Dancing with the Stars

The Story Behind Michael Sam's Emotional Final DWTS Performance

Update 04/07/2015 12:00 PM Originally posted 04/07/2015 11:30 AM

Michael Sam, the NFL's first openly gay player, was eliminated from Dancing with the Stars on Monday following his best, most emotional performance yet.

The theme was "my most memorable year," and, like Rumer Willis, Sam's most memorable year was 2014. It was the year he came out as gay, and the year he and his father stopped speaking for the second time in their tumultuous relationship.

Sam's dance, a rumba performed with Peta Murgatroyd to "I'm Not My Father's Son," was not met well by the judges from a technical standpoint – the pair received a 30 out of 40. However, judge Bruno Tonioli praised Sam, 25, for his "guts": "Your voice is very important, and I guarantee you, it's helped a lot of people." Carrie Ann Inaba echoed the sentiment, telling Sam that "Dance is so much more than movement."

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DWTS: Rumer Willis Breaks Down over Being Bullied as a Teen

Update 04/07/2015 10:45 AM Originally posted 04/07/2015 10:35 AM

Rumer Willis was candid about the bullying she faced as a teenager on Monday's Dancing with the Stars.

Often unfavorably compared to her "beautiful mom" Demi Moore and instead to her "masculine father" Bruce Willis, the actress was well aware of the things said about her in the press as she was growing up, as she revealed in a pre-taped segment.

"When you grow up with parents that are known worldwide and having so much attention from media and all of the tabloids magazines, it's really tough," said Willis, now 26. "When I was a teenager I was super awkward. I don't think I really felt comfortable in my body or with how I looked, and people were nasty."

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DWTS's Len Goodman: I Got It Right Monday (Even Though the Audience Booed!)

Credit: Adam Taylor/ABC

If you think Len Goodman's comments had a particularly harsh "get off my lawn" quality to them on Monday's Dancing with the Stars, it's because something's been eating at the show's elder statesman.

Years of watching old-school dances like the waltz get watered down by young and hip pros have taken a toll on the judge, who's about to turn 71 later this month.

"The show is becoming performance-driven. It's all about the performance," Goodman told PEOPLE exclusively after the show. "For me, that's not what ballroom dancing is about. The waltz, next to the Viennese waltz, is the oldest dance of all. There is a tradition. When you think of the waltz, you think of elegance, sophistication, fluidity of movement. Sometimes I look at a dance and I have to check what dance it is, because it doesn't look like what I think it should be."

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DWTS: Guess Which Big Star Came to Watch Derek Hough Tango?

Originally posted 04/07/2015 01:00 AM

DWTS: Guess Which Big Star Came to Watch Derek Hough Tango? | Derek Hough

Credit: David Livingston/Getty

Demi Moore wasn't the only big star in the ballroom Monday night at Dancing with the Stars.

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Dancing with the Stars Recap: The Stars Share Their Most Memorable Year

Credit: ABC

Routines themed around the Stars' most memorable years made for good video packages but not-so-inspired dances. I mean, how do you adequately pay homage to an IED attack?

Judge Len Goodman certainly wasn't in the mood for sob stories: the ol' boy was grumpy all night and didn't seem to like anybody, least of all Rumer Willis, who performed a brilliant waltz as a snub to all her early haters.

Then again, anybody can have a bad night in the ballroom. Witness: Michael Sam and Riker Lynch, who both found themselves in jeopardy by the end of Monday's episode.

Before you learn the guys' fate, check out a sampling of the performances from a night of memories (as well as a few moments we'd love to forget).

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Rumer Willis says the past 12 months have easily been her most inspirational year ever.

On Monday's episode of Dancing with the Stars, the celebrities and their pros are told to choreograph a number inspired by their most memorial year.

"I've had the most personal growth I've ever had this year," says Willis, 26, in an exclusive clip of this week's rehearsal footage. "People are so ready to jump on anything you do and have an opinion on it."

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EXCERPT: Derek Hough Admits It Used to Be 'Super Awkward' to Dance with Julianne in PEOPLE's 10 Years of Dancing with the Stars

Credit: Christopher Polk/NBC/Getty

When Derek Hough was young, he started dancing for the same reason many boys do anything at all: to get girls.

As the DWTS pro reveals in PEOPLE's 10 Years of Dancing with the Stars Collector's Edition – available in stores, online or by download – that initial motivation to dance definitely made it "super awkward" for him to dance with his sister, Julianne.

In the following excerpt from 10 Years of Dancing with the Stars, read on to find out how Derek and Julianne moved past the awkwardness and how the super competitive brother-sister duo made it up as they went along on DWTS's very first season 10 long years ago.

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How DWTS's Noah Galloway Dances Without Two Limbs

Originally posted 04/03/2015 08:00 AM

How Dancing with the Stars' Noah Galloway Dances Without Two Limbs

Credit: ABC

When producers first approached Noah Galloway about joining season 20 of Dancing with the Stars, they took for granted just how challenging the show would be for the 33-year-old Army veteran.

Galloway lost his left leg above his knee and his left arm above the elbow during his second tour in Iraq. Though he isn't the first amputee to appear on DWTSHeather Mills and Amy Purdy preceded him – he's the first to do it with only one knee.

"Most people take it for granted," Galloway told PEOPLE. "Before I was injured, I wouldn't have thought about it either. I don't take offense to that. Anytime that I brought it up to my friends that I don't have a knee, it clicks with people, like, 'Oh, that is different.' But I also felt like that was an opportunity to put me on a larger platform to show how different is is for me. Every amputation is different. Where it is changes everything."

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Noah Galloway: I Got Really Depressed After My War Injury

Credit: ABC

Noah Galloway was a voracious fitness buff with an enviable six-pack before he dropped out of college to join the military after 9/11.

But a 2005 incident in Iraq would alter his life forever. Three months into his second tour of duty, Galloway, now 33, lost his left leg above his knee and his left arm above his elbow during an improvised-explosive-device attack. He remained unconscious in a German hospital for five days.

After returning home to Alabama, the vet says he fell into a deep depression.

"I was drinking, eating bad, spending days at the house without leaving," Galloway told PEOPLE. "And then one day I realized I wasn't being a good father, a good person. I let myself get out of shape, and something needed to change."

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Suzanne Somers's DWTS Blog: I Was Worried I'd Get a Banana Caught in Tony's Crotch

Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC

Actor and best-selling author Suzanne Somers, best known for her role as Chrissy Snow on Three's Company, has been paired with pro Tony Dovolani for season 20 of Dancing with the Stars. She'll be blogging for PEOPLE about her experience on the hit ABC show.

I loved my Carmen Miranda-style costume. What girl wouldn't want to wear it? Tony designed it for movement. I thought it was fantastic. The hat was heavy, but I was most worried being thrown through Tony's legs that I'd get a banana in his crotch.

Competitions are fierce. I had that dance nailed, performed perfectly in rehearsal, but all that counts is performance, and I did miss a step. I actually appreciate the judges' comments. Compliments are hard-won, and I don't need any special coddling.

I feel very proud that I'm out there on that dance floor. My objective is to do my best each week, and I look forward to next week for another shot. We have a big surprise for next week. Really fun!

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