It’s the most memorable New Year’s Eve on Dancing with the stars! It’s also halfway through season 31, meaning if you haven’t already subscribed to Disney+ to watch your favorite pros, you probably never will. And that’s okay! We watch so you don’t have to.
Bring on those unforgettable moments from the past!
Selma Blair and Sasha Farber. When she was finally diagnosed with MS in 2018, Blair felt the “beginning of my recovery as a person.” But like a record scratch, Blair continued her most memorable year with: terribly sad news. After undergoing a recent MRI, doctors told Blair that they… could not continue with the match. “I went as far as I could,” she told Farber during the rehearsal package. She went on to explain how the dancing caused “extensive damage” to her bones, leaving her with no choice; her time in the ballroom was over. Then she performed her last song – a waltz on “What The World Needs Now is Love.” “This competition is tough for everyone, but if the other one has climbed hills, you have climbed mountains,” said Len Goodman. “Congratulations.” Almost everyone was moved to tears afterwards. To score: A perfect 40!
Jessie James Decker and Alan Bersten. The singer’s big year was in 2014, when she became a mother. cool cool. She then performed a savage tango to her “Blue Jeans” tune before giving her daughter a big hug in the audience. (Her son, however, had to settle for cuddling her leg). “There was a good amount of tango,” Goodman said. “It was sharp, it had attack. Every now and then you’re a little bit on Alan’s right side. It had purpose and it had determination. Well done.” To score: 29 out of 40
Trevor Donovan and Emma Slater. The actor thought his acting days were numbered in 2007 after he lost his performance on Days of our lives. Thinking he should go back to Mammoth and start a new career building houses, Donovan got a last minute reprieve from Hollywood when 90210 came calling. Nothing about that experience screams let’s jazz dance to Coldplay but Donovan certainly performed the hell of his song. “You didn’t force that dance, you didn’t try too hard to shove it right in my face,” Goodman said. “That gave it so much more control. Without a dance, that was your best dance yet.” To score: 32 out of 40
Vinny Guadagnino and Koko Iwasaki. Guadagnino had graduated from college delivering pizza when he filled out an application in 2009 to join the cast of Jersey Shore. Almost overnight, he was treated like a member of The Beatles and allowed to buy his parents a house. And look at him now! He’s dancing jazz in a pastel tracksuit and Chucks on DWTS. Enjoy it while it lasts, friend; the competition is just too fierce this season. “I thought it was a great dance, it was clean. It was clear. You were close and together, full of energy,” Goodman said. “Well done.” Score: 32 out of 40
Shangela and Gleb Savchenko. The Drag queen looked back on a horrific accident in 2013 when performing some kind of death drop during a performance. Shangela broke a leg and doctors said more dancing was out of the question. The rest is history, of course: to Shangela performing a dignified foxtrot that brought the queen to tears at the end. “Sometimes getting an injury is a blessing in disguise,” said Derek Hough. “It makes you stop and appreciate what you have. It was so amazing to see this side of Shangela.” To score: 32 out of 40
Jordan Sparks and Brandon Armstrong. The singer remembered the year 2017 sweetly, when she met a man who was just looking for tips on how to break into the business. Five years later he inspired a salsa as her husband On DWTS. Isn’t love great? ‘Speaking of spicy,’ said Bruno Tonioli. “You have to make it look easy and spontaneous [in the salsa]. That’s the hardest thing to do. You did it.” To score: 33 out of 40
Daniel Durant and Britt Stewart. Not surprisingly, the actor chose 2019 as his memorable year, because that’s when he was cast in CODA — a small indie film that exploded into an Oscar-winning hit. He paid tribute with a cheerful and barefoot contemporary dance that left the judges all gooey inside. “You’re so real, so honest, you have the ability to make me feel like I’m dancing with you even when I’m looking at you,” Tonioli said. “It’s something very unique and special that you have.” To score: 34 out of 40
Joseph Baena and Daniella Karagacho. The fitness model didn’t go deep into its memory bank to find a big year; he just went with 2022 and how this year he finally decided to “listen to myself and not listen to outside voices…I have to separate myself from the expectations that I am like my father. This year I know who I am .” And with that, he rumba’d to “My Way” and gave what Goodman described as “his best dance yet this season.” (Carrie Ann Inaba also called it one of the best male rumbas ever on the show). Hey, that made Baena cry! To score: 34 out of 40
Gabby Windey and Val Khmerkovskiy. Before becoming single, Windey worked as an ICU nurse during the pandemic. “I felt the world was ending,” she recalls of 2020, her hardest year when she “saw a lot of death and isolation.” She dedicated her squiggly and agile foxtrot to the families and health workers. “I can’t even imagine what you’ve been through,” Inaba said. “I just want to thank you from my heart. I feel like I understood you and how you dance more after seeing that. You are beautiful and dazzling out there. I want to encourage you to let it go.” To score: 36 out of 40
Heidi D’Amelio and Artem Chigvintsev. She must know that her daughter is going to hit her, right? Yes, in fact she does: Mommy D’Amelio opened her rehearsal pack by saying she didn’t think she’d get that far in the competition. She then remembered the year 1997 and how she moved from Louisiana to New York to work as a model. Hey, that took a lot of courage! So she tried to channel that into her tight rumba. “You’ve improved so much, it’s insane,” Hough said. ‘Your arms, the articulation in your feet. It was so clean and beautiful. I think you have a dozen in you. I need a little more emotion. But girl, that was solid.” To score: 36 out of 40
Wayne Brady and Witney Carson. The TV presenter looked back on 2003, when his daughter Maile was born. He then dedicated his foxtrot to his now 19-year-old “little buddy” whom he wants to make proud. She was also there to give him a big hug. “What you did for me captured the essence of love at first sight,” said Bruno Tonioli. “It was so beautiful.” Score: 37 out of 40
Charli D’Amelio and Mark Ballas. Like Baena, D’Amelio also chose 2022 because it was the year when fear no longer controls her life. Despite her large social media presence, she said it wasn’t much fun having all those eyes on her, so “I started going to therapy to find out why I felt the way I was.” What followed was a chilling, contemporary dance that not only showcased Ballas’s incredible choreography, but also proved how D’Amelia has this competition. in the bag. “First of all, Charlie, I just want to thank you for being such a responsible one and telling that story,” Inaba said. “So many young children look up to you…talking about the price of your fame.” To score: 39 out of 40
Because Blair was out, there was no elimination on Monday. DWTS will be back on Tuesday.