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Dancing With the Stars recap: Most Memorable Year

Glitter and tears flowed freely during an emotional night in the ballroom

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Dancing With the Stars

TV Show
Reality TV
run date:
Tom Bergeron, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, Len Goodman, Erin Andrews, Julianne Hough
Current Status:
In Season

Welcome to “Most Memorable Year” night on Dancing With the Stars! It’s the one night twice a year where it’s normal for an adult woman to weep freely into her wine glass over a man in a bright red tux dancing to the national anthem. “Most Memorable Night” is a safe space, people. EXCEPT FOR YOUR TEAR DUCTS.

Three weeks into competition, we finally got a closer look into the lives of our celebrities, and those lives are sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes empowering, but always, always easily translated into dance. 

Let’s see how the season 22 celebs decided to honor the biggest events in their lives.

Ginger Zee and Valentin Chmerkovskiy

Contemporary “Home” by Phillip Phillips

How do I love Ginger’s husband? Let me count the ways: He’s an extremely vocal ballroom dance fan, he frames the sheet music to his wife’s favorite song, he gives Val a giant bro-hug upon request, and he brought the baby that Val then was able to kiss on the head in front of all of America. You’re my hero, Ben Aaron. You’re everyone’s hero. Ginger is such a nugget, there’s no way to not enjoy her sweetly emotional contemporary routine. I agree with Bruno: It was great to see her get into the character of the dance. Her dancing has always been so easy-breezy, but tonight’s dance, telling the story of her engagement and the formation of her family, had some real depth to it.

Judges’ Score: 21/30

Doug Flutie and Karina Smirnoff

Waltz “Rainbow Connection” by Kermit the Frog

We’re two dances in, and I don’t know how I’m even typing through the tears. Doug’s most memorable year is 2015. In 2015, his father died of an illness, and just moments later, after watching her husband of 60 years pass, Doug’s mother died. He wanted a dance to honor his parents and share their love story. I mean, should we even be judging these things? Doug and Karina (accompanied live by goddess-amongst-mortals Andra Day) perform an elegant waltz that Len describes as “two people dancing as one.” Of course, he goes on to call it unstable and give it a 6 because nothing is precious. But thank the Mirrorball for Carrie Ann, my homegirl in tears, who is welling up as she gushes about the simple but emotional routine. Doug’s crying! Karina’s crying! We’re all crying! Except for Len. Len’s low on moisture tonight.

Judges’ Score: 20/30

Kim Fields and Sasha Farber

Foxtrot “The Facts of Life” theme

There’s so much joy in Kim’s dancing, it’s contagious. It could not come at a better time, either, since we’re all still wiping tears out of our Flutie Flakes. But you know who might give Kim a run for her money? Charlotte Rae. MRS. GARRETT IS IN THE HOUSE. And she makes a hilariously dark joke about being short but still above ground. She is a gift. As promised, Kim and Sasha dance to the Facts of Life theme song, and Tootie’s pigtails are just as glorious as ever. Kudos to Carrie Ann for pointing out how well these two work together. In a season full of great pairings, Kim and Sasha are close to the top. When Len gives the routine rave reviews (as much as being compared to syrup can be a rave review), Kim can’t help it but capital-C Celebrate. Celebrate, girl, Tootie deserves it.

Judges’ Score: 22/30

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