Reflections After Season 19 Finale
by Joy Allmond, Contributing Writer
Duck Dynasty’s Sadie Robertson may not have won the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy, but she needed no mirrors to reflect the Light of the world during this season of ABC’s hit show Dancing With the Stars.
Sadie Robertson and partner Mark Ballas took second place at last night’s season finale.
She and her pro partner Mark Ballas took second place at last night’s season finale, conceding to Alfonso Ribiero (best known as “Carlton” from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air) and his partner, Witney Carson.
Since the Sept. 15 season premiere, Sadie, 17, has wowed the judges with her natural talent, earning praise and high scores for everything from her week one Cha Cha to her last dance, a Mario Brothers-themed freestyle brilliantly choreographed by Ballas, 28.
But she also captivated judges and audiences with her light.
“Sadie has a light about her that is undeniable,” said judge Julianne Hough in a video package. “I don’t know if it’s her faith or just how young she is, but there is something that is so real and so authentic that you can’t help but root for her.”
Sadie left the same impression on Hough’s fellow judge Carrie Ann Inaba: “Sadie’s innocence is what is so enticing about her. When Sadie dances, I always feel like the room just lit up. She’s got such a brightness to her, and it’s one of the most beautiful things to watch. This is something I’ve never really seen before on our show. She’s pure, and it’s refreshing.”
While most people seem pleasantly surprised that Sadie could immerse herself into a very secular culture and come out of it spiritually stronger than ever, her family members expected no less.
As he reflected on Sadie’s life-long love for God, Willie, her father, has enjoyed a front-row seat watching her flourish as a godly young woman: “The first week we are out to see her dance she goes out there and just does such a great job. I definitely got overwhelmed. There was a tear or two. It’s been fun to see her grow as a person, but yet still stay grounded.”
Her grandmothers are not surprised, either.
“Sadie always loved God and wasn’t ashamed to talk about it,” said Kay Robertson, her paternal grandmother.
Her maternal grandmother, Chrys Howard echoed that sentiment: “This is the first time that she has been away from the big family. And I’ve been so proud to sit back and watch her handle it with just such poise and grace.”
Sadie’s Light has not been only been felt—it has been heard. Her post-dance and post-show interviews were often filled references to Scripture that has carried her through each week—such as Hebrews 10:35 that says, “…Do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.” (NIV)
It was also heard by cast and crew behind the scenes. During Monday night’s finale, a clip was shown of her praying aloud with Ballas backstage before a dance.
Ballas, who has developed what many call a brother-sister relationship with Sadie, has enjoyed watching her grow as a woman and as a believer over the past few months.
In fact, he became emotional as he reflected on his time with the Duck Dynasty sweetheart.
“I’ve loved every second of this journey. I’d say out of my 15 seasons, this has probably been my favorite,” he said. “To be a part of that journey has been really awesome.”
During a taped segment that aired during the Sept. 15 season premiere, Sadie was not shy about making it known about why she ultimately came to Dancing With the Stars: To share her faith.
And now, at the end of it all, it is clear that her focus never wavered.
“This has just been an amazing experience and I just want to say I am so thankful to God who has brought me this far in the competition,” she said after the Mirror Ball Trophy was awarded to Ribiero and Carson.
“I feel like I really accomplished what I wanted to accomplish on the show.”
Joy Allmond is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.