Tonya Harding is still in the running for the Dancing With the Stars Mirror Ball, but don't expect to see her son Gordon cheering her on.
“We chose to keep my son out of the public eye for his safety. I’m sorry, but this world can sometimes be cruel,” Harding, 47, told Us Weekly about her 7-year-old son after making it through the first round of the competition last week. “This is the most amazing show ever. I haven’t felt this alive in so long, except when I found out I was going to have my son.”
Harding will compete with the support of her husband Joseph Price in the ballroom.
During the premiere episode, I, Tonya star Allison Janney, who plays Harding's mother in the biopic, cheered the controversial figure on from the crowd. Harding did end up as part of the bottom three dance couples during the premiere alongside partner Sasha Farber, but they were safe enough to continue through to another round.
Judge Carrie Ann Inaba praised the former Olympic figure skater for her dancing ability after the pair performed a Foxtrot to "When You Believe" by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston.
“I was really surprised with Tonya. My heart was touched. She had the most evolved presence when she danced, there was depth to her performance. There was quality to her that I didn’t see in anybody else,” she told Us Weekly later that week. “It’s nice to be a part of a show that can give that kind of second chance, I feel really happy about that. I was thinking about Nancy Kerrigan, because she was on just a few seasons ago — how do I approach this? But my job is to judge what they do on the dance floor. And what she did was mind-blowing.”
Prior to the premiere, Harding told the publication that she hadn't been this excited to work on something in a very long time.
“I get a lot more respect, which is really nice, ’cause it’s been a long time. I’m just very glad to be part of something that is just so wonderful, and meet so many new people. I mean … I’m totally overwhelmed,” she said in April. “[I want to prove] that I can do it, to myself. But I want to do it for my family and my friends, too. It is truly an honor to be part of this, it’s very heartfelt, and I’m just so excited!”2comments
Dancing With the Stars: Athletes airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.
Photo credit: ABC