Dancing with the Stars recap: Most Memorable Year
Dancing with the Stars recap — Most Memorable Year
Season 25, Episode 5
It’s that time of year when Dancing with the Stars producers force us to cry the night away as contestants rip our hearts out with various stories that stir up emotions we didn’t know we had. Paying tributes to pivotal times, whether that be triumph or heartbreak, is tricky business. It’s also snotty, teary, and may cause sob-induced hiccups.
Buckle up, people. It’s “Most Memorable Year” week on Dancing with the Stars!
Frankie and Whitney
“Adventure of a Lifetime” by Coldplay
I feel that Frankie was at a bit of a disadvantage that may cause him to find himself in the bottom next week. Going first in “memorable year” week has to be tough. Having to dance the quickstep is practically the kiss of death. It’s a hard genre to begin with and when you couple that with the fact that the majority of the other contestants tug at major heartstrings with jazz or contemporary numbers, this draw shoves him further out of the spotlight. Into a spotlight of red, if you know what I mean.
I like Frankie. I think it’s sad that he has suffered from nine concussions and has trouble remembering even being on Malcom in the Middle, let alone starring in the show. Knowing that right now, 2017, is the best year of his life is uplifting and sad at the same time. He’s actually a pretty smooth dancer in the standard ballroom genres and he quick steps his way into a decent performance. Plus, head to toe glittery outfits and cartoon sparkles makes anyone looks like a pro, right? Well…it’s sort of does. It is good enough to put him into a six-way tie with other mediocre contestants. Here’s hoping he gets the votes!
Terrell and Cheryl
“I Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston
In 2012, Terrell’s grandmother passed away. She raised him and it is clear that the woman meant everything to Terrell. Seeing a grown man cry will always make me cry. Watching him clomp around in a legitimate hunter green (like my Mama’s carpet) suit with sparkle accents is enchanting. Is he the best dancer? No. Did he give it his all? Yes. I’ll admit that I was distracted by the song selection. When I hear this tune, I’m transported back to the ‘90s, remembering how Whit was every woman, always loved me, and was the queen of the night. Unfortunately for Terrell, I also think of Kevin Costner in most of these scenarios, so the translation of this song being dedicated to his grandmother distracted me. Fun Fact: The song was stuck in my head for the remainder of the show. I’m still declaring, “I HAVE NOTHING…NOTHING…NOTHIIIIIINGGG.”
The judges thought he was poised and elegant. I will agree with that for the most part.
Nikki and Artem
“Fight Song” by Rachel Platten
In 2016, Nikki returned to the wrestling ring after having neck surgery. This makes all the sense in the world, since I’ve been complaining about her neck for weeks now. The pre-show footage showcases her miraculously recovering just in time for Summer Slam, which is apparently an actual thing in the WWE. Good for Nikki.
Artem choreographs a very smart routine for his partner. At first, I was bothered by Nikki’s inability to just be soft and delicate. Then I realized the routine was all about strength. It was aerobatic, with long black silks hanging from the ceiling, and intricate moves and flips in and out of the material. Trust me: It takes a CORE to pull this off. And Nikki does it with ease. She’s clearly an athlete and the routine was a work of art. On a side note, Artem’s shirtless upper body is a work of art, too. I had no idea that many muscles were in a person’s back. To quote my roommate Lara, “He looks like he’s a human specimen in Body Worlds. (We mean that in the best way possible.)
Nick and Peta
“Falling Slowly” by Glen Hansard
Nick’s most memorable year is 2010 — the year he married Vanessa. He shares their sweet love story and then Peta choreographs a bride and groom routine, which she loves to do. He’s in a tux without a jacket and she’s in a makeshift wedding gown. Both Nick and Peta commit to the movement, but I didn’t love the outcome. You can just tell that contemporary (like jazz) is not Peta’s strong suit. All the judges complain about Nick’s balance issues, but they also feel that this is the most he’s connected with his partner. I agree. After the dance, Nick becomes so emotional reliving all of the stories from the other contestants. Vanessa blubbers from the balcony. I blubber because Nick is crying. And the judges give him low scores because they are clearly ready for him to go home.
Lindsey and Mark
“Anchor” by Mindy Gledhill
When Lindsey’s dad passed away in 2016, she was devastated. Watching someone deteriorate from cancer is heartbreaking. But rather than being angry, Lindsey is grateful for the time she had with her father. Mark dresses up like him and they sway to and fro, floating across the floor with ease. Lindsey knows how to add moments that aren’t there in the eight counts. A look, a touch, or a smile. Her yellow dress is divine, the part where Mark abruptly leaves in the middle is confusing, and the shadow of her father at the end had the entire audience erupt into tears. I’m not sure why it takes Mark so long to come back around from the screen, but I’m happy Uncle Tom Bergeron is there to hug Lindsey until her partner returns. Crotchety old Len wants more Viennese waltz in the dance, which is absurd. I think it had plenty.
Derek and Sharna
“Move On Up” by Curtis Mayfield
When Derek’s ten-month-old daughter was diagnosed with eye cancer in 2007, he was thrown for a loop. The prognosis? Remove her little eyes or send her to New York to have an experimental surgery. Derek walks away from a $20-million basketball career to be with his baby girl. Miraculously, she can see to this day and is doing well. Sharna choreographs a joyful jazz number full of hope, twirls, smiles, and a hundred sunflowers. Derek looks like he’s finally arrived. He’s having a ball and truly dancing from the heart. When the song is over, he embraces his young daughter who cries on his shoulder. She’s overwhelmed by what her daddy did for her all those years ago. I’m so glad Carrie Ann pointed out Derek’s leadership and commitment to values and family. I agree with Len that it was his best dance.
Jordan and Lindsay
“Take Me Home” by Us the Duo
In 2005, Jordan was officially adopted by his grandparents. They describe Jordan has “joyful and happy” which seems on point from what I know about this kid. Lindsay’s contemporary routine channels that joy and that happiness, while packing in a ton of technique, strength, power, and energy. The dance is youthful, sincere, honest, and really, really good. Lindsay turns Jordan’s head to face his parents at the end and the boy runs to his mom and dad and sobs in their arms. So I sobbed, because Tom and Lindsay and Carrie Ann were sobbing too. You cry, I cry. That’s the rule. If this kid doesn’t get to the final three, I’m not sure how America is voting.
I know I keep embedding Jordan and Lindsay’s dances in my recaps, but I just like them so much! See for yourself!
Sasha and Gleb
“Over My Head” by The Fray
Even though the last season of Pretty Little Liars caused Sasha to be sad because it’s the end of a chapter, 2016 was a memorable year for more than that reason — Sasha became engaged to a man named Hudson. We learned earlier in the season that life has been hard for Sasha, considering her weight gain and creeping insecurities. But Hudson is there to pick her up, challenge her, and sing nothing but her praises. Gleb provides a routine that symbolizes a new page in Sasha’s life, and as she walks through a door on the dance floor, a new story begins. It is like moving into technicolor on The Wizard of Oz. I half expected munchkins to creep out of the audience. Her black and white ombre dress is glorious, as is Gleb’s ombre suit, but there’s still a wall up around Sasha. She’s really talented, therefore, it’s hard to tell when she’s phoning it in, because her dancing is so great. But her face remains distant. She may be in Frankie’s same boat next week.
Vanessa and Maks
“Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)” by Nick Lachey
Well, this one made me cry the most for some reason. The Lachey’s third baby was born premature at 29 weeks and hearing Vanessa speak about how scared she was in the hospital room was so sad. But it was Nick who really turned on my waterworks. With welled up tears in his eyes, Nick confesses that he’s never felt so helpless in his life. He wants to protect his kids and his wife. There wasn’t anything he could do but hold that teeny tiny baby’s hand in the incubator. I think asking Maks and Vanessa to dance the rumba was an annoying choice for this particular week, but I’m not a show runner, so I’m going to search for silver linings. The fact that her own husband is singing the song helps matters, as well as the fact that Vanessa is facing away from Maks most of the time. It wasn’t sexy or sensual at all, which I think is a good thing considering the subject matter. The random ending where Vanessa sort of walks off to no music was strange, but not as strange as Maks’ decision to wear a mesh shirt with clear and visible nipple. Tom gives Maks a little time at the end to say nice things (thank you PR team) and Vanessa pretends that she really wants to hug him. All in all, I think they deserve the mediocre score they receive.
Drew and Emma
“Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen
Did you know that Drew tried to make it as an actor in 2007? When he was unsuccessful, he pitched his brother that they should combine acting and real estate into a show called Property Brothers. So Drew grows out his hair, adds some frosted tips for good measure, and BOOM. Here they are in shiny royal blue suits jiving up the place. For such a tall guy, Drew hangs with the leg flicks and kicks, but I was unsure about the part where HIS BROTHER hops on stage and performs the entire second half of the dance with Drew and Emma. How is this fair? And was Johnathan not wearing a jacket so the judges could tell the twins apart? I’m so confused. Newsflash: Bruno “loved the three-way.” And you know Nikki Bella is cursing Artem for not pulling her own twin into their Cirque du Soleil act.
Val and Victoria
“I Lived” by OneRepublic
This is Victoria’s year. The girl came back from her own body attacking her brain and spinal cord, as well as living in a wheelchair. They said she wouldn’t make it. She did. They said she wouldn’t walk. She did. And now she’s dancing in a gorgeous glittery dress with a clean-shaven Val. It’s a literal celebration of life and Victoria is living it up, as she should be. The wheelchair choreography at the beginning helps tell the story, but the majority of the dance is a theatrical foxtrot to the perfect song. She is an inspiration and it’s fun to watch her geek out over the fact that her life is all her own again.
Sadly, the night comes to an end, and someone’s memorable moment is going to be overshadowed by standing in the red light of doom for a solid two minutes before Tom announces the unlucky couple to be sent home. It’s not Peta and Nick, but Derek and Sharna who have to make that long walk down to the judges table. I feel bad for Sharna, because I’m rooting for that girl to win, but I’m glad Derek went out on such a high note.
What did you think of Most Memorable Year night? Did you cry more than once? Who are you rooting for? Sound off in the comments section!