Dancing with the Stars Recap: Most Memorable Year

Dancing with the Stars Recap: Most Memorable Year
Season 27, Week 3

Most Memorable Year is the episode where Dancing with the Stars producers have one agenda: Get Carrie Ann to cry. Multiple times, if possible. I’ll admit that I’ve cracked under the pressure in previous episodes, but I held it together during the season 27 sad stories. Except, of course, when DeMarcus starting crying. I’ll cry along with man tears any day of the week.

Other than that instance, I was uncharacteristically fine. Nary a teardrop fell down my cheek when someone remembered a loved one who passed away. There wasn’t a hint of a quiver when Mary Lou stuck to her gymnast roots and held back her emotions on live television.

I blame two things for my lack of blubbering. One, the fake Ryan Gosling JV troupe dancer extraordinaire distracted me with his Ryan Gosling-ness. Two, DWTS show runners added layers of thick smoke to the flashing lasers and my irritation trumped any forlorn sentiments that may have been hanging around my heart.

Are these the first signs of curmudgeonry? Am I turning into Len Goodman?

Mary Lou and Sasha
Viennese Waltz
“We Are the Champions” by Ray Chew
SCORE: 24

Mary Lou’s most memorable year was when she won the individual gold medal in 1984. It was emotional for her for obvious reasons, but what America may not know is that she had a knee surgery SIX WEEKS before that moment. And it was a secret so the competition wouldn’t mentally check her out of the race. Crazy, right?

I like that Mary Lou’s year was a proud moment. She physically looks amazing and the royal blue dress was gorgeous. Sasha partners her well and I appreciated the nod to her achievements with the mellow version of “We Are the Champions.” Here comes the HOWEVER…

Mary Lou’s smile is infectious. It brings people joy. Yes, there are times when it’s not appropriate during choreography, but she has to learn to do something different when she’s NOT smiling. Right now she purses her lips like she’s concentrating really hard or smoking an invisible cigarette. It’s even more of a jolt when she transitions from smoker to Mary Lou smile. It gets me every time.

Her dancing is so pretty and elegant. Like Len said, her hands are exquisite, forming beautiful shapes. But she can’t seem to claw her way to the top of the leaderboard and I think that’s because of her two facial expressions. She looks unsure when she purses and I think the judges consider that in her scoring.

Also, I think it’s unfair that she’s performed first twice in just three weeks.

Milo and Witney
Jive
“Can You Do This” by Aloe Blacc
SCORE: 27

Darling tall baby Milo’s favorite year is 2018. He’s literally living his best life before our eyes. He’s on this cool dancing show, he was a teenage zombie on the Disney Channel, and he’s going to graduate from high school! What better way to celebrate than with all the JV dancers at a mock graduation ceremony?

Normally, I don’t approve of so many superfluous dancers, but I didn’t mind this time. Like my roommate Lara pointed out, he could be a JV troupe dancer. Everyone is on equal ground ballroom and all are having a blast. Even Witney’s tin foil silver butt ruffle was somehow charming.

Milo and Witney have their choreography down. How do I know? Because they use their camera blocking time to figure out where that camera is going to be during the show and they worked it. They worked it hard. Except for that one time when Milo crawled up onto the judge’s table, flicked and kicked a bit, and then did a back flip off of it before joining his JV buddies for another few eight counts of legitimate jive.

It was clean, energetic, fun, and flawless. I’m not sure what Carrie Ann meant when she said Milo had a “zombie arm,” but he took the criticism with grace. Perhaps ABC wants the viewing audience to agree that Milo is not a robot they created in the Disney vault. HE HAS FLAWS!

Nancy and Val
Rumba
“Love Someone” by Lukas Graham
SCORE: 22

It would be rude of me not to encourage you to at least head over to iTunes and give Lukas Graham a listen. His new album just came out at the song “Love Someone” is very, very sweet. It’s one that fits perfectly with Nancy’s tribute to her husband and family who are her everything.

Now dancing the rumba to that song, which is the dance of love, seems weird. When I say love, I mean bedroom sexy time. Of course Val had the decency to tone the sultriness down, which I appreciate, but when you remove the rolling hip action, you’ve transitioned to eight grade slow dance.

Again, this is fine. I just wish they had been given contemporary or lyrical instead of rumba.

Nancy looked incredible. She has a version of the mouth syndrome that Mary Lou has, which is unfortunate. Instead of pursed, her lips remain in a straight line. This makes her look scared to me, but what do I know? The judges absolutely loved it. Or they absolutely love Val. I can’t tell the difference.

Alexis and Alan
Contemporary
“How to Save a Life” by Ray Chew
SCORE: 26

I think Alexis is an extremely talented dancer. Because I’m a pseudo fan, I hopped over to her Instagram to see what she’s been posting about her time on Dancing with the Stars. And she seems to be having a blast with Alan when she’s not posting pictures of her boobs.

She’s a swimsuit model. You don’t get 12.4 million followers posting sweaty rehearsal shots for weeks on end while you’re off dancing on a reality show. Famous companies don’t pay you the big bucks to peddle their gummy hair vitamins with a photo of you in a sports bra and stringy ponytail in a random LA dance studio. No m’am. That hair needs to be lusciously cascading down over your exposed breasts like a normal person.

Alexis is gorgeous and on the show, she doesn’t seem pompous of full of herself. She’s struggled in life, especially when her mother passed away from cancer. The angst and turmoil she felt was easily portrayed in a lovely contemporary. There was flinging, twirls, lifts, upside down twirling, and more flips. Alan laid it on thick when he zeroed in on the ring she wears every day in honor of her mother. The judges were mesmerized by her poetic movement. I was too, but the image of her in crimson red lacy underwear standing in front of her boyfriend as he flips the camera off mentally fought with the pretty picture blossoming on my television screen.

Bottom line: the girl can dance. And this show is seventy-five percent dance competition. The other twenty-five is a popularity vote. The question is: Are her fans the type who watch this show? And will they vote?

Evanna and Keo
Viennese Waltz
“Hedwig’s Theme” by John Williams
SCORE: 27

Evanna’s most memorable year was when she booked the role for Harry Potter. But the story isn’t as straight-forward as you may assume. You see, Evanna was obsessed with the book series and wrote a letter to JK Rowling. The twist is that she had an eating disorder and Evanna told JK all about it. And JK wrote back! They became pen pals of all things. Evanna told Keo that JK’s kindness made her want to live a healthy life. Isn’t that fabulous?

So Evanna puts on a black dress with an unflattering cloak/cape contraption and waltzes all over that floor looking like a proper school marm. She is like a black golden stitch. Len said she was “magical,” which I will allow since she’s dancing to Harry Potter music. What I didn’t expect was a row of nines from all three judges. She was as shocked as I was I think!

Joe and Jenna
Viennese Waltz
“You Are the Reason” by Calum Scott and Leona Lewis
SCORE: 18

Bless Joe’s heart. Like Milo, he’s living his best life right now, thanks to his girlfriend who dumped him on national TV, but later shouted, “JUST KIDDING” from an ABC limo. Her name is Kendall and she is his everything. Here’s hoping they make it after all the cameras have faded off into the distance.

Joe is nervous. We get this about him. Jenna slaps on some hair extensions, creates a routine where he generally stands with his hands behind his back, and makes sure he’s nice and comfortable in a set of silver pajamas. If I were a betting woman, I’d wager that a big shot of tequila was consumed moments before the emotional routine.

My boy Joe still clomps around on the stage. Jenna still tries to hide his steps with thousands of laser beams and an entire canister of stage smoke. She literally dances circles around him, feeling the emotion of Calum and Leona crooning live from the stage. There was a decent first pass across the floor that you know they spent the entire week perfecting. And then it was over. Once again, the judges praised him for “finishing” and “trying so hard.”

Juan Pablo and Cheryl
Samba
“Ni Tú Ni Yo” by Jennifer Lopez
SCORE: A perfect 30

Juan Pablo’s most memorable year was not booking the gig on Fuller House, because that wouldn’t have made sense with his samba genre. Instead, he talks about how he left Argentina to try and give the movie-making business a go. He chased his impossible dream and look at him now!

Seriously. Look at him. He’s freaking fantastic! The judges say it’s one of the best sambas they’ve ever witnessed on the show. (Fast forward to 1:29 to skip the walk down Memory Lane.)

John and Emma
Waltz
“Smile” by Ray Chew
SCORE: 21

John cried man tears. Not about the time his family’s home was flooded. Not about the time he found the perfect woman to spend the rest of his life with. But when his mother died. My eyes stung a little bit for sure when he told Emma the story.

So Emma decides that she’s going to serve as his mother in the waltz. His mama would be “smiling” because she loved the show and would have been thrilled to see her son dancing on it. I thought the idea was a great one, but I wish Emma hadn’t worn a dress that was so skin tight and sort of see through. Am I taking these themes too literally? Was that just me?

The yellow roses flowing from the ceiling were a nice touch. I thought to myself that the new girlfriend Alicia would probably turn up at the end and she did. It was sweet, but predictable. The judges thought John’s emotions carried him away, therefore, some of the technical aspects of the dance were lost. For example, his posture hunched a little too much for a traditional waltz. He score reflected their disappointment.

Bobby and Sharna
Contemporary
“A Million Dreams” by Malachi Barton
SCORE: 23

Bobby’s memorable year was 1998 when he was the first person from his family to gradate. He came from a school of hard knocks and he’s very proud that he is where he is today. And his mom would be proud, too. She passed away in her 40s from issues with alcohol and addiction. You can tell that Bobby was affected deeply by this, but he chooses joy instead of sadness.

This is why we like Bobby’s enthusiasm. And this is why Sharna choreographs to that side of him. Contemporary is a very forgiving dance, meaning, there aren’t a lot of rules a strict moves that fall specifically into that category. Therefore, anything goes most of the time. Including beds on the dance floor.

Bobby jumped and leaped and flew through the air, celebrating the fact that he did have a big dream and he did make that big dream come true. Incorporating a mini version of Bobby to sing the song, complete with darling glasses and tiny baby Bobby tattoos on his arm was brilliant. Bobby definitely reigned it in, yet he kept his energetic undercurrent. It was leaps and bounds better than his rouge foxtrot and random magical waltz. The judges loved it, too. Here’s what I wrote for InStyle this week.

Tinashe and Brandon
Rumba
“2 On” by Tinashe
SCORE: 27

I like that DWTS stripped down Tinashe’s own song for a sultry rumba. It was an acoustic version that you could tell she loved. And her family was about as adorable as they come. She can also rock a teeny pair of panties under a gossamer dress without it somehow feeling gross. That’s talent.

Here’s the deal: I didn’t like the routine. And I blame Brandon for that. I don’t think he’s figured out how to choreograph in a smart way. I feel like he knows he has an awesome partner, so he’s trying to throw everything in along with the kitchen sink. And it just looks and feels erratic. Also, his pit stains pulled focus. The judges, however, gave high marks.

DeMarcus and Lindsay
Argentine Tango
“Lux Aeterna” by Clint Mansell
SCORE: 26

We already discussed DeMarcus’ man tears. No, it’s not because he won the Super Bowl. It’s because his kiddos mean the world to him. And he wants to express that love by bench pressing Lindsay above his head in slow motion.

What. The. What?

I believe I called it in my first InStyle profile on DeMarcus, where I said he would be lifting her above his head in the upcoming weeks. He’s so freaking strong! And she must have hollow bones. Then he double twists her out of it, landing like a baby in his arms! You have to watch at least the beginning of the routine.

It was quick and strong, just like an Argentine Tango, but I agree with Len that it felt more like a paso. This must be why he docked them a point, which is ridiculous. I appreciated the intensity and the power. What do you think? (Skip to 1:54)

Now that we only have one show per week (PRAISE HANDS!), Tom and Erin are quick to scurry to the front of the stage so they can announce who is in jeopardy. Nancy and Tinashe are bathed in red light, but it’s Nancy who is sent home. This surprises me, since I assumed more people would vote to keep Val around for a few more weeks.

Do you think the right person went home? Did Tinashe deserve to be in the bottom? Did the perfect score for Juan Pablo surprise you? Sound off in the comments section!

Photo By: ABC.com

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Kelli
Kelli

I can’t believe Grocery Joe is still there. Bless his heart–he’s really trying, but it’s time. For the first time, Keo actually somewhat connected with his partner! I thought their dance was wonderful! I can’t believe the first perfect score happened so early on!

I will also add that I loved Milo and Whitney’s routine. Jive is hard for tall people because of the flicks, but he was fantastic. Kevin gives two paws up!

Shannon M
Shannon M

I know that with shows like this popularity reigns but I do wish, for once, that the worst dancers had been the first to go home. I do not believe that it was Nancy’s time and, to me, she was growing and becoming more comfortable every week. It always distresses me when a better dancer goes home in the first two or three weeks.

As for the dances, I was completely blown away by Juan Pablo’s Samba with Cheryl. She is at the top of her game and she’s got a contender with him. I find him incredibly charismatic and he’s not too bad to look at either. There’s just something about him and I, honestly, had no idea who he was when the show started.

I also love Marcus and Lindsay and I truly want to live Tinashe and Brandon but he drives me bonkers. His choreography seems to be all over the place. He seems to have a cavalier attitude regarding what the judges like to see, especially Len, and I don’t think he has what it takes to put an all-around, incredible routine together for her.

forevergreenbeans
forevergreenbeans

Who, Juan Pablo was hot!! He definitely deserved that perfect score. As for Joe, I am glad he survived this week because he announced in his post-show interview that they are adding trios to next week’s show and he and Jenna’s third partner will be Joe’s BIP buddy Jordan! YES!! How fun is that going to be!! Can’t wait.

Aubrey
Aubrey

Great recap as always!

Question: Is anyone else watching DWTS Junior? I SWEAR they said in the premier week of DWTS, that Rashad Jennings would be the third judge, not Adam Rippon. Did I imagine that? I couldnt find anything about that online.

Also, is this the earliest they’ve ever given a perfect score?!

cathy
cathy

I agree that it was way too early for a perfect score! It was good and all but wow a 30 already?
Also, I haven’t watched DWTS Jr but I’m pretty certain I heard Adam Rippon was a judge… never heard that Rashad Jennings was judging.

Sara
Sara

I do remember them saying that Rashad was a part of the show somehow, but I can’t remember in what role. I’m waiting to see him as well!

Lincee, is there going to be an AMA recap? I am dying to get your thoughts on the whole thing!

Skylar
Skylar

I loved that the show included the pro dancers mentioning their Most Memorable Year. I’ve always wished they put a little more spotlight like that on them as well…maybe people would warm up to Keo more.

Evanna’s dance…ok who chose that wardrobe?? It was very unfortunate. It honestly looks like a man came up with the concept for her (looks at Evanna’s dance partner). I just think back to when Mark choreographed the HP theme for Chelsea Kane (OMG THAT WAS 2011) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yQ5GFYYFMA&t=46s and that’s what I wanted from the actual actress who was ON HP.

Cheryl Burke is the bomb. She shines when she’s partnered with a Hispanic celeb because typically they have the hip action and she rules Latin dancing. They totally deserved that 10. His footwork – OMG!

I guess I’m going down the same ramp as you – I didn’t even shed a tear last night (ok, maybe felt very emotional during DeMarcus’ dance and story). Maybe it’s because I don’t really know any of the cast.