Dancing With the Stars Season 23

Dancing With the Stars Week 5 Recap: Who's In Danger of Going Home?

I bet you weren’t expecting to spend two hours of your Monday night weeping like a three-year-old.

But, if you’re anything like me, you immediately busted out a fresh box of Kleenex upon learning that Dancing With the Stars‘ Week 5 theme would be “My Most Memorable Year” — an episode that frequently ends with contestants, judges and audience members reaching for their pocket handkerchiefs and wiping dried mascara from their cheeks.

As is tradition, many of the Season 23 hopefuls turned in their strongest performances yet during Monday’s broadcast, using emotional stories from their pasts to channel their inner Mirrorball champions on the dance floor. In the spirit of the evening — down with negativity! —  let’s revisit the three most memorable routines:

3. Terra Jolé and pro Sasha Farber (Contemporary)Dancing‘s producers certainly saved the most tearjerking performance for last. After reflecting on her dad’s untimely death — and her life-long regret of not being by his bedside at the time he passed away — the Little Women: L.A. star turned in a deeply poignant number that perfectly capped the emotional evening. Though Terra and Sasha didn’t score quite as high as some of their competitors, their performance was far more meaningful than a number on a paddle. Judges’ Score: 27/30

2. James Hinchcliffe and pro Sharna Burgess (Tango) — James’ impeccable frame is impressive enough on its own. But upon learning the extent of his Indycar-induced injuries — in other words, he shouldn’t be alive after a disastrous wreck 18 months ago — the racecar driver’s technical precision is even more commendable. Julianne Hough correctly pointed out that James needs to go a smiiidge further with his lines — and, I would argue, work on the vacant facial expressions — but his natural dancing talent is simply undeniable. Judges’ Score: 29/30

1. Jana Kramer and pro Gleb Savchenko (Contemporary) — After spending the last four weeks in the middle of the Season 23 pack, Jana finally broke through with a highly emotional piece dedicated to her daughter. Having escaped an abusive relationship years ago, Jana commented on the strength she’s found through her (insanely cute) baby girl, then hit the ballroom floor to deliver her most graceful performance thus far. Her lines were gorgeous, her chemistry with Gleb was remarkable — that face-first trust fall was by far the evening’s most ridiculous move — and her genuine connection to the choreography and song made Jana’s dance worthy of countless rewatches. Judges’ Score: 26/30

Given how warm and fuzzy Monday’s broadcast was, there was no elimination — but who might be in danger of getting the boot next week? Hit the comments with your thoughts on who could be sent packing.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Diane says:

    Amber was the weakest.

  2. Angela says:

    James’ story was just…damn. That injury. Thank goodness he survived that and much respect to him for getting to this point in his recovery so soon.
    Definitely agree with the other picks here, too. Terra’s hit me on a personal level, and Jana’s story was very touching and moving. I honestly don’t know who could go home next week-some people faltered a bit from previous highs, yeah, but nobody had a truly flat out BAD night tonight.

  3. Anita says:

    Amber was the weakest by far, Laurie fell to the middle of the pack, and I like seeing a different leader on leaderboard so it won’t be so easy to predict the champion of this season

    • Miel Mani says:

      Don’t kid yourself. If she doesn’t win, then the “competition” is fixed. I think that she caved in a little from the pressure this week. She is, after all, only 16 and not as mature as the likes of Meryl Davis or Charlie White. There is no doubt in my mind that Val will get her to the top.

  4. Sarah says:

    Hinch races in the IndyCar series, not NASCAR.

  5. kerry a Manning says:

    It’s Indycar not Nascar!!

  6. “Nascar induced injuries”. Arrrrrrggghhhh!

  7. Jason says:

    Hinch drives an INDYCAR. Just because he’s a “race car driver” doesn’t automatically mean nascar. Please get it right next time.

  8. Taylor says:

    Amber was definitely the weakest of the week, but that just says something about the talent this season. We’re still early in the competition, and a 24 is a low score?!

    I think it’ll be interesting to see how this year plays out. There are 4 or 5 couples I could see in the finals this season.

  9. Ken Leander says:

    I’ve liked James and Jana from the beginning. Now I know why. They overcame adversity. Which isn’t the same as some self induced five year cocaine binge of a holywierd feeding cash to the drug cartels and finally realizing the blunder.

  10. Arlene Lewis says:

    Please someone vote Terra out,the judges act like she’s a toy dancing with a grownup.

  11. jan alverson says:

    I think Amber is the next one to go home. She’s OK, but definitely the weakest

  12. ncmacasl says:

    Amber, Ryan or Jana is going home Amber & Ryan are weakest performers overall and Jana doesn’t have the public vote to keep her in. All the others should have enough public voters to stay in at least another week.

  13. AngelWasHere says:

    It’s probably going be Amber or Lying Ryan.

  14. Sheela says:

    I hope Ryan is there next week for Latin week, since Ryan and Laurie are both Latino they really need to be there to dance….

  15. Steve says:

    I think Amber will be going home this week. Think she is beginning to feel the pressure. She is not the worse dancer but her dedication is not there