“DWTS” Week 5 Recap: Most Memorable Year Night Honors Len Goodman

October 25, 2023

Be prepared to grab the tissues before you read this recap, because last night’s episode of “Dancing with the Stars” was an emotional one. For our beloved stars, it was Most Memorable Year night, giving each contestant the chance to recall the most important time in their life through dance.

We also saw our pros deliver an emotional tribute to one of their own, longtime judge and absolute icon Len Goodman, who passed away last spring. The episode was equal parts heartbreaking, heartwarming, and heartfelt—and we loved every minute of it.

So if you missed it last night, here’s a recap of the most memorable and most dance-filled moments of the evening.

Charity Lawson and Artem Chigvintsev: Contemporary

We had a brief moment of déjà vu when we heard that Charity and Artem would be performing a contemporary dance to “Lose You to Love Me,” by Selena Gomez. Wasn’t it just a few years ago that we saw fellow Bachelorette Hannah Brown perform to the same song?

But once we saw Charity and Artem’s performance, all déjà vu was set aside to appreciate what was a simply stunning dance. Charity retraced her most memorable year: when she broke it off with her toxic ex and appeared on “The Bachelor.” She and Artem delivered an outstanding contemporary, incorporating a jungle-gym–inspired set piece to bring us something truly unique.

The judges took notice of the pair’s performance, awarding them two 9s and the first 10 of the season, for a total 28 out of 30 possible points.

Len Goodman Tribute

There are some moments that simply can’t be put into words. And as dancers, those are the moments we choose to dance. For the “Dancing with the Stars” pros—old and new—the loss of beloved long-time judge Len Goodman was one of those moments.

Choreographed by pros Jenna Johnson and Valentin Chmerkovskiy, the tribute performance included a classic waltz to the song “Moon River,” one of Len’s favorites. The waltz was elegant and classic, and we just know that the performance received a “10 from Len.”

Xochitl Gomez and Valentin Chmerkovskiy: Viennese Waltz

On Most Memorable Year night, it’s common that many of the couples perform contemporary dances, which are more fluid, and often give more space for creative expression. For the couples that perform standard ballroom styles, it can be difficult to stand out. But this wasn’t a problem for

Xochitl and Val, who performed a gorgeous Viennese waltz to honor Xochitl’s most memorable year, 2021, when she missed the chance to celebrate her quinceañera.

We have seen perhaps the most growth from Xochitl so far this season, and last night was by far her best performance yet. Her waltz was all long, elegant lines and controlled, concise movements. Pro Val challenged her with more complicated choreography, but we didn’t see her miss a step. The judges seemed to agree, awarding Xochitl and Val two 9s and a 10, for a total 28 out of 30 points.

And as if we hadn’t already cried enough tears for one night, it was then time to announce which couple would be going home. Even after delivering a beautiful performance, Mira Sorvino and partner Gleb Savchenko were eliminated from the competition.