Olympic athlete and “Dancing With the Stars” contestant Jennie Finch has refused to perform to a popular new Janelle Monae track, citing her Christian faith and desire to honor God. The song, “Make Me Feel,” is sexually suggestive and was deemed to be a “little too risque” for the athlete.
According to the Kansas City Star, Finch was struggling with the song all through rehearsals until she finally made a phone call to producers saying she was not prepared to dance to such a sexually charged track.
“It’s not what I’m about. I need to follow who I am and stand up for what I believe in,” Finch explained on the hit show.
The athlete later elaborated on her bold refusal, telling reporters that “just as a mom, it’s not something we listen to in our house. And my fans, my audience, is young girls,” as reported by Us Weekly.
Finch also pointed out that “there’s so many songs out there.”
“Why even go that route even close?” she asked.
The All-American softball pitcher hopes that this courageous stand for her faith will inspire others, but mostly, her aim is to bring glory and honor to God in heaven. “I want to glorify God out there, and that just wasn’t a great choice for me to do that,” she explained.
Many have highlighted the fact that this is the first time a contestant has refused a dance song in the show history. Despite it being a bit of a hassle for her dance partner and choreographer, Keo Motsepe, Finch is convinced that she made the right choice.
“We had it done on Wednesday pretty much. Completely, the whole thing,” the former Olympian said of the dance routine. “So really, it fell on Keo’s shoulders, and that’s why I am so thankful for him stepping up to the challenge, because it wasn’t easy. We changed it all.”
“I don’t know of anything more empowering than a man sticking by a woman, and following her gut and her heart, not feeling comfortable, and I wouldn’t be able to stand on that stage — I have a 5-year-old daughter — and be proud of what we’re doing in the song choice that we had,” Finch said.
Despite her dance partner having “had the whole choreography done” prior to the last minute switch, she and Motsepe performed a cha-cha to the Daphne Willis song “Do It Like This” Monday night.
The judges seemed to appreciate Finch for being true to her convictions.
“I applaud you for choosing what felt right to you, and I think that’s setting a great example,” judge Carrie Ann Inaba said following the performance.
“I had fun, and that’s all that matters,” Finch told the judges. “It was a fun, upbeat song.”
Finch received a lot of online support for her decision:
“She did fantastic for having changed the song that late in the week! She followed her instincts, and that’s great!” one person commented on a YouTube video of her dance.
“Kudos to Jennie for sticking to her guns regarding the provocative song. “Make Me Feel” is pretty sexual so I can see why she was uncomfortable,” another added.
Another dance in the books! Cannot thank you guys enough for voting! This has been such a crazy and incredible journey!…
“Another dance in the books! Cannot thank you guys enough for voting!” Finch posted to Facebook following her performance. “This has been such a crazy and incredible journey! We’re back home this week and Keo and I are hitting the studio hard getting ready for another week.”