Billy Dee Williams was sidelined on "Dancing with the Stars" Monday, March 31 and announced his departure from the show. The actor had to quit the dancing competition due to his chronic back pain, with his doctors advising him to withdraw from the show.
"I've had a wonderful, brilliant, fantastic, blast of a time," said the 76-year-old, praising his pro partner Emma Slater, "Working with this wonderful, beautiful young woman has been pure, pure joy." He added that he was going to dedicate his dance that night to his grandchildren.
The theme this week was "The Most Memorable Year". "Good Morning America" anchor Robin Roberts (II) joined Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba as a guest judge.
James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd danced a jive to remember the year he overcame bullying in high school (2007). Len called it one of James' best dances so far. He set the bar high with 36 points out of 40.
NeNe Leakes picked 2013, when she remarried her husband Gregg, as her most memorable year. She and Tony Dovolani danced a slow, sexy rumba which Robin described as "so sensual and beautiful." Len liked that it wasn't "overly raunchy." The reality TV star earned 31 points.
Cody Simpson and Witney Carson danced a jazz to remember the year he moved to the U.S. (2010) and signed a record deal. He thanked his family who "gave up everything for my career." Bruno said it was "so right now," and Len said it was "tight" and "together." The Aussie singer got 35 points.
2010 was a memorable year for Danica McKellar because that's when her son was born and her grandmother died. She and Val Chmerkovskiy danced a contemporary routine which Carrie Ann called "sincere and delicate." Len said she was as "fluid as butter on a hot muffin." The actress earned 36 points.
Drew Carey also remembered the year his son was born (2005), which he said changed his lifestyle because he wanted to live long enough for his child. He danced sweet waltz with Cheryl Burke which Len called "charming." Bruno said he looked "very smart" and "very elegant." Drew's danced was scored 30.
Meryl Davis said her whole 17-year journey with Charlie White was the most memorable moment in her life. She and Maksim Chmerkovskiy danced a sexy and tense foxtrot which Bruno called "romantic" and "extraordinary." Carrie Ann said the dance brought her to tears. She earned 39 points, so close to a perfect score.
Amy Purdy recalled 1999 when she lost her legs as well as a kidney. She and Derek Hough danced a contemporary routine as her dad watched from the audience. "There won't be a dry eye in the country tonight," Bruno said after the performance. Robin said, "I hope that you know what you are doing for people when they see you dance every week. I hope that you are feeling that love." The paralympic snowboarder earned 36 points.
Charlie White and Sharna Burgess danced a cute jive to remember 2010, the year he and Meryl won the Silver medal. Carrie Ann loved how he "worked the room" but pointed out that he was a little ahead of the music several times. Bruno said it was delightful" and the judges gave him 36 points.
1995 was the most memorable year for Candace Cameron Bure because that's when "Full House" ended and she got engaged. She and Mark Ballas danced a jive, and Len dubbed it a "proper ballroom jive." The other judges also loved it, but Bruno added a note on her footwork and Carrie Ann advised her to keep her shoulders back. The actress earned 32 points.
As many celebrity contestants showed improvement this week, Candace, NeNe and Drew landed in the bottom 3. Next week, the stars and pros will be switching partners for a week.