- Olivia Jade Giannulli danced a samba to “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” on “DWTS” for Disney week.
- Bruno Tonioli said the YouTuber had “the spirit of a wild cat” in the performance.
- Giannulli and her pro partner Val Chmerkovskiy scored 35 out of 40 possible points.
YouTuber Olivia Jade Giannulli danced an energetic samba to “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” from “The Lion King” with her partner Val Chmerkovskiy for Monday’s Disney Heroes Night on “Dancing With the Stars.”
As she channeled Simba, Giannulli proved why her theme so far this season has been growth, both personally and in the ballroom.
The pair scored 35 out of 40 possible points, tying them with JoJo Siwa and Jenna Johnson for one of the highest scores of the night. (Both pairs were only beat by Melora Hardin and Artem Chigvintsev, who topped the leaderboard with a 36 out of 40 for their “Jungle Book” quickstep.)
The judges had unanimous praise for the performance.
“I loved almost everything about that,” said judge Carrie Ann Inaba, praising the way Giannulli handled the music change and the “trust” and “chemistry” that Giannulli and Chmerkovskiy have as partners.
“I’m not a cat person and you do not look adorable in that makeup,” Derek Hough joked, before adding that she’s becoming one of his favorite dancers to watch this season.
Bruno Tonioli channeled his feline side, literally meowing before telling Giannulli that she had “the spirit of a wild cat” and “the sprint of a cheetah” while dancing.
“And yet she maintained the lightness of a gazelle,” Tonioli added.
Giannulli is one of the celebrities on this season of “DWTS” with no prior formal dance training, but she is finding her stride in the competition. She called her tango performance last week “exhilarating” and said that while she finds it “hard to trust” people, she trusts Chmerkovskiy. And clearly, that’s coming through in their performances.