Performing on “Dancing with the Stars” for the first time on Monday night was an emotional moment for Wynonna Judd – because her entire family was there, including her husband who almost died last year.
Poignantly, the love of the country singer’s life, Cactus Moser, saw the star give dancing her best shot with pro partner Tony Dovolani. Wynonna and drummer Cactus had been married only two months when a motorcycle accident almost killed him. Cactus lost a leg because of the devastating wreck.
But Wynonna told reporters after “DWTS” that her appearance on the show, “was a big day of celebration. The fact that he was in the audience was a miracle. I saw his face from [the ballroom floor] and he just beamed at me.”
The country singer who made her fame as part of the mother-daughter duo The Judds with mom Naomi was also delighted to have her mother and actress sister Ashley Judd watching her from the audience. Fans saw the two cry, hold hands, and ham it up in the “DWTS” ballroom crowd.
Wynonna joked that her mother might even have upstaged Cactus in the audience. “I don’t even know what he was thinking because I think my mother was taking all the energy and attention away from him, am I right?”
The Judds have had humorous on and off family rivalries for years, but Wynonna marveled at the reunion at “DWTS,” “They’re all together and in one place!”
Naomi did an on-camera mime for Wynonna to call her, which cracked up the audience. “I didn’t even know she was doing that. I didn’t see it but I’m so not surprised,” Wynonna smiled.
The singer told xfinityTV that her mom and sister didn’t believe her when she first told them she’d be on “Dancing with the Stars.” “I waited ’til I was with them [to deliver the news] because I knew at first they were like, wow. It’s pretty ballsy to do something this crazy and this out of my comfort zone, knowing where I’ve been and what I’ve been through.”
Wynonna’s teenage kids Elijah and Grace were also watching her dance. “I’m grateful. My husband was here, my mom was here, my sister was here. My kids now know how famous I am. They see me at home and they’re like, yeah, yeah, yeah, she sings. I think this is a big moment for them to really see me work so hard for it to pay off. They’ve been watching me through the window, peeking in, three weeks of dancing for four hours a day, not a day off.”
Wynonna received a score of 18 out of 30 for her lively cha cha cha with Tony. But she said dancing was nothing compared to her role of caregiver to Cactus. The singer had lovingly nursed her husband back to health. She confided, “I’m a little sore and that’s from taking care of my husband for six months. Being with Cactus when the wreck happened, it was like, whoa, a life changer.
“My name was off the [show biz] list for awhile, but I’m back. Us ‘givers,’ we give to our families and our friends and our church and our schools and my husband said, ‘honey, [now] it’s your turn.’ ”