You knew it was coming, people. It’s “Most Memorable Year” night on Dancing With the Stars, the bi-annual tradition of manipulating people’s emotions until they cry for reasons no one really knows. This year things get even more manipulative as DWTS trots out some sort of Cry Cam so we can watch the celebrity watch emotional rehearsal footage of themselves right before performing. No one wants this, DWTS. NO ONE. What we want is poignant dancing and celebrations of life — and we get that too, so it’s not all a miss.
Why put off the inevitable? It is time to dance and it is time to cry. Let’s see what each of our celebrities choose as their Most Memorable Year.
Mary Lou Retton and Sasha Farber
Viennese Waltz, “We Are the Champions” performed by Ray Chew Live
Not surprisingly, Mary Lou selects 1984 as her most memorable year. The year she won the Olympic gold. But, as Mary Lou tells us, the road to gold wasn’t a foregone conclusion: Six weeks prior to the Olympics, she had knee surgery and was almost unable to compete. Present-day Mary Lou is very proud of that young girl from 1984. 1984 Mary Lou would probably be very proud of present-day Mary Lou, too! She is elegant and graceful throughout this routine (I really love Mary Lou in the ballroom styles), hitting some gorgeous lines and working those arm flourishes. Carrie Ann is already crying! WHAT A NIGHT.
Judges’ Score: 24/30
Milo Manheim and Witney Carson
Jive, “Can You Do This” by Aloe Blacc
Young Milo only has 17 years to choose from, and there’s no time like the present, so he picks 2018 as his year. And why shouldn’t he? His life is about to begin! I mean, why not celebrate the year you graduate from DWTS High, where Gleb is your principal? What more could you want from an education? This jive is jam-packed with fun. Milo just wants to make people smile? Mission accomplished. Um, the dude does a backflip off the judges’ desk. It takes a lot of guts to flick and kick with your feet right in front of Len Goodman’s face, but Milo’s not worried. And Len is a big fan. Hey! Another reason 2018 is Milo’s most memorable yet.
Judges’ Score: 27/30
Nancy McKeon and Val Chmerkovskiy
Rumba, “Love Someone” performed live by Lukas Graham
This “watch the celeb watch the package” thing is just too much. We get it! We’re all emotional! Nancy here is dancing her rumba as a tribute to her family (her most memorable year is 2006, the year her family was complete), and yeah, talking about her husband and their two daughters is going to make the woman cry. Even Val gets worked up in rehearsal! Their routine is nice — made nicer by the Lukas Graham farm sing-a-long ambiance — and you can see Nancy dances from the heart. Although, both Len and Bruno point out that she does not dance from the hips. She’s lacking the hip action that helps give the rumba its fluidity. I guess this routine, like life, needs less heart and more hips.
Judges Score: 22/30