Dancing With the Stars‘ “Most Memorable Night” draws cheers and tears each season and the”roller coaster ride of emotions.” ended with elimination on Facts of Life star Nancy McKeon and her pro partner Val Chmerkovskiy
The night’s opening number featured family photos, class photos and other highlights of the lives of the dancers, who went back to a time from yesteryear when they were tested, challenged, inspired or overcame the bitter to eventually find the sweet in their lives.
A clearly emotional Nancy was too overcome to talk about her elimination. Earlier in the night she said she was dancing for her husband, Marc, and two young daughters.
Before the elimination she said, “Our family makes everything better. I’m the lucky one that gets to be with them every day,” Nancy said, calling her Rumba, “a tribute to my family.”
Throughout the live show, couples reflected on their most heartfelt, poignant and revealing stories of the most meaningful year of their lives; each celebrity dancer spoke about falling in love, getting married, having children, caring for ill parents, losing loved ones, pursuing their biggest dreams, BUT always coming out the other side.
“Get ready for tears and goosebumps tonight,” said co-host Tom Bergeron. “We are going to find out the pivotal times of their lives.”
The highest scoring couple – the first perfect score and first 10s of the season – went to Juan Pablo Di Pace and Cheryl Burke after their “smoking hot” Samba.
The hit series focuses on celebrities who perform choreographic dance routines that are judged by a panel of renowned ballroom experts, including head judge, Len Goodman, and dancers/choreographers Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba.
The 11 remaining celebrities and their pros danced to honor the significant moments from their past on Dancing with the Stars, which aired live on ABC on Monday October 8. This led to several emotional tributes to their family members.
Each couple performed a contemporary, Argentine tango, Viennese waltz, samba, waltz, rumba or jive, while vying for a combination of the votes from the judge’s and America’s viewers.
Also, on tonight’s show, breakout U.K. artist Calum Scott was joined by X Factor UK winner Leona Lewis to perform a stirring rendition of his hit single, “You Are the Reason,” alongside Joe “Grocery Store Joe” Amabile and Jenna Johnson.
Read on to see how your favorite couple fared in Week 3 and tell us in the comments if you think the judges made the right decisions.
Mary Lou Retton and Sasha Farber – 8 + 8 + 8 = 24
Viennese Waltz – “We are the Champions” by Ray Chew Live
Six weeks before she competed in the 1984 Olympics she had knee surgery. “You train your entire career to compete, and I was there. I just wasn’t going to give up, and I absolutely proved the doctors were wrong. I am very proud of that girl who made me the woman I am today…someone who doesn’t give up.”
Wearing royal blue, she was clearly inspired by the song that she heard throughout her recovery some 34 years ago. Her image, wearing her patriotic gymnastics garb, was also projected onto the dance room floor. Mary Lou said, “When you are in, you just do it. As a grown woman, it is wow!”
The judges were clearly in her corner. Len commended her, “You epitomize the athletes’ fighting spirit. You come out with so much determination, mixed it with the lovely fluidity movement. It was a really lovely performance and congratulations.” Bruno believed that, “nothing can keep Mary Lou down. No matter what you can keep at it and you can make it happen.”
Holding back her tears, Carrie Ann said, “I was so deeply moved. I saw more of the struggle tonight. I saw so much improvement tonight. I’m deeply touched which is what this week is all about!”
Referring to her younger self, Mary Lou added, “I am very proud of that young girl.”
Milo Manheim and Witney Carson – 9 + 9 + 9 = 27
Jive – “Can You Do This” by Aloe Blacc
Milo has so much to anticipate in 2018 in his real life” by graduating high school, looking forward to college, EVEN starring in his first movie “Zombies.” “This year has been insane. I feel like the luckiest 17-year-old in the world. I love acting, it’s what I want to spend the rest of my life doing.”
“From the moment Milo was born, he was theatrical. He was meant to do this,” says his loving mom, actress Camryn Manheim, who was clapping and cheering louder than any other audience member.
Dressed in matching silver, he jumped on the judge’s platform and flipped off back onto the ballroom stage.
Bruno called his performance, “Graduating with honor. It was like a tennis ball hitting ace after ace after ace; it was like the finals at Wimbledon,” Carrie Ann continued, “You are so young.” Len added, “It was a fun routine. That was a terrific jive, well done!”
Nancy McKeon and Val Chmerkovskiy – 8 + 7 +7 =22 – Eliminated
Rumba – “Love Someone” by Lukas Graham
For her memorable year, the “Facts of Life” star selected 2006, the year her family was complete. She said the years 2003-2006 was a time of great change when she moved from L.A. to a ranch in Texas.
This has been “the most incredible journey of my life,” with the love and support from her husband and two amazing daughters. “This is a tribute to meeting someone and having it grow into a family. Marc, Aurora and Harlow, I love you more than anything; this one’s for you.”
Carrie Ann started the compliments, “Every time I watch you, there’s this joy that comes out of you, more so tonight. It was beautiful, right guys? Len continued that he has learned over the years that “the only thing important is family. It had a charm about it. It had a naturalness.” Bruno added, “You really portrayed this dance with such warmth and tenderness. It really has transformed. It was a great performance!”
Alexis Ren and Alan Bersten – 9 + 8 + 9 = 26
Contemporary – “How to Save a Life” by Ray Chew Live
For a tearful Alexis, her pivotal time came on Mother’s Day 2014, when her father broke the news that her mother had stage four cancer. “You never think that the strongest person in your life would be broken,” Alexis said. She spent the last six months of her mother’s life with her, and her sister called at 4:30 in the morning and told her their mother was gone. “I wear her wedding ring every day,” she said TEARFULLY. “This week I get to dance this for her – a major Dancing With the Stars fan. I can’t even explain how proud she would be of me.”
For Len, “Your dancing never disappoints me. I loved the lifts, Alan. Good job, well done. Bruno continued, “I’ve been there, trust me she will always be there. You have a guardian angel, she will be there at all times, and you danced like an angel tonight. True feeling, beautiful movement, emotion, I loved it! Carrie Ann added, “You gave us all a beautiful gift of a tremendously elegant poetic legacy of your mother. Thank you so much for that gift!”
Evanna Lynch and Keo Motsepe – 9 + 9 = 9 = 27
Viennese Waltz – “Hedwig’s Theme” (from “Harry Potter” by John Williams)
Evanna’s most memorable year was 2006, when she landed the part of Luna Lovegood in the “Harry Potter” movies, and suddenly “I was in the world, living the dream.” This came after she had battled an eating disorder, “and the books were the only thing that took my attention away from it.” She wrote to J.K. Rowling and they became “pen friends.” The books and being in the Harry Potter movies “proved to me that I had something to offer the world.” Despite their friendship, the famed British author did not know that Evanna had been cast in the role until weeks after it happened. The experience obviously transformed her life.
Bruno said, “Your magic is magic, is stronger than ever, and we are all under her spell. You were so determined, so self-assured.” Carrie Ann added, “You drew us in so deeply and you gave us so many dimensions. Such a beautifully well-rounded performance.” Len finished, “That was a magic performance!”
Joe “Grocery Store Joe” Amabile and Jenna Johnson – 6 +6+ 6 = 18
Viennese Waltz – “You are the Reason” featuring a moving live performance by Calum Scott and Leona Lewis
Formerly having commitment issues, Joe said that falling in love with Kendall Long transformed his life.. He said he is “absolutely petrified” to dance. “The year 2018 has been totally insane for me. This is definitely an opportunity to grow and conquer your fears…the only way you are going to conquer those fears is by doing it.”
Carrie Ann said, “Tonight I saw so much more,” of you opening up. “It touched my heart. You’re still growing. I want you to keep doing what you did this week, and I know it’s going to pay off.” Len continued that, “Your dancing is a work in progress. I can see a more confident Joe coming out. I can see you really going for it. Well done! For Bruno, “The amazing vocals would have inspired everyone. Now you have to work on the quality of the movement.”
Juan Pablo Di Pace and Cheryl Burke – 10 + 10+ 10 = 30 – first perfect score of the season
Samba – “Ni Tu Ni Yo” by Jennifer Lopez featuring Gente de Zona
His most memorable year was 1999, the year he moved away from his home in Buenos Aires and decided “to chase this impossible dream of being an entertainer.” As a youngster, he had been bullied and misunderstood for his artistic tendencies– until he was cast as Danny Zucko in “Grease.” Juan Pablo said he still remembers “at that moment I felt this is what I was meant to do.” But his break came many years later when he recognized from all his dance numbers in “Mama Mia,” with legendary Meryl Streep. “This Samba is a celebration of where I am today. This was about a kid who “had dreams and still is dreaming.
While the audience cheered, Len teased, “We didn’t start the smoke machine, they did. It just started smoking.”
Len told the dancers, “You don’t need words,” and he stood and clapped.
Bruno said during the “27 seasons I have done this show, and this is one of the best Samba’s I have ever seen.” Carrie Ann added, “My three favorite male performers in the history of DWTS are: Emmett Smith, Gilles Marini, and Mario Lopez – you are the son of all three of them together. You were off the charts!”
John Schneider and Emma Slater — 7 + 7 + 7= 21
His memorable year took place in 2016, while weathering the floods of 2016, falling deeper in love and losing his beloved mother. “My mother was the one who said, ‘you have your smile back.’ Sept. 13, 2006, he was told his mom died. “My mother’s belief in me made me believe in myself, and I miss her, all the time. I wish my mom could be sitting in the audience watching Dancing With the Stars. So, this dance is for you, mom!”
Tom said, “Beautifully done, my friend.”
Bruno called the dance number, “so charming and so heartfelt. It was impossible to resist. You saw yourself. Your heart was into it. It was very moving. You had such a gentle and caring touch. Carrie Ann said that she “was so touched at the end. I was beautiful to witness. I think all the emotions carried you away. Len added, “You had an elegance about you. If you want to shine, you have to polish. Just polish it up a little bit. Well done!”
Bobby Bones and Sharna Burgess – 8 + 7 + 8 = 23
Contemporary – “A Million Dreams” from “The Greatest Showman”
The most memorable year for Bobby came in 1998, the year he graduated from high school because no one had ever done that before in his family. His mom was a teen mom and had to drop out of high school. The small-town boy said with tears in his eyes that despite his modest upbringing when he put on his cap and gown, it inspired his own mom to get her GED before she died in her 40s. “She said that I inspired her to do that,” Bobby said. “The words to this song are what I felt as a kid. What I would like people to see is that it doesn’t really matter so much where you come from, it’s where you are going. It doesn’t matter where you start; it’s how much you want it.”
“I just want to say that anybody who thought you might be a Bobby one note with the crazy dances,’ explained Tom, “I think you put “that to rest tonight. “We are in a ballroom with more people in our audience than you had in your hometown.”
Carrie Ann called his dance, “magic and we all experienced it.” For Len, “This was your best dance; that’s all I can say. Bruno added, “Honest, real, fantastic dancing. But above all keep that inner child alive, because he’s in there, and he’s well. Keep it going!”
Tinashe and Brandon Armstrong – 9 + 9 + 9 = 27
Rumba – “2 On” by Tinashe
With her parents visiting during rehearsal, Tinashe said her most memorable year was 2014, when she released Aquarius, her debut album. Before that big break she was making mixed tapes in her bedroom. She said her parents encouraged her dreams from a young age. Her mom added that Tinashe wrote her first song at the tender age of 6. “My parents always encouraged me to entertain. To be that young and to have my parents support me like this.” She said that the song “is really personal to me; it changed my life when it came out, and I want to show that love and happiness in the dance. It’s amazing to even be performing my own song on TV.”
Len praised the couple, “I don’t like to say it, but it’s your best dance for me and it’s a really a tough dance.” Bruno called it, “sensuous, but it was always elegant. It had a wonderful liquid fluidity, it was beautiful,” While Carrie Ann added, “I feel like you are unstoppable. I just feel there is so much more. You are grounded, elegant and sensuous.”
DeMarcus Ware and Lindsay Arnold 9 = 8 = 9 = 26
Argentine Tango – “Lux Aeterna” by Clint Mansell & Kronos Quartet
Super Bowl champ DeMarcus’s life-changing event was 2016, when he won the Super Bowl. After 12 years of hard work on the field and difficult family times, “everything came together,” he said. “To play in that game and also have my family there in the stands.” After several miscarriages and adopting his daughter, a tearful DeMarcus shared that he and his wife had a son – causing even more celebration. He spoke about sharing his Super Bowl win with his family and that “to have my kids in the stands gave me the power to do things that I did. That’s why I am doing Dancing With the Stars — to really show them that they achieve whatever they want to achieve. I will show them the way. They’re my driving force.”
The dramatic tango started and finished with great gymnastics moves and lifts, and He brought his two young children on stage for big hugs.
Bruno said, “That was almost a superhuman display of strength. Are you insured, by the way? That was mind-blowing.” Carrie Ann continued that it was “not the typical tango, but I realized that’s the story you are telling us. It impressed me and blew me away.” Len added, “I’m never going to have a fight with you. A lot of poignant moments, great dancing tonight and you are no exception!”
Dancing With the Stars returns for Week 4 on Monday, Oct. 15, at 8 p.m. ET.