Nine couples danced their way into our hearts Monday night on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” each with a captivating story. For the past few seasons the theme on the best year of their life is filled to the brim with emotion. Season 18’s first guest judge was Robin Roberts of “Good Morning America.”
Bruno Tonioli summed it up perfectly when he stated in all 18 seasons this is the most emotional and heartfelt he has ever experienced. That is exactly how it was, no matter if you’re a fan of the show or not. Each celebrity had an extraordinary story, and danced with all their heart and soul.
Sadly, Billy Dee Williams had to withdraw for medical reasons. Instead of dragging it out till the end on would he perform or not, host Tom Bergeron spoke with him early in the program. No elimination was needed at the end. “Dancing with the Stars” could focus entirely on each couple’s performance as it should be.
Tears were no doubt flowing during a few stories including Amy Purdy’s incredible journey. 1999 was the year her life changed forever. Amy’s contemporary dance was also dedicated to her loving father. This was the year she had to learn to walk again, this time with prosthetic legs. Dance partner, Derek Hough, choreographed a routine that took viewers into Amy’s memorable year, reliving the agony and joy in the process.
It was another milestone that night when Meryl Davis and her partner Maks Chmerkovskiy danced a flawless foxtrot. They earned the first “10s” of the season receiving a grand total of 39 out of 40 (Len Goodman gave them a “9”). Meryl’s year was actually a compression of 17 years. When she first partnered on the ice with Charlie White, Meryl was painfully shy. You would never know it now after her and Maks steamed up the dance floor.