopardy, next to former NFL player DeMarcus Ware, and his pro-partner, Lindsay Arnold.