Donald Driver knows he made an impression with his final dance on Monday night – a country-flavored freestyle with Peta Murgatroyd – and he’s hoping it lands the pair the “Dancing with the Stars” mirrorball.
“It’s important, because it’s important for Peta to have it,” Donald told Access Hollywood backstage, after “DWTS.” “She deserves it; she’s worked hard for it… I told her [in] Week 1, I wasn’t going to get voted off first and… we’re in the final. It’s here! And they say ‘freestyle wins the competition.’ I worked my butt off to nail the routine. We [nailed] it, the crowd erupts… Millions of fans at home were probably going ‘Oh, yes! Oh, yes!’ But at the end of the day, they say, ‘freestyle wins.’ Give us the mirrorball.”
Donald and Peta ended the night finally getting judge Len Goodman to turn around his No. 10-scoring paddle, and Donald thinks it’s all down to the pair bringing that unexpected element to their freestyle.
“I don’t think anyone expected me to do country. Everyone probably expected hip-hop, but we wanted to bring a new element, change the show completely up. And we did,” Donald said. “I think we did an amazing job. I think she choreographed it well, she put the country with the hip-hop, and, at the end of the day, we had the crowd off their feet the whole time.”
And the pair felt the energy of the ballroom, which exploded with cheers as they performed.
“It was intense,” Peta said. “They started standing up before we started dancing.”
“We said it backstage,” Donald chimed in. “We said, ‘This is our moment. We gotta rock the house. We gotta have that perfect score.”
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But the competition isn’t over yet.
On Tuesday, the pair will compete against William Levy and Cheryl Burke, and Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas one more time in a newly-introduced competition – a dance they’ve only had 24-hours to perfect.
“We’re gonna go now and practice for five hours or something, and get it ready, and make sure it’s pretty crisp and clean for tomorrow night, “ Peta said.