Patrick Swayze’s widow reveals her thoughts on Jennifer Grey’s DWTS performance

Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough on Dancing with the Stars
Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough on Dancing with the Stars. Pic credit: ABC

Jennifer Grey teamed up with Derek Hough on Dancing with the Stars Season 11 and won it all.

It was a huge season for Jennifer, who had not danced since she did Dirty Dancing with Patrick Swayze two decades earlier. The reason for the gap was an auto accident where she injured her back.

However, when she returned, she gave it her all and won over America’s hearts once again and won the Mirrorball trophy.

Jennifer Grey honored Patrick Swayze on Dancing with the Stars

One of the best performances came when she and Derek performed the Viennese waltz to These Arms of Mine by Otis Redding. The song was part of Dirty Dancing, and Jennifer did it to honor Swayze, who had died of cancer the year before.

In the video leading to the dance, Jennifer talked about working with Patrick Swayze years before.

“It took me back in a time capsule, and I was with Patrick – I just missed him,” Grey said to Derek. “He was like you, young and gorgeous.”

As for Derek, he knew he had a lot to live up to because Patrick Swayze was a legend.

“I think that the dance was Jennifer’s tribute to Patrick,” Hough told Entertainment Weekly. “He was such an important part of her life, and the connection to Dirty Dancing was going to come up with her being on Dancing with the Stars. … His whole career is such an inspiration to me.”

Jennifer and Derek scored a perfect 30, the highest Viennese waltz score for the season. It was one of six perfect scores the duo scored that season.

Patrick Swayze’s widow talks the DWTS tribute

Patrick Swayze married Lisa Niemi in 1975, and the couple remained married for 34 years until the time of his death.

Lisa, also a professional dancer, said she watched the episode and was a little surprised at the tribute to her late husband.

“What they showed of Jennifer in rehearsals, I was not quite expecting so much connection to Patrick,” Niemi told Access Hollywood Live. “And, of course, it makes total sense. It was a little tough, but how could [Jennifer] not remember working with him?”

She said it really brought back memories and reminded her of how much she missed him.

“But when it came to the actual dance, I was with her. I thought that dancing to ‘These Arms of Mine,’ she did every bit as good a job as I thought she would and then some,” Lisa said.

“Jennifer is a natural talent, and she brought this kind of special sensuality. She’s such a great actress… And then with ‘These Arms of Mine’ playing, it just added that extra magic, and I was just super thrilled.”

Dancing with the Stars is on hiatus. The dancing reality competition series will return in late 2022 to its new home on Disney+ streaming.

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