'Dancing With the Stars' Diary: Baby decidedly not in a corner for freestylin' finals
How did we get here? It seemed like just last week that we were making Situation puns and falling in love with our first season covering "Dancing With the Stars," via a man called Bergeron.
Now it's finale time, and what do we have to show for it? Three incredibly redemptive routines, not a single freestyle failure and the show's first ever choreographed watermelon toss. And despite plenty of nerve-wracking reports, nobody died in an act of dance-related terrorism. So, hooray!
But how did they do, and who will win? Well, that's entirely subjective. So clearly, we have a few things to say.
Scores and Steps
- We don't actually remember the foxtrot in question, so it couldn't have been that bad, but Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer semi-nailed take two in their "redemption dance." The judges rewarded their performance with a 27.
- Now here's a disaster we remember. Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas had to revive their gorilla-suited Jive, and despite the vast improvement and the handsome reward from the judges (a 27), it still felt a little flat. Certainly not deserving of the same score as Kyle's dance before her.
- Jennifer Grey's Week 6 Paso Doble gave us our first real -- and quite serious -- pause about her prospects in this competition, so imagine the delight when her and Derek Hough's second attempt blew its predecessor out of our collective memory, with every expensively stiletto'd high kick. A perfect 30, of course.
- Kyle really had to step it up for the freestyle. Jennifer's health and Bristol's movement issues gave him a clear advantage in the matter of physical ability. He finished his charmingly hyper-colored Tootsie Roll, exhausted, with a near perfect score (29). (Thanks for nothing, Len.)
- The freestyle opens a world of options for our competitors, so it's a shame Mark and Bristol took on something as impossibly iconic as Bob Fosse in "Chicago's" "Cell Block Tango." Their 25 seemed generous, and if their scores mean they get knocked out first tomorrow, they had it comin'. (Gratuitous Broadway joke!)
- Derek was coy in the rehearsal package, so we were thinking that maybe we'd get that "Dirty Dancing" climactic moment after all. Not in the cards. Instead, we got an homage to another amazing moment in the film, "Do You Love Me" -- which might have left us wanting more, were it not for that sublime opening moment, with a 50-year-old Jennifer Grey clutching a watermelon with that same confused look on her face she had in 1987. Our heart grew at least three sizes, Grinch style. Another 30.
[Editor's note: We must omit backstage banter this week, because we went all Werner Herzog and shot our interviews on camera. Check back shortly for exclusive footage of Bristol, Jennifer, Kyle and their three incredibly attractive partners.]
The Night in Bergeron
Sigh. Now's the time when we have to resort to watching "America's Funniest Home Videos" for our weekly dose of the Berg. (No offense, but dancing trumps staged crotch punches.) This week, Tom made the wonderfully obvious assessment that while Bruno's praise is goodhearted, it scares babies. Think of the children, Bruno!
So that's that, dance fans. It all comes down to this. Will the Bristol fanbase help her overcome her disadvantage in the score department? Will Jennifer be raptured to "DWTS" heaven with two more unprecedented perfect scores? Or can Kyle's booty and charm shake him all the way to that gloriously sparkling mirrorball trophy? The answer to these questions and many more on the Season 11 finale.
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Photo credit: ABC