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  • Writer's pictureNicole Grace

It's a 10! Most Memorable Year on Dancing with the Stars

Hello and welcome to my recap of one of the most iconic nights of the Dancing with the Stars season: Most Memorable Year! This week the remaining competitors took inspiration from their most influential experiences to show the audience who they are as people and as performers.


Mira & Gleb – Contemporary 7/8/7

When I heard that Mira’s daughter is a lifelong dancer, and that she also would be joining Mira and Gleb’s contemporary routine, my instinct was that Mira’s daughter’s experience and skill would only bring attention to Mira’s lack thereof. However, this was a gorgeous piece with some great technical moves that Mira executed beautifully. Congrats to Gleb for choreographing and coaching in a way that made everyone look great. I feel like I say this a lot, but this may be Mira’s best dance yet.

Ariana & Pasha – Viennese Waltz 8/8/8

Ariana delivered her Viennese waltz with not only the grace and balance always required for this style, but also with an intensity that made this routine memorable and unique. Ariana is fantastic to watch.

Charity & Artem – Contemporary 10/9/9

When a prop is used, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t work. This routine is an example of how to use a prop right. It wasn’t there to distract or attract audience attention; it was a tool to show a new side of Charity. Artem’s choreography displayed Charity’s strength and athleticism without sacrificing any emotion or vulnerability. Well-deserved for the first 10 of the season!

Alyson & Sasha – Viennese Waltz 7/7/7

Another dance with a prop! This one was very simple, just a single umbrella. I thought it was a nice touch, and that it didn’t overstay its welcome. I thought at times the arm movements could have been a bit stronger, but overall I loved how Alyson seemed at peace and happy to be performing.

Harry & Rylee – Contemporary 6/6/6

This dance was just okay. I liked this team’s Toy Story dance, but I’m concerned that Harry is not going to improve much more.

At this point in the night, we took a break from the competition for a tribute to the late, great, former head judge Len Goodman. Pros past and present came together to share their memories of Len and then performed a dance in his honor. I highly recommend watching it for yourself here.

Jason & Daniella – Quickstep 9/9/9

What a fun dance! Jason is such a great performer. I am always so impressed by the way he can give such a good technical performance while still having the energy to infuse character to the dance. I bet they could have gotten at least one 10 if there hadn’t been a super tiny wobble. I also loved Daniella’s choreography here.

Lele & Brandon – Contemporary 8/8/8

Throughout the competition so far, I have admired how hard Lele has worked to be better each week. I think that work ethic is really paying off. This contemporary routine was lovely, and Lele had such confidence throughout the performance. I would have loved to see her dancing more on the ground.

Xochitl & Val – Viennese Waltz 9/10/9

This dance was so gorgeous. I love how dynamic of a performer Xochitl is. The moment when she and Val were back-to-back and Xochitl clutched the skirt of her dress made me emotional. It felt like she was radiating both youth and maturity.

Mauricio & Emma – Contemporary 8/8/8

This was a very good dance for Mauricio. He did a great job of not only being a good base for every life, but also dancing independently of Emma.

Barry & Peta – Paso Doble 8/8/8

I’ve been a fan of Barry’s DWTS journey since week one, and I was very glad to see him do so well this week. This team’s paso doble was steady, strong, and had good arm shaping. It was clean and classic, and it made me happy to hear Derek say that Len would have loved it.


This week’s bottom three were Mira & Gleb, Harry & Rylee, and Alyson & Sasha, who were all occupying the bottom three spots on the leaderboard. The couple ultimately eliminated was Mira & Gleb. Honestly, none of these contestants have ever been frontrunners, but two have been improving from week to week and one has not, and the one who has remained stagnant was not eliminated.

There were a lot of contemporary dances tonight, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked those in particular, since contemporary isn’t a style that usually excites me. We’ve finally reached the point in the competition where judges are throwing 10s into the mix, and the two that were awarded tonight for Charity and Xochitl were well-deserved. I hope next week, on Monster Night, we see Jason and Ariana get some 10s as well.

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