The Dancing with the Stars powers-that-be did what we hope for all season and kept the first part of the finals competition to just one hour.
William Levy & Cheryl Burke are up first with an energetic ChaCha to “Raise Your Glass”. The colors on Cheryl’s dress were fun, but something about the cut/style just didn’t suit her for some reason and I was distracted by it. In my unprofessional opinion, there didn’t seem to be much content for what should be the “knock their socks off final dance”. Len disagrees with me, saying it was the best he’s seen in 14 years. What do I know?
Admittedly, I didn’t think I would get as caught up in Dancing With The Stars’ final three as I actually did. Embarrassingly, I didn’t think I’d be this happy for Rob Kardashian finally doing something that didn’t involve his sisters, and he’s clearly improved tenfold throughout the season. Don’t get me wrong… I still love J.R. Martinez and I have serious respect for Ricki Lake. At least I won’t be (too) disappointed if my favorite doesn’t win the “coveted” mirror ball trophy!
As to be expected, there was a lot of fluff on last night’s finale show, but that always happens when ABC tries to drag out forty-five minutes of content into two hours of programming. It’s almost as bad as the engagement episode of any Bachelor/Bachelorette season. Each of the final three’s Monday performances are highlighted. Rob goes into the final night three points ahead of both Ricki and J.R. Rob and J.R. both managed to wrangle perfect 30s as well. Before getting into tonight’s portion of the competition, Lady Antebellum (love!) performs a song off their latest album.
Each contestant will hit the dance floor one more time to perform what they believe to be their strongest dance of the season. First, Ricki and partner Derek Hough perform their tango. Len Goodman calls it one of the most memorable dances of any season, while Bruno Tonioli proclaims it “unforgettable.” He’s so dramatic! Carrie Ann Inaba continues with the love fest and Ricki seems to have had a very strong finish.
Rob and Cheryl Burke are dancing the foxtrot at Rob’s request. He wants to improve upon the dance from the first time they performed it. As the Kardashian Klan watches on — Kris is even krying! — he proves he really has come a long way in this competition. Rob has a (very) minor slip-up… so minor, in fact, that I had to rewind to see it after host Tom Bergeron congratulated him on his “nice recovery.” Carrie Ann says she’s so proud of Rob, while Len gushes — yes, GUSHES! — about how Rob does some of the best footwork of any male contestant he’s seen on the show. Ever. That is quite some praise!
J.R. and Karina Smirnoff decide to revisit their jive, although they must tweak it a bit to appease the judges critiques of the dance the first time around. Carrie Ann calls him a “catalyst of joy” before citing his sloppiness in the middle of the routine. She also professes to miss the lift they eliminated from the dance because she penalized them for it their first go-round. Huh? Len spends most of his speech recognizing the wonderful band and singers, but seems to feel the same way everyone else feels about J.R. You can NOT smile when you see him dance. Bruno exclaims that he “LOVED IT!”
For the judges, Ricki is in the top spot earning 30 points, with J.R. garnering 28, and Rob in third with 26. After adding the point to Monday’s scores, Ricki leads, Rob is in second and J.R. is in third, although only one point separates each competitor from the next. In another filler moment that lasts far too long, a blooper reel of the judges is shown. Seriously, this whole finale really only needs to last an hour.
One couple will be eliminated before the final dance of the evening. After lots of dramatic pauses, WHAT? Ricki and Derek are eliminated. I did NOT see that one coming. She’s been such a fan and judge favorite. J.R. and Rob look totally shocked. I swear Rob has tears in his eyes. True to form, Ricki goes out like the total class act that she is.
After highlighting some of the season’s shocking moments, some of the first “stars” to be voted off return to dance again. Metta World Peace and Elisabetta Canalis perform with their partners followed by Kristin Cavallari. Chyna Phillips returns for another shot at the dance that sent her home after she froze on stage and forgot her routine. The always entertaining Carson Kressley vogues, and Nancy Grace shakes her medieval groove thang. Chaz Bono and David Arquette take to the dance floor again before another performance from Lady A, singing their hit Need You Now. A less sour Hope Solo and a less combative (I hope) MaksimChmerkovskiydance again as well.
It’s time for the final dance for J.R. and Rob, competing with a quick instant Samba to unknown music. J.R. and Karina dance first with a strong routine, but Rob and Cheryl are equally (dare I say more?) fierce. Len gives a rare standing ovation for both couples. Bruno believes both contestants are “brilliant” while Carrie Ann declares them both as winners. The judges give three perfect 10s to both J.R. and Rob. It’s all up to the viewer votes now! I love that Rob and J.R. seem to have become really good friends. After a long and entertaining season, the mirror ball trophy goes to…
J.R. Martinez!!! Woohoo!! I am beyond thrilled. What an amazing guy and I am so happy to see Karina’s first DWTS victory.
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE FINALE? DO YOU THINK THE RIGHT PERSON WON? HOW GREAT WAS IT TO SEE THE COMRADERY AMONG THE CONTESTANTS?
Each of the three remaining finalists had to perform two dances each — a regular dance and a freestyle. In a total shocker, Rob finished with the highest score of the night, earning a total of 57 points!
First Rob, 24, earned a score of 27 for his classic waltz and then a perfect score of 30 (his first this season) for his retro freestyle. “You’re like the male version of Cinderella who made it to the ball, and deservedly so,” said judge Carrie Ann Inaba.
Tying for second place were bothRicki Lake and war veteran J.R. Martinez each finishing the night with a total score of 54 points. J.R. earned a 24 for his lackluster cha- cha which judge Led Goodman described as “not very good,” before improving to earn a perfect score of 30 for his 80s freestyle dance!
Ricki Lake was pretty consistent last night earning a score of 27 for both of her dances, which included a cha-cha and a freestyle. “You’ve never been hotter, you’ve never been sexier,” raved judge Bruno Tonioli.