There were a lot of tears, some very moving moments and the first 10s of the season.
Keep reading for a full take on Dancing‘s most emotional night so far …
Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas performed a waltz that the singer dedicated to her father, whom she lost to lung cancer. Bruno Tonioli called it “sensational,” while Carrie Ann Inaba said through tears that the routine was “magic.” They earned 29 points – the season’s top score so far.
William Levy and Cheryl Burke also scored a 10 – landing a point behind Jenkins and Ballas with 28 points – for their salsa, which represented 1995, the year Levy came to the U.S. from Cuba. “You conquered the salsa,” head judge Len Goodman said of the performance.
Maria Menounos and Derek Hough performed a sexy rumba to “Material Girl,” the TV host’s favorite song from when she was a girl and went to work cleaning nightclubs with her immigrant parents. The judges awarded the pair nine points apiece.
The final performers of the night, Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd, earned 26 points for a rumba, which was dedicated to Driver’s late friend, who was also lost to cancer. “I was truly touched,” Carrie Ann said of the routine that left the NFL star choked up.
Two couples – Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower, and Jaleel White and Kym Johnson – grabbed 25 points. “You played it cool, you played it well and you played it smooth,” Bruno said of White’s rumba, which he danced as his Family Matters character’s not nerdy alter-ego, Stefan Urquelle. Meanwhile, Roshon performed a samba, dedicated to the King of Pop. “It was a great tribute to Michael Jackson,” Carrie Ann said, but “I don’t think it was your best dance.”
And five couples all received 24 points for various dances: Jack Wagner and Anna Trebunskaya; Gladys Knight and Tristan MacManus; Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy; Sherri Shepherd and Val Chmerkovskiy; and Gavin DeGraw and Karina Smirnoff, who were in the bottom at last week’s elimination.
“I see progression week after week,” Len said of their rumba on Monday. “You’re getting better all the time,” added Bruno. And Carrie Ann’s take: “I’ve got Gavin fever!”
The 11 remaining couples will face elimination on Tuesday’s Dancing (9 p.m. ET) on ABC.