Dancing With The Stars: Week 10 The Finals
(S07E20) After two and a half months, and nineteen episodes, it all comes down to this. Our remaining three couples made their way back to the ballroom for what Tom called, "The most closely contested finals ever." That was an apt description after what we saw in the semi-finals. With Lance & Lacey wrestling the lead away from Brooke & Derek as we neared the end of the season, it really looked like season seven could go to anyone. How would it play out? Would it all come down to the big freestyle numbers? And, oh yeah, which dancing kids team won? The answers to all of those questions, and a look at the rest of the finals performances, after the jump.
Before we get started, let me just set your mind at ease. If you were caught up in traffic on the way home, had to pick up the cat from the vet, or were shuffling Junior around to sports practices, and arrived home a half hour late, you didn't miss anything. I usually give the show a lot of credit for doing a good job filling time on the results show, while still keeping things interesting. But the beginning of this one was terrible. Each couple picked their favorite Latin and ballroom numbers so we could watch a replay of them?
I can't imagine it has any bearing on what we'll see in the final vote, but here are their choices, in case you are curious. Brooke & Derek chose the quickstep and the paso doble. Lance & Lacey settled on the tango and the mambo. And Warren & Kym decided that the Viennese waltz and the paso doble were their best performances. The only thing notable in the first half hour was that we found out Craig and Samantha won the dancing kids contest. A round of applause for them.
Group Samba Smackdown
Then, it was time to get down to business. They drew randomly for the order, which found Brooke & Derek leading off, followed by Lance & Lacey, with Warren & Kym closing things out. We got a quick peak behind the scenes at rehearsals where strategy was already in play as the teams didn't want to reveal the big tricks from their solo spots.
Getting to the performance, Brooke and Derek led things off as solid as ever. It lacked the one big wow moment that we have come to expect from a finals performance, but there wasn't anything you could really complain about. It was fast, and Brooke continues to impress with the way that she moves. Lance & Lacey followed up, and for me, actually had the best showing in the group number. All the promise Lance showed in the semis was back on display here, with the addition of some very clever footwork. Warren bounced out for his solo spot and looked as light on his feet as he ever has. The only thing that held him back was falling into the trap of standing in place while Kym danced around him in the middle of their turn. The entire group assembled for the finish, and their spinning circle with the girls all flying up in the air was fantastic. All things considered, it was a very good finals performance.
Moving to the judges, Len thought all of them performed better than when they did the samba on the show. Warren had much more content, although he is still concerned about those feet. He loved Lance's energy and noted that there was a lot going on in their performance, but did tell him to work on the finesse. Of Brooke, he said she was the one to beat in week one, and she's still the one to beat in week ten. Bruno said Brooke is sexy and dazzling and, rather crudely, added that everyone would like to drive that model. He praised Lance for being so tight and clean. And he called Warren irresistible, saying the fun makes up for the lack of technique. Carrie Ann said that every time Lance gets out there, it's better and better. She called Warren the most improved. Technically the weakest, but a great connection to the audience. For Brooke, she thought it was a little ambitious with her lines getting a little awkward at times.
Brooke & Derek 28 (9,9,10)
Lance & Lacey 26 (9,8,9)
Warren & Kym 25 (9,7,9)
Brooke & Derek - Last week Brooke earned her lowest scores of the season, and she was determined not to make the same mistake twice. Keeping with the theme of the season, Derek was having trouble with his back. To combat this, they trained in the swimming pool. I was a little put off at first by Brooke's costume, being all too reminiscent of Marie's doll dress. Fortunately, that didn't last long. They had a big lift right off the bat, signaling that all the stops were being pulled out for this one. They covered the entire ballroom, even the judges table, in a high energy number. The lifts were many, and they were pretty amazing. It was just the kind of performance you expect to see in the finals.
Bruno said, follow that. He called the lifts spectacular, describing them as positions that he's only seen in the kama sutra. He finished by telling them it was one of the best freestyles he's ever seen. Carrie Ann said they always nail the dance, and tonight they brought it. Len didn't need to qualify it, saying it was the best freestyle he's ever seen.
Score: 30 (10,10,10) Total 58
Lance & Lacey - Opposite of Brooke, Lance had his best week of the season in the semis. In the training video, Lacey liked their chances, saying Lance has the showmanship of Warren and the technique of Brooke, with a little something of his own. I completely agree with her on that point. Just as much as I disagree with her on her choice of dance styles. They chose hip hop for the freestyle, and opted to not do any lifts. Those two decisions could very well be what costs them this competition. It wasn't a bad performance, and it certainly had its moments, but it was clearly a step below what Brooke & Derek had shown just before them. The smarter move would have been to go with some sort of a jive, or even a swing number, As it was, when they did try to put a little bit of ballroom in the middle of the dance, it just looked odd and out of place. It was not nearly what I was expecting.
Carrie Ann loved the beginning and the end, but added there was one little section that just kind of threw it off. It was when they went into the cha cha. Len quoted the song, "It's Tricky." He went on to tell them that he likes hip hop, just not during the Latin and ballroom numbers. In something of a surprise, he finished telling them he was really pleased. Bruno called it youthful, vibrant, and exciting, noting that they always make smart choices.
Score: 27 (9,9,9) Total 53
Warren & Kym - Last week the judges said Warren's number didn't have enough content, so this week he said, "Kym's killing me." As they trained, it was obvious that they would be taking advantage of Warren being the strongest man ever on the show. It looked like we could look for lots of lifts. Getting to the number, it didn't take long for them to get into just that. The performance started out slow, and then changed gears. More huge lifts followed, and there was certainly a great effort to show off Warren's hard work on the footwork. He finished the season in that familiar place of being a step behind the other two on technique, but it was still a great showing.
Len started off, commenting on how each season someones come along out of the blue and is an absolute star. This show is about entertainment, and as an entertainer, nobody touches Warren. Bruno said that with Warren, all resistance is futile. Just enjoy the ride. Carrie Ann finished up telling Warren that out of all the routines, that one was her favorite.
Score: 28 (9,10,9) 53
And that will do it. I have to say, I'm not feeling good about my prediction for Lance & Lacey to win it all. I really expected something big from them in the freestyle, and what we saw wasn't it. Barring something very strange happening with the final performance on Tuesday, they've managed to dig quite a hole with the judge's points. But I'm more worried that they could have lost a chunk of the fan vote with that one. Things are looking good for Brooke & Derek, but then, you never really know what will happen when they start counting the viewer votes. We'll find out Tuesday night. Along the way, Miley Cyrus and Alecia Keys will perform, and Jeffrey Ross will roast the finalists.