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October 24, 2014

Dancing With The Stars: Season Finale

by Brett Love, posted May 23rd 2007 3:09AM
dancing with the stars finale

(S04E19) After ten weeks, nineteen episodes, and an uncountable number of teases about results coming after the break, it all came down to tonight. As we have come to expect from the finale, ABC pulled out all the stops, bringing back all of the contestants, the pros, and the past champions. Also expected, they allotted an hour more airtime than they really needed, which led to a night that was heavy with pre-taped packages.

One of those got the ball rolling as Tom took us on a trip down memory lane for a look at the history of the show. I think most of that was known to fans, and I'm not sure that anyone that didn't know really cared. It was interesting to see Kelly Monaco, Drew Lachey, and some of the other past contestants, but they were going to be coming up on the live show anyway. I could have gone for scrapping this one, or any of a number of other taped segments, and adding in another pro performance or two.

The lone pro performance of the night followed that up, and it was a welcome change. I'm glad that they got their moment to shine in the finale. Too often the attention gets focused just on the celebrities. I'm guilty of doing that myself. It's important to acknowledge just how big a part of the show all of the pros are, and how great they are at what they do.

Then it was performance time, the so-called third judges dance. I could have done without all the theatrics. The judges completely took themselves out of the equation by giving everyone the same score because the results had already been established. Do you think that they did that whole segment comparing Joey & Apolo just in case the two of them were the final two? They should have just called it an encore performance and been done with it. Pretending that the third dance was actually going to have an effect on the outcome wasn't going to make a difference in viewership.

Apolo Ohno and Julianne Hough - Dancing WIth The Stars ChampionsApolo Anton Ohno and Julianne Hough (Pasa Doble) - This was the dance I would have picked for Apolo & Julianne. Going with something that already earned them a perfect 30 was a safe choice, and it was one of my favorite numbers of the entire season, and it was just as good the third time around. A little better even since Julianne was able to correct the one small mistake she made when they originally performed it. Len praised Apolo for his commitment to the show, and that is a very good point. From early on it was clear that he was working very hard. He added that there wasn't one step he could fault. Carrie Ann was pleased with their chemistry. Bruno thought the thing that encapsulates them is the elixir or youth. Score: 30 (10, 10, 10) I think we all saw that one coming.

Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson (Tango) - Choosing a different path, Joey and Kym decided to go with their Star Wars themed tango. Interesting, because it wasn't one of their perfect 30 performances. It's a really good number and they performed it well. Joey's ballroom form has improved, and his ability to entertain is as good as ever. Bruno called Joey a method dancer. Carrie Ann made a point of how Joey puts his mark on every dance. Len said that Joey has been trained, but he's never been tamed. He also liked that they chose a dance that they got an 8 on. Score:30 (10, 10, 10) Joey's daughter in her own little Leia costume was very cute as well.

Laila Ali and Maksim Chmerkovskiy (Mambo) - They also chose to go with a performance that they didn't get a perfect score on. The mambo was an excellent choice. It's a fun dance, and it really plays to Laila's strengths. There is a lot of good choreography to showcase her. Carie Ann was proud of Laila, and said she always brings sophistication. Len liked that she bounced back from some criticism the night before. Bruno thought she did a great job. Score: 30 (10, 10, 10) A nice way for Laila to finish up her season.

After all the dancing was done, that left the judges scores at:

Apolo & Julianne - 88
Joey & Kym - 86
Laila & Maksim - 85

After a segment with the friends and families of the contestants, it was finally time to get to the first of the results. As many suspected, Laila & Maksim finished in third place. I'm sure it was a disappointment, having come so far. But that is still a very nice accomplishment and Laila has a lot to be proud of. She represented herself well in this competition. In the end, Joey and Apolo were just a step ahead of her in the dancing.

All of the eliminated couples came back out for one final, albeit short, turn on the dance floor. It was nice to see everyone one last time, and it left me wondering what would have happened if Shandi could have made it a couple more weeks into the competition. Hers was probably the elimination I disagreed with the most this season.

That led us to one last segment with Jimmy and Guillermo. I haven't been much of a fan of these bits as the season has moved along, but they did finish on a high note. The cut to Len where he said "I'm British, you know?" and the surprise appearance of Clay Aiken were both very funny.

Tom got in on the comedy as he interviewed each of the eliminated celebrities one last time. When Paulina remarked that she didn't like being judged he said, "Lucky for you it didn't last very long." And when Clyde tried to make a joke about the "three hour practices," Tom topped it by asking if that was per week. Nicely done. That led to two more taped bits, one comparing Joey the Entertainer and Apolo the Olympian. The other looking back at the journey the two of them have been on. They were ok, but most of it felt like things we have seen before.

Finally, it was time to get down to the big announcement. After ten weeks, the new champions of Dancing With The Stars are Apolo and Julianne! I was very happy to see them win. You can certainly make a case for either Apolo or Joey. They both did exceptionally well throughout the season. What tipped me in favor of Apolo was Julianne. She impressed me over and over again this season both with her choreography, and the grace and maturity with which she carries herself. It was a very impressive debut.

5 out of 7All things considered, it was another very good season of the show, and I think the voters got it right in the end. I'd give the season as a whole a 6, because I think they have the formula working just right at this point. This episode in particular though, suffered from far too many filler segments. It would have been a great hour of television, but was just a good two hours. So I am giving this final episode a 5, out of 7.

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Ron Martyn

Does anyone know where I can get 'Dancing with the Stars' final episode from season 4" Apolo won I accedently erased it from my TIVO. I will pay $$ for it
ron@martyn.com

July 24 2007 at 12:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Julie

Laila should've won. She worked so hard and had improved so much. Did you guys see her paso doble? That was FIRE ! I mean,most poeple watch the show just because of Laila and Maks. ABc staff admit that more people watch the show this season. Why do you think? Laila's in it. She and MAks brought romance and so much ... They didn't want another black person to win, thefore they eliminated her. As far as Joey, I never really watched his performances, but I liked his final dances. Apolo is just a midget. HIs small stature will always allow him to move well and effortlessly. He's shorter that his partner.. What a shame. I think Laila and Joey should've won. Either one, I'd be happy.. Not Apolo. By the way, THE SHOW WAS FIXED ! AIN'T NOBODY COULD VOTE, AND THEY DIDN'T COUNT OUR VOTES. TRUST ,ME, I KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING BAOUT. WE GOT FOOLED BY ABC!!!
I AM MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD! I PULLED AN ALL NIGHTER MONDAY NIGHT, VOTING MY ASS OFF FOR LAILA AND NONE OF VOTES GOT IN. THAT'S A CRIME! ABC SHOULD GET SUED.

May 24 2007 at 6:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kim

I totally disagree w. both #16 & #12 re Laila Ali.
I felt that Laila represented herself extremely well throughout the show and garnered a great many fans outside the boxing world because of it; myself included. She was the epitome of grace, style, elegance, & CLASS, both on & off the dance floor. I think that she is a fantastic dancer & more than deserved to be in the final three! I also thought that her parting comments were hilarious; done with her special brand of humor & bravado. She is the total pkg.; beautiful, talented, smart, personable, funny…… I could go on & on. I have become a fan of hers for life. Yes, she is a lot like her father, who by the way is one of my FAVORITE celebs. I guess good genes run in the family! Lastly, I don’t even know why #16 even bothered to watch the show, since all of his comments about everything were so completely negative & mean. JMO!

May 24 2007 at 1:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jude

I love Apolo on the speed skating rink and he and Juliane were adorable together, but I really felt Joey and Kym deserved to win. For a lot of Apolo's dances, not all, but a lot, he did very simple steps while Juliane did most of the work. That was never true of Joey. He was always upping his game and doing more and more involved steps and lifts. I think he suffered in the voting because people felt he had dance training from being in NSync, but people should realize ballroom and Latin are totally different than what he had done and he was a beginner at those like everyone else.

Oh, well, it was a great season and maybe Joey will make a movie using his dance moves and I'll get to see him razzle-dazzle again.

Congratulations, Apolo and Juliane!

May 23 2007 at 4:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brent McKee

Two hours was too long but I don't think it would have been if they'd done what they've done with results shows over the the past season and brought in professional dancers, and name singers for performances. Instead they gave us taped features and interviews with previous winners and eliminated contestants. It could have been done much better.

May 23 2007 at 4:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Allan

Right on, PB (22) -- woo hoo to Apolo and Julianne.

Seeing your quote from Laila really shocked me, even though I now clearly recall her having said it. Her whole concession speech was ungracious and unsportsmanlike, a mixture of excuses and barely disguised anger, but her "it doesn't matter who wins, because I didn't" quip was the worst display by a loser that I have ever witnessed on DWTS or AI. She actually said it with a straight face, because she MEANT it, and only added a chuckle at the end when she realized how bad it sounded. I had enjoyed her very much during the season, but no more.

All in all, this show just gets better each year. Didn't think they could match the Emmitt-Mario season, but they did.

Can hardly wait to see who they come up with next!

May 23 2007 at 3:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
PB

Whee! Finally, the person that I voted for won the competition! I was so pleased that Apolo and Julianne took home that super-tacky trophy ... IMO, they totally deserved it.

You know, I kinda like Samantha. She always sounds like she has a mouth full of marbles, but it's such fun to see what she'll mess up each week. And face it, she's quite attractive :-)

I thought Laila was a little bit unsportsmanlike. I mean, no matter what happens in *any* competition, you should exit with your head held high. I can see being upset by the results, but that's how it goes; it's rather rude to say "it doesn't matter who wins, because I didn't" ... as cocky as Joey can be, I don't think he'd ever say something like that. I guess Laila hasn't lost in the boxing ring, so she doesn't know what it's like *not* to win something.

In any case, woo hoo to Apolo and Julianne. Truly a fun couple to watch. I only wish the DWTS tour were performing in my state this year. I saw them last year and it was really fun!

May 23 2007 at 2:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BARB

THE WRONG COUPLE WON! BY FAR, IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN JOEY/KYM - AMERICA'S BABY COUPLE APPEALED TO THE 20/30 AGE - MY MONEY WAS ON JOEY, HE HAD IT ALL - I WAS DISAPPOINTED - AS FOR THE SHOW ITSELF, IT DEFINITELY WAS TOO LONG, COULD HAVE FINISHED IN ONE HOUR, ENOUGH WITH JIMMY KIMMEL!

BARB

May 23 2007 at 1:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Anon

Apolo is definitely a worthy champion. I would have been content if it was either Joey or Apolo. Giving everyone a 30 wasn't completely pointless, it served to further remove the judges' scores from the final decision. The couples get a score equal to the percentage of points they recieved out of the total that were given out. So by essentially adding 30 points to everyone's score, more points were given out, and thus the 1-2 point difference between the final three become even more significant. It's really disappointing how much the judges take themselves out of the equation. The might as well do it simply by popular vote for the final 3. One of the reasons I like DWTS better than Idol is that professional (tho that's questionable in some cases) judges have a say on who gets eliminated. In general, individuals are smart, but (en masse) people are relatively stupid. Sanjaya is a great example on how the masses can be influenced with negative results. Enough ranting, I shouldn't be complaining anyways. This was a very good season and finale for DWTS.

May 23 2007 at 12:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mikey

The real problem will be getting the same caliber of celebrities. Let's hope this is not the high point for the show.

May 23 2007 at 12:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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