If you had asked me whether or not I was looking forward to tonight’s show on, say, Monday afternoon, I would have said, unequivocally, yes, yes yes! But after seeing last night’s debacle, I’m approaching this big finale with dread in my heart. I’m not sure if I’ll be happy regardless of who wins. Do you give the mirror ball to Erin, as her performances were the strongest last night, despite her not being the strongest dancer overall? Do you give it to Nicole because, even though Derek screwed up her routines left and right last night, she’s been the best dancer of the season? Or do you give it to Evan for simply tolerating Anna’s crap choreography? How no one was able to knock it out of the park last night, largely due to the missteps of the pros, still baffles me, and any victory feels as if it’s going to come with an asterisk. Okay, I’m just being sulky at this point, so let’s get on with the dancing!

 
[Full recap of Tuesday's (May 25) "Dancing with the Stars" finale after the break...]
 
So, almost everyone is back for the opening number, which requires all of the girls except Pamela and Kate to fan dance. Which is, if you ask me, a huge mistake, because one, Pamela was made for fan dancing, and two, Kate desperately needs a prop big enough to hide her complete lack of coordination. The woman is trying to do a sexy hip shake, but she looks like she’s having a stroke. Oh, wait, someone gave her a fan for her strut down the center of the stage. Which is, in a word, horrifying. She’s just walking and looking confused. It literally seems like they’ve pulled her out of the audience and said, “You, shake it, now!” because she seems utterly bewildered by this strange thing called dancing. She’s a nightmare. God, I’ve missed her.
 
Chad is sitting in the audience. He injured himself playing football. I’m wondering if Cheryl is vastly relieved.
 
Nicole and Derek
 
Nicole wants to do the Argentine tango. So do Erin and Maks and Evan and Anna. But who cares? They’re totally better at it, so hah.
 
The Dance: And I can’t disagree. I loved this dance the first time, I loved it this time.
 
Judges Say: Len says it is had artistry and passion. He thinks it was clean and crisp and, basically, he still loves it. Bruno thinks the magic continues, then he starts describing the dance like a really good tiramisu. Carrie Ann thinks it’s a beautiful masterpiece come to life.
 
Next up, Tom promises that Erin and Evan will go toe to toe, which sounds pretty hostile and competitive until we see Erin and Evan rubbing noses Eskimo style and looking like they’re one step away from a tickle fight.
 
 
Evan and Anna
 
Anna cries, again, this time over the freestyle. I think Anna might need medication, because a little Xanax would do wonders for the crabby/moody thing she’s got going on. The producers show Anna and Evan debating what style to dance, but we already know they’re doing the tango thanks to Nicole and Derek, so c’mon, let’s stop screwing around. Go ahead and dance, dammit!
 
The Dance: Okay, I hate to say this, but I saw some mistakes. Evan took an extra step at one point, and Anna’s leg hitched while she was lowering it following a lift. The judges must love the fact everyone’s dancing a tango, because it’s pretty much comparing apples to apples, but I will say that Anna’s choreography is just nowhere near as interesting and as challenging as Derek’s, and unfortunately, I think it’s the woman, not the man, who stands out in the Argentine tango. That being said, Evan did a fantastic job. And holy crap, the guy looks good in a tux.
 
Judges Say: Bruno calls Evan a ladykiller and said it was slick and stylish. Carrie Ann says this was his redemption dance and says it was beyond. Len says this season has been the best so far, and reminds Evan he’s the only male celebrity to lift in this competition. This might actually be close.
 
 
Erin and Maks
 
Gee, let’s watch Erin and Maks debate about what style to dance! We know, jeez, people. So let’s cut to the fighting! Erin and Maks are quibbling and Maks won’t let Erin get a word in edgewise, and then he tells us he’s sick, tired and finished. Maks is kind of a bully, I think. Which probably means the sex is hot, but he and Erin have all the lasting power of a melted Snickers bar.
 
The Dance: God, Erin has long legs. Yet again, she nails that flying leap onto Maks’ shoulders. But beyond that show stopping move, this routine isn’t really in the same league as Nicole and Derek’s dance, although Erin did an excellent job.
 
Judges Say: Carrie Ann tells Erin and Maks they’re not making it easy. Len says judging these three tangos is the toughest job the judges have had, and says she’s come the furthest from the beginning. Bruno says her growth has been spectacular. This is starting to sound like the speech they give to someone right before they give them third place.
 
Now it’s time to rank the tangos. Backstage, Brooke asks everyone if they’re glad they picked the tango. Gee, they are! Wow, didn’t expect that answer! Can someone please fire Brooke?
 
Third place: Erin and Maks with 26 points
Second place: Evan and Anna with 28 points
First place: Nicole and Derek with 30 points
 
Oh boy, after the break we get to see Buzz Aldrin dance. Let’s hope he doesn’t suffer a massive coronary or, worse, his Depends leak.
 
But first, returning to the floor are Shannen and Aiden. Shannen deserved to stay a lot longer than she did. Aiden, who does a troll-like cartwheel and an awkward split, probably left exactly when he needed to.
 
Oh, hell, Buzz is here, twirling a cape while dressed like an astronaut. Because astronauts often wear capes. And he’s dancing, I mean walking around, to the “Star Wars” theme. And yes, it’s just as God awful as it sounds. I think my eyes are burning. Brooke calls Buzz adorable. Brooke, shut up.
 
More dancing, but first, a tired clip job of old dances. Oh, yay, Jake is dancing. And the woman who won his heart on “The Bachelor.” Do we care about this? Jake was walking boredom when he was on the show, so hey, let’s double it. And it’s even better when the two couples are noticeably out of sync. Yeah, that was awesome. Shoot me.
 
And now it’s time to rank the top five arguments of the season. Really? Why don’t we just cut to commercial so I can do my nails or something?
 
#5 Nicole and Derek, when Nicole does her Michael Jackson scream.
#4 Aiden tells Edyta he wants to leave, and she cries.
#3 Jake tells Chelsea he can’t do something.
#2 Maks lets Erin know he’s frustrated with her by stomping his feet.
#1 Kate tells Marc she’s done and he quits.
 
Then Tom talks to Kelly Monaco, who won a million years ago, also known as 2005. Apolo Ohno says this season is amazing. Yay.
 
It’s elimination time. Ugh. Just as I think anyone who wins will do so with an asterisk, it seems a shame for anyone to go home based on last night, too.
 
Third place goes to… Erin and Maks.
 
I can’t say this was unexpected, but given the fact that Erin was far more consistent last night than either Evan or Nicole, this kind of sucks. Erin’s voice is shaking, but she admits she knew it would be Nicole and Evan in the finale, and points out that, given her crummy situation prior to “DWTS,” she came to the show to get her smile back. Which, amazingly, she did. Maks says he feels like they’ve won, and Maks actually softens up a little, which is sort of like watching Mike Tyson giggle, in that it’s weird but kind of endearing.
 
Erin and Maks dance a cha cha cha and it looks like they’re just relaxing and having fun. And oh yeah, they’re definitely doing it.
 
Oh goody, Purdue is going to have their stupid dance off against Utah Valley. Purdue dances to a Pussycat Dolls song, which is, at least, topical. I see a few couples fall out of sync, but it’s good. That being said, Utah Valley has much more elaborate choreography and an extra couple. I’m telling you, going to college in a dry state is probably really helpful when it comes to hobbies.
 
The judges give the mirror ball to…Utah Valley. Wow, they got a mirror ball trophy! That’s probably worth, like, five bucks!
 
Then, we get to learn what Larry King and Regis and Kelly and a mess of other talking heads think. Which isn’t much.
 
Oh boy, oh boy! It’s time for Kate! And she gets to plug her stupid TLC shows. Then, we watch her rehearsal with Tony. Poor Tony. Kate wants tougher choreography. But she doesn’t want to actually do any of it. She wants America to see the real her. I think America has seen the real her. You know, controlling, annoying, kind of nuts with a victim/persecution complex.
 
And this dance doesn’t really change any of that. There’s less walking, there are some lifts, but I wouldn’t call this vastly improved. Is it me, or has Kate gained a lot of weight? Anyway, Kate, to let us know she’s having fun, sticks out her tongue a lot. Yes, that helps. And we segue from Lady GaGa to Gloria Gaynor, specifically “I Will Survive.” It’s awful. I love it. I just don’t think it’s possible for Kate to not look like a spastic five year old gimping around the dance floor. In a weird way, it makes her much more likable.
 
Alrighty, we’re almost ready for the final dances. Nicole and Derek are doing the jive, while Evan and Anna are doing the quickstep.
 
Oh, wait, it’s time for sexy, jiggly dancing from Niecy and Pamela. No, first Brooke has to interview the finalists. God, this is stupid. Everyone’s excited. Everyone feels like winners. They’re all enjoying every moment. Puke, puke, puke.
 
More clips. You know, if you’re watching the finals, you probably remember this stuff just fine. I sometimes I feel like this show is produced for very forgetful people or the mentally challenged.
 
Pamela is channeling Ann Margaret for her routine. It’s not only super hot, but very good. I think the tendency was to try to tone down Pamela’s sex appeal at the beginning of the season so as not to alienate conservative voters, which was kind of a shame, as it didn’t keep her in the competition in any case. And really, the sexy, vampy thing is just her thing. Yes, she got to do Marilyn and Brigitte on the show, but those routines were relatively tame compared to this. Then, Niecy does the plus-size version. So, you know, something for everyone.
 
After the commercial break, we return to see Nicole and Evan trapped in a big plastic Zorb-like ball in a sea of fog. This is so lame.
 
 
Nicole and Derek
 
Yeah, more clips. Nicole says the show has helped her with her perfectionism. Derek says he could never have asked for a better partner. There’s hugging. Shut up and dance, people. Geez.
 
The Dance: Nicole channels Tina Turner for the jive. It’s high energy and fun. Not my favorite dance they’ve ever done, but, as usual, pretty great.
 
Judges Say: Len says Nicole should be the winner. Uh, maybe you should wait to see Evan’s routine before you say that. Tacky, Len, really tacky. Bruno says it’s been the best season ever and says this routine was the crowning glory. Carrie Ann says Nicole and Derek have made her look forward to coming to work.
 
Score: 30. Of course. If the judges could have licked Nicole like an ice cream cone, they would have. Sorry, but I think it’s kind of gross for the judges to pick a winner before everyone’s performed.
 
 
Evan and Anna
 
Anna cries because Evan’s such a great partner. Evan gets points for not seeming to notice that Anna is having a nervous breakdown. Evan’s just so nice. And dull. But nice.
 
The Dance: It’s pretty adorable, but it’s hard for a quickstep to measure up to a jive. And, you know, Anna kind of blows in the choreography department.
 
Judges Say: Bruno says Evan’s performance level has improved greatly. Carrie Ann says Nicole may be winning in the scoring, but tells Evan he’s won everyone’s heart. Blech. Len tells Evan he’s a joy to watch and tells him he’s done a fantastic job. Yeah, that’s a pat on the head if you ask me.
 
Backstage, Evan tells Brooke he’s so thankful for his bond with Anna. Really? Um, okay.
 
Score: 28. Carrie Ann gave them a ten, but it seems pretty clear the judges have picked their winner, and it’s not Evan.
 
 
Time to award the mirror ball! And I’m guessing it’s Nicole. Nicole is already tearing up.
 
The winner is… Nicole.
 
I’m not sure how I feel about this, especially when Nicole starts screaming like a rabid hyena. Evan doesn’t seem to care, because, hello, he has a real gold medal, who gives a crap about a mirror ball trophy? And he really does seem to be this guy who roots for his friends.
 
So, I’m a little conflicted about this one, honestly. Yes, Nicole was definitely deserving. She was, without a doubt, the best dancer in the competition. But this all comes down to whether this show is about amateur dancers struggling to become better amateur dancers, or is it simply about a great dancer, even if they’re arguably a professional dancer? I suspect if the show recruited Paula Abdul or Christina Aguilera for the show, viewers would be screaming foul.
 
No, Nicole may not have had experience with ballroom, but being a Pussycat Doll is as much about dancing as it is about singing. Was it ever fair for her to be in what was supposedly an amateur dancing competition? I’ll admit that yes, watching Nicole was great, but her presence really took the fun out of the show in some respects. She managed to make everyone else look kind of crappy in comparison, and a lot of the dramatic tension that comes from watching non-dancers try to do something outside of their wheelhouse was lost. I hope the producers of “DWTS” keep this in mind for next season, because I’m not sure I’d want to watch a wipeout like this one again.
 
Do you think Nicole deserved to win? Do you think experienced dancers should be cast on the show? And most importantly, do you think Erin and Maks are doing it?