Drive, determination, and devotion all define Jimmie Allen. Even the surging star’s first hit, “Best Shot,” describes the perspective of never giving up. During this pandemic period, when so many artists languished to find alternate creative paths, Jimmie Allen ventured out with a clothing line, a children’s book, writing songs for one of the most meaningful and listenable albums of the year, Bettie James Gold Edition, with a stellar list of dream collaborators, and, oh yes, getting married and adding to his family.
Just as none of his high-powered country music pals turn Jimmie Allen down, as Country Music Alley noted in a July feature, the Delaware native never seems to turn down any new challenge. As it happens, fans bubbled over with delight to learn that their Country favorite was a recruit on the coveted Season 30 of Dancing with the Stars. Jimmie Allen confirmed the good news with a performance and his own groove with some moves on Good Morning America weeks ago.
Well, as they say in the mirror ball world, time flies when you’re having fun and pulling hamstrings. Jimmie Allen made his debut on DWTS last night (Sept 20), as CMT News and Taste of Country convey. Just as any avid supporter confirms, Jimmie doesn’t do anything halfway and his heart is always full-throttle.
Jimmie Allen, meet Emma Slater
Naturally, fans hoped to see the famous Jimmie Allen smile in the first few minutes of the Season 20 premiere. Instead, Allen comes along after performances from “Sporty Spice” Melanie C., Cleveland Cavaliers NBA star Iman Shumpert, and other formidable contenders. Nonetheless, Jimmie Allen’s meeting with Season 24 pro champion, Emma Slater, seemed to click with chemistry.
By the time Jimmie Allen sees his notable instructor, however, his broad smile outshines his vivid tie-dye T-shirt as they embrace. When she asks Jimmie why he wanted to be on DWTS, he replies in a nanosecond. “I want to be an ambassador for country music,” the “Freedom Was a Highway” artist insists.
He quips that Emma laughs when he says he wants to win, but there is no quit in Jimmie Allen. He teases that his time off the dance floor will create goodwill to pull him through the competition. At this point, “I don’t really know what’s good or what’s bad,” the new dance pupil confesses. “I could do good or I could do bad,” Allen weighs, “Either way, I’m going to have fun.” The contender declares his plan to “take me a shot of whiskey and then go out there.”
For her part, though, Emma Slater sees the grit and the good in her partner. She praises that Jimmie “has no ego. He’s just there to work hard.” Attitude, effort, and work ethic create success. Jimmie Allen’s positivity and passionate drive led to his platinum success. With a good measure of confidence in the mix, there’s nothing to stop a mirror ball for Jimmie and Emma.
A great Tango for the first try
Finally, the dress rehearsals were done as the spotlight rose to Emma Slater sliding off a shiny red Mustang into the arms of Jimmie Allen. The two were a dramatic vision in silver and black, symbolizing the push and pull of the dramatic pursuit of the Tango. The dance is daunting for any beginner because of its dependence frame and precise footwork. It demands muscle strength, too. At some points, Jimmie Allen looked reminiscent of the young Michael Jordan. He guided his way with his open mouth and tongue, and the impromptu technique did the trick! The mouth movements captured Jimmie Allen’s feelings of “competitive as h@ll” and “nervous to death” that he expressed before taking the stage.
On the other hand, the DWTS judges showed no nerves at all in sharing their critiques. Delightfully in person, Len Goodman comments how the dance “does not suit your [Allen’s] personality,” being a “relaxed” kind of guy. Clearly, the judge isn’t familiar with some of the OCD tendencies Jimmie Allen openly discusses.
Still, Goodman declared “you’re going to go a long way,” agreeing with the roar of the crowd. Furthermore, former champion Derek Hough gushed how “that was an incredible week one frame” from Jimmie Allen, before commenting that consistency is crucial. Bruno Tonioli craves to see a bit more “stalking cat” but concedes that Jimmie kept the dance mostly “on track.” In closing, Carrie Ann Inaba adds her own “great job,” saving most of the nitpicking. The DWTS judge feels a rally of support following her own recent health update.
Lots of love in the Allen corner
While Jimmie Allen assures that he is giving his best to DWTS, the busy working dad puts no hold on his music or creative career. His new song, “Big in a Small Town” is out now and he still spreads the message of his children’s book, My Voice Is a Trumpet, through virtual chats with kids and classrooms.
Without question, the most loyal and loving cheers in Jimmie Allen’s corner on Monday night came from his beautifully expectant wife, Lexi. Daddy gave a shout-out to his seven-year-old, Aadyn, before breaking news that his baby daughter #2 is due to arrive in October, not November, as previously reported. Very likely, the sooner date means that papa will be boarding planes between competition nights and trips home. Balancing life, love, parenting, responsibility, and passion is part of every day for this country music musician turned dancer. Whether he takes a mirror ball home or not, he already has what really matters.
Be sure to follow Jimmie Allen’s journey on DWTS and all the latest news from the country music world on Country Music Alley.