'Dancing with the Stars' finale recap: Of Melissa Rycroft, Shawn Johnson and Kelly Monaco, one takes the win
So, tonight's the night. One couple will get the treasured mirror ball trophy and two couples won't. It's a big deal, but really, what do you do with a mirror ball trophy? Put it on the mantel? Hang it from your ceiling? Decorate your tree with it? Just wondering. Anyway, this is the night Shawn Johnson, Melissa Rycroft and Kelly Monaco will learn who made the final cut. And has to take that big, shiny thing home. I guess that at least if you get two, they could make nice bookends.
First off, we see all of our eliminated celebrities, I think. Maybe not. There are a lot of people on the floor. Hey, there's Sabrina! Well, you knew she'd be available.
Time for pre taped segments. Len claims he wants to find the worst dancers of "Dancing with the Stars," but it's really one of those fake Dance Center ads. I liked these a lot -- about five seasons ago. I'm thinking it's time for an update. But then, Kenny Maynes and Jerry Rice seem to be having so much fun, it would be unfair to get rid of these altogether. Maybe.
Len requests Shawn and Derek's freestyle. Guess what? Still amazing.
Because there's a lot of time to think during two hours of mostly filler, let's ponder who's most likely to win this thing. I'm leaning toward Shawn & Derek. Why? Ironically, I think the decision to re-dance a routine they knew they'd get dinged for could be a brilliant move. Knowing that they came in last in the judging portion, I wonder if fans will work that much harder to vote for them. Of course, I can't count out Kelly's ardent soap fans or Melissa's underdog status. Hey, whoever wins, they deserve it.
Kenny Mayne, Jerry Rice and Len Goodman give us a recap of all the eliminated dancers in Dance Center. I don't really understand why Jerry and Kenny are wearing make-up and, in Kenny's case, jewelry and no shirt with a bow tie. I guess it's funny? I mean, it's surreal, I guess, but I'm not sure what the joke is beyond the idea of grown men dressed like they're going to a Halloween costume contest in West Hollywood.
Time to pick the instant dances!
Kelly & Val pick their instant bizarro dance -- cat & mouse jive. What?
Melissa & Tony pick life is a highway samba.
Shawn & Derek get respect cha cha.
I'm sure this will all make sense at some point, but this has been the most annoying part of the season -- dumb theme dances.
Bristol & Mark dance, then Pamela Anderson hits the floor. I'm pretty sure Pamela wins the "who is sexier?" contest, if there is one.
Helio & Chelsie dance. Again, very good. Even better? The clip of Chelsie learning about foreign languages.
Drew Lachey will be bringing his daughter Isabella into his routine. She finally gets to dance with her daddy in front of a thousand people! Still can't believe Drew didn't last longer this season. Anyway, it's cute. Once Isabella joins Drew and Anya, they basically kind of stand around, but dancing with a partner who's a fraction of your height kind of kills partnering.
Then we get a montage of interview room goofiness. Lots of screaming, some burping, some swearing. Good times.
Its a team dance to "Gangnam Style." Kristie still can't rip her suit off to the music. But hey, what does she care? Maks in tube socks is quite a bit less sexy, I have to admit. Still sexy, just… less sexy. Emmitt and Cheryl are there. Joey wears a half shirt. Gilles dances in a towel and black sneakers. Still sexier than Joey, I'm afraid.
It's time to go to a pre-taped segment of Joey & Kym rehearsing. It's a "Back to the Future" homage. Joey tells his younger self to learn the cha cha. And lay off the fries. Then, they do a "Back to the Future" cha cha. And then two kids who are supposed to be their younger selves come out and dance. Lotta kids in this episode.
A recap of the twists and turns of the season. Yeah, a lot of those sucked, so let's review. Weird dances! Fusion dances! Theme dances!
Sabrina & Louis dance. If they say "the most shocking elimination of the season" one more time, I'm going to find a "Cheetah Girls" DVD and choke myself with it. She is an exceptional dancer. But no one said that about, say, Drew when he got ousted the first week.
Another team dance, this one to "Call Me Maybe." There's Sabrina, and Drew, and Gilles, and Apolo, and the scarecrow, and the cowardly lion, too! Oh, and Toto! Anyway, it's still a good routine.
More Dance Center. Kenny says Emmitt dressed like a highway reflector. He makes a WWII joke about Gilles' being French. Yes, that's topical. Even Len doesn't look like he's having fun. Oh, and he suggests Apolo's upper body would invite drug testing in most sports. Yeah, maybe it's time to lose Dance Center after all.
Kirstie & Maks dance. She actually does a pretty good job -- but it's all of a hot minute. Then, Gilles and Peta do their Bollywood routine.
Apolo & Karina dance to that bummer Rascal Flatts cancer song. Thank God, Emmitt & Cheryl come out to dance to Aretha and lighten things up. Forty-seven minutes to go, so when do we see these new, instant dances?
Back to Dance Center. They assess the finalists. Shawn laughs a lot. Kenny jokes that Melissa's dense. Kenny loves Kelly because she has a mouth like a trucker. But he and Jerry confirm that Kelly and Val definitely did. Yeah, they're just joking around, but at least somebody said it.
A montage of the finalists talking about how tough this is, and how hard they're going to fight. Does that mean we're going to see them dance? Finally?
Kelly & Val
The Background: Ne-Yo and one of Kelly's soap co-stars wish her luck. They practice. They want to WIN.
The Dance: Yes, some minor problems, but that looked good! I can't believe this is their instant dance.
The Judges: Len thinks she's been a revelation for the whole season. He thinks she nailed it. Bruno thinks they have the energy of two rabbits. Sometimes she lost balance, but it was magnificent. Carrie Ann thought they were absolutely in synch. I'm thinking perfect score or close to it.
Kelly admits to Brooke it's bittersweet for this to be her last dance. "Dancing with the Stars" has given her so much, including a journey that will continue for a really long time. And Val got emotional during their dance, which he doesn't really get. Brooke asks AGAIN, what's going on with the two of you? Kelly thinks everyone should have friendships like this. "I know you're laughing but it's true!" Oh, come on! Brooke turns to Val. Come on, help a hostess out! Val says it's unconditional love. It's a relationship that he cherishes. So, we know nothing. Nothing!
Scores: Carrie Ann - 9.5 Len - 9.5, Bruno - 9.5
Awww, bummer. Close, though!
Melissa & Tony
The Background: Tony is not going to go down without swinging. Melissa doesn't have famous friends wishing her luck?
The Dance: It's an instant samba, and I can't believe they have to dance to such a slow, slaggy song. It's okay.
The Judges: Bruno thinks it was slinky with a touch of rock 'n roll. Carrie Ann thinks she has beautiful lines, but she rushed the music a hair. Agreed. Len thought the interpretation wasn't what it was last night, but he thinks Melissa is a pleasure to watch.
Scores: Carrie Ann - 9.5, Len - 9.5, Bruno - 9.5
Melissa talks about all she and Tony have been through. Hurricane Sandy!
What? I thought Kelly & Val were so much stronger, and they got the same score.
Shawn & Derek
The Background: Shawn feels a lot of pressure to do the instant dance. She's gonna miss dancing with Derek, though she hates to admit it. Derek gets weepy talking about how Shawn has been a little light in his life. Aw, shucks. She gave him confidence and he gave her confidence, and it would be a perfect ending to win the season. I agree, really.
The Dance: Whoa. There were tricks! The ending looked dangerous. That was impressive. They saved the best for last, I think. The audience can't stop applauding.
The Judges: Carrie Ann thinks she started out a star, and it was a star-studded performance. Len thinks she's the no-stress express. He thought it was fantastic. Bruno thinks it was perfection.
Shawn tells Brooke it's bittersweet (word of the day!) but she hopes she's made Derek proud. Derek thinks Shawn made the season special.
Scores: Carrie Ann - 10, Len - 10, Bruno - 10
Whoot! You know, if Shawn & Derek don't win, I think we might be able to consider it an upset.
It's time for results! And yes, it's the first ever time three females made it to the finals. Girl power!
Now, someone is going to be eliminated. And that couple is… going to be revealed eventually. This couple will take third place. And they will be named… soonish. Who knows. Think I have time to check e-mail? Okay, come on… the third place couple is Kelly & Val.
You know, the fact she made it this far is pretty great. She tells Brooke the journey was amazing and she thinks Val is the most incredible man and taught her how to dance gracefully.
Clip montage tribute to Kelly & Val. Last chance to tell us you're doing it, you guys! Oh, well -- instead, Kelly jumps into his arms a la "Dirty Dancing," and that's almost as good.
I'm already sick of "The Bachelor," and it hasn't started yet. There is such a thing as too much promotion, ABC.
So, who wins? WHO WINS? We have four minutes left, which means we have three and a half minutes of dragging this out. The champions are… Melissa & Tony. Really?
When Tom said, "Now they have won, too," I thought he meant "Now they have won TWO," as in Shawn & Derek won. And yes, Melissa's a great dancer, but I think Shawn & Derek were better dancers. Lots of celebrating, everyone likes Melissa, so it's not so bad.