Moving Forward with Most Memorable Year on Dancing with the Stars
Welcome to what is always one of the most dramatic and emotional nights of the Dancing with the Stars season, Most Memorable Year. This is the night that the contestants talk about what they consider to be their most memorable year, and how the events of that year impacted their life.
Trevor & Emma – Jazz 8/8/8/8
After landing in the bottom two with a routine that I didn’t like last week, Trevor is back on track! In his tribute to his life as a struggling actor, he definitely seemed more comfortable on the dance floor than ever before. Emma also looked exceptional next to him.
Shangela & Gleb – Foxtrot 8/8/8/8
Before dancing, Shangela spoke about a major injury that she had to recover from to be able to dance again. Then, she and Gleb danced a graceful, gorgeous foxtrot. In previous weeks, Shangela has consistently brought high energy and excitement to the ballroom. This week, it was wonderful to see Shangela effortlessly tap into deeper and more vulnerable emotions in her dancing.
Jessie & Alan – Tango
Jessie and Alan were back in denim for a very interesting country-inspired tango dedicated to her three kids. There may have been some moments when she was a bit shaky, but Jessie is still keeping her head above water in this competition.
Gabby & Val – Foxtrot 9/9/9/9
Before dancing, Gabby shared what it was like to be a nurse during the pandemic. Her foxtrot was gorgeous and emotional.
Joseph & Daniella – Rumba 9/8/9/8
Joseph talked about wanting to create his own identity separate from his famous father, and in his dance, he definitely created an identity as a dancer. This rumba with Daniella was smooth, confident, and lovely to watch.
Daniel & Britt – Contemporary 8/8/9/9
Daniel danced to a song from Coda, a movie he was in. I loved the sunny-yellow contemporary performance that included his interpreter. To me, Daniel stands out as such a strong partner. When he dances with Britt, it’s smooth, sturdy, and stunning to watch. Len used the words “connection” and “gentleness” when commenting on this dance.
Jordin & Brandon – Salsa 8/8/8/9
After sharing her love for her son last week, Jordin chose her Most Memorable Year to be a tribute to her meeting her husband. This dance was strong and high-energy, but there were just a few moments where that energy needed to be harnessed in a way that allowed her to have more control of her limbs.
Charli & Mark – Contemporary 10/9/10/10
You can definitely count on Mark to take advantage of an opportunity to incorporate a unique concept into a dance. Mark’s choreography and Charli’s skill came together perfectly to tell the story of Charli's anxiety that has increased since becoming a public figure on social media. In the story they're telling in this routine, Charli is being dragged, pushed, and pulled by her anxiety (played by Mark), but as a dancer, she’s totally in control of her body the entire time. It was a remarkable number, which earned the first 10s of the season!
Vinny & Koko – Jazz 8/8/8/8
On a night with a lot of emotional stories, I love to see a dance celebrating someone’s joy, like the way Vinny’s life was changed by Jersey Shore. I’ve really enjoyed watching Vinny this season, and he did very well in this routine. He hit every move correctly. However, this wasn’t my favorite choreography. It was very syncopated, and I’m not sure if that’s a staccato jazz style choice, or an effect of oversimplifying choreography (Len called it “simple yet effective,” and Carrie Ann said it was “clean” but asked for “more than step touches”). Since he’s struggled for some weeks, perhaps his partner/coach/choreographer, Koko, is still trying to find the right balance in difficulty when building routines.
Heidi & Artem – Rumba 9/9/9/9
Before dancing, Heidi talked about how she grew as a person when she moved from a small town to New York City. Her rumba was clean, solid, and filled with confidence.
Wayne & Witney – Foxtrot 9/9/9/10
This week, Wayne danced a tribute to his daughter. His foxtrot was graceful and gorgeous, adding another solid dance to his name. He’s such a strong performer, and the judges are giving him more specific critiques so that his dances can reach perfection.
THE FINAL DANCE:
A few times during the night, both Tyra and Alfonso mentioned a “surprise” that would “change the competition.” I didn’t think much of it, but when I realized Selma & Sasha were the last dance of the night, I realized what the surprise must be: Selma leaving the competition.
At the beginning of the rehearsal package, Selma talked about wanting to improve her scores, and that her Most Memorable Year was the year she was diagnosed with MS. However, two days later, Selma sat down with Sasha and told him that, after consulting with her doctors, she can no longer continue in the competition. She said she “wanted to have a beautiful last dance and bow out.”
So, at the end of the night, Selma & Sasha danced a waltz to bring her Dancing with the Stars journey to an end. The judges gave her all 10s. I thought they may not score it, but now I think the perfect score was an excellent send-off, since Selma started the week wanting to improve her scores once more.
On account of Selma’s exit, Tyra announced that there would be no elimination. Instead, the cast gathered to celebrate Selma and Sasha’s accomplishments.