Emotions were high Monday night (10/8) when Dancing With the Stars infamous Memorable Year dances took place on the ballroom floor.
In a video package played before has dance, radio host Bobby Bones gave viewers a glimpse at his home life, crediting the year he graduated high school as his most memorable. Bones was the first from his family to graduate from high school, an accomplishment he knew he had to see through in order to make a better life for himself. During the clip, Bones reminisced about his late mother, who died in her forties from drug and alcohol abuse shortly after receiving her GED. The normally bubbly and outgoing host tried to hide his vulnerable side, but couldn’t help but tear up at talking about his mom.
Bones’ emotions carried through to his Contemporary dance, as he and his professional partner Sharna Burgess danced across the ballroom. His ability to forge a new path for himself was driven home as a young singer, dressed as a mini-Bobby sang “A Million Dreams” from The Greatest Showman in the background.
At the close of the performance, Bones was fighting both pain and tears as the judges began their commentary.
“You know, every once in a while on this show, we get to see like real moments of authentic magic. They just… they blow us away,” said an emotional Carrie Ann Inaba. “I can’t even exactly put into words what about that routine was so spectacular, but it was magic and we all experienced it. And that is what I love about art and dance and thank you for tapping into it. I hope it takes you so far because tonight, it took you miles ahead of where you were last week.”
Added Len Goodman, “The whole thing… the little guy singing, the whole thing… I usually can’t stand it if I see a bed. I’m really concerned. Look, I’ve not been a high scoring judge for you, however, this was your best dance. That’s all I can say.”
The dance earned the pair a 23 out of 30, their highest score yet.
This week’s performance was also emotionally draining for actor/singer/songwriter John Schneider, who went through many difficult moments in this particular year. As described in the video piece that aired before his dance, Schneider revealed that he lost nearly everything in a Louisiana flood. It was through that trial that he bonded with a coworker, Alicia, and the two began dating. Shortly after, his mother passed away. It was with Alicia’s help that Schneider was able to pick up the pieces and smile once again, a tribute that his pro partner Emma Slater took into consideration upon choreographing the dance.
The two lit up the floor during the heart-wrenching Waltz to “Smile”‘ by Ray Chew. As they circled the floor, Schneider remained melancholy until the final notes of the tune when he was able to see the light once again. He finished the routine with a kiss from Alicia in the audience before hearing the judges critiques.
“It was so charming and so heartfelt. It is impossible to resist. You show yourself…every true emotion was there palpitating. I mean, your heart was into it,” said Bruno Tonioli. “It was very moving and you had such a wonderful caring touch, like a true gentleman. You just kind of framed it beautifully. Be careful and hold. Sometimes you’re a bit unsteady.”
Goodman agreed, sharing “I like the sentiment of the whole thing. And you had an elegance about you. That was tricky music to dance a waltz to, but you kept right on time. Now, if you’re gonna shine, you have to polish. That’s what you need to do. Just polish it up a little bit, get a little bit more refinement, and lovely job. Well done.”
Schneider and Slater walked away with 21 out of 30 for their score.
The week three show wrapped with an elimination, with Facts of Life star Nancy McKeon and singer Tinashe up for elimination. Between the judges’ score and the audience vote, McKeon was eliminated.
Both Bones and Schneider will return to the ballroom when Dancing With the Stars airs on Monday evening at 8/7c on ABC.