Skai Jackson dedicated her latest Dancing with the Stars number to the late, great Cameron Boyce.
The Disney Channel star opened up about the tragic death of her late Jessie co-star on Monday’s episode of the dancing competition series, explaining how Boyce — who died on July 6, 2019 at age 20 after suffering a seizure in his sleep — was “a really close friend” and older brother figure of hers from the time they starred alongside each other on the children’s sitcom from 2011-2015.
Reflecting on her friendship with the deceased star, the 18-year-old actress told her pro partner Alan Bersten:
“He was in my life for half of my life, which is crazy… I met Cameron, obviously, on Jessie, and we just really built this bond for years and years and years. And he was kind of like a big brother figure to me.”
She added ahead of her foxtrot performance as she began to cry:
“He always looked out for me through everything. He really molded me into the person that I am now… Of course I miss him every day. But I have him on my phone case, so I get to see him.”
Jackson admitted that she was “a little bit sad, of course” that Boyce is no longer here, but said she knows “that he would be really proud of me,” adding:
“I know that he loved Dancing with the Stars and he loved dancing. So that’s why I’m really excited, just to do this dance, because it is for him… really glad that he’s here to watch over us. I just want to show him that this dance is for him.”
Ch-ch-check out her breathtaking performance, to the tune of John Legend‘s Ordinary People (below):
Wow, so beautiful!
And the judges agreed: Jackson stunned the panel with her number, which earned her the first 10 of season 29. Derek Hough said:
“Skai Jackson, last week I said it wasn’t my favorite. This was my absolute favorite dance of the night. I mean, it was just exquisite.”
Carrie Ann Inaba admitted she was “blown away” by the number, later explaining:
“First of all, for me, dance is always about the emotion, and I’m sure that Cameron is watching you right now and he is so proud of you. What you did, you were like an angel dancing the most beautiful dance… It was just sheer perfection.”
Bruno Tonioli also praised the starlet’s “stunning” performance, noting:
“It was the embodiment of grace and elegance.”
The actress was awarded a 28/30: a 10 from Inaba and two nines from Hough and Tonioli. While Skai was undoubtedly pleased with her scores, she took to Twitter following the performance to remind her fans that what she really wanted was to honor her friend.
“Just got off stage.. I did my thing for Cameron tonight ”
Wherever Cameron is, we’re sure Skai did him proud.
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