As usual, there were tears aplenty on “Most Memorable Year” night on “Dancing with the Stars.” The theme challenges the contestants to choose a year that had special significance in their lives and perform a routine inspired by that year. Those memorable years usually involve major milestones and life changes, triumphs and defeats, love, loss and family — or sometimes all of those things at once. So there’s usually a lot more crying, and because the dances are so emotional the scores usually get a boost.
That was true nowhere more than with football player Rashad Jennings. He had the inherent advantage of performing a contemporary dance. That particular style tends to improve contestants’ scores since it’s more about interpretation than precise footwork, and pro athlete Jennings had the physical strength to perform effortless lifts and tricks with his partner Emma Slater.
His dance was inspired by the year he left college to care for his ailing father, with whom he’s had a complex relationship, and at the very end of the routine he went to his father in the audience and hugged him. That was irresistible to the judges, who praised his dance through heavy sobs, and there was no doubt at that point that he was going to get the first 10s of the season. He actually got three of them, from Carrie Ann Inaba, Julianne Hough and Bruno Tonioli. Len Goodman, typically a more conservative scorer, gave him a 9, denying him a perfect 40 out of 40.
Nevertheless, his score of 39 out of 40 was the highest score of the night and the highest score of the season so far. That was a big surprise to our users who made their predictions. Only three people correctly forecast that Jennings would top the judges’ leaderboard for the second time this season so far, giving him 20/1 odds, which translated to a 5% chance of him winning the night.
It was much easier to predict the lowest score and elimination. Both of those were Mr. T, and it was bittersweet. He danced a waltz to “Amazing Grace” that was inspired by his battle with cancer in 1995, which strengthened his religious faith. The judges admired the emotion and dedication of his performance, though they couldn’t overlook that he’s not one of the season’s most capable dancers. They gave him respectable 7s across the board for a total of 28 out of 40 before he was sent home in 10th place at the end of the night.
Mr. T had overwhelming 1/5 odds of getting the lowest score (83% chance) and 8/13 odds of being eliminated (60% chance), so most users who predicted this week’s show correctly anticipated those outcomes.
Our users also correctly predicted that this would be the first week that 10s would be given out. The odds were 8/11 that there would be between one and four 10s (57% chance), and we were right. The judges handed out three perfect scores, all of them for Jennings.
In our weekly predictions contest, three users scored 100% by correctly answering all four of our prediction questions: who would get the high score (Jennings), who would get the low score (Mr. T), who would be eliminated (Mr. T), and how many 10s the judges would give out (1 to 4). Those users were Blah Blahblah, Caroline Schneider and MaksimCFans.
Check out the top 10 users in our predictions chart below. Click on the chart to see the complete predictions leaderboard so you can find out how well you did.
What did you think of “Most Memorable Year” night on “Dancing with the Stars”? Next week will be “Disney Night” in which contestants perform routines inspired by classic Disney movies. You can already make your predictions for next week here. You get to answer the following questions before each episode airs on ABC every Monday at 5 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. ET.:
Who will win “Dancing with the Stars”?
Who will be eliminated?
Who will get the HIGHEST judges’ score?
Who will get the LOWEST judges’ score?
How many 10s will the judges give out?
Before you make your predictions, make sure to consult the judges’ scores from tonight’s episode, which along with viewer votes will determine who if anyone is sent home next week:
Rashad Jennings — 39
Simone Biles — 36
Heather Morris — 35
Nancy Kerrigan — 33
Bonner Bolton — 32
Normani Kordei — 32
David Ross — 31
Erika Jayne — 30
Nick Viall — 30
Mr. T — 28 (ELIMINATED)