“Glee’s” Amber Riley rocketed to the top of the “Dancing with the Stars” Season 17 leaderboard, with a fast and fun cha cha with partner Derek Hough on Monday night, but she doesn’t actually remember it.
“Everything was a blur,” Amber told Access Hollywood’s Shaun Robinson after the season opener. “I didn’t see anything. I don’t even remember what happened!”
What happened was a number that got the pair frontrunner status — three 9s from the judges — a score that hasn’t been seen in Week 1 since Kristi Yamaguchi and Mark Ballas in Season 6.
“I’m not gonna lie, that makes me a little bit nervous,” Derek said after being reminded who the contestant was that got the same score during such an early round.
For Amber, hearing that she matched the score of someone who went on to win the competition got her excited.
“She’s my favorite,” Amber gushed of Kristi.
Derek revealed Amber did something during their performance in front of America that took him by surprise.
“You just made a face at me [while we were performing]. I enjoyed that,” Derek said, looking at Amber. “Normally, I’m looking at my partner in their face and I just see terror in their eyes. “
“You didn’t see terror? ‘Cause it was back there,” Amber laughed.
After the show, Amber told Shaun more about why she wanted to take on the challenge of “DWTS.”
“I wanted girls to know and I wanted to encourage some girls to move, get out there and move and dance,” she said. “I’ve gotten older. I’m 27 now and I had health issues earlier this year that caused me to really pay attention to what I was eating. … And I just started exercising more and I started eating better and I just want to encourage girls… I’m not trying to be a certain size, but I do want to live a long time.”
“DWTS” continues next Monday night at 8/7c on ABC.
-- Jolie Lash