And the fabulous mirror ball trophy goes to...

Posted: Wednesday, May 21, 2008 by Travis Cody in

Cue that theme music and let's get this party started!

Here's the freestyle from Cristian & Cheryl. They couldn't match Jason & Edyta with lifts, and ultimately they didn't match Kristi & Mark with content. It kind of looks like Cristian runs out of gas at the end too. But this was still an enjoyable dance.

The lifts in this freestyle from Jason & Edyta were tremendous. She's nearly 10 feet in the air! The choreography was simplistic and very laid back, although they were enjoyable to watch.

The freestyle from Kristi & Mark had energy and flash and lots of steps. It was upbeat and fun, with well executed difficult lifts. They picked great music and really performed the choreography. We were sofa dancing!

It's a jam-packed two hours y'all!

Here's the leader board after Monday's dances:

60 Kristi & Mark
52 Cristian & Cheryl
51 Jason & Edyta

Tom reminds us that only once in the prior five seasons has the pair with the highest score going into the finale actually taken the trophy home.

Special guest Usher is in the ballroom. I'm usually not a fan of this kind of music, but I enjoyed that. Usher dances like he's attached to strings...very smooth.

We have our first elimination now. Dancing for one last round of judges' scores will be Kristi & Mark and Jason & Edyta, which means that Cristian & Cheryl fall just short.

They dance a strong Paso Doble. Matt, you should have seen Cheryl's outfit dude! Black, skimpy, lots of LEG LEG LEG LEG LEG!

Now we have the parade of returning celebrities. First up, it's Penn Gillette & Kym Johnson. He still can't dance, but he is still entertaining and goofy. Next it's Monica Seles & Jonathan Roberts. She reminds us that not all of the athletes have an unfair advantage.

Continuing with our returning celebrities, we greet Steve Guttenburg and Anna Trebunskaya. He was always positive and he was always charming. I disliked Adam Carolla, but he did have the classic line of lines when he said of his partner Julianne Hough, "I've lost 20lbs of fat and gained 105lbs of angel".

Who were America's favorite ballroom kids? The first ever junior ballroom champions are Brandon & Brittany.

Priscilla Presley and Louis Van Amstel return to the ballroom. She brought such drama to the dancing. Marlee Matlin shows that she really can do that pesky Mambo with Fabian Sanchez. Shannon Elizabeth had so much potential, but couldn't quite get the hips shaking well enough to go with the LEGS LEGS LEGS LEGS. She was much better in the ballroom styles with partner Derek Hough.

Mario was charming and Karina Smirnoff was sexy, and if this was just a Latin dance competition then they very likely would have made the finals. Marissa Jaret Winoker grew the most as a dancer, with Tony Dovolani bringing her along steadily.

Usher returns with his dancers and the DWTS pros to kick the doors off the ballroom. He's a terrific entertainer.

Now the parade of eliminated celebrities is over, and it's time to get down to the final competitive dances of the season. Kristi & Mark and Jason & Edyta will perform their favorite dances from the season, for the final rounding of scoring.

Kristi and Mark dance their favorite dance of the season, Jive. From the highest first round score ever to a perfect 60 on finale night, she has been our favorite. She may have had a technical advantage as a former Olympic champion, but she still had to learn how to deliver these dances and she did just that. She performed professional level choreography every week, and did it well. Yes, she already understood how to train and she knew how to delivery a performance. She had the right partner in Mark, and she just went for it every time. Judges say 10's across for a total of 30. No one has ever had a perfect finale.

Jason and Edyta dance their favorite dance of the season, Quick Step. Jason was at his best all season in the ballroom style. His lines are elegant and he glides through the choreography. We've been impressed each week with his skills as a partner. He was so expressive and made that look like so much fun. And of course we love the hand stand at the end of it. We're glad they chose that dance to finish with, because it was our favorite of theirs. Judges say 10's across for a total of 30. You know, it was that good!

Here's how the final leader board looks:

90 Kristi & Mark
81 Jason & Edyta

Our votes count for half of the result, and the judges scores count for the other half. And now...the fabulous mirror ball trophy goes to...

Kristi Yamaguchi and Mark Ballas!

OK, let me answer the big question now. Why do we love this show? It's like this...the show makes no pretenses about itself. It knows how cheesy it is. It understands that the celebrities are mostly C- and D-listers. And it doesn't care. It is what it is...purely entertaining and fun.

The show shines a big bright light on some truly talented professional dancers. And musical acts are finally beginning to see that the show provides a vehicle for them to promote their latest projects to an audience that is interested.

This season is barely finished and I'm ready for Season 7 in the fall!

Mr David Cook gave his final three competitive performances on American Idol last night. We'll be happy if he wins. But I can say that watching him over the last couple of months has helped us make our peace with the show.

This first song was chosen by Clive Davis.

This was DC's choice out of the 10 finalists from the songwriting contest.

For himself, DC chose not to repeat something he'd done before. He could have been safe and gone with a wow from earlier in the season, but he decided to lay it on the line.

There were six excellent performances on this finale. I thought young Mr David Archuletta proved yet again what a wonderful vocalist he is. But I thought that Mr Cook proved what a versatile and charismatic artist he is going to be. And that's why Pam and I are trying to call the numbers and get some votes in for DC.


  1. lisa ryan says:

    Great recap Travis.
    Kristi & Mark deserved to win, they were wonderful to watch.
    and David Cook got my vote too.

  1. Bond says:

    I send an email out last night to or group that got lost...

    I got a chill moment for the first time this season from Mr. cooks first U2 song...but David A did nail his first song ...

    Overall I believe David C has the power to be a how will America vote

    The Finale of DWTS was fantastic...I am sorry Jason did not win, but the whole season was so much fun and you made it even more so Travis.


  1. Ivanhoe says:

    Kristi was the best - so well deserved for her. Cannot wait for next season in September. I'm not as crazy about AI, but my prediction is Archie is going to win....

  1. It was fun seeing the eliminated couples return for one last dance. You could see the ability levels rise as they progressed through the different couples.

  1. DrillerAA says:

    Kristi and Mark were in fact the complete package. They are the appropriate size for each other. They are athletic, and they have a chemistry. Size does matter.
    If Edyta were 6'-3" she and Jason may have been the team to beat. Size was a problem for them in the Latin rounds and an advantage in the Ballroom rounds.
    I would have preferred to see the junior champions again in lieu of the second Usher number, but that's just me.
    Great recap, great season, see ya back in the fall...possibly will Paula. Can she drink and dance at the same time. We may find out.

  1. Anndi says:

    Great recap Travis. I'm pleased beyond words a woman won this... FINALY!!!
    I believe it takes a great deal more work for the amateur women to compete with the likes of Cheryl, Edyta and Julianne because the women are showcased so much in ballroom.

    David C is the man, no matter who the Idol crown goes to. He's the whole package and Chicklet and I would vote for him if we could. She's 10 and not at all impressed with Archie. His saccharine is lost on her and my girl loves her sugar! LOL

  1. I figured it would be Kristi. She looked like a pro all season.

    I love Cook. Just love him. And we all know U2 is my favorite band his song had to be good or else. And he was awesome! He didn't try to do the Bono version which is great because no one can Bono like Bono - someone please inform Coldplay of that fact!

    I like Archie. I do. He is a sweet kid but if I have to watch him squint and "GOSH!" one more time I may pelt him with tater tots. He has a lovely voice, but there is no way I'd buy his music. It is just too muzack for me.

    I thought the judges, Simon in particular, threw Cook under the bus with the crap about not singing a song he had done already. Of course Archie did Imagine. He has been singing that song in competitions for 3 FRICKING YEARS. Cook had to balls to keep challenging himself.

    All in all I think Cook will have the career and Archie will be the next Clay. And I sure hope he comes out of the closet at some point cause watching the girlies creaming their jeans over him is painful :P

  1. Akelamalu says:

    Loved all the clips Trav but Brandon and Brittany were fantastic!

  1. the teach says:

    Travis, I thank you for asking me to dance. I accept! How gentlemanly you are! I understand Kristy is the first female celebrity to win that right? I think David Cook is the one but I don't know Archeleta is so very good too! Thanks for writing everything up! I appreciate it! Again thanks for the dance... :blush: :D

  1. I knew Kristi was going to win. Didn't I say that right from the beginning? Perhaps I need to find a bookie for next season...

  1. Travis says:

    Lisa: We are in agreement.

    V: I definitely liked DC's first song best, but I enjoyed all three and still think he's the better of the least for me.

    Ivanhoe: We cheered!

    Songbird: It was almost an evolution toward the better dancers.

    Drilleraa: Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the season!

    Ann: We just needed the right woman!

    Starr: I think all three judges, in their rush to praise DA, gave an unfair impression that DC just wasn't any good. For me, DA gave the same performance for every song. He did sing well, but it all sounded the same. DC is more versatile.

    Akelamalu: Those kids were great!

    Teach: Kristi is the first woman since the very first season to win.

    Lana: You did.

  1. Linda says:

    An excellent review once again Travis. I am always impressed at how well you do these! Reading your review is actually better than watching the whole show on TV!

    Now, let's see if your favorite wins AI tonight. Again, I haven't followed it closely at all but everything I've heard from David Cook I've liked.

  1. JohnH985 says:

    I agree with you that I like the fact that David Cook picked a new song and did not do something he had already done. It's not like I don't like him, of the two he's my favorite and I think he'll have the bigger career even though I don't think he'll win, the judges pretty much stacked it against him. But, of course there's a but, I just couldn't get that excited about him.

  1. Jeff B says:

    The things I'm missing without cable. Your recaps are amazing.

  1. tiggerprr says:

    Woooohooo Cookie!!:-)

  1. On AI, whoever wins, this season should go down as one of the best. Personally, I'd prefer listening to the kind of songs Cook might end up singing.

    On the other hand, Archuleta has an amazing voice!

  1. Turnbaby says:

    Thank you so much Travis for your excellent posting on both shows. I don't feel like I've missed so much when I'm finished with your posts.

  1. Travis says:

    Linda: Thanks! I really enjoy doing the reviews.

    John: Well, it's not every season that you find one that captures your attention.

    Jeff: Thanks!

    Tiggerprr: Yeppers!

    Terra: I think it was a solid season in terms of singers, but there were very few real entertainers on the show this season.

    Turn: It's my pleasure to do it.

  1. BeckEye says:

    I don't even watch DWTS and I knew that Kristi was going to win!

    Are you watching SYTYCD? I watched the premiere tonight.

  1. coco says:

    Another show i didn't watch ... but did you say Steve Gutenberg was on it?? Damn, i would've until he got the boot, at least.

    The main reason for this show is obvious to me ... the shoes! Were they fabulous? You don't mention the shoes ... dropped the ball on that one, Hon.

    Now ... do you honestly think it's fair for a figure skater to even be in this competition? Of course the lifts would be amazing - she probably weighs as much as a dried mushroom and has performed lifts and jumps all her life.

    Anyway, glad you loved it. Great reporting, Trav.

  1. Travis says:

    Beck: I am watching SYTYCD. I'll probably blog the show once they select the top 20.

    Coco: Yeah, Gutenberg was on for 3 weeks I think before he got eliminated. And Vinny was in charge of mentioning the shoes. I was busy watching the dancing and the LEGS LEGS LEGS LEGS! As for Kristi, there have been several celebrities who have had real dance experience. They didn't win, so there was no talk of an unfair advantage. I think she did have an advantage, but she also had to get the votes to win as well. And remember, Mel B and Mario Lopez were the best dancers in their seasons, but neither one was the winner.