"DWTS" Week 3 Recap: Most Memorable Year

Televised dance competitions are downright notorious for mercilessly manipulating the emotions of contestants and audiences alike. But there's perhaps no other reality-TV phenomenon with the tearjerking potential of the Most Memorable Year tradition on "DWTS." The always-emotional episode comes around super-early each season, letting us get to know intimate, often painfully sad details of each celeb's life, just moments before an unlucky couple gets eliminated. That's right: It's only Week 3, but here come the waterworks already.


Juan Pablo Di Pace & Cheryl Burke — 30/30

Di Pace's tears last night were definitely of joy, after deservedly netting the season's first perfect score for his red-hot samba alongside "DWTS" legend Cheryl Burke. It definitely didn't hurt that Di Pace's Most Memorable Year story—in which he left Argentina as a teen to pursue his dream of becoming an entertainer—really tugged at the heartstrings.


Milo Manheim & Witney Carson — 27/30

This adorable Disney kid stole everyone's hearts with what was possibly the most upbeat, joyful jive ever. With the help of pro Carson, Manheim was channeling the energy of this year, in which his first-ever movie was released and he graduated high school. Not bad at all, Milo—and we loved the backflip off the judges' table!

Evanna Lynch & Keo Motsepe — 27/30

Luna Lovegood gave Potterheads everywhere the Yule Ball vibes they were waiting for with this gentle waltz to "Hedwig's Theme" (or, as Motsepe called it, "the Harry Potter theme song"). 2006 was Lynch's most memorable year, as that's when she won the part of Luna in an open casting call, an achievement made all the more meaningful because HP and J. K. Rowling herself had offered hope and support to young Lynch as she battled an eating disorder.


Elimination

"The Facts of Life" alumna Nancy McKeon was sent home along with pro partner Val Chmerkovskiy after an earnest, but disappointing, rumba that she dedicated to her husband and two daughters. Tinashe/Brandon Armstrong were also in jeopardy last night, but squeaked by in the end thanks to the 27/30 their rumba attained last night, as opposed to Nancy/Val's 22/30.

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