Dancing with the Stars kicked off on a somber note with the news that Tom Bergeron was away at his ill father's bedside and would miss the live show. Alfonso Ribeiro filled in as host.
Contestant Andy Grammer dubbed tonight's Most Memorable Year episode "Crying with the Stars" as the celebrity contestants shared some moving stories that had fans watching the performances through tears. Though Grammer's high-energy cha-cha with partner Allison Holker, who happily announced her pregnancy tonight, didn't garner a high score, his tearful remembrance of his mother, who suddenly passed away, was particularly moving.
Val Chmerkovskiy and Tamar Braxton finally made a connection as they performed a rumba after Braxton recalled the year that she nearly lost her husband and found out she was expecting her son. Their performance had Carrie Ann Inaba in tears and landed them in a three-way tie for second place on the leaderboard.
Carlos PenaVega revealed a side of himself few people know when he discussed the dark days following the end of Big Time Rush, and how it all turned around when he met his now-wife, Alexa PenaVega, at a Bible study. He and partner Witney Carson waltzed to "Amazing Grace," which moved fans and judges alike, but also received some technical criticism from the panel. They later ended up in jeopardy, but were spared from going home.
That was like a boyband stew before the commercial break. #dwts— Kat Halstead (@katdvs) October 6, 2015
Nick Carter's support team brought a lot of joy to fans this week. Twitter was abuzz that Backstreet Boy AJ McLean was in attendance, as well as 98 Degrees' Jeff Timmons, *NSYNC's Joey Fatone and several members of O-Town.
Carter's Most Memorable Year story, however, was a real tearjerker, as he talked about growing up in a dysfunctional family who fought and how meeting the Backstreet Boys in 1992 helped turn things around for him. Carter and Sharna Burgess danced a smokin'-hot jazz routine to "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" that won raves from the judges and landed them in the three-way tie for second place along with Braxton/Chmerkovskiy and Vine star Hayes Grier and partner Emma Slater.
Bindi Irwin's memories of the year her father, Steve Irwin, passed away suddenly were perhaps the most poignant of the night, as he was beloved by so many fans. Irwin and Derek Hough danced a contemporary routine that seemed flawless and ended with Irwin sobbing in Hough's arms. We cried, the judges were choked up and the dance not only earned the first 10 of the competition, but took the top spot on the leaderboard.
Gary Busey chose the year he starred in The Buddy Holly Story as his most memorable, but it was his family members' recollections of his motorcycle accident and how he struggled back to health despite his head trauma that really hit fans in the Kleenex boxes.
Gary Busey and Anna Trebunskaya and Paula Deen and Louis Van Amstel were on the bottom of the leaderboard after tonight's dances, although Deen didn't end up in jeopardy after last week's scores and votes.
Gary Busey had been one of the most entertaining contestants on Dancing with the Stars, however, he was sent home in tonight's elimination.
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