“[My most memorably year] was the year my dad passed away,” said violinist Lindsey Stirling about what she chose as the inspiration for her performance on “Dancing with the Stars” for “Most Memorable Year Night.” She added, “It changed me … My dad was the best dad in the world … He kind of shelved his dreams and got a teaching job so that he could pay for my violin lessons.” He was diagnosed with cancer in 2015, and it was “the hardest year of my life to watch someone that I loved so much deteriorate … Finally that realization hit that he’s not going to get better.” But despite the pain, she would thank her father if she could say one last thing to him because “I am the woman I am today because of you.” The Viennese waltz inspired by those memories was one of the highest-scoring routines of the night. Watch it above.
“It was gorgeous and magical,” said judge Bruno Tonioli about the performance, adding that it was “moving and inspiring.” Carrie Ann Inaba added that she was thankful to Stirling for reminding her why she loves her job so much. And Len Goodman concluded, “It was great. I loved it!” The scores were slightly more conservative than those comments: Stirling got an 8 from Goodman and 9s from Inaba and Tonioli for a grand total of 26 out of 30, one point shy of her chart-topping jive from last week’s show. But it was nevertheless good enough for third place on this week’s leaderboard.
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