For Barton, she chose the year she left her popular Fox drama The O.C. and fly to England, where she was born, to find herself.
"When I did The O.C., I think I just got to the point where I was like, I'm not sure I'm enjoying this anymore," Barton shared in a prerecorded package played before her performance. "It was the year 2008 when The O.C. was at its prime and I just felt like I was in a machine and I couldn't really get off. So it was time to step back, so I went back to England and it was just a year of real self-exploration."
Barton actually left the show in 2006 at the end of the third season and the show came to an end after its fourth season in 2007.
Barton, 30, said the year she flew back to England after departing from the hit series "was a year of change, and just putting myself in a better place."
"In a weird way it parallels this week and that's made the whole thing like 100 times better," she added.
Her former O.C. co-star, Peter Gallagher, also sat down for the pretaped segment where he praised the actress for overcoming the challenges she's faced in life.
"Overnight fame can kill you. I have an idea of the journey that she's been on and some of the challenges she's had and just the fact that she's still showing up does my heart good," the 60-year-old actor shared.
Barton and her pro partner, Artem Chigvintsev, then took to the DWTS stage to perform a fun samba set to Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA."
While the dance received considerably kinder feedback from the judges, they still couldn't pull off higher than a score of 18 out of 30 -- which is still their highest total of the season.
At the end of the night, Barton found herself in jeopardy -- alongside Jodie Sweetin and former NFL star Doug Flutie -- and ended up getting the axe, making her the second star eliminated this season after Geraldo Rivera was sent home last week.
After the show, Barton spoke with ET's Lauren Zima backstage where she admitted that competing on the show was harder than she anticipated.
"It was definitely, maybe more than I had bargained for in a lot of ways," Barton explained. "But I'm so happy I tried something that's that foreign to me, and you know, had this experience with these guys."
She also opened up about the praise she received from Gallagher during her intro package, sharing, "Peter and I know each other really quite well."
"The O.C. was an overnight success and I was the youngest of everyone on the cast at that time so I think he understood better than anyone what my journey was. Where I'd come from and who I was becoming," Barton added.
Barton also said she wished America had gotten to see more of her dancing. "I think we could've gone on for another week or so, at least," she shared. "But hey, it wasn't meant to be."
For more on Mischa's difficult time on DWTS over the past three weeks, check out the video below.