Stars dance out their most memorable year

Posted at 3:40 PM, Apr 06, 2016

"Most Memorable Year" night on Dancing with the Stars is usually a tear-jerker. There was a bit of that, but also triumph and courage. They wrangled up a great group of stars this year.

I'm pretty sure I got a cavity or two after watching Ginger Zee's Contemporary with Val Chmerkovskiy. "Sweet" isn't even a strong enough word. She told the story of her family: Dating her husband, the proposal, her pregnancy. It was beautiful and laid-out so clearly in dance form. So maybe I didn't get a cavity, but I definitely had instant tears at the very end when they joined hands over her tummy to signify her baby. So good, Val. So good. 21 (I expected better.)

I knew I was in for a doozie when Karina Smirnoff told Doug Flutie that their Waltz was going to be the “dance of your parents' souls coming together.” Doug Flutie lost both his parents on the same day and that was the most memorable year of his life. He received wonderful feedback from the judges, but the performance was a whole lot of Karina, with a little bit of Doug here and there. The sentiment was apparent and the emotion was real, but the performance was eh. 20.

Kim Fields' most memorable year was when she got her first break and scored a spot in a Mrs. Butterworth's commercial, which led to "The Facts of Life." She and Sasha Farber performed a Foxtrot to the theme song. I wish it was a little faster, the tone didn’t match the tempo. But it was clean and precise, a solid showing. 22

Von Miller crushed his Contemporary with Witney Carson. This is his most memorable year because he won the Super Bowl! I was really impressed with him this go'round. Witney was his accessory, not his crutch. The lifts were unbelievable. Way to step up your game, Von! 20

Marla Maples rocked out her Jive with Tony Dovolani. Her most memorable year was when her daughter was born and she danced to "Happy" by Pharell. She is just a firecracker! I could watch her dance all day long! I love her energy. 21

At the end of Antonio Brown's Foxtrot, Tom Bergeron called Antonio, Sharna Burgess and the "scene stealer" over to the judge’s table. Antonio's most memorable year was when his son was born, 2007. His son joined him at the end of the dance to walk off the floor and it was adorable and tear-jerking. And he definitely stole the scene. Antonio Jr. is adorable and if DWTS lasts, he might be a future cast member! Meanwhile, I ate up every last second of Antonio's Foxtrot. I don't know how he does such a good job putting his charisma out there, but he can be captivating. Loved it. 20

About 10 seconds into Paige VanZant's Paso Doble with Mark Ballas, I knew it was going to be pretty badass. Her most memorable year was when she joined the UFC and they built her Paso around it. Mark has a knack for melding ideas with dance. He made the Paso a fight and back into a Paso and then fight again. His choreography was fantastic. And Paige! She was flawless as far as I could tell. 23 for Paige.

Jodie Sweetin's most memorable year was 2010 when she got sober. She shared her story through her Foxtrot with Keo Motsepe and you could just see how connected she was. It was a beautiful expression of her struggle and rise. 23

There was a huge improvement with Mischa Barton's attitude this week. Her dancing still isn't great, but like Bruno said, she was more relaxed and engaged, definitely. She has a lot of room to grow, but improved her scores over last week's. 18

Wanya Morris and Lindsay Arnold created an unbelievable performance the the NATIONAL ANTHEM. Yeah. The Star Spangled Banner. How you even do that is beyond me, but Lindsay did it. She is very in tune with what Wanya can do and where he excels. This Waltz was fabulous. 24

Nyle DiMarco is, in a word. unbelievable. I look forward to his appearance on the show every week. He and Peta Murgatroyd had a Tango that was, redundant, I know, unbelievable. He is profoundly deaf. Born deaf. And yet he has taken to that dance floor like a fish to water. Amazeballs. Can't wait to see him next week. 25 including the first 9 of the season.

Poor Mischa Barton got the boot tonight. It seemed as though this past week was better than therapy for her. She definitely made huge strides. I would have liked for her to have 1 more week. Even though Doug Flutie's performance was very touching, I don't think he's making it another round.