It was the moment that "Saved by the Bell" fans were waiting for, and it satisfied to The Max! On Monday's "Dancing With the Stars," Elizabeth Berkley dusted off her legwarmers and took viewers back to the '90s to recreate an iconic TV moment as she paid tribute to her most memorable year.
Berkley's throwback moment was taken from the 1990 "Saved by the Bell" episode "Jessie's Song," which featured her character, Jessie Spano, freaking out after taking too many caffeine pills. Who can forget when Zack Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) saved the day as Jessie broke down while singing the classic Pointer Sisters song, "I'm So Excited"? The scene has been named one of the most memorable moments from the show and has gone viral on YouTube, so it's no wonder the actress tied it in to her Most Memorable Year dance on "Dancing With the Stars."
See Berkley's full "DWTS" performance of "I'm So Excited":
Berkley explained that while her most memorable year was actually 2012 (the year her son, Sky, was born), everything before that — most notably, her life changing role on the '90s sitcom — led up to that moment.
"One of my wishes for Sky is that he knows he's allowed to dream big," she said. She described her breakthrough role on the teen comedy as "the beginning of the steps that changed the course of my life." But with so many "Saved by the Bell" episodes to choose from, why did she pick a scene from "Jessie's Song?"
"It is one of my favorite episodes," Berkley told Yahoo TV. "And because it's a fan favorite, it has a special place in my heart. It connects us all to our childhood."
She added, "Most episodes dealt a bit more with 'who asked who to the dance,' where as this one dealt with a heavier subject matter. Of all the moments from the show, that felt like the right one to do."
[Photos: Check Out 'DWTS' Performance Pics]
The actress also revealed that fans have been asking for a tribute to the buzzy episode. "I loved knowing how happy it was going to make the fans since they've been asking us to do this," she said. "I know this scene holds a lot of childhood memories for people, so we wanted to make sure we nailed it. It was pretty surreal sitting there with a bow on my head in a letterman's jacket on a bed that was almost identical to the one on set. When Val popped through the window it was almost like I was transported in a time machine!"
Berkley's pro partner, Val Chmerkovskiy, didn't need a refresher course on the show because the Ukrainian-born dancer learned English from watching "Saved by the Bell." The actress said, "[Val] was already familiar [with the episode], but we watched it again together!"
A few tweeks to the dialogue (yes, the duo actually recreated the scene before their dance!), and one bottle of "jive" pills later and we were back to 1990, complete with big hair and bangle bracelets.
Watch the original "caffeine pill freak out" scene from "SBTB":
Berkley's "SBTB" co-star Mario Lopez ("A.C. Slater") — who placed second on "DWTS" back in Season 3 — turned up in the audience to see his pal's tribute dance in person, and offered support for Berkley from the very beginning. "Mario encouraged me to do the show," Berkley told us. "He knew it would be a great experience for me. He reminded me to enjoy every second and open my heart to this once in a lifetime experience."
In fact, several "SBTB" alums hit Twitter to cheer their friend on. "It was so amazing how they stepped in to support and join the fun," Berkley said. "I loved having Mario there in the ballroom and seeing Mark-Paul and Tiffani's tweets were the best!"
Before the show, Lopez tweeted:
Lopez wasn't the only "Saved by the Bell" alum to get excited over the dance. Tiffani Thiessen ("Kelly Kapowski") tweeted:
And of course the other half of the original scene had to chime in. Gosselaar tweeted:
Check out the fan reaction to Berkley's performance:
What did you think of Berkley's "SBTB" tribute dance? Were you so excited?
"Dancing With the Stars" Season 17 airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Elizabeth Berkley
- Saved by the Bell
- Mario Lopez