What a trip down memory lane! Dancing With the Stars’ 10th anniversary special transported viewers back to 2005 when the show’s first season aired, and boy have things changed in the subsequent 20 seasons.
After kicking off with a dazzling opening number proving that all that glitters is gold, the show brought fan favorites back to talk about the evolution of DWTS and reminisce about the contestants’ thrills and spills along the way. And after they talked, some former faves danced the night away in the ballroom. From Meryl Davis and Maks Chmerkovskiy‘s breathtaking performance to a huge group number with a last-minute substitute for injured Derek Hough, it was an unforgettable evening. And it wasn’t just dance — Billy Ray Cyrus came to perform “Achy Breaky Heart” and Patti LaBelle killed it with “Lady Marmalade.”
Check out eight of the special’s best moments.
Season 1 champion Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy stripped down to their underwear, splashing around in some water on a stage for a hot performance full of twists, spins, and flips. The actress won 10 years ago and definitely still had it going on. “The O.G. is in the house,” she said with a laugh.
Most Anticipated Performance
Maks Chmerkovskiy and Meryl Davis’ encore was one for the record books. They started off hand in hand and immediately went into a breathtaking and sensual performance. They lit up the stage with electricity, and midway through Maks unbuttoned his shirt. They didn’t almost kiss like they did during their season, but watching them dance, it was as if no time had passed at all.
Most Hilarious Throwback
Popular pro Maks Chmerkovskiy’s audition video was hilarious. He wore a white beanie and a long-sleeved white sweater while rocking what was almost a bob haircut. His confidence knew no bounds, and he ended the tape by saying that everyone loves him, even if they think they don’t. “Deep inside you love me — you’re just lying to yourself, because I’m the man,” he said, and when the camera panned to present-day Maks, he was definitely blushing.
Best Group Number
NFL players Kurt Warner, Jacoby Jones, Michael Irvin, Donald Driver, Hines Ward, Jerry Rice, and Emmett Smith all wore gold leather jackets to do a Paso Doble together. Without partners, it kind of felt like the routine would turn into Magic Mike, but then some female pro dancers came in to join the fun. They added some dangerous spins and were tossed around like footballs. Jones even re-created his jump with Karina Smirnoff!
Most Impressive Substitute
After Derek Hough’s foot injury sidelined him from the show, Sasha Farber stepped in to dance with Hough’s former partners Maria Menounos, Amy Purdy, Kristi Yamaguchi, and Amber Riley. You would never know the replacement pro only had a week to learn the number because it was so seamless. Mark Ballas joined the performance with former partners Chelsea Kane and Katherine Jenkins, and everyone had fast-paced costume changes and complex solos. Oh, and Jenkins announced she’s four months pregnant at the end of the performance. Congrats!
Best Musical Performance
Lil’ Kim and Amber Riley joined Patti LaBelle for a performance of her classic song “Lady Marmalade.” Even though Christina Aguilera, Mya, and Pink were missed, the DWTS trio did an incredible job with the song, and it was basically a big, epic diva-off.
Best Judges’ Moment
Okay, there were actually two best judges’ moments. Maks Chmerkovskiy and judge Len Goodman rode a tandem bike and showed they have a “bromance” and not a feud, which was adorable and weird all at once. But then Bruno Tonioli went all Fifty Shades of Grey, and, while shirtless in only a leather jacket and cracking a whip, said he likes dances that turn him on and are “pulsating with passion.”
The football players had the best group performance, but the biggest number of the night came at the end when all of the stars, judges, and hosts did a coordinated dance that was more or less a hand jive as confetti poured over everyone. Happy 10th anniversary, DWTS!
Tell Us: What did you think of the big anniversary special? Who was your favorite performer?
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