Last night, “Dancing With the Stars” crowned its new champions, Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough. The finale also featured performances by the pros, troupe members, and fan favorite contestants. Other performers included Wynonna Judd, Psy, Pitbull, and Jessica Sanchez. Last night’s finale provided a satisfying end to the season.
Wynonna sang “I Want to Know What Loves Is.” She is such a powerful and charismatic performer–when she’s not moving her body. Poor Tony Dovolani!
Psy performed the new hit “Gentleman.” Given how poorly Jenna Ushkowitz is treated on “Glee,” watch this be her only solo on season 5.
In Other News…
Andy Dick wins the Mirror Ball! Well, not really, but we were still thrilled to see him and Sharna Burgess perform at the finale.
In a Queen of Hearts-themed jazz routine, Andy yelled “off with your head!” We have to wonder if that was obliquely directed at Carrie Ann Inaba. In the rehearsal footage, Andy yelled, “Carrie Ann gave us a 5! That b.!” You’re the only one–I’m still mad at Carrie Ann for that one!
Other performances included a girl power performance by the three female finalists, a foxtrot by Lisa Vanderpump, Gleb Savchenko, and Len Goodman, and a Viennese waltz with Dorothy Hamill, Henry Byalikov, Kristi Yamaguchi, and a guy that Tom Bergeron didn’t even acknowledge. (Really?)
Aly Finishes Off The Podium
When combining the judges’ scores with the viewers’ votes, Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas finished 4th. This was a bit surprising since Aly had a comfortable lead over Jacoby in the points. She was also a technically stronger dancer who had delivered a spectacular freestyle.
Should Aly have finished higher than Jacoby? Probably. Thankfully, this is not the Olympics. In a season where there were 4 finalists, the difference between 4th and 3rd is less critical. They both went home without medals.
Karina Is a “Pusher”
For the Instant Dance, Jacoby and Karina performed the salsa, set to the music of Marc Anthony. Although he had a rough Monday night, he was able to finish on a high note with that salsa. The performance was fluid, fun, and spicy. He and Karina earned a 30, bringing their week’s total to 86.
Jacoby ended up in third place. After he was eliminated, he thanked his partner and joked that he’d “never had a woman push me like she did.” Ms. Norbury (Tina Fey) from “Mean Girls” would be proud.
Kellie Channels Julianne Hough
For the Instant Dance, Kellie and Derek performed the jive to perfection. They earned a perfect score of 30, bringing their week’s total to 94.
Kellie and Derek really look and act like brother and sister, so it’s not surprising that Bruno Tonioli said that she reminded him of Julianne Hough. He praised their accuracy, precision, and the way they play off each other in their performances. Carrie Ann called them the Wonder Twins.
Should Derek Return Next Season?
I came into this season very much in the anti-Derek camp, but he did win me over this time around. The backlash against Derek has nothing to do with his talent or his artistry, but rather the internal politics of the show and how he always seems to get the best dance partners. It’s hard to root for a guy who’s never been the underdog.
Derek has hinted about wanting to take a break from the show, and I think it would be a wise career move. He’s always trying to challenge himself and to grow in his art (his “Defying Gravity” routine is one example). Since he’s already hit the proverbial glass ceiling on “Dancing,” it might be time for him to take on some newer and bigger projects outside the show.
When you’ve been doing the same thing for so many seasons, it’s easy to feel stuck (and that could explain why he seemed so frustrated during the All-Stars season). He might have a little more creative freedom on a show like “So You Think You Can Dance.”
Zendaya Teaches Val to “Dream Bigger Again”
For the Instant Dance, Zendaya and Val Chmerkovskiy performed the jive. Carrie Ann praised her unique “magical” quality. Len praised her maturity and character in her movement, and Bruno called her a pitch perfect performer. Zendaya and Val earned a perfect 30, bringing their week’s total to 95, the maximum possible score.
After their last performance, Brooke asked Val if Zendaya taught him anything this season. He talked about age can take away from ambitions and cause you to become a little jaded and slowed down. But her youthful enthusiasm inspired him to dream a little bigger again.
I wonder what Kelly Monaco and her “trust issues” would have to say about that!
Despite earning perfect scores both nights, the Mirror Ball Trophy went to Kellie and Derek. I was kind of rooting for Zendaya and Val, but Kellie and Derek were worthy winners. And given the mysterious problems with the voting at ABC.com, the viewer fallout would have been ugly if the Disney Channel star had won.
Overall, this was a satisfying way to end season 16. Hopefully next season, Maksim Chmerkovskiy will be back. This long-suffering pro deserves at least one Mirror Ball trophy.
More From This Contributor:
Kellie Pickler Bares Her Soul While Zendaya Inspires Kids On ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Finale
The Wanted Can’t Change Predictable Outcome Of ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Results Show
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