On Week 4 of Season 20, “Dancing with the Stars,” another man left the ballroom, but two women received tens on Most Memorable Year Night.
Although Natia Liukin dancing with Derek Hough got the first 10 of the season, it was Willow Shields dancing with Mark Ballas who received three tens for an almost perfect score of 39.
- Willow Shields & Mark Ballas: 39
- Nastia Liukin & Derek Hough: 36
- Rumer Willis & Valentin Chmerkovskiy: 35
- Riker Lynch & Allison Holker/Robert Herjavec & Kym Johnson: 34
- Noah Galloway & Sharna Burgess: 32
- Michael Sam & Peta Muratroyd: 30 ELIMINATED
- Patti LaBelle &Artem Chigvintsev: 30
- Suzanne Somers & Tony Dovolani: 28
- Chris Soules & Witney Carson: 27
Nastia Liukin & Derek Hough started out the night. For her, the year she competed at the Beijing Olympics was her Most Memorable Year: 2008.
She competed on Floor Exercise to “Dark Eyes.” Liukin was trained by her parents, both former gymnasts to she dedicated the night to her parents.
Head judge Len Goodman said that while that was a fantastic dance– clean and physical, the character of the dance was missing.
Julianne Hough was more enthusiastic and told Liukin, “You nailed it in 2008 and you nailed it tonight.”
Bruno Tonioli called it exhilarating in shape and shade.
Liukin got one ten and four nines.
It was Feb 9, 2014 that Michael Sam (with Peta Murgatroyd) made his announcement. On that day, Michael Sam announced he was gay. His father didn’t speak directly to him, but was quoted in a newspapers as saying that he was disappointed. Sam had already lost his father once, but felt the lost his father again that year.
Hough found his performance so vulnerable and noted that footwork had improved and that he was pointing his toes.
Tonioli commented, “You should be very proud of yourself” because it took an “enormous amount of guts” to come out to the world. “Your dancing tonight, my darling was the best you’ve ever done.”
Inaba said, “You understood why all of us dance,” and commended him for “sharing a moment of your inside.” She did caution him that sometimes his posture wasn’t good.
Goodman commented that progress is like a tunnel and that “tonight you came out and you’re in the light.” Michael Sam and Peta Murgatroyd were eliminated.
Riker Lynch & Allison Holker were all about last year when Lynch and the band he formed with his brothers had been together seven years and were finally making it.
Lynch is a pleasure to watch and he was bravely dancing in bright red suit.
Tonioli called him “a vibrant neon light.” He also noted that although “that music was so hard to interpret to a tango,” Lynch was crisp and clear and very tango.
Inaba said he was “dancing wider and broader,” but also thought “the was chemistry a bit off tonight.”
Goodman felt the dance was “a tad on the hectic side,” and he wanted “the hold a little tighter,” yet the performances was “better than last week and I’m proud of you.”
Hough cautioned Lynch to watch his right shoulder which tends to go a bit forward.”
The judges couldn’t believe “you guys are in jeopardy now.” It would be a major disappointment for me if Lynch left.
Robert Herjavec & Kym Johnson looked at 2006 which was an emotional year for Herjavec. In 2005, his mother was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer. Despite all his financial resources, there was nothing he could do to forestall her death the next year.
Herjavec was dancing to her favorite song. “She’d dance around the house.”
Goodman told him, “It’s your best dance.” He was sure, “Your mum is looking down right now and cheering and cheering.”
Hough commented, “Your frame was incredible,” and noted he has “the best footwork and best technique of all the guys.”
She also noted that the choreography was classic and gorgeous.
Tonioli said it was strictly ballroom and absolutely wonderful.
Reality TV star Chris Soules & Witney Carson chose last year, 2014 when he became “The Bachelor” after his sister wrote a letter. Even though he did become engaged, they broke it off.
They danced within a rectangle set off by an outline of lightbulbs. Soules was a little stiff.
Goodman was the first to comment and told Soules that “purely on the dancing, that wasn’t that great.”
Hough as more positive and noted, “every week you have improved,” but also said Soule and Carson were “missing a little bit of connection.”
Tonioli said his dancing was “extremely genuine and very honest.” Tonioli told Soules that his turns were much better but he needs “a little bit more flow of movement.”
Inaba said she felt the passion, and looked like he was actually enjoying himself now. We can’t enjoy his dancing if he’s not enjoying himself.
Patti LaBelle who dances with Artem Chigvintsev chose 1973, the year her son was born. Up until then she was a traveling singer and she even toured until her 9th month.
Hough exclaimed, “I want to dance with you.”
Tonioli called the dance “hot.”
Goodman said there was “plenty of giggle, plenty of wiggle” and like it was a “cappuccino of a dance, light and frothy.”
Rumer Willis who dances with Valentin Chmerkovskiy said 2014 was the year she finally felt confidence in herself. Growing up she compared herself to her mother, Demi Moore.
Plenty of people said mean things about her face and her head shape.
Tonioli said Willis had “an uncanny ability to connect with the character of your dance” but to watch her developée and point her toes.
Inaba noted that she loved the velocity with which Willis moves that she dances “10 feet beyond where your arms end.”
Goodman felt that it was a great dance but wondered: “Is it a waltz?”
Hough commented that Willis “was strong and so vulnerable.” She also said, “Carrie Ann is right, when you dance, you’re dancing for every girl.”
Suzanne Somers and Tony Dovolani were next. Somers chose 1977, the year she was cast in the sitcom “Three’s Company.” Up until then, she had not been really successful as an actress. “The chemistry I had with John Ritter happens once in a lifetime” if one’s lucky. That comment made me think: What about her TV show husband, Patrick Duffy on the ABC “Step by Step” (1991 to 1998). Somer was on the show from 1977 to 1981, with the last year having a substantially diminished role. Her contract was not renewed and she was replaced by Jenilee Harrison and later Priscilla Barnes. The show ended in 1982 after eight seasons.
Still, Somer dedicated the dance to the late John Ritter.
Inaba felt this was Somer’s breakthrough dance where she finally says “hello to the competition” because she showed “more depth, showed us elegance, showed us grace.”
Goodman simply commented, “I liked the concept, liked the content, liked the dance.”
Hough warned Somer to work on her upper body because she tends to bring up her shoulders.
Tonioli felt there was “an evergreen quality of classic sitcom” in the performance and told her to be “careful not to lose your neck.”
Willow Shields and Mark Ballas were all about 2011 when Shields got the part on “The Hunger Games.”
Goodman admitted that he had never seen the Hunger Games but found the dance fantastic.
Hough called the performance incredible and noted that Shields’ “center of gravity getting lower and deeper.”
Tonioli felt the dance was “a triumph for my little warrior” and she was “actually attacking every move with absolute sense of purpose.”
Inaba noted it was one of the most difficult dances.
Noah Galloway & Sharna Burgess chose year he was injured: 2005. Galloway was into the third month of his second tour of duty. He was injured in an IED attack and lost his left leg above the knee and his left arm. Galloway woke up six days later on Christmas. Since then it’s been a journey of acceptance.
Hough commented on “how strong and how focused” he is, but feltthere was “something different, something that was free, something that was so beautiful” in his performance. “You astonish us every single week.”
Tonioli said, “Your spirit is unbroken” and called him “the ultimate role model” and a “superhero.”
Inaba compared his performance to haiku. In haiku, “with very few words, you say something very profound.”
Goodman told Galloway, You are an inspiration. I think everyone here should stand up and applaud you.”
Chris Soules & Witney Carson
- 27 (7, 6, 7, 7) down from 28 (7, 7, 7, 7)
- “The Book of Love“—Gavin James
Michael Sam & Peta Murgatroyd
- 30 (7, 7, 8, 8) up from 24 (6, 6, 6, 6)
- “Not My Father’s Son”—from Kinky Boots
Nastia Liukin & Derek Hough
- 36 (9, 8, 9, 10) up from 34 (9, 8, 8, 9)
- Argentine tango
- “Variations on Dark Eyes”—Lara St. John
Noah Galloway & Sharna Burgess
Patti LaBelle & Artem Chigvintsev
- 30 (8, 7, 7, 8) up from 22
- “Dan Swit Me”—Patti LaBelle
Riker Lynch & Allison Holker: Last to be called safe.
Robert Herjavec & Kym Johnson
Rumer Willis & Valentin Chmerkovskiy
Suzanne Somers & Tony Dovolani
- 28 (7, 7, 7, 7) up from 25
- “Three’s Company, Too”—Ray Charles & Julia Rinker
Willow Shields & Mark Ballas
Phone voting begins during the show on Mondays, and is open until 60 minutes after the conclusion of that show in your local time zone.
Online voting at both ABC.com and Facebook opens each Monday when the show begins on the East Coast at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT) and stays open until 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT) the next day. During the season’s seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth week, online voting will open when the show begins on the East Coast at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT) and will stay open until 11 a.m. ET (8 a.m. PT) the following morning.