Noah Galloway, Willow Shields and Nastia Liukin stood out as the stars waltzed, tangoed and rumba'd down memory lane
Routines themed around the Stars’ most memorable years made for good video packages but not-so-inspired dances. I mean, how do you adequately pay homage to an IED attack?
Judge Len Goodman certainly wasn’t in the mood for sob stories: the ol’ boy was grumpy all night and didn’t seem to like anybody, least of all Rumer Willis, who performed a brilliant waltz as a snub to all her early haters.
Before you learn the guys’ fate, check out a sampling of the performances from a night of memories (as well as a few moments we’d love to forget).
Michael Sam and Peta Murgatroyd
The teary-eyed football star danced a rumba in memory of his father, who turned against him when he came out in 2014. Song choice? “I’m Not My Father’s Son.” D’oh! Poppa, you got served – and in a ballroom, no less. “It takes an enormous amount of guts to stand for what you believe in,” said judge Bruno Tonioli. “Your voice is very important, and I guarantee you, it’s helped a lot of people.” “Dance is so much more than movement,” added judge Carrie Ann Inaba. “Tonight you understood why so many of us dance. It was breathtaking.”
Riker Lynch and Allison Holker
The musician who began the night in jeopardy exploded red in this “hectic” tango he dedicated to R5, the band he formed with his siblings. “You stand out like a vibrant neon light!” Tonioli said. “That was music was so odd to interpret to a tango.” “You seemed like you guys were fighting,” added Inaba. “You’re dancing against each other.”
Rumer Willis and Val Chmerkovskiy
The actress recalled all those “nasty” people who used to say she looked more like her “masculine” dad Bruce Willis than her “stunning” mom Demi Moore. Mean people are mean! Seriously, Rumer – they suck. At least her waltz (which we exclusively previewed earlier today) didn’t. Seriously, anything but. “You have an uncanny ability to connect with the character in your dance,” said Tonioli.
Willow Shields and Mark Ballas
When you’re 14, there’s not a whole helluva lot to reflect on – and it’s pretty hard to choreograph a contemporary ditty around, say, a moment from kindergarten. So Shields dedicated her number to her work in The Hunger Games – and did a pretty decent job. “I’ve never seen the The Hunger Games. I thought it was about something to eat,” said Goodman. “Everything about that was pitched perfectly! I’m blown away by you,” added Inaba.
Noah Galloway and Sharna Burgess
The show left the most moving story for last by flashing pictures of the Army vet’s devastating injuries in Iraq – and when he came back to life. Also, he took his shirt off! “Your experiences are unimaginable,” said Tonioli. “You are really the ultimate role model. You want a superhero? There he is.” “With very few words you say something very profound,” added Inaba. “No guts no glory,” said Goodman. “Everyone here can stand up and applaud you.”
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.