(LOS ANGELES) — It was a night of a thousand tissues on Monday’s Dancing with the Stars, where the theme was Most Memorable Night. In week four’s emotional show, stars paid tribute to a pivotal time in their lives and shared stories about the moments that helped define who they are today.
Frankie Muniz was first out. The former Malcolm in the Middle star talked about having had nine concussions and “a fair amount of mini strokes” that have affected his memory, but, he said, “My most memorable year is 2017, I’m happy with my decisions. Even if I don’t remember it all, I’m happy.” His quickstep with Witney Carson impressed the judges and kicked off the night with a score of 24 out of 30.
Terrell Owens talked about being raised by his grandmother and how hard it was to lose her in 2012: “The person I am today is because of her.” After his Viennese Waltz, Bruno Tonioli said, “You’ve got me, Terrell. I’m telling you, this was your most accomplished performance to date.” The judges were equally impressed and awarded him 24 points.
Nikki Bella talked about 2016, the year she found out her neck was almost broken. She recovered and came back to become a WWE superstar. Her fiancé, John Cena, said, “I can’t say enough about her strength. She’s bold, she’s brave, one of the strongest people I know. Man, that’s my girl.” The judges awarded her a 24 for her contemporary dance.
Nick Lachey talked about 2011, the year he got engaged to his wife and fellow competitor, Vanessa Lachey. The judges scored him a 22 for his contemporary dance, with Bruno and Len Goodman noting his balance needs work.
Lindsey Stirling and Mark Ballas danced a Viennese Waltz after she talked about her father and his inspiration and dedication to her. In 2016, he was diagnosed with cancer, and Lindsey spoke warmly about being grateful for the time she had with him rather than being angry at losing him. Even though Len would have preferred a little more Viennese Waltz, he loved it and the judges gave them a score of 26.
Five-time NBA champion Derek Fisher talked about his daughter’s cancer at 10 months and how in 2007, he feared he would lose her. He walked away from the last three years on his $20 million contract to be with her. The surgery worked, and his daughter recovered. Derek said, “She is a miracle. That experience helped to shape my understanding of what real sacrifice means. What unconditional love means.” His jazz dance to Curtis Mayfield’s “Move on Up” earned him 23 out of 30, but it wasn’t enough to save him at the end of the night.
Jordan Fisher talked about being adopted in 2005 when his 15-year-old mother was unable to care for him. “Being adopted, it literally saved my life,” he said. “It could have been really tough for me, and it wasn’t. And I was so loved. I’m just so grateful for them.” His powerful contemporary brought out the first 10s of the season from judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno, for high a score of 29,
Sasha Pieterse’s favorite year, 2016, was a turning point in her life. It was her last season on Pretty Little Liars and she was struggling with her health: “I was gaining all this weight, and I was losing out on jobs. It took such a knock at my confidence, because it kind of threatened my future.” Her foxtrot with partner Gleb Savchenko earned her a 24 from the judges.
Vannessa Lachey talked about this year being the year that her family was complete, after the nerve-wracking premature birth of her son. Her rumba with Maks Chmerkovskiy earned her a 24.
Drew Scott talked about how his life changed in 2007 when he moved from being a failed actor with a property business to become, with his twin brother Jonathan, the Property Brothers. Jonathan Scott joined Drew and his pro partner, Emma Slater, for a jive to Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” and Drew earned 24.
Paralympian Victoria Arlen talked about being diagnosed with rare neurological conditions in her brain and spinal cord at age 11, which gave her seizures and put her on death’s doorstep. In 2010, she began to get use of her hands back but was still in a wheelchair. She said she wanted to be the first person in a wheelchair on Dancing with the Stars, but with hard work and rehabilitation, she learned to walk again. Her foxtrot with Val Chmerkovskiy featured an empty wheelchair, around which they danced. Her moving performance earned her nines from each of the judges, for a score of 27.
In jeopardy at the end of the end of the night were Nick and Peta, and Derek and Sharna. Even though this was the second time Nick was in jeopardy, it was Derek who was eliminated.
Dancing with the Stars returns Monday night at 8 p.m. ABC. Next week is the all-new Disney Night theme.
Here are last night’s scores:
Jordan and Lindsay, contemporary, 29 out of 30
Victoria and Val, foxtrot, 27
Lindsey and Mark, Viennese Waltz, 26
Nikki and Artem, contemporary, 24
Vanessa and Maks, rumba, 24
Frankie and Witney, quickstep, 24
Terrell and Cheryl, Viennese Waltz, 24
Sasha and Gleb, foxtrot, 24
Drew and Emma, jive, 24
Derek and Sharna, jazz, 23
Nick and Peta, contemporary, 22
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