Cue that theme music...

Posted: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 by Travis Cody in

We've finally reached it!  Someone is going to dance away with the Glitter Ball of Glory and they are going to do it live from Hollywood!

In between all the frivolity, our remaining three pairs have two more competitive dances to perform for scores.  Those scores will be added to last night's scores and then combined with viewer votes to determine the winner.

But before we get that far, let's have our final encores of the season.  Here's what we liked from Monday's performance finale.

We liked the Viennese Waltz from Evan and Anna.  I liked this one even better the second time around.

We liked the Samba from Erin and Maks.  The assist from Bruno really helped her.

We really liked the freestyle from Nicole and Derek.  I hope the flub on the lift at the end reminds everyone how difficult this stuff is to do, no matter what your background.

Our dance of the night was the freestyle from Erin and Maks.  We loved this because they chose a style that separated them from the other two pairs.  And did you catch the comment about this not being the bed they rehearsed on?  So funny!

That's good stuff.

Here's a reminder of our leader board after Monday's performances:

55 Erin and Maks
55 Nicole and Derek
52 Evan and Anna

I still think it's anybody's Mirror Ball. 

And our eliminated couples lead off the show in a group number...sort of.  The celebrities are at the top of the stage while the pros kick it up on the floor.  

OK kids...we'll save the fluff and frivolity for later and start right away with the first round of dances for judges score.  These will be the favorite dance of the season, chosen by each couple.  The judges are going to rank these performances to hand out 30 points for 1st, 28 points for 2nd, and 26 points for 3rd.  Yikes!  Even if they all dance perfectly, only one pair can get a perfect score!

Nicole and Derek select Argentine Tango as their favorite and best performance.  This is a strong choice.  The choreography is difficult.  I like it because even though Tango is about passion and drama, all of that is controlled and contained so that we get to see the precision of the footwork.  And they are on point tonight with sophisticated intensity.  That was a predictably excellent performance.  I didn't see any technique breaks or any mistakes in footwork.  It was totally clean.  I'm really a fan of that dance.  It was professional level in terms of quality.  It's going to be a challenge for either of the other two pairs to top that for the 30 points.  

Evan and Anna select Argentine Tango as their favorite and best, so we get a direct comparison with Nicole and Derek.  I don't know how you dance better than perfect, because they scored 30 when they danced this a couple of weeks ago.  This was a break out performance for them, and the absolute best choice for the finale.  Evan demonstrates in this dance that he can be powerful and intense while maintaining the lyrical and artistic qualities that I enjoy.  And that spin!  They did it even faster this time.  I don't know if they'll top Nicole and Derek, but that was a great performance and they may have secured the second rank.  This is going to be a tough choice, because both couples would score 10's across for these performances...but this round is about ranking 1-2-3. 

Erin and Maks also select Argentine Tango as their favorite and best dance of the season.  Excellent!  Now we can see each pair dance the exact same dance.  But unfortunately the contentions rehearsal drama is back.  Sheesh!  Still, they are capable of performing this just as well as the other two pairs.  Gosh that jump of the top off the stage!  I love their position in hold with their upper bodies pressed tightly together.  That was excellent, except for the bend she had in her leg on that last spin.  These couples are so close, that a little detail like that is going to determine where they place in the rankings.  The question is going to be whether the big jump at the beginning and the close hold position will trump that bent leg.

I would score that Nicole and Derek with 30, Evan and Anna with 28, Erin and Maks with 26.

Judges say...26 to Erin and Maks, 28 to Evan and Anna, 30 to Nicole and Derek. 

Here's the leader board after the favorite dance round:

85 Nicole and Derek
81 Erin and Maks
80 Evan and Anna

The viewer votes will be factored into those scores, and one pair will finish 3rd.  But before that, the first three eliminated celebrities return to the ballroom.  After a video retrospective of the first three weeks, Shannen Doherty and Mark Ballas, Aiden Turner and Edyta Sliwinska, and Buzz Aldrin and Ashly Costa get to dance.

Here's another video review of the season, followed by a performance by Jake Pavelka and Chelsie Hightower.  Bonus...Jake's fiance gets to dance with Dmitry.  She's pretty good.  Now everybody say Awwwww as Jake and his Lady finish off the dance together.  Sweet!

Results..oh boy.  Erin Andrews and Maksim Chmerkovskiy finish in third place.  I'm glad the producers left the drama out of the rehearsal footage on Monday so that I could just enjoy her dancing.  They get to perform the Cha Cha Cha they would have danced if they had made the final two.  HA!  Their song is Relax Max.  They had a lot of fun with it.

Now it's down to Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough with 85 points vs Evan Lysacek and Anna Trebunskaya with 80 points.  That's a pretty significant gap.  But there is one dance left, designed specifically to please the judges.  It could still be anyone's trophy.

Before we get to that final competition, we get to see the college dance championship.  It's Purdue vs Utah Valley.

Purdue University dances Cha Cha Cha.  I like their performance energy.  But the dang camera shots aren't pulling back at the right times to see the formation changes, so I can't give you a real opinion of the full performance.  I enjoyed them.

Utah Valley University dances Samba.  This team commands the full floor.  And the choreography is so difficult.  It looked like they had way more pattern changes in their routine.  I think they were better.

I have to give that to UVU.  I enjoyed Purdue, but UVU stepped it up.  Judges say the winner is Utah Valley University!  And they get a Fabulous Mirror Ball trophy to take back to school.  

We're due for another video retrospective of the season, but what we get is a segment all about Kate Gosselin.  I could have done without that.  She said at one point during rehearsal footage...yes, they gave us more rehearsal footage of her whining to Tony Dovolani...that she was afraid she was going to look dumb.  Well my dear, why even show up if you feel that way?

Shake it off, shake it off...not gonna let that few minutes define the night.  Shake it off.

This is the rehearsal footage I wanted to see!  Nicole and Derek are going to dance Jive, while Evan and Anna are going to dance Quickstep.  Yup...Nicole with the energy and Evan with the precision.  The professional singer, dancer, and all around entertainer vs the lyrical artist Olympic champion.  They are both hyper competitive.  This is going to be good.

But first, it's Sexy Bits and Jiggly Bits back in the ballroom!  It's Pamela Anderson descending from the ceiling to entice Tony and Dmitry before settling into a sizzling dance with Damian Whitewood.  And now here comes Niecy Nash shaking it with Louis van Amstel and the boys.  Hehehehehe!  That's a couple of Hot Mamas right there.  Pamela says she misses the paddles and Niecy says she feels like a weave on a stick.  Bwahahahahahahaaaa!

Here we go now.  Nicole and Derek hit us with a Jive to Proud Mary.  Kick it up now.  High energy.  Sharp and quick flick kicks.  Controlled spins and turns.  That was about 60 seconds of Go Baby Go!  Nicole is so good that Derek can just let loose and dance, and I love to watch that kid dance.  I really enjoyed that performance.  Judges say 10's across for a total of 30.  Of course it was.

Now it's Evan and Anna trying to top that with a Quickstep.  Smart move to go with a ballroom style, since Evan's strength all season has been his technical precision and artistic focus.  I love how he has developed into such a strong lead.  His no nonsense approach to training and rehearsal allowed them to develop a real partnership.  That dance was fun.  His posture and frame were excellent, and he performed with great class, sophistication, and charm.  Their dancing made me smile.  Judges say 10,9,9 for a total of 28. 

Here's the final leader board:

115 Nicole and Derek
108 Evan and Anna

Those scores count for half, while viewer votes make up the rest.  Well, we know that the judges think the winner should be Nicole.  What say the viewers?

The champions of Season 10 are...Nicole and Derek!

That's it.  It's all over until September, when the fall season premiers.  Can I just say one thing?

Please please please please ask Valerie Bertinelli to be on Season 11!!!!! 
Phoenix rode 53 points from its bench, including a mega 3-point shooting explosion, to beat my Lakers again on its home floor.  That bench proved why it was considered the edge for the Suns against LA.  Even Kobe's 38 points and 10 assists couldn't overcome it.  So now the series heads back to southern California all tied up at 2 games each.

Now all Phoenix has to do is maintain the level of intensity and effort it was able to generate in front of its home fans against a Laker team that is headed home pissed off that it missed an opportunity to steal a game.

But the reality is that both teams have simply done what they were supposed to.  And if that pattern holds, LA has the home court advantage still.  We'll find out if they can capitalize on it Thursday.


  1. Akelamalu says:

    The freestyle was amazing, such a shame about the small mistake at the end.

  1. Dianne says:

    fantastic show!!
    great night
    Nicole was so overcome at winning and I think Dereck really deserved it - he is an exceptional choreographer

    Erin was gracious and touching at the end - I really like her and I think she came the closest since Mel B to taming Max

    thank you Trav for these wonderful recaps - I look forward to them every week and you never disappoint

  1. I don't think there was much doubt about the outcome last night. The only question, most of the season, was just how far could Derek push Niclole with difficult work. They were a joy to watch.
    I did like Erin though....she's got legges!!!!

  1. Watched the finale of Lost, then the finale of 24...then the finale of DWTS last night (all alone with Nancy traveling, I just vegged)..

    Nicole is one heck of a know I would have preferred to see Evan win as I think the show is more about stars like him (or should be)...but Derek definitely deserved to win this year also...

    Overall a grand season and a terrific set of recaps from you Sir.


  1. And the Winner is. I heard they chose last night.

  1. Jamie says:

    This was the best season of the show ever, and as always your made it particularly worthwhile with the commentary.

  1. Anonymous says:

    I can't belive I fell asleep before the last two dances!!! I've been fighting a cold for over a week and it got the best of me. I knew I could come here to get the recap! Thanks Trav. I was still pulling for Evan - for no other reason than he graduated from the same high school as my nephew - the same class. Aside from the dancing, I was impressed with his demeanor during practice and the way he expressed himself verbally. I don't recall any footage of temper tantrums. I like that kind of character.

  1. Linda says:

    As always, kudos to you for a marvelous job at the recaps! They should seriously put you on the payroll at DWTS.

  1. TopChamp says:

    Love that freestyle! The others were good too... but the freestyle was loads of fun.

  1. Ivanhoe says:

    I must admit I watched just bits and pieces, but the top three were all deserved. Congrats to Nicole & Derek! :)

  1. Akelamalu: I still think that little mistake helped more than it hurt.

    Dianne: I agree about Derek's choreography. So many people picked on him for being a "show off" this season. But what we saw was a dancer/teacher who felt confident and comfortable designing difficult dances and just going out and performing them with his partner. That's how I sum up Nicole and Derek this season.

    Driller: I really did believe anything was possible. The "best" dancer sometimes comes up short. But I'm pleased by the outcome. LEGGSES! Cat Deeley returns on Thursday!

    V: But at least you had some entertainment while your were veggin'. And I really enjoyed doing the recaps this season.

    Charles: Yup yup yup!

    Jamie: It was certainly one of my favorite seasons. And I think this 2-night finale was one of the top 3. I can't count it as best though, because there just wasn't enough of our pros dancing.

    GGG: Oh no! Evan is definitely in impressive competitor.

    Linda: Just doing what I enjoy, but thanks!

    TC: Agreed!

    Ivanhoe: This top 3 was definitely among the best.