Cue that theme music!

Posted: Tuesday, May 20, 2008 by Travis Cody in

Live from's the finals!

Tonight, it's a back-to-back-to-back Cha Cha Cha and the freestyle round.

For the Cha Cha Cha, each couple dances one minute each to the same song. Each couple follows the other.

The order is Cristian & Cheryl, followed by Jason & Edyta, and then Kristi & Mark.

This is something completely new, and I have no idea how to describe it. Cristian & Cheryl have lots of good hip shaking content and a really cool trick at the end of their minute. Jason still looks a bit awkward with his Latin movements, although he's a little more loose this time around and looks like he's enjoying what he's doing. Kristi plants a kiss right on Bruno, and then proceeds to own the dance floor. The spins were outstanding and she had attitude through the whole minute.

That was so cool! But don't take my word for it...I found the clip! YAY!

We say the dance belonged to Kristi & Mark. Kristi took everything Cristian and Jason had in their minute and took it a step further. Cristian and Jason have both improved over the course of the show, but Kristi also showed tremendous improvement in her emotion and facial expressions. She owned that Cha Cha Cha.

Judges scores for the Cha Cha Cha:

Cristian & Cheryl - 8,9,9 for a total of 26
Jason & Edyta - 8's across for a total of 24
Kristi & Mark - 10's across for a total of 30

Now let's freestyle!

Kristi & Mark are up first. That dance had big tricks, high energy, and lots of funky dancing. We appreciated it because it was fully of content and it was danced well. She was so confident with her technique and the scary lifts, and yet she still managed to entertain and play to the crowd. It also flowed well, with smooth transitions from trick to trick. And they paused between tricks to do some really fine dancing. Judges say 10's across for a total of 30.

We expect Edyta to choreograph a freestyle that plays to Jason's strengths, emphasizing his size and his excellent skills as a partner. It was a little surprising to see Samba elements because of his struggles with Latin style, but he danced well outside the strictures of ballroom Samba and really got his groove on. The lifts were strong and he made them look easy. His dancing was terrific and the performance was outstanding. Judges say 9's across for a total of 27.

Cristian has been able to overcome his injury up to now, because Cheryl has been innovative and creative with her choreography. That really was fun. The lifts and tricks were difficult, especially when he still only has one arm. He really went for it. We did enjoy the dance, but we don't think it quite measured as a winning freestyle. Judges say 9,8,9 for a total of 26.

So here's our leader board:

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

Both Jason and Cristian had moments when they were really good tonight. Jason was terrific in his freestyle, and Cristian was inspirational as he really went for it even with his bad arm. But we thought that Kristi put two perfect performances together and really was the best of the three.

But is she the fan favorite?

Well gang, we were a united household after the performances. I actually voted early for Kristi. Pam waited...she wanted to be sure. But in the end she also voted for Kristi. Whether you thought she had an advantage or not, she was our favorite dancer.

It all comes down to the fan votes now.

Tonight on the results show, each couple gets one more dance for judges' score. The eliminated couples return to dance one more time. And Usher performs.

Plus, we'll hand out this season's fabulous mirror ball trophy!

San Antonio defeated New Orleans in game 7, so the Spurs will play my Lakers in Los Angeles tomorrow night in game 1 of the Western Conference finals. Go Lakers!


  1. DrillerAA says:

    I doubt if Edyta has been that high off of the ground without a boarding pass! When Jason does a lift, you get lifted.
    I think there is little doubt that Kristi and Mark are going home with the mirror globe tonight. They were just too good last night.

  1. Kimmie says:

    I think Kristy and Mark will win. They are just like a well oiled machine! They dance beautifully together. My heart is still with Christian, and I am so proud of Jason also. We will see tonight!
    Thank You for the recap!

  1. Bond says:

    Spurs/Lakers should be fun.

    I thought Jason was much better than Cristian...and I hope he pulls it out tonight.

    I do think Kristi had a huge advantage going into this whole competition...all she had to do was find a personality and she did.

    Thanks for an entire season of recaps Travis...One of my favorite features.

  1. Jamie says:

    Kristi may have had an edge with both her skating training and competitive experience, but more than that she knows beyond a shadow of a doubt what it takes to be a champion and she delivered. She made the most of the opportunity to do it all over again in a different venue and she deserves to take home all the goodies.

  1. I caught the clips last night; I think the best did rise to the top, but Kristi showed her champion colors. That girl KICKS ASS when it comes to competing.

    Yay Kristi!

  1. I think it will be Kristy. She just puts a smile on your face to watch her.

  1. Linda says:

    Based on the little bit I've seen this season, I'd have to say that it was going to be Kristy but then again, I'm no expert!

  1. Okay Travis, enjoy your dancing with the stars. Just doesn't do it for me at all. I like the music though. Have a great day. :)

  1. I was hoping the New Orleans Hornets would pull it off. Sigh!

  1. Akelamalu says:

    Loved that cha cha cha! :)

  1. Ivanhoe says:

    I would have voted for Kristi (she was soooo good), too. But the lines were just busy busy busy. Then I tried it on-line and it would not let me - the sign-in page never showed up. I guess we will just have to see tonight.

  1. Travis says:

    Drilleraa: I guess regardless of any perceived advantage, Kristi was the best dancer last night.

    Kimmie: I enjoyed the other two, but Kristi & Mark got me sofa dancing!

    V: When the Lakers closed out Utah, I saw a bunch of articles about how LA would go on to win the title. But now that the defending champs outlasted NO, the first thing I saw was that the Lakers will get ambushed. I don't know, but I think it'll go 7.

    Jamie: Kristi sure knows how to dial it up, doesn't she?

    Songbird: Kristi rocks!

    Starr: Yup...we were smiling last night.

    Linda: Well, anything can happen when you put it down to the voters.

    Sandee: It's fun!

    Charles: I thought the home court might get them over the top. But I think there were lessons learned for a young team. They won't be a one hit wonder.

    Akelamalu: Wasn't it fun?

    Ivanhoe: I was surprised they only kept the lines open for 30 minutes after. I got my votes in early because I knew I wasn't changing my mind.

  1. Dana says:

    I don't even watch the show; I just read your recaps. Thank you!

  1. Roger says:

    Dancing the night away!

  1. A mirror ball trophy? I had no idea! That's hysterical!

  1. jennifer says:

    I am SO glad that you found the video too Travis. Gosh that was fun to watch.

    Just curious, what did your lady think about Kristi's dress? I didn't think it was flattering for her. Didn't seem to hurt her scores though.

    Poor Jason of the LOVELY face and um, person. Last place.


    He IS a doll though.


  1. Travis says:

    Dana: You're welcome!

    Roger: Yessir!

    Lana: That's right!

    Jennifer: We actually liked the costumes.