‘Dancing With the Stars’ Recap: Maks Chmerkovskiy Returns After Vanessa Lachey Drama

It’s time to take a trip down memory lane on Dancing With the Stars. The Monday, October 9, episode featured the celebrities’ most memorable years. Some celebrated joyous times, while others shared painful experiences. From getting married to having babies to losing parents, every star opened up more in the ballroom than they had before. While no one blew it, some dances sparkled brighter than others, and at the end, one more couple went home. Here’s how it all went down.

The cast of Dancing with the Stars.
The cast of Dancing with the Stars. Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images

The Good

Lindsey Stirling was very close to her dad growing up, but in 2016 he passed away from cancer. Through tears, she said that she is the woman she is today because of him. She and Mark Ballas performed a Viennese Waltz in her father’s memory that Bruno Tonioli called “gorgeous and magical.” Len Goodman loved the emotion behind it, but wished there was more Viennese Waltz content. Still, they were rewarded with a 26.

Victoria Arlen’s foxtrot with Val Chermkovskiy beat Lindsey by just a single point. Victoria didn’t have a most memorable year – for her, it was more a most memorable decade. Recounting her journey from being unable to walk or talk to being in the ballroom at DWTS, Victoria was in tears before her performance was over. She and Val wowed the judges and ended up with a stellar 27.

The Bad

Nick Lachey struggled more than others. His most memorable year was, sweetly, when he married Vanessa. He always dreamed of having a family when he met her and he knew she was the woman for him. He and Peta Murgatroyd performed a contemporary routine honoring his relationship with his wife. Carrie Ann Inaba called it his best dance ever, but all of the judges acknowledged he still had some technical work to do. He ended up at the bottom of the board with a 22.

Just above him with a 23 were Derek Fisher and Sharna Burgess. Derek’s most memorable year was 2007, when his then-10-month-old daughter was diagnosed with a rare eye cancer and he opted for an experimental surgery to try to save her eye instead of removing it. The surgery was a success and it marked a turning point in his life. The judges loved their energy, but Carrie Ann couldn’t overlook the fact that Derek and Sharna weren’t in sync much of the time.

The 24s

Then came a whopping six couples who finished with 24 points. Frankie Muniz and Witney Carson performed a quickstep celebrating 2017, which he called the culmination of his life. The catch was that Frankie has memory loss so he has a hard time remembering experiences he’s had. Terrell Owens and Cheryl Burke performed a Viennese Waltz in honor of his late grandmother. By the end, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house, but their technique wasn’t good enough to bump out of the middle.

Nikki Bella and Artem Chigvintsev’s contemporary routine honored 2016, the year she came back to the WWE after a serious neck injury. Sasha Pieterse and Gleb Savchenko’s foxtrot celebrated 2016, the year her life became about more than acting when she got engaged. Drew Scott and Emma Slater delivered an upbeat jive honoring 2007, the year he came up with the idea for Property Brothers, and, last but not least, Vanessa Lachey and Maksim Chmerkovskiy performed a rumba inspired by 2017—the year she gave birth to her third child at only 29 weeks. It was his first time back in the ballroom after skipping last week for a “personal issue.” As Us Weekly previously reported, there had been tension between Vanessa and Maks at rehearsals, but the drama is now all “under the bridge.”

The Best

Jordan Fisher’s most memorable year focused on family. Jordan looked back to 2005, the year he was officially adopted by his grandparents. He broke down in tears thinking about how grateful he was to have been taken in. He and Lindsay Arnold performed a contemporary routine showcasing his gratitude for his family. Bruno called their contemporary routine “exquisitely flawless” and a “work of art.” For their efforts, they earned the first 10s of the season, with one from both Bruno and Carrie Ann. Len held out with a 9.

The Gone

After such a sea of emotion, it seemed a shame to send another couple home. The two couples in jeopardy were Nick and Peta as well as Derek and Sharna. Ultimately, Derek and Sharna were sent home. Derek said he got a lot of “growth” from the experience of being on the show. “I’m forever changed from it,” he said. Sharna said she was “incredibly proud” of him.

Tell Us: Did the right couple go home?

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