Ahh redemption! Tonya Harding got to feel the love of an audience again on ‘DWTS’ with a standing ovation for her Foxtrot. Even her movie mom Allison Janney was there to cheer her on!
After years of public scorn for her part in the 1994 attack on skating rival Nancy Kerrigan, Tonya Harding is working her way towards becoming America’s Sweetheart. The 47-year-old former Olympian is competing on an all-athlete version of Dancing with the Stars and blew the audience away with her Foxtrot on Apr. 30. She got a standing ovation after her performance and no one could have been more proud of her than Allison Janney, who played her mom Lavona in the silver screen’s I Tonya. Lavona was quite a character and Allison’s performance won her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. It was so sweet to see her there in person supporting the real life Tonya after we saw in the movie how the skater’s real mom was such a monster to her.
Tonya and partner Sasha Farber danced to “When You Believe” by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. For her efforts Tonya was rewarded with a score of 23, which put her in second place but still landed her in the bottom three. It was a double elimination night, yet it was announced at the last-minute that Tonya was safe to dance again another week. She said that she “felt like a princess” while out on the dance floor and revealed how thrilled she was to be performing again since she had professional figure skating taken away from her nearly 25 years ago.
— George Pennacchio (@abc7george) April 30, 2018
Tonya was banned for life from the U.S. Figure Skating Association in 1994 after ultimately pleading guilty to hindering the prosecution in the case against her then-husband Jeff Gilooly and his involvement in hiring a man to attack Nancy and try to break her leg before the U.S. Nationals. While she was vilified at the time in one of the most dramatic scandals in all of sports, Margot Robbie‘s Oscar-nominated turn as Tonya helped bring some sympathy to the Portland OR native, who just wanted to skate her heart out. She was harshly viewed by judges for lacking Nancy’s grace and finesse while being too athletic, and her own mother was so verbally abusive to her. Tonya and Lavona are still estranged, so at least her movie mother Allison was there in the audience to support her and give her love on DWTS.