We've waited weeks and suffered through countless awkward Samantha Harris interviews to get here. Who will win the "Dancing with the Stars" Mirror Ball Trophy?
How painful will the next two hours be? Will The Guttes dance his encore with Anna or Jonathan? Let the filler-fest begin!
Viewing the recap of Monday night's show, I really do appreciate how well the finalists did. All three brought great characters to their freestyles and they all did the best they could do. It would be interesting if Jason and Cristian were on a season without someone as dominant as Kristi.
Ah ... Usher's first performance. He's doing his song "In This Club." I found it to be a little ... flat. Well, at least the first half. It seemed like all those dancers didn't really do much until the last part of the song.
Afterwards, we learn who came in third place -- it's Cristian & Cheryl. Interesting, but I can totally see why. Jason's never been in the Bottom Two that we know of and it's possible that Cheryl's having already won twice may have hurt Cristian a little more than help. So, they get a 40-minute farewell tape (with an inset of the two sadly watching, Cheryl tearing up) and one last dance -- their Paso Doble.
More filler with a video montage of the season (in chunks of two or three weeks at a time) before the reintroduction of each of this season's stars in elimination order. Penn Jillette & Kym Johnson return with their Cha Cha first, then Monica Seles & Jonathan Roberts. Request to the producers: Can Jonathan have a partner with a little more ... natural aptitude next season? I know he's the Dance Whisperer and all that, but come on. Steve Guttenberg & Anna Trebunskaya return with their Tango. Tom asked if there was anything negative that came from his time on the show. Steve's responded that he says "wow" way less. Viva le Guttes! Adam Corolla & Julianne Hough also perform a Tango (the one on the unicycle) before going to commercial.
After the break, we get a recap of the Junior Champion segment from last week before Samantha announces the winners -- Brandon & Britney. Brandon mentioned he'd want to be paired up with a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader in the clip, so he's doubly happy when the trophy is brought out by three of said cheerleaders. Tom Bergeron, in reaction to his reaction, states, "That's right ... someone just grew up a little more today."
Back to the montages and encore performances. Priscilla Presley & Louis van Amstel perform. Is everyone doing a Tango?
Oh goodie, more filler! It's a tongue-in-cheek salute to Cristian and Jason's "bro-mance" to the tune of "Just The Two of Us" and full of fuzzy lighting. Tom tells Cristian that originally they were going to wait to show that at the wrap party but they couldn't help themselves.
Next Marlee Matlin & Fabian Sanchez perform the Mambo. That was better than the first time -- she seemed way less out of sorts. I'm sure not having the prospect of elimination looming over one's head helps. Shannon Elizabeth & Derek Hough do their Quickstep. Post-performance and winded, Shannon wraps herself around Tom like a koala on a eucalyptus limb, much to everyone's surprise. Mario & Karina Smirnoff get their Mambo on next and it's great. And Marissa Jaret Winokur & Tony Dovolani finish it up with the Paso Doble.
Well, all that killed about an hour.
Even more filler! It's a "Jason vs. Kristi" examination segment. The best part of it was the two of them "staring each other down." It was like Frodo standing next to Aragorn.
Usher returns with an odd, jazzy version of his single "Yeah." Karina is dancing with Usher. Also dancing is Derek, Julianne or Kym (couldn't tell which one as there was no clear shot of her face), Cheryl, and "So You Think You Can Dance" alum Artem. There was also a lot of tap dancing a la the legendary Nicholas Brothers, which was very cool. It was enjoyable -- I liked it way better then the first number, though I expected there to be more partner work with Usher.
Now, the final scored performances of our potential champions.
Kristi & Mark
Dance/Song: Jive - "Rip It Up" by Little Richard
During their "Journey Package," we see how out of sorts Kristi was in her first rehearsal with Mark. She also says that she's hooked on dancing now. It's a little risky to do a dance that's already received a perfect score, but I think she had so much fun the first time through, she wanted to do it again. Kristi's heel got caught in her skirt momentarily but she recovered well. It was full of energy and both Kristi and Mark looked like they were having a blast. Afterwards, she gets a little choked up during the interview with Samantha.
Judges: They were totally complimentary, as you'd expect.
Score: 30 (10-10-10) - I think this is the first perfect total score for a finalist
2. Jason & Edyta
Dance/Song: Quickstep - "The Dirty Boogie" by The Brian Setzer Orchestra
Jason says Edyta is the best coach he's ever had, adding that it may be because she's the best looking out of them all. He talks about how he was afraid of dancing but he thinks he's finally conquered it. Much like the first time they performed this number, Jason threw the judges' papers in the air and then picked them up after they finished. It was their best routine overall the first time and it had an extra touch of fun this time through.
Judges: They all showed the love with Len adding that Jason is "the people's champion." Thank you for that because that makes images of Dwayne Johnson pop in my head.
Score: 30 (10-10-10)
To kill a little more time, Tom talks to Priscilla, Mario and Shannon. Shannon's been tearing up and says she's terrible at weddings. Marlee fake cries to mess with her. Yet another reason to love Marlee Matlin.
A brief aside: a commercial for the Brendan Fraser film "Journey to the Center of the Earth" came on. It's in 3D. For some reason I totally want to see it. Maybe because I have a soft spot for IMAX movies?
And, after more filler than in the world's largest Twinkie, our winner is...
Kristi & Mark! YAY!