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Driver Sambas to personal top score on DWTS

Posted by packers.com on May 14, 2012 – 9:15 pm

WR Donald Driver and partner Peta Murgatroyd continued their uphill journey towards the mirror ball trophy and reached their highest single dancing score of the season with a total of 29 points, beating their score of 28 from last week’s Jive. This high score came about on the couple’s second of two dances for the night, the Samba.

Combined with their first dance score, 28 points for the Waltz, the duo received a total of 57 of 60 possible points, leaving them in third place for the evening.

The judges used their experienced eyes to critique the smallest misstep for all contestants during this semifinal round. Judges being stingy with the 10’s was nothing new for Driver. He took the first round of judging in stride with one “10” from Judge Bruno Tonioli.

“It’s harder to impress with a Waltz,” said Tonioli about Driver’s first dance. “It had a caring gentle, soft quality to it. Romance is blossoming in front of my eyes!”

Prior to their second dance, each semifinalist reflected back on their diverse and emotionally-charged background. Driver’s story began with his father being in jail and his mother raising five kids alone, with little resources.  First living in a moving van and eventually homeless, Driver and one brother went to live with their Grandparents in a rough, crime-ridden neighborhood.

“I stayed a troubled kid,” said Driver.

The turning point was when he met his future wife. From that moment, Driver focused less on his past antics and focused more on his future. He focused on the future for his family by developing his football skills, and that’s what brought him here today.

“Donald lets his playing do his talking for him (on the football field),” audience guest QB Aaron Rodgers said. “It’s the same with dancing.”

After the emotional rewind, Driver moved forward and delivered a solid Samba and received his first two “10 point” scores from Judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Tonioli.

“A+ game,” said Inaba.

“I liked it,” Judge Len Goodman said. “Well done for you.”

Perhaps the “good luck charms” in the audience helped Driver attain his highest score in the 9 weeks of competition. Along with Aaron Rodgers, audience co-workers included Coaches Mike McCarthy and Edgar Bennett, Director of Player Development, Rob Davis, and LB Clay Matthews.

With four couples remaining in the semifinal showdown, Driver and Murgatroyd delivered their best dance of the season when they needed it most. Hopefully this upward scoring trend will continue for next week’s finale.

For now, Packers fans across the nation can breathe a sigh of relief for their favorite dancer on “Dancing with the Stars,” but only for a moment as Driver needs fan votes to ensure he and Murgatroyd remain in the competition. Eliminations continue tomorrow night on DWTS. To keep Donald and Peta in the finals, viewers are encouraged to vote. Visit abc.com for all the ways to vote.

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