Cue that theme music...

Posted: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 by Travis Cody in

It's The Finale, live from Hollywood!

We made it!  The Season 12 champion is about to dance away with the Fabulous Mirror Ball Trophy.  We've been sitting here enjoying our traditional Finale Feast of cheese and crackers, a nice merlot, and CAKE while we decide on our encore selections from Monday's performances.

Although we enjoyed elements of each freestyle performance, we actually preferred the first round dances from each couple, so those are our encore selections.

The Samba from Kirstie and Maks was relaxed, smooth, and sensual.  Click here if the video doesn't play.

The Quickstep from Hines and Kym was danced extremely well, but we thought it all pulled together based on personality.  Click here if the video doesn't play.

The Samba from Chelsea and Mark was our dance of the night, and we thought it was perfect.  Click here if the video doesn't play.

Here's how our couples ended up after two dances on Monday:

59 Chelsea and Mark
59 Hines and Kym
54 Kirstie and Maks

Each pair gets one more dance for scores during the finale, so let's get to it!

Let's kick it off with our pros!  You know how much I love to watch our pros.

The Black Eyed Peas are in the ballroom.  I'm not a fan.  But they won a Billboard Music Award and they have a new single, so they're here.  I found that performance more annoying than usual, but that's just one man's opinion.

Mike Catherwood returns to the ballroom for a Cha Cha Cha with our Dance Troupe, and then partner Lacey Schwimmer joins in on what turned out to be a pretty fun performance.  For a guy with no natural rhythm or performance background, I have to say he's a great sport.  That leads into a retrospective of the first three of weeks.

Petra Nemcova returns to perform her beautiful Waltz from week 3 with partner Dmitry Chaplin.  And Josh Grobin is live in the ballroom as a special surprise to sing You Raise Me Up.  I thought Petra went out a week or two early.  She was figuring out how to control her long frame and shape it into some lovely lines.

Kendra Wilkinson gets to dance with partner Louis van Amstel, and with Tony and Dmitry plus two of our fellas from the Dance Troupe.  I enjoyed her journey during the show.  She started off very awkward, somewhat crude, and with very little confidence.  Then she found her stride and ended her run with a strong Samba performance, which she showed off again here.  And that leads us to a another retrospective, including a review of Classical Week, which I thought was a hit.  I did not think America Week was something I'd like to see again, although there were a couple of good performances.  

Chris Jericho returns to the ballroom with partner Cheryl Burke, performing a dance battle with Sugar Ray Leonard and partner Anna Trebunskaya.  Ray was not a great technician or a particularly good dancer, but he was a fine entertainer.  Chris surprised me every week with how delicately he partnered Cheryl, and how light he was on his feet.  I thought Chris went out too soon.  Both celebrities performed very well here.

Wendy Williams returns, but instead of dancing she does an interview with herself and partner Tony Dovolani.  That was actually quite annoying.  I'm glad it didn't go on any longer. 

The Go-Gos provide the live music for our Macy's Design-A-Dance.  Maks, Lacey, Cheryl, and Chelsie perform a high energy Jive to We Got the Beat.  I am not embarrassed to say I love the band and this song.  LOL!  Maks is dressed as a cop and the gals are scantily clad.  Excellent!!

Romeo Miller returns with partner Chelsie Hightower, performing their wonderful Waltz.  I enjoyed this young man much more than I expected to.  He took on the challenge and showed a charm to balance out a swagger that could have been arrogant and off-putting.  That was a nice touch to have a children's chorus accompany them.

The next retrospective brings us to the point where the eliminations kept getting tougher and tougher because the dancing just got so good and so competitive.  And then the injuries started to hit, especially the horrible fall Kym Johnson took in rehearsal.  But everyone powered through and I think we ended up with a strong final three.

Ralph Macchio returns with partner Karina Smirnoff to perform their outstanding Quickstep.  I think if the Final Four rounds hadn't leaned so heavily on the Latin styles for him, he might have been able to steal a spot in the finale.  He was so good at the ballroom styles.  Exhibit #1 is this Quickstep.

Now that the Season 12 cast parade is over, we'll have our three final pairs dance what they consider to be their favorite routine of the season.  They'll get their final scores to be added to the leader board totals from Monday.

Chelsea and Mark dance their Viennese Waltz to Hedwig's Theme from Harry Potter, first performed in week 4.  I think the only thing they need to do with this dance is to emphasize the traditional movements without losing the ethereal magical quality in the choreography.  This is truly remarkable choreography and some of Mark's best work.  Chelsea was the perfect partner to bring this artistic vision to life.  Outstanding!  Judges say 10's across for a total of 30.  I had no doubt.

Kirstie and Maks dance their Cha Cha Cha from way back in week 1.  It was such a surprise to see her dance so well.  I never really know how any celebrity is going to react to this competition.  Kirstie made me forget that she was 60 years old and carrying extra weight.  That stuff didn't matter.  She danced like a woman half her age and size.  And after 10 weeks, she now is practically half the size she was.  I love her performance of the character.  And after 10 weeks of work on technique, she's dancing it so well.  You go girl!  That was terrific!  Judges say 10's across for a total of 30.  Excellent!

Hines and Kym dance their Samba from week 3.  The thing that impressed me about this dance was how smooth and relaxed Hines was.  He had the hips going like a pro.  He connected every movement from the last through the next.  He was a strong partner for Kym.  Damn this dance was so good the first time.  His charm and personality were so infectious.  This performance felt so natural.  He made it look like anyone could do it.  This time around it was all that times 10!  Judges say 10's across for a total of 30.

There was no doubt in my mind that the judges would make the scores as even as possible.  And at least tonight I can't really argue against any of the perfect scores.  I'm so glad that each pair performed so well.  I'm happy with any of them as the winner.

Here's the final leader board:

89 Chelsea and Mark
89 Hines and Kym
84 Kirstie and Maks

While the tabulators check the math one more time, Sara Evans is in the ballroom to perform her latest hit A Little Bit Stronger, accompanied by a video of moments from our Top 3 couples.

Here we go.  Results...

Chelsea and Mark finish third, reminding us that it's not always about "best".

Kirstie and Maks finish second, and that means...

Hines and Kym are Season 12 champions!! 

And now it's over...until 19 September 2011 for Season 13!!!

Hello?  Producers?  I'm still wishing and hoping for Ms Valerie to come dancing.

Pretty please??

Tune in this Thursday to see a different kind of dance competition when So You Think You Can Dance premiers!

And cue LEGSSES!!


Oh...I meant, and cue music!


  1. Anonymous says:

    Okay, I got sniffly with the live Josh Groban thingy. I thought that was a great surprise. Yea for Hines!

  1. Akelamalu says:

    Gosh Kirstie pulls some wierd faces when she's dancing doesn't she? :0

  1. I was kind hoping Kirstie would win

  1. Jamie says:

    Mild disappointment. I really like Hines, but when flipping the coin you know how you want it to land and I wanted Chelsea and Mark.

    Yes they should go get Ms. Valerie.

  1. GGG: That was a terrific surprise, wasn't it?

    Akelamalu: She also has a little snarl every so often.

    Charles: I kind of did too, but I'm pleased with this result.

    Jamie: I did like Chelsea and thought she was the best dancer, but as wonderful as Mark's choreography has been this season, there were times when his attitude really turned me off. I try never to let the pros impact my choice of celebrity favorite, but it was hard to overlook some things Mark did.

  1. I adored all three of the final contestants. I look at Chelsea and Mark and I see youth, and perfect dance steps.

    When I watch Kirstie and Max, I see great passion and I admire her so much for being totally real with herself.

    When I watch Hines and Kym, I see a man who has overcome so much in his life. I see the joy he has when he dances. I see a man that respects women and does not paw them like previous men on the show. I am so happy that they won. He is Mr. Sunshine.

    Travis, thank you for your candid coverage of DWTS. I loved every minute of it.

    I can't wait til tonight for SYTYCD. Two of my favs.

  1. If Miss Valerie comes a'dancin' you'll be a puddle of mush the whole season. What'll we do with ya?