Usually when there’s crying on ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ it’s over frustration with one’s partner, one’s inability to get those steps right, or an aching body. But for Jennifer Grey, the tears over her first dance of the season were deeper than that.
When the ‘Dirty Dancing‘ star found out she’d be dancing the Viennese Waltz to “These Arms of Mine,” a song from the iconic ’80s movie, her mind went right back to her late costar Patrick Swayze, who died from pancreatic cancer in September 2009. During rehearsal, the actress welled up, walked away and started sobbing. “I just missed him,” she said.
“Hearing the music takes me back to the night we were shooting that in that shed in Virginia and it was like all of a sudden it was here,” Grey told us backstage after the show Monday night. “It was almost like I time traveled and I was back there, but everything is different now.”
But the show must go on, and the 50-year-old actress ended up the top scorer of the night with 24 points. But she told us she’s not letting the early success go to her head.
“I’m just glad it went well, and I’m really excited to tackle the next one, which is really challenging and intense,” Grey said. “I’m just trying to stay calm, stay cool, and know that it’s not always going to be like that.”
Her pro partner Derek Hough, however, is relieved at the first-night win. “You know, it’s a feeling of relief in that it’s on video and now it’s something we can have forever,” he said. “We can always look back on it and go, ‘Wow, that was fantastic.’ That feeling enough makes me feel relieved and proud, and not to put so much pressure on ourselves or be so worried that we have to top it all the time.”
Did you think Jennifer deserved the top score? Think she can take it all the way? Discuss in the comments below.