'Dancing with the Stars' week 4 recap; a fan favorite gets the boot, plus the first '10' of the season

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"Dancing with the Stars" brings plenty of tears, and the season's first "10" for "most memorable year" theme week.

Emotions overflowed during week four of "Dancing with the Stars." (Or as Andy Grammer dubbed this week "Crying with the Stars"). Not only were the couples reflecting on each celebrity's "most memorable year," but for the first time ever, host Tom Bergeron stepped away from his hosting duties in the ballroom. Tom's father is ill, and he took the night off to travel back East to be by his dad's side. On Sunday, Tom tweeted "He's given me a lifetime of support; time to return the favor." Class act, Mr. Bergeron. DWTS recruited former champ, and last week's guest judge, Alfonso Ribeiro to pinch hit for Tom.

On the dance front, here's a rundown of the night's dances, from highest score to lowest:

Bindi Irwin - 28 out of 30
Four weeks in and she has won our hearts! Bindi epitomizes the adage that life is to be lived; she finds joy in everything. She showed that this week when she had to work through some very tough memories of the year her father passed away. We saw loads of adorable father/daughter pictures up until the year 2006 when "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin died after an encounter with a stingray. Bindi says as far back as she can remember she wanted to be just like her Dad. Derek designs the ultimate, respectful, emotional contemporary tribute to the Irwin family. At the end of the dance, Bindi breaks down but hopefully the standing ovation from the crowd helped lift her up. Julianne Hough said the dance was breathtaking; Carrie Ann Inaba told Bindi it was an honor to watch such a bright light dance with such beauty and passion; and Bruno Tonioli let her know her father was with her every step of the way, and that he was proud.

Tamar Braxton - 27 out of 30
Tamar + Val + Rumba= Excellence. Add an emotional "memorable year" story and it doesn't get much better than this! Tamar reflected on 2012, a year she almost lost her husband after doctors discovered blood clots in his lungs. The illness strengthened their bond (and soon after they produced an adorable son) and it's clear it helped Tamar learned to appreciate all she has in her life. To make it even more emotional, her husband Vince Herbert, played the piano on the song! That was certainly worth a big hug and kiss at the end. Carrie Ann was brought to tears, and told Tamar she felt she'd reached into her soul through dance and storytelling; Julianne praised her for being vulnerable and free; and Bruno thought the couple's connection was wired to perfection.

Nick Carter - 27 out of 30
Nick goes back 20 years before Tamar's "memorable" one (1992) when he was a 12 year old kid trying out for a boy band. One open call and his life is changed forever! It sounds like Nick had a pretty tough childhood but once he was able to put his focus on the Backstreet Boys it was a whole new ball game. His BSB pal AJ McLean stopped by rehearsal, and was in the audience, to cheer on his friend. The jazz dance Sharna choreographed was a "thank you" to Nick's BSB mates, and performed to one of their biggest hits "Backstreet's Back." Carrie Ann told Sharna that every girl of a certain age wanted to be here right now; Bruno said it was a mega-sexy mega-hit; and Julianne made a homemade "I Heart Nick" sign.

Hayes Grier - 27 out of 30
Hayes has been a middle-of-the-pack kind of guy for the first month of competition but he sure broke out tonight. Maybe it's the contemporary routine that suited him; maybe he's just getting a little more comfortable with the process. Either way, it was a great dance. He went way back to 2014 for his memorable year; that's when he and his brothers first enjoyed phenomenal success with their social media posts. The judges were downright astonished by the routine that broke Hayes out of his shell, with Julianne shouting "What just happened?"

Carlos PeneVega - 25 out of 30
Carlos embraced the thought that leaving your baggage behind and being honest could bring out the most emotions on the dance floor. He had the most revealing story of the night, telling us that after his own boy band "Big Time Rush" finished being in the spotlight he went off the rails. The handsome young man stayed home alone and smoked a lot of pot. Luckily he reached out to a friend, who took him to church. Carlos says he walked in and felt like he was home. He also met his wife the same week at bible study. To celebrate this memory, Witney choreographed a waltz to the classic hymn "Amazing Grace." Julianne let him know when he lets us feel what he's feeling through dance it can be beautiful; Bruno called them two luminous heavenly bodies; and Carrie Ann felt he danced from his soul and the result was "mind-blowing."

Alek Skarlatos - 24 out of 30
Alek's story is pretty unique. We know his 2015 had already been pretty memorable: serving our country with a deployment to Afghanistan and then stopping a terrorist on a Paris train. Then we learn he has ties to Roseburg, Oregon, and if he hadn't been at DWTS he would have been at college at Umpqua Community College. He manages to control his emotions, and even learn a paso doble, and do well on the dance floor. Carrie Ann offered her respect for the fact he was able to push through the tragedy; and Julianne thought while he was focused and connected to Lindsay, she'd like to see a little more feeling.

Andy Grammer - 23 out of 30
The singer's memorable year was 2009, for both good and bad reasons. He was just starting to feel some traction from his first single. Then the family learned his Mom had very advanced breast cancer. He got to say goodbye but she lasted only a few days. The experience taught him to appreciate life, and remember that music can always lift you out of a funk. Allison designs a cha cha to Andy's latest song, "Good to be Alive" and he dances in tribute to his late mother. Carrie Ann thought the dance felt a bit awkward but Julianne and Bruno quickly shot her down and thought it was the most confident they've seen Andy since week one.

Alexa PenaVega - 21 out of 30
Alexa zeroed in on 2000 for her most memorable year because that's the time she booked her breakout role in the movie "Spy Kids." Her single mom packed up Alexa and her sisters, moved to Austin, and they rolled the dice on the youngster's career. The foxtrot was her first in the ballroom style and Alexa was excited to move into that arena. Unfortunately, she has a ballroom blackout about two-thirds of the way through the routine. After a bit of a blank face, and with help from Mark Ballas, she recovered. The judges liked the concept, the theatricality, the elegance... but had to knock off a few points for the mistake.

Paula Deen - 18 out of 30
Paula's cha cha to the anthem "R-E-S-P-E-C-T" celebrated her memorable year of 1989. She says it's the year she got "sick and tired of being sick and tired." Paula left a bad marriage; started her "bag lady" business in Savannah; made a life for herself and her two sons; and learned to take pride in even the little accomplishments she made. She sure is fun to watch, even though sometimes I feel like I'm going to watch her wipe out. Bruno was happy she "only went wrong once"; Julianne wants to help boost the chef's esteem and had Paula chant along with her "I am awesome! I am amazing! I am fierce!"

Gary Busey - 16 out of 30
Gary is nothing if not entertaining. And the fact that he's still here with us, sort of learning how to dance, is nothing short of a miracle. He really did have to mention two "memorable years"; his break-out year in Hollywood with his Oscar nominated turn in "The Buddy Holly Story" and the year he crashed his motorcycle and nearly lost his life. Bruno praised his passion and Carrie Ann said his spirit makes her happy; but they both let Gary know he needs to work on actually getting the dance steps down if he wants to stay in the competition.

SPOILER ALERT
The end of the show lets us play DWTS's own version of "Jeopardy" and we learn the two couples are Carlos and Witney and Gary and Anna.

In the end, it's Gary's time to leave; although he let everyone know he's not really going anywhere and that his spirit will remain with his season 21 castmates until the end.

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entertainmentdancing with the starsballroom dancingdancetelevisionreality televisionABC

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