By Katie Murray
The stars brought some serious passion (and tears!) as they took the dance floor with routines inspired by their most memorable years. One couple was sent home, and, by the end of the night, our tissues were all gone!
Feature Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless
Videos by Dancing With The Stars
MARY LOU RETTON AND SASHA FARBER
Retton won over America’s hearts back in 1984, but on this week’s episode of DWTS, she won over our hearts when she explained the struggles she experienced six weeks prior to the Olympics of ‘84. Due to an injury, she was forced to go through knee surgery only six weeks before the Olympics and doctors told her she should not perform and instead, should go through rehabilitation. Retton’s drive and determination pushed her through to receive not only a perfect score, but also the gold medal.
Favorite Moment: Seeing photographs displayed on the ballroom floor as Retton and Farber performed a beautiful waltz.
MILO MANHEIM AND WITNEY CARSON
Manheim’s most memorable year just so happened to be this year. It was this year that Manheim graduated high school and had his Disney movie premiere! He says that he’s learning more about himself and his love for acting this year, and everything is changing (in a good way)!
Favorite Moment: Manheim performing on the judges’ table, and his backflip off the table that WOWed Bruno!
NANCY MCKEON AND VAL CHMERKOVSKIY
What is McKeon’s most memorable year? She said it has to be when she completed her family in 2006. She shared with us her value for her family and how lucky she feels to be able to go home to them every night. Lukas Graham helped this couple perform their touching routine tonight with a live performance of his song, “Love Someone.”
Favorite Moment: Seeing McKeon finally get into the routine, and not seem as worried about hitting every step. She flowed with grace throughout every movement!
ALEXIS REN AND ALAN BERSTEN
In 2014, Ren lost her mom to a battle with Cancer. Ren said the last six months she was able to spend with her mom changed her drastically. She still honors her mom every day by wearing her rings, but on this week’s episode, she’s also honoring her mom by dedicating her performance to her–who was an avid fan of DWTS and would be so proud to see Ren on stage.
Favorite Moment: The intimate ending between Ren and Bersten…we were choking back tears watching them connect with one another on such an emotional level.
EVANNA LYNCH AND KEO MOTSEPE
Lynch’s most memorable year is 2006, when she booked her role as Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter series. The Harry Potter books played a huge role in Lynch’s childhood, and took her attention away from the eating disorder she was battling in her younger years. When she started writing to J.K. Rowling she had no idea that years later she would be cast in the movies.
Favorite Moment: The entire performance being set to the Harry Potter theme song in Ravenclaw-inspired costumes.
JOE AMABILE AND JENNA JOHNSON
2018 was a remarkable year for Amabile. Before this year, he said that his relationships had never lasted long, until The Bachelorette (and Bachelor in Paradise!) came along and changed his life. His girlfriend Kendall has been his rock, always pushing him to move forward whenever he’s feeling discouraged. This year Amabile has been conquering his fears, and he said participating in this season of DWTS was one of them.
Favorite Moment: Seeing Amabile take the lead in his Viennese Waltz with Johnson.
JUAN PABLO DI PACE AND CHERYL BURKE
It was in 1999 when Di Pace moved away from his family and started his life. As a teenager, he experienced bullying first-hand, but when he was 17 years old, a lightbulb went off and he found his purpose in life. Discovering his passion for acting lead to his career in popular movies and television shows.
Favorite Moment: Di Pace’s solo opening to the routine, where he took the samba seriously by executing those hip rolls perfectly!
Score: 30/30 (the first perfect score of the season!)
JOHN SCHNEIDER AND EMMA SLATER
Schneider faced a hard year in 2016, when he lost everything to a storm that hit his hometown, and then later losing his mom. He said he would not have gotten through it without his girlfriend, Alicia Allain. After explaining how much Allain and his mother mean to him, Schneider dedicated tonight’s routine to his mother.
Favorite Moment: Watching yellow rose petals (his mom’s favorite) take over the ballroom floor as they fell from above at the end of Schneider’s routine.
BOBBY BONES AND SHARNA BURGESS
In 1998, Bones graduated high school–a major accomplishment in his lifetime for him and his mother. His mother got pregnant at only 15 years old and wasn’t able to graduate high school, so when her son graduated she was beyond proud of him. His mom went on to get her GED saying that her son inspired him.
Favorite Moment: Seeing Bones complete the entire routine from start to finish with emotion and grace!
TINASHE AND BRANDON ARMSTRONG
In 2014, Tinashe released her first album and it proved to be a huge hit. “Aquarius” helped kick-start her solo career.
Favorite Moment: The chemistry Tinashe and Armstrong maintained throughout their entire routine to an acoustic version of Tinashe’s “2 On.”
DEMARCUS WARE AND LINDSAY ARNOLD
Ware said his most memorable year is 2016, when he won the Super Bowl. He said that having his family there in the stands gave him the power to do what he did, which not only made him emotional, but also had us tearing up a bit!
Favorite Moment: All of #TeamWaresOurMirrorBall’s impressive lifts and flips in this week’s routine. Ware is built to be explosive on the field and the dance floor!
After each couple performed, it was time for an elimination. The two in jeopardy this week were Tinashe and McKeon. After combining the scores, #TeamMcVal was sent home, and #TeamFiresandFlames is here to stay… for another week at least.
Which contestants will continue on in this season’s competition for the Mirrorball? Tune in to ABC at 8/7c next Monday to find out who stays and who goes home!
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Katie Murray is an undergraduate student at Appalachian State University majoring in Communication Studies with a focus in Media and minoring in Dance. Outside of dance team practice and class, she enjoys drawing, listening to Beyoncé and walking her dog.