Soap star Jack Wagner led the way with the most dramatic of the personal stories on “Dancing with the Stars” on Monday night.
All of the celebrities talked about their most memorable year and performed dances to reflect that theme. And the “General Hospital” actor danced for his long-lost 23-year-old daughter, Kerry, and told viewers how he had made her part of his life after she revealed her identity to him at his pop concert last year. Born of a relationship Jack had in his youth, Kerry had been adopted and never knew until recently who her father was.
But she tracked him down—and after Monday’s DWTS, Jack, also the father of two boys with his ex-wife, told reporters the reason he chose to tell his family secret: “I realize so many people have gone through the adoption process. There’s some miracles and there’s also some heartache and it takes a lot of courage to find your birth parents, for parents to find children, and my daughter has a lot of courage and I wanted to shine some light on that tonight and also let everybody know that’s gone through this process or even in it that this is a celebration no matter what the outcome is.”
Watch Jack Wagner’s Dance for His Daughter Below:
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The actor told Xfinitytv that Kerry has inherited his “cocky attitude” and his dance partner, Anna Trebunskaya, chimed in “and her eyes. She has the same piercing blue eyes as Jack. That stare is the same.”
But Jack said when they first met, he instantly knew Kerry was telling the truth about being his daughter because “It wasn’t the eyes. It was the hug. I could just feel it.”
Kerry is a ballroom dancer herself, Jack said, and told him after his samba with Anna, “nice job. You got your arms right.”
He laughed that this year’s father’s day will be “more expensive” but “to have a daughter that is 23—the real credit goes to her adopted parents. I met them; they’re amazing. They raised her in Manhattan in Queens and what a blessing to get this girl who was raised by really great people.
“She has her own life. She came out for a week at Thanksgiving and she was the only girl with a male dog, two boys, and me, so there are body parts on the wall and brains and legs in the pool.”
Jack and Kerry have been getting to know each other. “It was very intense in the beginning. We shared a lot of things for about three or four solid days and from that point on, I realized in order to parent her, I had to step back,” the actor said. “I can’t tell her what to do. She’s a 23-year-old girl. If she needs or wants something, she’ll ask. So that’s how I’m rolling with this.”
Watch the Highlights of Monday Night’s Performances:
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While Jack’s story was made-for-TV with its soap opera twist, the other DWTS celebrities also had fun telling their personal tales – and in chatting to reporters after the show with their dance partners. Here are some backstage bits and pieces:
Melissa Gilbert: The former Little House on the Prairie star confided she’s having no problem fitting into little jeans! She’s gone down 2-2 ½ waist sizes after all her dancing with partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy. “My whole body’s changed. I have muscles where I didn’t even know they were and my stamina has increased immensely,” she said.
Gavin DeGraw: With partner Karina Smirnoff by his side, the singer joked about getting an imaginary friend after a spray-tan session. “Last night, I got out of rehearsal after my tanning experience,” he told reporters. “I lay down on my white sheets. I got out of bed, went down, grabbed a snack, went up there and I had left a shadow on my bed. I was like, ‘hey, how’s it going? This is pretty weird. What are you doing, bro? You’re laying in my spot.’ And he was like, ‘I am your spot, bro! You left me here earlier.’”
Roshon Fegan: When Xfinitytv asked the Shake it Up Disney star about why he’d grabbed his crotch during his Michael Jackson-inspired dance with Chelsie Hightower, he said, “I didn’t really hesitate much. I was aiming right for where he told me to which is, that’s the way Michael does. I was showing the world that it’s okay. We can still do it. Anything he does, I’m still going to do!” Okay!
Gladys Knight: The R & B legend made her dance partner, Tristan MacManus, blush by saying he was a good singer! Tristan also sported a new haircut: “It makes me look like a 12-year-old boy,” he sighed.
Sherri Shepherd: When a reporter randomly asked what The View hostess thought about prenuptial agreements, Sherri (who dances with Val Chmerkovskiy) was typically candid in her response. “I did a prenup! My husband was great with it. I think when you’re a woman and you’ve gone through some stuff and you have assets to protect—not only for yourself but for your children, prenups cover many more things than what we think. I think a prenup is a really good idea.”
William Levy: His dancer Cheryl Burke insisted “it was a little bit of a battle” to get the hunky telenovela star to take his shirt off! “But he did it.” William said, “I don’t want to have the feeling I want to just show my body. I’m here to dance and have fun.” In other words, ladies, don’t treat him like a piece of meat!
Find out who will be the second celebrity eliminated from the competition on Tuesday night’s “DWTS” results show on ABC.