Dancing With the Stars – Memorable Years Night‏

Alright, I admit that I missed the first few minutes of the show tonight (it didn’t air on the channel I usually watch the show on—thanks a lot football! Or whatever sport was on!), so it took me a few minutes to catch up with what’s going on tonight. Alfonso is hosting tonight? Hopefully he’ll be a more likable host than he was a judge. Anyway, tonight focuses on the stars’ most memorable years, so get ready for tears! It’s going to be an emotional night.

Alexa and Mark (Foxtrot)

I missed the beginning of her pre-dance package, so I’m not sure which year was most memorable for her, but I do know that it has to do with her mom. Their dance looks pretty good, pretty technically proficient to me, though apparently she had a little misstep at one point. I totally didn’t notice. I thought she looked really cute and quirky with her horn-rimmed glasses on. The judges seem to like what she did too, for the most part. They all mentioned her little mishap on the dance floor though Bruno says she found her way. He also says she needs to learn to lead from the waist. Carrie Ann says she’s elegant and fun.

Score: 21

Gary and Anna (Jazz)

Gary was nominated for an Oscar in 1979 when he was in the Buddy Holly Story, so he brings us back to that year and back to Buddy Holly himself. Anna says he’s passionate, but she’s got to take into consideration the brain damage he sustained during his motorcycle accident. The dance itself is alright. I like watching Gary, but at week four, I’m getting a little bit bored with him. He’s very passionate and enthusiastic, but the truth is, he isn’t really improving. As funny as he can be to watch, I think it’s time to go. Only Carrie Ann is bold enough to agree with me. While Bruno and Julianne praise his enthusiasm, Carrie Anne says he should be improving, but he’s not really. I think Gary could be in trouble this week.

Score: 16

Tamar and Val (Rumba)

Tamar almost lost her husband a few years ago, so she takes us back to that year (2011, I believe). He’d gone into the hospital with multiple blood clots and had to be put into a coma. Once he woke up, they decided to have a baby together, and now they’ve got an adorable son. Her dance with Val tonight is just stunning. It’s very elegant and emotional, and for the first time, we really see the connection between Star and Pro. Julianne loves how free and open and vulnerable she was. Bruno says their connection was perfect. And Carrie Ann actually tears up because she’s so touched by both Tamar’s story and her performance.

Score: 27

Hayes and Emma (Contemporary)

Hayes is just a baby, so he doesn’t have far back to go to get to his most memorable year. Last year, his brother Nash was the star of videos, and shy little Hayes was just the cameraman. But then he pushed himself to jump in front of the camera, and things have never been the same since. And it shows tonight. Their dance is incredible, especially compared with last week’s mediocre attempt. He lifts Emma with ease, and his moves are all spot on. It’s so great to watch. All the judges are incredibly excited about this performance. They all agree that he’s really broken free of his shell, and Bruno points out that he was right on point. Carrie Ann loved his storytelling.

Score: 27

Alek and Lindsay (Paso Doble)

Alek starts out by saying that this year has been his best year. He’d done an amazing thing by stopping the gunman on the train, and since then, things have gotten even better. He’s gotten to meet the president and many celebrities, and now he’s on Dancing With the Stars. Could it get any better? But then he finds out about a shooting at his college in Oregon, and things obviously change for him. He tries to call some of his friends but can’t get an answer, so he goes home to be with them. He’s still fully in the competition though. In fact, he’s dedicating his performance to everyone at home. The dance is great. His determination is very clear. He looks almost angry throughout his performance though. The judges all praise him though Bruno says his shape wasn’t quite right. Carrie Ann says he wasn’t as expressive, but he was strong and sturdy.

Score: 24

Nick and Sharna (Jazz)

Nick’s best year was 1992, when he joined with BSB. He’d had kind of a rough upbringing with a pretty dysfunctional family, and joining the group saved him from the fate that many of his friends endured. His band mates all talk about what he was like as a kid, and AJ tells us that Nick used performing to get out of the bad environment he’d been in. He also joins Nick and Sharna in rehearsal, which is really cute. They’re going to dance to Backstreets Back so AJ gives him a few pointers and tells him to get out of his head, which is what the judges have been telling him to do for the past few weeks. The dance is awesome, of course. He’s in his element here. It’s really upbeat and energetic, and his moves are spot on and precise. The judges are all beside themselves with excitement, and Julianne has even made a sign. It’s really cute. Bruno says it was a mega hit, and Julianne says it was hot hot hot! Added bonus: AJ and NSYNC’s Joey Fatone are both in the audience!

Score: 27

Carlos and Witney (Waltz)

Carlos takes us back to 2012, when he was on tour with his band, Big Time Rush. Once the tour was over though, he was alone, and he turned to weed. He says he’d hit rock bottom at that point. But then he went to church, and within a week, his life had changed. That’s where and when he’d met Alexa, and since then, life has been wonderful. He tears up as he talks about it, and I find it incredibly endearing. The dance is good, though I’m not a huge waltz fan. It’s smooth and elegant and definitely emotional, but it doesn’t hit me the way I wish it did. The way it did for Carrie Ann. Last week, she was his harshest critic, but this week, she’s his biggest supporter. While Bruno and Julianne criticize his lack of technical precision, Carrie Ann praises the emotion of the dance. He’d danced from his soul, and she found it really beautiful.

Score: 25

Paula and Louis (Cha Cha)

1989 was a pivotal year for Paula. It was the year that she finally left her 27 year marriage when she realized it wasn’t working, and it’s also the year she started her first restaurant. She’d turned her life around that year. Despite her uplifting story, though, Paula is struggling with confidence. She didn’t get a great score last week, and now she’s worried about not dancing well and missing her steps. Louis tries to build her up, but it’s sort of a losing battle, and it shows. She misses a few steps, and even when she gets them down, her lack of confidence is pretty apparent. The first half of the dance is simplistic, though she makes up for it a bit in the second half when she does more with her feet. The judges all try to build her up more too. Carrie Ann says she was hot and sexy, and Julianne says she was strong and fierce. Still. I think she has reason to worry this week.

Score: 18

Andy and Allison (Cha Cha)

Andy was a street musician and on his way to perform at a camp when he got the call that changed his life: his mother had been diagnosed with late stage breast cancer, and he only had a few days to say goodbye to her. That’s when he poured his heart into an uplifting song that changed his career forever. So tonight he’s dancing for his mother, and it’s not bad. To me, it seems a little bit all over the place. It seemed to me as if they didn’t really have much of a concept, story-wise, so I found myself kind of bored and confused by the performance. It definitely wasn’t my favourite, but I do like Andy, so I’d like him to stick around for a little while longer. Carrie Ann sort of agreed with me: she said he was awkward and that he needs to watch his elbows. Julianne, on the other hand, says he’s never looked so comfortable. I’m not sure what she was watching. And Bruno says the message was loud and clear—that you can make anything positive.

Score: 23

Bindi and Derek (Contemporary)

Bindi brings us back to the year her father passed away, in 2006. She was just a kid then, but even then, she was strong. But that doesn’t mean her father’s passing has been easy on her. She still misses him every day, of course, and sometimes the smallest gestures remind her of him, like when Derek holds her hand with just one of his fingers. The memory hits her, and then she’s in tears, and the moment she shares with Derek is really touching. The dance is just incredible. When Bindi looks at Derek, it’s as if she’s looking at her father again after so many years apart. They dance around the floor as if they’re sharing everything they’ve missed about each other while he’s been gone. I’m tearing up just thinking about it again. Julianne says it took her breath away, and Bruno assures her that her father was dancing with her. And there go the tears again.

Score: 28

So Bindi and Derek got the top scores, followed by Nick, Hayes and Tamar, tied for second place. I don’t think we have to worry about any of them going anywhere. At the bottom are Paula and Louis and Gary and Anna, though it’s Carlos and Witney who join Gary and Anna in the bottom two. I’m not shocked to see Gary and Anna go home this week, as what Carrie Ann said is true: he’s not improving the most of the others have so far. I am surprised that Carlos and Witney were on the bottom though. I don’t understand how Paula has made it this far in the competition. I will not be a happy camper if she beats either Andy or Carlos. I think she might go next week, but who knows. Andy and Carlos both need to step up their game though, if they want to remain in the competition. Now that things are starting to heat up, if they can’t keep up, they’ll be out the door.

Who do you want to go home next? Who do you think will be in trouble? And can anyone beat Bindi in this competition? At this point, I think all the other Stars need to learn how to channel her motivation, or they might as well hand the trophy right to her.

– Rebecca

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