Cue that theme music!

Posted: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 by Travis Cody in

We will go on with frivolity, keeping the victims of the tornadoes in our thoughts.

It's the final performance show, live from Hollywood!

Yes indeed.  Welcome to part 1 of the amazing-incredible-sensational-double-step-over-lip-lock-two-night finale of Dancing with the Stars!

That might be over the top.  In fact, it is over the top.  But I can be over the top.  This is my thing. 

Let's see.  It's three routines tonight for our Final Four, including a judges' selection, a Cha Cha Cha relay, and a super freestyle where there are no rules and the pairs get to add dancers and props and all kinds of goodies to amp up the performance if they choose.

It's anybody's Mirror Ball, gang.  So let's get started!

Our pros and Troope get us off to a hot start, choreographed by Sasha and Emma.

First round is a judges' pick that they think will show off the celebrities' strengths to best effect.

The judges select Jive for Jacoby and Karina.  Len teaches a quick master class in footwork during rehearsal.  Jive is a good choice here because although technique is important, it is also a showman's dance and that is what Jacoby is.  And you know I love a good Jive.  The first time he danced Jive it was out of control and totally wild.  This time he's got everything under control.  He's got style and swag.  He's leading Karina through it.  The side by side kicks and flicks are well synchronized.  That was smooth gang.  Real smooth.  I thought his footwork was crisp.  I enjoyed the performance.  Judges say 9s across for a total of 27.  That's for turned in toes...they were still there.

The judges select Samba for Aly and Mark.  Bruno comes to rehearsal and suggests they put Samba rolls in the routine, which can be great if you do them properly but are definitely a risk.  I love the bounce right off the top.  She's got great hips, very relaxed.  I think she has come so far in this competition.  And she did a credible job on the Samba roll.  I think she has hit every element.  The choreography had a ton of content and was very difficult.  They transitioned smoothly from movement to movement.  She took on all criticism, made everything clean, and emphasized all those little details that turn a dance routine into a great performance.  That dance had style and a lot of sexy sass.  Loved it.  Judges say 9,9,10 for a total of 28.

The judges select Quickstep for Kellie and Derek.  They got 29 the first time they did this dance because Carrie Ann picked on a smidgeon of space in their hold.  Len teaches a master class about knobbly bits that shouldn't pull apart.  I love Kellie's personality in this piece.  I didn't think they could get better at performing Quickstep.  But they did.  That had sophistication and flair and style and so much difficult choreography performed to perfection in my opinion.  I loved how they changed tempo and rhythm.  I loved their lines.  I loved her expressions throughout.  And their spacing was outstanding...knobbly bits stuck right together as required.  Judges say 10s across for a total of 30.  Yup yup yup!

The judges select Samba for Zendaya and Val.  Zendaya elbowed Val above his right eye during dress rehearsal.  He took some stitches.  Carrie Ann comes to rehearsal to emphasize the balance between technique, Samba flavor, and "Zendaya's thing".  I like that they chose red for her costume this time.  Red feels Latin and it immediately emphasized the bounce they had at the beginning of the routine.  I think she did a great job this time of not releasing her back, which is a hip hop instinct she had to overcome.  I thought she kept within the Samba frame.  I didn't see any balance issues.  There was so much classic content in the choreography.  I really enjoyed that performance.  It was cool and smooth  Judges say 10s across for a total of 30.  Bruno!  Let's just not use the word "sexy" about a 16 year old, OK?

Here's our leader board after round one:

30 Kellie and Derek
30 Zendaya and Val
28 Aly and Mark
27 Jacoby and Karina

It's close, like I said.  Next round could change things up too.  It's a Cha Cha Cha relay and the couples will get points for how the judges rank them, fourth to first.  It's 5 points down to 2.

They dance to the same music, one after the other, for about 40 seconds each.  Kellie and Derek are first - LEGSSES and ssexy hip swivelsses.  Jacoby and Karina are next - cool and smooth.  Ally and Mark are next - very cheeky, just like Cha Cha Cha should be.  Zendaya and Val are last - nice carry over from that great Samba they just did.

Judges say - 2 points to Jacoby and Karina; 3 points to Aly and Mark; 4 points to Kellie and Derek; 5 points to Zendaya and Val. 

Here's our updated leader board after two rounds:

35 Zendaya and Val
34 Kellie and Derek
31 Aly and Mark
29 Jacoby and Karina

Now it's the super freestyle!  It really is a matter of choice.  The pros can overdo it with lifts and tricks and props and extra dancers.  Or they can underdo it by stripping down too far and not doing enough content to really stand out amongst all the bells and whistles.

Jacoby and Karina are first and they are going all out with a huge tribute to New Orleans and to Baltimore.  They've got all kinds of extra dancers.  They've got snare drummers.  Jacoby and Karina's main dance is a mosh of hip hop steps with some Latin flavor to it.  They make good use of his strength with a couple of lifts in the middle.  Then we've got some kid tap-steppers.  I can see what they tried to do.  They definitely went all out.  But I thought it was kind of haphazard and the main guy...Jacoby himself...really didn't seem featured, which I thought was supposed to be the point.  I think there was just too much distraction.  It was entertaining, but I thought this was a case where there was just too much going on and there wasn't enough focus on Jacoby and Karina.  Judges say 9s across for a total of 27.

Aly and Mark are next and they have decided to use her gymnastics ability to craft this routine, incorporated with everything she has learned about dance this season.  That seems a sound strategy.  They have added quite a bit of height to the choreography, which is always a risk.  I like the Jazz flavor.  She lost a little bit of balance coming down from one of the lifts.  I like the overall concept of the piece, although when they went up on the high stage with the poles, it seemed like they lost a little bit of momentum.  But the really cool thing they did was to work on those poles in perfect synchronicity.  The routine was definitely different and I appreciated it for that.  It took so much strength to climb those poles and they made it look effortless.  Judges say 10s across for a total of 30.  I can't agree with that because of the balance issues on the lifts and turns before they moved onto the high stage.

Kellie and Derek did decide to strip down on the extra dancers and production value to focus on Kellie's strong technique and her flexibility.  Derek has decided that super size means actually intimate and powerful dancing.  The choreography is very lyrical and very emotive.  This is always a risk.  But her lines and extensions are so amazing, and Derek is such a brilliant choreographer.  I think this is a fantastic choice.  Wow.  The shapes they made in some of the poses were stunning.  They looked like two professional dancers.  They moved seamlessly together.  The dance had such an elegant flow to it.  Absolutely mesmerizing and exactly what I wanted to see from this pair at the end of the season.  Perfectly gripping in contemporary dance.  They told a story of trust.  Well done.  Judges say 10s across for a total of 30.

Zendaya and Val close the show with some Cha Cha Cha and some contemporary, and some hip hop with a bunch of hip hop kids.  I love the idea.  It's youthful and energetic and is all Zendaya.  I liked the performance.  I think it was a well told story of her journey in three acts.  It started with a high energy Cha Cha Cha and I thought that was reasonably well danced.  I didn't think it had the crispness of some of her earlier work.  Then there was the dreamy contemporary bridge, which I thought bordered on silly.  But they managed to roll it seamlessly into a great hip hop with all those terrific kids.  And they dedicated the routine to kids and their parents, which is a great message.  That works for me.  Judges say 10s across for a total of 30.

Here's our updated leader board after three rounds:

65 Zendaya and Val
64 Kellie and Derek
61 Aly and Mark
56 Jacoby and Karina

There we go.  There is one more dance for'll be an instant dance.  Each couple will have an hour to prepare to a style and music chosen on the spot.

We decided that we would vote solely on the performances this time.  It was close between Aly, Zendaya, and Kellie, but in the end we went with Kellie and Derek.  They pulled us in with that amazing Quickstep and the phenomenal freestyle.

So tune in tonight for the finale and don't forget to check back here tomorrow for my last set of encores and results recap.  It's been a great season.

Later gang!


  1. Cherie says:

    Kellie and Derek's freestyle was my favorite. I was intrigued by Aly and Mark's freestyle. It was a colorful futuristic theme. Often it's all silver and mechanical. This certainly wasn't that. For once I think Aly out danced Mark and baubles seemed to be more on his side. That's why I could support 10's. But Zendaya's been my girl all season, so loyalty won out. I thought she executed well and earned her scores. :) I could be very happy if Kellie or Zendaya wins. We'll know for sure tonight. :)

  1. Anonymous says:

    I have to agree with you and the way you voted. Kellie has been such a pleasant surprise. Her freestyle was so very beautiful. So . . . we shall see tonight, eh? GGG