It’s been building up and building up, and on the Oct. 10 episode of “Dancing With the Stars,” after weeks of tabloid gossip and some horrifying reality, Jana Kramer’s emotions came to a head. But, it was actually a cleansing, healing moment for the stunning actress-turned-country singer.
The theme of the evening’s show was “Most Memorable Year” and, in spite of her marital struggles, for Jana it was 2016, the year her daughter Jolie Rae was born. In the video package that airs prior to each dancer’s performance, Jana discussed her violent marriage to Michael Gambino, which dissolved after he beat his young wife and left her for dead in their yard. He was tossed in jail for attempted murder, then after his release, committed suicide.
Jana admitted that it was difficult to talk about that time, but since the birth of Jolie Rae things have changed. “It took having Jolie to piece together every single broken part of me,” she said smiling. But, her voice broke and the tears began to flow when she added, “I want my daughter to know that no man should ever put his hands on her…because she’s beautiful.”
The other thing that was absolutely beautiful was Jana’s performance. Dressed in an ethereal pale blue dress and dancing to Martina McBride’s “In My Daughter’s Eyes,” Jana and professional partner Gleb Savchenko executed a nearly perfect contemporary dance that included a trust fall that had the entire audience, including the judges, audibly gasp.
Jana’s tears weren’t the only ones that fell after the performance. As the judges gave their commentary, Julianne Hough said, “I have one word — perseverance. I’m gonna cry. In your journey, you have had perseverance, but you’ve also had perseverance in your competition.”
Apparently, many at-home viewers also had a visceral reaction to the performance as Twitter was lit up with comments and gifs about the emotional dance that earned Jana and Gleb a 26 out of 30.