Tonight, Dancing with the Stars was all about learning the "most memorable year" of each of the celebrities' lives. This is usually their opportunity to reveal to voters some kind of hardship or tragedy they endured and overcame in their lives, and after they've shared their stories their dance professionals encourage them to take the sadness or frustration they felt from those times and channel them into their dances. It's a pretty good tactic to garner votes.
Rob Kardashian shared with us the sadness he experienced once he lost his father to esophageal cancer in 2003, and he danced a Foxtrot to the song, Fly Me To The Moon so he could focus on how lucky he was to have his father around for as long as he did. The judges praised him for being suave and sophisticated and even though he did not understand Bruno’s comparison to Guys and Dolls, they gave him 24 points.
Chynna Phillips informed us that the hardest year of her life was in 1990, when after being very involved with drugs and alcohol, she was able to clean herself up and get sober. And after she performed her Rumba to (what else?) Hold On, things got memorable when she earned the first 9s of the season, helping her earn 26 points.
Nancy Grace recalled how in 2007, she had an emergency c-section and she didn't know if her twins were going to live or die. And she said that when they were in the hospital after they were born, the first song she ever sang to them was Moon River, and that's why she chose to dance her Waltz to that song. Nancy was graceful and seemed significantly less nervous than when she performed her other dances, and the judges rewarded her with 21 points.
Chaz Bono was up next, and he was hoping to get out of last place on the leader board. Thankfully he was assigned the Rumba, which was good for him because it is typically a slower dance and it signified he could take it easy this week. Chaz said this year has been his hardest year because people have criticized him endlessly for his lifestyle choices, and he chose to dance to Laugh at Me, which was one of his dad’s songs because he felt like if people have a problem with him, that’s their issue – not his. Unfortunately, Chaz still failed to do any significant dancing. He mostly just walked around and framed Lacey’s body as she moved. The judges acknowledged that the Rumba was a difficult dance to perform, but complimented him for coming back each and every week with enthusiasm, even though there are millions of people in the world who oppose him being on the show. He earned 18 points, which was his highest score so far.
Then Kristin Cavallari said her most memorable year was 2005, which was when she graduated high school and moved to Los Angeles to figure out whether or not she was going to go to college or start up a career in the entertainment industry (quite the predicament, huh?). So she and Mark chose to dance their Samba to Beyoncé’s Crazy in Love, and Mark said he wanted this to be a really dirty dance – but considering Mark’s choreography from other seasons, it wasn’t that raunchy. It didn’t at all seem like Kristin’s best dance – she looked very insecure and very uncomfortable, which inherently conflicts with the dance’s loose nature. But the judges enjoyed it and they gave her 24 points.
Carson Kressley said his most memorable year was in 2003, when Queer Eye for the Straight Guy came out. He won a few Emmys and the whole experience just affirmed for him that it’s okay to be gay, it’s okay for him to express himself freely, and that he doesn’t have to feel like an outsider. So he chose to dance the Tango to No Doubt’s It’s My Life, and Anna choreographed the entire routine to highlight Carson’s “sense of style.” And truly, the more and more I watch Carson, the more I find myself rooting for him. His tango was one of the most entertaining dances of the night (especially when compared to Kristin’s dance), and the judges called it “brilliant.” They gave him 23 points.
It’s almost hard to watch David Arquette be serious because he spends so much of his time joking around and making fun of himself. But he said his most memorable year was this last year, when he and his wife, Courteney Cox, separated and he began drinking. But he’s since gotten sober and is now more present in his daughter’s life, and so he danced the Rumba to “Oh Child.” And he’s still not moving around the dance floor as much as I’d like, but the judges noted that his dance seemed honest and sincere, which was a nice change of pace for him. They gave him 24 points.
J.R. Martinez said his most painful year was the year he was injured in Iraq because he was questioning why his friends died and he survived. He dedicated his dance to all the people who gave their lives during the war, and used the Tim McGraw song, If You’re Reading This, to convey the sadness he felt in that time of his life. The judges were moved to tears and gave him 26 points.
Hope Solo tried to use the Cha Cha Cha to keep her foot in the competition, and revealed that her most memorable year was this one, when her team made it to the world cup final but lost to Japan. Curiously, she did not dance to a song that supported the feelings she had on the day of that game, and it’s still kind of disappointing that Hope can’t seem to move her body very well to music. The judges appreciated her efforts though, and gave her 24 points.
Finally, Ricki Lake said her most memorable year was this one, because her house burned down and she finally met a man who appreciated her. She said that a year ago she would have never considered getting married again, but now she’s happily engaged and just talking about it makes her cry. So she danced to Gravity by Sara Bareilles, which was designed to convey the push and pull Ricki felt when she first met her fiancé Chris. The judges were very touched and they gave her 27 points, the highest score of the night.