Cue that theme music...

Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2010 by Travis Cody in

It's the performance finale, live from Hollywood!

We're there.  Tomorrow night...technically tonight because the performances were actually last night and so today is actually results day and I'll post that recap it?  Me neither.  

Regardless of correct tense, we're going to find out who will dance away with that Fabulous Mirror Ball trophy.  But first, our final three couples will have to dance for scores and votes.

Our finalists face two dances.  One is a redemption dance that the judges thought should have been better than it was originally performed.  The judges will visit each pair in rehearsal to give them pointers on how to improve the performance.  Of course the second routine is the anything goes free dance.

Kyle and Lacey redeem their Foxtrot.  The first performance of this dance was a bit silly and out of control, relying almost completely on Kyle's charm.  Len visits rehearsal, helping with Kyle's lines, posture, and footwork.  This choreography is more traditional.  He looks good with this dance.  The performance is controlled, with an elegance and sophistication.  He also looks light on his feet, and very confident.  I really enjoyed that.  His technique was the best it's been all season.  That was pretty complete and quite impressive.  You could tell he paid attention and worked hard at his feet.  I really liked that he embraced the full performance, incorporating his charm without letting it overpower the subtleties of the style.  Well done.  Judges say 9's across for a total of 27.

Bristol and Mark redeem their Jive.  The earlier dance relied on gorilla suits to open the routine, but Bristol missed so many steps that the gimmick ended up looking like a desperate attempt to hide her poor ability.  Fortunately, they ditched the costumes for this retry.  Bruno visits rehearsal to help her with performance.  She didn't forget her steps this time.  I thought she looked like she enjoyed the dance.  She let her personality shine more than she has in the past.  But I wanted to see more bounce and precision in her kicks.  I didn't really see enough Jive in that Jive.  I wanted more fast spins and flick kicks.  It was a good dance.  She didn't make any major mistakes, but she didn't wow me either.  Judges say  9's across for a total of 27.

Jennifer and Derek redeem their Paso Doble.  I thought the first performance was solid, right up to the point where Jennifer lost her balance at the end of the dance.  I thought the judges were overly harsh with their criticism then.  Carrie Ann visits rehearsal to help with shapes, presentation, and dynamic but controlled movement.  This time they went much more classic with the choreography.  The music was also much more evocative of classic Paso, so Jennifer's musicality was much better.  The dancing was amazing!  They owned the floor.  The dance was aggressive and passionate, strong and fierce.  It was full and flowing, really exploring the drama in the style.  Len gave it a standing ovation.  I think Jennifer overcame her mid-season struggles, and came to an understanding that she could do the dances while still respecting her physical limitations, and make each performance rise above them.  Judges say 10's across for a total of 30. 

Here's our leader board after the first round:

30 Jennifer and Derek
27 Kyle and Lacey
27 Bristol and Mark

And now it's free style, and anything goes.

Kyle and Lacey go for a hip hop free style.  The dance certainly had high energy.  And it had just about every type of basic old school hip hop step you can name, performed pretty well.  Yes!  They added in a bit of Samba in there.  The problem I have with a hip hop routine is that it ends up being just a series of moves that aren't smoothly connected.  That's OK, but it always disappoints me a little in this competition because I want to see more ballroom and Latin steps incorporated in the free style.  But this round is about doing what makes the celebrity comfortable, and what they can really get into and make into a dynamic performance.  Kyle and Lacey put on a fun show.  Well done.  Judges say 10,9,10 for a total of 29.

Bristol and Mark go for a more theatrical free style, with music from the Broadway show Chicago.  I think this is a smart move by Mark to focus on the Tango steps in his choreography, because I don't think Bristol is up to dancing in true Fosse style.  She just isn't going to carry a dance with performance alone.  She needs the structure of ballroom to lean on.  But having said that, the dancing part actually stopped about half way through the choreography.  It turned into some running and then some stuff with a long silk.  That's the performance part that she struggles with.  If I'm being honest, I didn't expect her to be able to pull off a free style dance.  But she did OK.  Judges say 8,9,8 for a total of 25.

Jennifer and Derek embrace the iconic style from Dirty Dancing for their free style.  And why not?  The best thing about doing that is that it does make use of so much of the ballroom and Latin steps and movements.  And we loved it!  Jennifer was able to manage the flying tricks that Derek wanted her to do, but also to stay safe while doing them.  That's why nobody puts Baby in a corner!  She went for it and she nailed it.  The dance had high energy.  It was flamboyant, dynamic, well presented and well performed.  And they kept control of it.  Sweet!  Judges say 10's across for a total of 30.

Here's our combined leader board:

60 Jennifer and Derek
56 Kyle and Lacey
52 Bristol and Mark

We had 5 votes per phone and 4 cell phones.  So all 20 went to Jennifer and Derek.  We want them to win, but at this point I still think it's anybody's game.  There's no telling what is going to happen with viewer votes.

But wait...there are two more dances to come to complete the scores from the judges and to combine with viewer votes.  Then we'll find out who dances away with our Fabulous Mirror Ball trophy.

So tune in tonight for the grand finale, always full of frivolous filler!

Later gang!


  1. Anonymous says:

    Darn, I was hoping they chose the winner last night!

  1. Honestly, I was not impressed with Bristol on either dance. She appeared to be wearing concrete shoes in the jive...her feet were so slow. The free style was just a little strange. Her lack of musicality is evident throughout. It is often so obvious that she is counting steps, because she looks like she is marching instead of dancing.
    Kyle was probably the most fun to watch, but it will be Jennifer for the win. Derek is too good of a choreographer and Jennifer is too good of a student to let this one slip away.

  1. I totally missed this, but I DID manage to watch most of Skating with the Stars, if you can believe that. Thanks for the recap. Superb as usual. :) Let's hope the viewers reward the superior dancer this time.

  1. Coco says:

    Now I'm confused ... was the finale last night or tonight? It sounds like it might be fun to watch, actually .. even if I haven't watched the show since the first season. Thanks for the update - you make it sound so interesting.

  1. Jamie says:

    Jennifer was wonderful. Really disliked Bristol's repeated "haters" remarks. Sounds like mama is dishing out some unreality. Bristol was still stiff in her movements but deserved the credit for her improvement. Can't help but wonder where all her insecurities came from.

    I couldn't vote for Jennifer because of the darn snow and no computer access..... Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!

  1. Lois: Nope! Have to wait until tonight!

    Driller: I do give her credit for improving, but I agree with you that it hasn't been enough to overcome her basic lack of musicality. Even though her footwork can be precise in the slower dances, when the music goes up tempo it's clear that she just isn't able to keep up.

    Songbird: One never knows about the viewers, but there are still two more scores due from the judges that could make the difference.

    Coco: The performance finale was last night. Then tonight there are two more dances for scores. Then we find out the winner.

    Jamie: I do wish Bristol had taken this week to try and be more positive. It did turn me off a little, because all season I've been focusing on the dancing and leaving her family name out of it. Rats about the snow! We only got a couple of inches, but it stuck.

  1. nelson says:

    I wish the finale will be aired the same time here in Dubai... but hei, thanks for the recap!