'Dancing With the Stars' Week 4: Memories of the way they were

Victoria Leigh Miller

SPOILER ALERT: This recap of Week 4 of Dancing with the Stars contains spoilers.

The Dancing with the Stars cast is making memories as they relive old ones. This week’s edition of the ABC celebrity dance-off featured the highly-anticipated Most Memorable Year performances. It’s one of the most popular and tear-jerky themes each season (“Sponsored by Kleenex,” Erin Andrews quipped), but it’s also the week where you actually get to find out who those DWTS celebs you never heard of before they were cast on this show really are. Everyone’s a star after Most Memorable Year night!

Last week there was no elimination, so this week’s goodbye hurt just a little bit more than usual, especially since the night was so emotional to begin with. After sharing his story about his daughter’s rare cancer and the experimental surgery that saved her life, Derek Fisher joined pro partner Sharna Burgess to dance a joyous, celebratory, flower-filled jazz for his miracle child. Len Goodman said it was Derek’s best dance yet, but the prior weeks’ scores and viewer votes had the former NBA star’s fate sealed before he even stepped out on this week’s dance floor. Mirrorball dreams dashed for Derek and Sharna.

“I’m so happy and so proud to have been a part of this no matter how long it lasted,” a gracious Fisher said after his elimination was announced. “And I’m forever changed by it.”

Here’s how the rest of the stars did on this most emotional of DWTS nights.

Jordan Fisher and Lindsay Arnold: 29/30

Year: 2005. First 10s of the season! In one of the most poignant moments of the evening, Jordan Fisher celebrated the year he was officially adopted by his grandparents after his biological mom was deemed unfit to raise him. Bruno Tonioli called the contemporary dance “exquisitely flawless,” while Carrie Ann Inaba said, “To live with gratitude is one thing, but to dance with gratitude takes it to another level.”

Victoria Arlen and Val Chmerkovskiy: 27/30

Year: 2017. After overcoming a 10-year neurological battle that left her in a wheelchair, Victoria Arlen rejoiced over the fact that she was able to stand, let alone dance. After a pre-dance package that detailed the 10 years she was “locked” inside her own body, a tearful Victoria stood up from her wheelchair and celebrated her medical triumphs with a gorgeous foxtrot. Len, who admitted he’s a “crusty old guy,” said the dance was inspiring. “That was a joyful, lovely experience,” he said.

Lindsey Stirling and Mark Ballas: 26/30

Year: 2016. Lindsey Stirling’s Viennese Waltz was dedicated to her father, who passed away last year after a battle with cancer. The award-winning violinist paid tribute to the man who shelved his own dreams of being a freelance writer so he could pay for her violin lessons.  Mark Ballas even wore Lindsey’s father’s hat and scarf as they danced the magical waltz. “It felt like a dream you never want to wake up from,” Bruno Tonioli said of the dance.

Frankie Muniz and Witney Carson: 24/30
 Year: 2017. Frankie Muniz has had an incredible life, but he doesn’t remember most of it due to an undiagnosed memory loss issue. The former Malcolm in the Middle Star chose the present year as his most memorable because he has learned to live in the present. Frankie’s quickstep with pro dancer Witney Carson was magical and fun—Len compared it to his mum’s Yorkshire pudding for some reason. Carrie Ann praised the star for putting “joy into every move.”

Terrell Owens and Cheryl Burke: 24/30

Year:  2012. This week, Terrell finally showed up. The former NFL star paid tribute to his late grandmother, Alice, who raised him, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house — especially his. “That was your most accomplished dance to date,” Bruno said of T.O’s elegant Viennese waltz. “It was elegant, smart…your flow was beautiful.”

 Vanessa Lachey and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 24/30

Year: 2017. What feud? After a still-unexplained one week hiatus, Vanessa Lachey and Maks Chmerkovskiy were back together to perform a rumba to Nick Lachey’s “Godspeed (Sweet Dreams),” a song Vanessa says got her family through some really tough times. One of the toughest came when their son, Phoenix, was born 10 weeks premature. “I loved the routine and I loved the way you danced it,” Len said of the emotional dance that detailed the Lacheys birth story.

Drew Scott and Emma Slater: 24/30

Year: 2007. Who knew Drew Scott wanted to be an actor before he became a Property Brother? When his acting dream failed, Drew decided to combine his two passions — real estate and entertainment — and a (reality) star was born! Drew’s jive with Emma Slater included a cameo by his identical twin brother, Jonathan. “It was a full-on jive with a feel-good factor,” Bruno said of the routine. As a bonus, we learned a new dance move: Pronging it.

Nikki Bella and Artem Chigvintsev: 24/30

Year: 2016.  Nikki Bella showed a new side of herself as she recalled the serious neck injury that almost ended her wrestling career. The WWE superstar danced a contemporary — with silks, no less! — and showed off both her dance skills and athletic skills. Bruno called the dance “a contemporary interpretation of the Kama Sutra—but with heart.”

Sasha Pieterse and Gleb Savchenko: 24/30

Year: 2016.  After a seven-season run, Sasha Pieterse shot her final episode of Pretty Little Liars last year, then became engaged to her fiance, Hudson. To mark the end of one chapter and the beginning of another, she danced a “proper foxtrot” (Bruno’s words) to the Fray’s “Over My Head (Cable Car).” Carrie Ann liked the way the actress used the space of the ballroom, and Len said he liked “the quantity of foxtrot and the quality of dancing.”

Nick Lachey and Peta Murgatroyd: 22/30

Year: 2011. So cute how the Newlyweds star danced with the newlywed. Nick Lachey’s contemporary with a recently hitched Peta was beautifully executed as he bypassed the Jessica Simpson years and recalled the moment his goal of having his own family was really made possible: The day he married MTV’s Vanessa Minnillo.  Carrie Ann said the beautifully choreographed dance was “by far” Nick’s best dance ever, but that didn’t save the 98 Degrees alum from the bottom of the leaderboard.

Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC. Watch clips and full episodes of DWTS for free on Yahoo View.

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