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'DWTS': Which celebrity went home and the power of nostalgic dances

'Dancing' contestant Kim Fields became the most recent participant to base a dance on one of her most famous projects. These routines often win over audience members by appealing to their nostalgia.

Mario Anzuoni/Reuters
Jodie Sweetin is currently a contestant on 'Dancing With the Stars.'

The newest episode of the hit ABC reality competition “Dancing With the Stars” had contestants performing a routine about a memorable year in their lives, with contestant Mischa Barton of “The O.C.” eventually being sent home. 

Ms. Barton and dancer Artem Chigvintsev performed a samba to the Miley Cyrus song “Party in the USA” and received a score of 18. 

Nyle DiMarco, the deaf “America’s Next Top Model” winner, and his partner Peta Murgatroyd got the highest score of any of the contestants, 25, after performing a tango to the Owl City song “Verge.”

Boyz II Men singer Wanya Morris and dancer Lindsay Arnold also did well after performing a waltz to Morris’s group Boyz II Men performing “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which Boyz II Men performed at the closing ceremonies of the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics. Mr. Morris and Ms. Arnold received a score of 24.

Martial artist Paige VanZant and her partner Mark Ballas performed a pasodoble to the Jorge Quintero song “300 Violin Orchestra.” Ms. VanZant and Mr. Ballas tied with “Fuller House” actress Jodie Sweetin and Keo Motsepe, who also received a score of 23 after performing a foxtrot to the song “Rise Up,” performed by Andra Day. 

Contestant Kim Fields, who acted on the 1980s sitcom “The Facts of Life,” received a score of 22 with her partner Sasha Farber after performing a foxtrot to the “Facts” theme song. 

Participants on “Dancing” often create performances that reference one of their most famous projects, with Ms. Fields being the latest example. During his time on "Dancing," "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” actor Alfonso Ribeiro, the season’s eventual winner, performed a dance known as the Carlton that he often did on “Prince." When “Star Wars” actor Billy Dee Williams was a contestant on the show, he performed a dance that was set to the “Star Wars” theme. 

These routines invoke nostalgia and are often well-received by audiences. “He and partner Witney Carson … completely brought down the house,” USA Today writer Chris Chase wrote of Mr. Ribeiro performing his famous routine, while Vulture writer Nate Jones called Ribeiro and Carson's performance "charming as heck."

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