SPOILER ALERT: This recap of Week 4 of Dancing With the Stars contains spoilers.
This week’s Dancing With the Stars featured so many flashbacks to tearjerker moments that it felt like an episode of This Is Us. Dancing fans know the drill: It was Most Memorable Year Night, the most “popular and powerful” night of the year, and this season’s cast showed no mercy as they each showcased a pivotal (aka tissue-worthy) year in their lives.
Unfortunately, one year Mr. T won’t want to pay homage to is 2017, because that’s the year he got sent home on Dancing With the Stars. No tears here, though. This debonair tough guy already said crying over a missed mirror ball is for fools, so he calmly said his goodbyes after a faith-filled dance about his 1995 cancer scare. “I said I couldn’t dance, but I tried,” the former A-Team star humbly admitted before he checked out of the ballroom. Talk about amazing grace.
With another DWTS contender down for the count, here’s how the rest of the Dancing With the Stars couples fared this week.
Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater: 39/40
2006: Rashad Jennings didn’t always have a close relationship with his dad, but when his pop suffered a stroke and had to have his leg amputated due to diabetes, the future NFL star abandoned a scholarship to a Division 1 college to take care of him. All of the judges, most notably Bruno Tonioli, were moved by this story of unconditional love. “Emotion equals emotion,” Julianne Hough said of Jennings’s contemporary dance. “I have no words for what I’m feeling on the inside.”
Simone Biles and Sasha Farber: 36/40
2000: The five-time Olympic medalist had a much bigger story than her rise to fame as a gymnast. Simone Biles looked back at her early years of being “hungry and afraid” before she was adopted by her grandparents after being placed in foster care. “My parents saved me,” she said. Host Tom Bergeron asked the Olympian how she got through her emotional Viennese waltz (seriously, there was not a dry eye in the house — or across America), and she said, “Muscle memory.” Julianne noted that gymnastics is a solo sport, but Biles “trusted in her partner” for her best dance of the season.
Heather Morris and Alan Bersten: 35/40
2015: Talk about a vow renewal. Maksim Chmerkovskiy is still nursing a calf injury, so SYTYCD alum Alan Bersten stepped in to dance a cha-cha with Heather as she looked back on her 2015 wedding to husband Taylor and their wedding song “Shut Up and Dance.” (Hey, what can you expect from two kids who met on MySpace?) Bruno loved the routine, saying Heather and Alan “painted a picture of the perfect couple,” and a sidelined Maks later campaigned for Alan to be a full-time DWTS pro next season.
Nancy Kerrigan and Artem Chigvintsev: 33/40
1996: Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was at the height of her career when she gave birth to her first child, but her plans to have two more babies before she turned 30 were derailed when she had six miscarriages in eight years. “I felt like a failure,” the skater revealed. But IVF helped her realize her dream of being a mom of three. Kerrigan’s foxtrot paid homage to her “never give up attitude,” and Len Goodman told her she went from “in the pack to a frontrunner.” Best part of this dance? It had nothing to do with Tonya Harding.
Normani Kordei and Val Chmerkovskiy: 32/40
2012: “They believed in me more than I believed in myself,” Fifth Harmony singer Normani Kordei said of her family, who encouraged her to audition for Simon Cowell’s singing comp, The X Factor, back in 2012. Normani dedicated her dance to her supportive clan, and as a bonus, her Fifth Harmony groupmates were in the ballroom to perform their breakout song, “Impossible,” during the routine. Len called the singer “a terrific dancer” (although he gave Val a slight slap on the wrist for the lack of rumba content in his choreo), while Carrie Ann Inaba called out the couple for a dreaded lift. But Bruno delivered the biggest compliment: “A diva on overdrive!” he bellowed. “I felt Val was almost unnecessary.”
Bonner Bolton and Sharna Burgess: 32/40
2016: Bonner Bolton relived his near-death experience after a bull-riding accident via a romantic foxtrot to a Michael Bublé song. While Len said the pro rider’s footwork was a “little bit suspect,” he welcomed Bolton to the competition four weeks in. Bruno went one better: “There’s a new leading man in town.”
David Ross and Lindsay Arnold: 31/40
2016: Retired MLB star David Ross hit a lot of milestones last year: A 100th home run, a no-hitter catch, and a World Series win capped off his career with the Cubs last fall. While Julianne said Ross’s Viennese waltz was a little “squatty and skippety,” that was nothing compared to Len’s critique, which was done in undecipherable baseball hand signals.
Nick Viall and Peta Murgatroyd: 30/40
2016: Nick Viall thought he found love a bunch of times on The Bachelor franchise, so he probably could have flipped a coin as to which year to use. But the reality TV Romeo smartly chose to dedicate his rumba to the year 2016 in honor of his engagement to Vanessa Grimaldi, a relationship that will probably end five minutes after DWTS wraps. Nick ended his dance by leaving his pro partner Peta in the dust to grab Vanessa out of the audience and go all Fantasy Suite on her. “You look very comfortable with a lot of women,” Julianne deadpanned. All that was missing was Andi Dorfman and Kaitlyn Bristowe.
Erika Girardi and Gleb Savchenko: 30/40
1989: The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star paid homage to the life-changing year 1989, which is when she hightailed it out of Atlanta and headed to the Big Apple to follow her dreams. One millionaire hubby and a sexy alter ego later and she’s expressing herself to the soundtrack of every ’80s girl’s idol, Madonna. Sure, crotchety Len slammed the star’s “same old, same old sexy route,” but Erika said she just can’t tone it down. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC. Watch clips and full episodes of DWTS for free on Yahoo View.
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