'Dance Your Ass Off': Will Ruben win it all?

ruben_danceyourassoff_290.jpgAfter ten weeks of workouts, injuries, and questionable costumes, the " Dance Your Ass Off" champion is finally named. Will Pinky be defeated by a severe injury? Will Ruben continue to lose lots of pounds? Will Shayla remain laser focused? Let's find out...

Host Marissa Jaret Winokur wastes little time before introducing our Judges On The Halfshell, Mayte Garcia, Lisa Ann Walters, and Danny Teeson. Immediately following is a package that has the nine eliminated show up in order of axing - Angela, Warren, Karla, Tara, Brandon, Miles, Trice, Mara, and finally Alicia. Everyone has kept the weight loss up but Angela, Warren, Miles, and Trice are the most impressive visually (it's been a scant two weeks since we've seen Mara so the change isn't as immediately apparent).

Marissa pops up to let them know they'll be performing a group number wearing their Week 1 costumes to show how much their bodies have changed. Everyone's lost plenty of inches all over. I can't highlight anyone person because they've all done fabulous jobs, though I think happiest for Brandon and Warren as I was the most concerned for them when they were eliminated.

Group Number
Song:
"Please Don't Stop The Music" a la Rihanna
Back live in the studio, Marissa announces they've collectively lost 425 pounds. Clap that up. Everyone gets a solo before the finalists come out for their spotlights. The difference between then and now in costume is phenomenal but Shayla...I mean, good gravy! It ends in a group pose, Miles doing a round-off handspring into the center and Alicia going into the splits. The judges gave a standing ovation.

This week's dances are a Freestyle and a Judges' Choice. The order of their performances are completely random both rounds with the weightloss revealed after their second dances. Also, everyone's got loved ones in the audience which is adorable but distracting camera shot-wise.

1. Pinky & Mr. Lucky
Style/Song:
Freestyle-Hip Hop/"Kiss Kiss" a la Chris Brown
Pinky jacked up her foot during group dance rehearsal and Dr. Rob Huizenga advised to stay off it all week. Mr. Lucky carried her around to help. Aw! She swam for exercise and watched video of her routines to prepare. She's got great attitude face and is really hitting those moves. Even though she couldn't actually physically rehearse, it didn't slow her down much. There's a lot of stomping and jumping but she hid it well. And she looks great in her outfit. Mayte could tell she's hurt but she gave it a lot of energy, adding she looks hot. Lisa Ann saw her confidence and determination with some added sexy. Danny thought it was her best Hip Hop routine this season and was totally impressed.
Score: 9 (9-9-9)

2. Ruben & Hilary
Style/Song:
Freestyle-Country/"Save A houre (Ride A Cowboy)" a la Big & Rich
Lots of personality from Ruben, he's 100% committed to the character. I didn't notice him concentrating on the choreography, which may be a first. It's not the most technically difficult routine per se but it was very fun, which never hurts. Mayte enjoyed how much fun he was having. Lisa Ann loved that he let himself go. Danny thought he did really well but it wasn't as difficult as it could've been. Ruben & Hilary promise to bring it next round.
Score: 9 (9-9-9)

shayla_danceyourassoff_290.jpg 3. Shayla & Mario
Style/Song:
Freestyle-Lyrical Jazz/"No Air" a la Jordin Sparks ft. Chris Brown
It started out slow but all the lifts were impressive. I feel like maybe she should've been wearing heels. It looked odd at times. She danced it well and was very emotionally connected, I just wasn't really picking up what they were putting down. It had moments but overall I'm kind of underwhelmed. Maybe it was the camera work? Mayte really loved it. Lisa Ann saw a sampling of the stuff she's best at. Danny thought she was beautiful but felt it took about 8-counts for her to get into it.
Score: 9.3 (10-9-9)

Another filler package but this time, it's not useless. Marissa lets the nine eliminated contestants know that the person with the greatest weight-loss percentage will win $5,000. After they weigh in, Marissa calls their names and the last person called gets the prize. Warren lost 29.1 pounds (8.14%), Angela lost 22.3 pounds (12%), Trice lost 31.5 (12.03%), Tara lost 31.1 pounds (13.1%), Brandon lost 21.5 pounds (9.33%), Trice lost 39.4 pounds (14.33%), and Karla lost 23.8 pounds (13.61%). It's between Miles and Alicia, which is not at all surprising. However...they had to wait until the finale to find out the results.

In the studio, Miles and Alicia talk about how their lives changed briefly. Alicia has lost 48.2 pounds overall (18.71%) and started nearly hyperventilating when Marissa read her current weight. Miles lost 45.3 pounds (17.3%) total, very impressive but you could see a little bit of disappointment in his happiness as he realized he didn't win. Alicia wins the $5,000 and cries. She worked her butt off so she deserves it but I hope Miles gets a little something. I mean, he's been working out on his own at least twice as long as Alicia.

4. Ruben & Hilary
Style/Song:
Judges' Choice-Paso Doble/"When I Grow Up" a la Pussycat Dolls
They start out with her lifted like a cape behind his head. The song is terribly done and I had to mute to focus on the dancing. Ruben...is working it. He was really, really great. Really. Can't say anything else. Mayte called it "mind-blowing." Lisa Ann loved the choreography and complimented his hands. Danny says it was "beyond fantastic" and would give him an 11 if he could.
Score: 10 (10-10-10) - 9.5 overall

5. Shayla & Mario
Style/Song:
Judges' Choice-Rumba/"If I Were A Boy" a la Beyonce
Shayla's extensions have really really improved over the weeks. They were always there but they've just gotten so much stronger. Her dress is killer and she is working it. The choreography was much better this time around and she really embraced the tempo of the dance (a very difficult mix of slow, deliberate movements with sharp accents throughout). Mayte loved the movement and her posture and lines but wanted a little more. It didn't live up to Lisa Ann's expectations, likening it to Lyrical Jazz more than Rumba. Danny finds Rumbas to be boring but she made him love it again.
Score: 8.7 (9-8-9) - 9.0 overall

pinky_danceyourassoff_290.jpg 6. Pinky & Mr. Lucky
Style/Song:
Judges' Choice-Samba/"All Nite (Don't Stop)" a la Janet Jackson
Pinky's working her outfit too. She's also bring a lot of focus and sass to the dance. She's working her hips very well, especially considering her foot injury, and the Samba Roll is well done. I'd say she needs to point her toes but she gets a pass. As soon as she's done, she's limping noticeably and begins sobbing a little. Cut to concerned family members (brothers and parents). Mr. Lucky helps her hobble over to Marissa and, as they check to see if she's okay, you hear her say "I want my scores." Mayte is speechless because Pinky killed it. Lisa Ann called her a "party in a little package" and loved the Suicide Drop towards the end. Danny is blown away by her transformation.
Score: 10 (10-10-10) - 9.5 overall which ties her with Ruben

Marissa says they should all be proud of their accomplishments but only one can win the $100,000. As they step onto the studio "scale," Pinky is now in a freaking boot cast. I cringe at the thought of how painful it must've been to dance in heels with that injury.

Shayla lost 4 pounds - 2.29% which gives her a final score of 11.29. She's lost a total of 35.6 pounds. She tearfully thanks her parents for always being there for her...but says nothing to her boyfriend who's also there. Maybe they edited that out.

Ruben needs to have lost at least 4.5 pounds. He thanks his sister for taking care of his partner John while he's been in the competition as well as his other friends for their support. He's an amazing 7.5 pounds this week (3.03%), giving him a total of 12.53 and knocking Shayla out of the lead. She gets a standing ovation as she leaves the stage.

So it's down to Pinky. She was happy that she was able to dance tonight and thanks her family. Marissa talks to her parents and her dad says he's watched her grow into a real woman on the show. Aw! Huggies! In order to win, she needs to have lost 4.9 pounds. She looks nervous but also kind of looks like she doesn't expect to win while Ruben looks like he might pass out. Though he was worried, Pinky just barely missed the number losing 4.4 pounds (2.73%). While she was clearly the most courageous story on this night, her 12.23 couldn't best Ruben the Weightloss Machine.

Everyone was on their feet and Ruben let out shouts of joy and twirled in the purple confetti raining down. All the contestants and their partners were on the floor and hugging him. I'm so glad Ruben won and I hope the money helps him and John as much as possible.

Did the right person win? I think so - Ruben's been pulling big weight-loss numbers from the beginning and needed the money the most. Who were you most impressed by of the returning contestants? Did you like the group number? Any other thoughts? It's been great watching with you guys - maybe I'll see you for the reunion show next week!

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