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20 Of The Best Moments On ‘Dancing With The Stars’

by Jennifer Lafferty

20 Of The Best Moments On ‘Dancing With The Stars’

After more than a decade watching Dancing with the Stars, there are more memorable moments than we can count. From surprise proposals to emotional tributes, take a look back at 20 of the most significant scenes from DWTS.


Kelly Monaco’s Wardrobe Malfunction



Dancing with the Stars’ unforgettable moments began in the first season when Kelly Monaco had the first of the show’s many wardrobe malfunctions. The soap star and former Playboy Playmate, who went on to become the first champ on DWTS, broke a strap while dancing the samba with Alec Mazo in 2005.


Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough Recreate ‘Dirty Dancing’



Another exceptionally sexy dance was when Jennifer Grey and partner Derek Hough performed to “These Arms of Mine” from 1987’s Dirty Dancing. Grey was very emotional during rehearsals because she says the dance reminded her so much of late co-star Patrick Swayze.


Maksim’s Biggest Tantrum



DWTS has also had its share of drama, especially when pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy appears on the show. In 2011, he erupted over judge Carrie Ann’s critique of his partner Hope Solo and told reporters backstage, “F— Carrie Ann, next question.” Adding, “I think Carrie Ann has an issue.”


Jerry Springer Learns to Waltz for His Daughter’s Wedding



Sentimentality isn’t something we usually associate with former tabloid talk show host Jerry Springer, but DWTS viewers were moved in 2006 when Springer, who struggled throughout season three, learned to waltz for his daughter’s wedding.


Andy Dick’s Emotional Waltz



In 2013, there wasn’t a dry eye when zany comedian Andy Dick did an emotional waltz to Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” with Sharna Burgess for his teenage daughter Meg, with whom he’d reconnected with after getting sober. Meg reportedly told her father she thought the performance “was fricking beautiful.”


Bindi Irwin’s Tribute to Her Father



It’s not rare for celebrities to dedicate dances to their parents, but Bindi Irwin went above and beyond in her emotional freestyle with partner Derek Hough. The dance incorporated images of her late crocodile hunter father Steve Irwin, leaving the audience and the season 21 champion in tears.


Transgender Man Chaz Bono Dances to ‘Eye of the Tiger’



Chaz Bono’s journey as a transgender man was the focus of a lot of attention in 2011. Chaz’s identity struggle and personal victory were main highlights in season 13. He danced the Paso Doble with Lacey Schwimmer to “Eye of the Tiger.”


Sara Evans Leaves Competition During Sordid Divorce



Sometimes injuries cause celebrities to leave the competition, but it was an unexpected and sordid divorce that prompted country singer Sara Evans to withdraw in season three, after initially putting on a brave face.


Alfonso Ribeiro Does “The Carlton”



Actors often recreate well-loved characters on DWTS but the most memorable example was probably in 2014 when season 19’s Alfonso Ribeiro did “The Carlton” dance as his Fresh Prince of Bel-Air character with partner Witney Carson.


Marie Osmond Faints



Live TV can be unpredictable and scary, like in 2007 when Marie Osmond fainted while being critiqued following her season five samba with Jonathan Roberts. Host Tom Bergeron later said, “Apparently, if she gets nervous, she forgets to breathe.”


Geraldo’s Trump Impersonation



Dancing With the Stars capitalized on Donald Trump’s candidacy more than once in 2016. Not only was Trump’s ex-wife Marla Maples competing, but season 22 also featured a memorable Trump spoof by contestant Geraldo Rivera.


Jaleel White Has a Meltdown



On the heels of domestic violence accusations in 2012, season 14 contestant Jaleel White, AKA Steve Urkel, reportedly went on a tirade during rehearsals with pro partner Kym Johnson. White admitted to a stressful week but claimed the incident was exaggerated.


Derek Hough and Amy Purdy Do the Cha-Cha



Paralympic medalist Amy Purdy, who has prosthetic legs, inspired viewers in season 18 when she and Derek Hough did an amazing cha-cha. Purdy said: “…if I break a leg I’ll just get a new one.”


Tamar Braxton Leaves Hospital Early to Dance



In 2015, fans were astonished when season 21’s Tamar Braxton, thought to have pneumonia, left her hospital bed to compete with partner Val Chmerkovskiy. After learning that she was actually suffering from blood clots in her lungs, the singer quickly dropped out.


Ryan Lochte Is Attacked by Protesters



Protesters, storming the stage, disrupted contestant Ryan Lochte’s dance critique on Sept 13. Satoodeh and Barzeen Soroudi were arrested on suspicion of trespassing. The Olympic swimmer had been condemned by viewers and much of the media after admitting to lying about a robbery during the 2016 Olympic games in Rio.


Tucker Carlson’s Lazy Cha-Cha



Some moments from DWTS are memorable for what didn’t happen, like when TV broadcaster Tucker Carlson barely moved during his cha-cha in season three, and his partner Elena Grinenko basically danced around him.


Cloris Leachman Gets Her Groove On



It’s a tradition for DWTS to cast at least one spunky senior who wows everyone with their youthful vibrancy, but no one expected 82-year-old actress Cloris Leachman to gyrate during her mambo with Corky Ballas in 2008.


Bristol Palin Goes Freaky Friday



Considering season 11 contestant Bristol Palin is mainly known as the daughter of colorful 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, it makes sense that she dressed up as her mom for her first dance with Mark Ballas in 2010.


Kate Gosselin Misses the Mark with Paparazzi Dance



In 2010, reality star Kate Gosselin may have intended to strike out at the tabloids with her season 10 Paso Doble to “Paparazzi,” but it was more memorable for how she struck out on the dance floor.


Sasha Farber Proposes to Emma Slater



One memorable moment from Dancing With the Stars didn’t involve the stars. Pro dancer Emma Slate was preparing to perform with her boyfriend, fellow pro Sasha Farber, when he suddenly proposed to her on live TV. She said yes!