‘Dancing with the Stars’ recap: Most Memorable Year

It’s inevitable. When “Most Memorable Year” rolls around on Dancing with the Stars, I sit down to watch with every intention of bawling my eyes out. Stars are real people too you know! They have feelings and emotions and stuff. Here’s a breakdown of each dance and the exact moment that I started crying during their pre-packaged interviews. Enjoy.

Alexa and Mark
“Mama Said” by the Shirelles
Kleenex Alert: Alexa thanking her mother for getting her where she is today.

I was so proud of Alexa calling Alfonso out on his comment last week. As you may recall, he told her that she is NOT going to win this contest with her husband. She’s going to win it with Mark. Alexa basically shared that Carlos is the most important thing in her life and she will choose him over a first-place mirrorball trophy any day of the week. YES! Unfortunately, her dance was less than stellar. The green dress was amazing. The botched choreography—not so much.
Score: 21

Anna and Gary

“That’ll Be The Day” by Buddy Holly
Kleenex Alert: Gary’s son talking about his motorcycle wreck and how he almost died.

I had no idea Gary had suffered from severe head trauma in a motorcycle accident. Now it feels unnecessary to tell you that his dances are as slow as molasses. I give him a great big huge “E” for effort. But he doesn’t get an “E” for entertaining. The black spray paint on his hair was pretty cool. I’ll give that an A+.
Score: 16

Tamar and Val
“King” by Tamar Braxton
Kleenex Alert: Tamar admitting to the camera that she almost lost her husband and she didn’t know what she would have done if she had to face life without him by her side. And then melting down.

It wasn’t hard for Val to pull emotion from Tamar. He didn’t add any extra stuff with the JV players or unnecessary props. He just danced with Tamar, accidentally grabbed her boob a few times and executed the (trademark pending) Dirty Dancing floor drag. Bonus points for her husband Vince playing the piano as she danced. Carrie Ann cried because she always does and Julianne teased that she would give Tamar her first 9, but then started backpedaling. NO BACKSIES!
Score: 27

Hayes and Emma
“Stitches” by Shawn Mendes
Kleenex Alert: Hayes didn’t really have one, so I’m going to throw back a few weeks ago when he cried talking about his mama.

Hayes was in his element in this contemporary. He was able to lift Emma effortlessly. He did a great job, but I have to say that I didn’t love the choreography. You can tell Emma is most comfortable in ballroom styles and this was a little bland in my opinion.
Score: 27

Alek and Lindsay
Paso Doble
“Wake Me Up” by Avicii
Kleenex Moment: Lindsay hugging Alek when he learned about this week’s shooting in Roseburg, Oregon and Alek making the decision to leave practice to return home where all his friends attended that college. If I’m being totally honest, Lindsay’s legs also make me cry because they are so gorgeous.

I understand that Alek was under a lot of pressure with so few days of practice under his belt and it was obvious that he was distracted. Even though he dedicated the dance to Roseburg, his heart wasn’t in it. Who can blame him?
Score: 24

Nick and Sharna
“Everybody” by Backstreet Boys
Kleenex Moment: Nick became emotional talking about how he didn’t grow up with a “movie mom and dad” and that’s all he ever wanted. Then he became even more emotional that he was crying as a grown man about something so long ago. We’ve all been there, dude.

Hearing fellow Backstreet Boy A.J. McLean give Nick a pep talk was adorable. Hearing Nick tell the camera that “the boys” saved him and treated him like a brother made me cry again. A.J. tells Nick to get out of his head and use the emotion in the dance. Best therapist ever. He takes the stage and performs Backstreet Boy choreography and most dance moves made popular in the ‘90s. All the Backstreet Boys were in the audience cheering him on, including Joey Fatone who is not a Backstreet Boy, but a bonafide member of NSYNC. Someone please make THAT concert happen and I’ll be on the front row.
Score: 27

Carlos and Witney
“Amazing Grace”
Kleenex Moment: Carlos stopped doing drugs and asked a friend to take him to church. A week later he joined a Bible study where he met his wife, Alexa. FEELS.

I am concerned that dancing to “Amazing Grace” in a translucent white dress was a touch inappropriate, but I choose to blame the mishap on unfortunate lighting. Carlos did almost drop Witney when they were executing the, you guess it, Dirty Dancing floor drag, but he recovered.
Score: 25

Paula and Louis
Cha Cha
“R-E-S-P-E-C-T” by Aretha Franklin
Kleenex Moment: When Paula confessed that she trusts Louis, she just doesn’t trust herself.

Paula chose her memorable moment as the day she decided that she was sick and tired of being sick and tired. She packed up her kids and started her own business. Who knew that decades later, she’d be in a glitzy little sequined number showcasing an impressive set of legs. There were very little gimmicks this go around (just some pointing to words on the floor). I thought this was her best dance of the season.
Score: 21

Andy and Allison
Cha Cha
“Keep Your Head Up” by Andy Grammer
Kleenex Moment: Andy’s dad describing a picture of Andy at his mother’s funeral. Simply gut-wrenching.

Let’s get the big news out of the way first: Allison is four months pregnant. Last week, I almost put in the recap that I thought she was pregnant, but I didn’t because that is the worst to write (or say) then you find out that the woman in question is NOT with child. All of you are thinking to yourself, “Yeah right, Lincee. Sure. You totally called it. We believe you.” (Use a sarcastic font when you read that sentence.) I TOTALLY WROTE IT AND THEN ERASED IT! Back to the recap — the dance was not good. Plus, I kept worrying that he would fling Allison off the stage and hurt the baby. I’m going to be anxious all season long with this one.
Score: 23

Bindi and Derek
“Every Breath You Take” by The Police
Kleenex Moment: The entire thing. Also, when Derek suggests Bindi holds his finger like a little girl would, instead of his entire hand. I lost it.

At first I was highly annoyed that once again, Precious Derek was given the coveted position of going last in the line-up. Have they ever been in the first hour of the show? With that said, I give him major, huge, bow down, we’re not worthy props for such a beautifully choreographed routine. Bindi nailed it. I never once watched Derek, which is exactly how this routine should have been danced. She was beautiful, emotional and joyful. And when she broke down at the end, I cried like a baby. Snot, sobbing, the works. Those who don’t have hearts were the only ones not weeping in the audience. I may have lost it again when they cut to a shot of her little brother. Even though Carrie Ann bugs, she did say something poignant at the end to Bindi: “The way you live your life was just like that dance. Every moment is bright, beauty and passion. Well done.”
Score: 28

Bindi hugs Bruno for giving her the first 10 of the season. Then she hugs Julianne, Carrie Ann, Alfonso, Derek again and anyone else who may come in her path as she makes her way back to the stage with the other contestants. Carlos and Witney are the first to get the red light of doom, but it’s Anna and Gary who are sent home. I think this is the best decision. It was time for him to go. Kudos to Gary and his partner, To Russia with Love, for hanging in there four weeks. I know everyone will miss his wacky ways!

What did you think about “Most Memorable Year?” Did you cry like I did? Do you think Sharna is the luckiest girl in the world to dance with a Backstreet Boy every week? Is Erin Andrews 9-feet-tall? Sound off in the comments section!

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October 6, 2015 6:17 pm

OMG Bindi. Ugly cry. What a strong, sweet and remarkable young woman. All. The. Feels.

ann blank
ann blank
October 6, 2015 6:20 pm

Great recap as always! There is an article on the internet about Gary Busey , complete with videos, of him on the Tonight Show both before and after the motorcycle wreck. He is NORMAL in both. Apparently lots of drug use after the head injury combined to make him the man he is today. I give him huge props for shutting Alfonso up: who was very annoying both as guest judge and host. I LOVE what you said about Dereks choreography. I can’t stand Derek : now I have to admire and respect him beyond all belief! Paula needs to go : why are good couples “in jeapordy”……is that fake?

October 8, 2015 3:15 pm
Reply to  ann blank

I’ve sometimes wondered about that, ann, but I suspect Carlos and Witney were the “other” couple because the week before he really did not have a great performance. I don’t recall the score, but I think the judges were underwhelmed.

I was touched by Carlos’ testimony of faith this week, but could not shake my discomfort with his choice of music, especially given the dress Witney was wearing. While “Amazing Grace” is a deeply appropriate hymn of praise and thanksgiving for any believer, new or lifelong, it was distracting and discordant (for me, at least) in that setting.

ann blank
ann blank
October 6, 2015 6:21 pm


October 6, 2015 11:00 pm

Big Kleenex night, major waterworks during Bindi’s number. I like Derek even though I recognize he always gets special treatment (or seems that way).

Yes, Erin Andrews is 9 feet tall. LOL. I envy that tall, thin body of hers. And I like her personality.

October 7, 2015 9:08 am

Bindi’s performance was stunning. She’s shown strength was her major asset starting back while reading off her letter to her dad at his funeral (which I watched back in 2006 on Animal Planet – also crying my eyes out). I watched the commentary online with her family in the skybox and that little brother of hers is just as adorable as Bindi is. Their mom did an amazing job raising them by herself.

Note on pregnant Allison: If she were were a contestant on The Bachelor you’d refer to her as JLo. She totally looks like her and I can’t unsee it anymore.

I’m excited to see how Tamar and Val pan out this season. She is stunning and an amazing dancer. You can see her shell softening as the judges praise her for her vulnerability.

October 7, 2015 12:56 pm

WE ARE THE SAME PERSON. So many tears were shed during this episode. I’m glad I’m not the only person who gets so completely wrapped up in something on TV to bawl like that. (Even crazier that I cry over stuff on The Bachelor that is mostly stupid and fake) Anyhoo…Bindi was perfection and I’m glad Bruno recognized her with a 10. I’ve never been so sad over a celebrity death (until Robin Williams) than I was when Steve Irwin died. I adored him on Animal Planet and it’s so lovely to see that his children are growing into wonderful, beautiful souls just like their dad. Kudos to Terri for a job well done!

October 7, 2015 1:54 pm

Thanks for recapping, Lincee! I really look forward to your writing in between Bachelor episodes…

I can’t believe that Alexis got the same score as Paula! What is that? I really liked the Hayes and Emma dance, probably the best to me. It was so energetic and cool with really fun and unique moves – so I differ from you on that one.

I think the whole world cried with Bindi.

All that said, Alek is my favorite.

October 7, 2015 4:38 pm

I cried through the entire Bindi segment too. I also cried a lot watching the service for her dad when she was little. I cried reading your recap of her too Lincee….both times I read it. She is an awesome young lady!
Love your recaps!

October 8, 2015 7:12 am

have to admit that I didn’t watch every dance, will go back and finish, the rest of them. I just had to watch B&D. I know that Derrick always gets a great partner and some people understandably resent that. That being said, he is the most amazing choreographer, and dancer, that even tho, it might seem unfair, I’m glad that he gets a partner that showcases his amazing talents. I don’t think anyone of the great pros, even comes close to his abilities. He also is able to bring out the best in everyone. I too, cried from start to finish at their dance. Reminded me a bit of his winning dance with Kelly Pickler, which is my all time favorite dance of the show.

October 8, 2015 3:22 pm
Reply to  karen

I think you’re right about Derek’s overall preëminence, but Mark is a very close second, especially for his creative choreography and story-telling.

Beverley Pittman
Beverley Pittman
October 9, 2015 11:18 pm

I don’t as a general rule watch this show because of several reasons. First Gary Busey is a disgusting human being and watching him turns my stomach. Second, I can’t take the judges. They critic the good dancers harshly because they expect so much from them but then give the crappy dancers a break. Third, and last it is not enjoyable to watch these B listers make fools of themselves. That being said I was at my in laws house this week when the show came on. Since there was no other option, I started watching this episode a little before the halfway mark. I’m commenting to say that Bindis dance made me think of her father daughter dance at her wedding. This may be the closest she gets to actually having that feeling of dancing with the first man she fell in love with.

October 10, 2015 2:16 am

So many good moments. After watching Sharna dance, I decided I wanted to be her for a few minutes…and not becuase she was dancing with Nick Carter. That dance was amazing and she looked hot doing it! I wanna know what that feels like! lol

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