Welcome back to Dancing with the Stars. Tonight, the competitors are dancing down Memory Lane, choosing a particularly poignant year filled with precious family moments or personal triumphs to trot out for our viewing pleasure. That’s right, the putative stars will wiggle their hips, shuffle their feet and shake their metaphorical tail feathers, all while tugging at our heart strings. Adding to the excitement, tonight the stars will also have to do a solo performance, filling the airtime all on their own for a solid 30 seconds before their assigned pro saves them from potential further embarrassment.
The drama got an early start when, as the couples were introduced for Monday’s show, Real Housewife Lisa Vanderpump was missing from the ballroom. “She sat out rehearsal. She’s getting some rest right now,” said host Tom Bergeron, building what counts for suspense on this show. “We’ll leave it up to her whether she’s going to dance tonight.”
Here’s what else happened on Dancing with the Stars:
That’s A New One: Bachelor Sean Lowe chose to celebrate 2013, a.k.a. the year we all got to watch him choose his wife from a pack of prospects on the last season of The Bachelor. He wants to show his fiancée Catherine how much he loves her by dancing the Viennese waltz with another woman.
All’s Well That Ends Well: Sean ends his dance by publicly kissing Catherine to prove their love is real as is their upcoming ABC-sponsored wedding. Len declared, “He was steaming and I’m beaming!” and Sean earned 20/30.
The Greatest: Boxer Victor Ortiz chose to commemorate the year that he became a world champion boxer. The dance to best show that? A pasodobles to a double-time version of Queen’s “We Will Rock You.” Obviously.
Best Replacement: With Maks Chmerkovskiy taking some time off for bad behavior, there has been a serious lack of bare abs on this season of Dancing with the Stars. So, thank God that Victor opted to dress as a shirtless matador for his dance. Unfortunately, Victor is no Maks on the dance floor. He received an 18/20.
Seems A Lot To Ask: It seemed likely that Jacoby Jones would do a touchdown dance to celebrate 2012 (a.k.a. the year he won the Super Bowl). Instead, he chose to do a foxtrot to mark the year that his son was born. Carrie-Ann Inaba announced that she thinks Jacoby could win the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy—if he can keep his “booty” in. He got 24/30.
Best Bergeronism: During a social media plug for the official DWTS Instagram feed, they showed a photo of Bruno Tonioli’s face on a light switch plate with the light switch as his nose and a sign that read “Turn Me On.” Host With The Most Tom Bergeron noted, “Turn me on? It could have been worse.”
Best Celebration: Aly Raisman chose to celebrate her celebrated year as the most celebrated Olympic gymnast in a year that the team was already really celebrated. Her dance to David Guetta’s and Sia’s “Titanium” earned her a 27/30.
Most Poignant: 2013 is the best year of Andy Dick’s life due to sobriety and the hope of redeeming himself to his kids. To that end, he dedicates his Viennese waltz—set to Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”—to his daughter as a way to make up for years of lousy parenting. The dance was so moving that it drove Carrie-Ann to tears and she ended up full on ugly-crying on television. That feat alone, earned Andy a 21/30.
Best Beyoncé Impersonation: 16-year old Zendaya Coleman chose to celebrate 2009, the year she turned 12, as her most important year of her life so far, because she got to see Beyoncé in concert. To honor that year, she dances a samba set to Beyoncé’s “Love on Top” under a giant blue and white neon pyramid with her lanky limbs flying everywhere. Carrie-Ann dubbed her “Baby Beyoncé” adding that “Beyonce better watch her back!” When Len Goodman dared to critique Zendaya’s samba, Carrie-Ann said something snide (perhaps crude?) and then had to quickly apologize as Len shot a death stare at her. Zendaya earned a respectable 26/30.
Best Way To Get Disowned: Ingo “He’s Still Here?” Rademacher chose to mark 2009, the year that he married his wife. He earned a 23 for his waltz, which is 20 points higher than the score his own son gave him, so he should be thrilled. Also, his son is probably grounded.
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Best DL Hughley-ism: “Nothing says Compton like the foxtrot.”
Second Best DL Hughley-ism: When DL’s foxtrot earned him a 21/30 — his highest score of the competition so far — DL announced, “That was higher than my SAT score.”
Missed Opportunity: To mark the year of her marriage, Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough perform a rumba to a song written and performed by Kellie’s husband. The dance was up-close and personal with Derek lifting Kellie’s leg clear over her head. Luckily, her husband was too distracted performing to punch Derek in the nose. They earned a 26/30.
A Real (Housewife) Trooper: Real Housewife Lisa Vanderpump fainted during rehearsal and it’s unclear whether she would be dancing tonight. But of course she is, because otherwise, as Tom noted, “There would be a lot of time to fill.”
Mother of the Bridezilla: Lisa chose to dance for the year her daughter got married. And the best way to do that was to dress like a bride, rip off her gown to reveal a Vegas showgirl ensemble, and dance to “Celebration.” On the plus side, Gleb took off his shirt. An 18 out of 30 for them.
Rankings: Aly Raisman tops the leaderboard with a 27, while Victor Ortiz and Lisa Vanderpump are tied at the bottom with 18.