At long, long last, here we are: The final performance show of this season of Dancing With the Stars.
Tonight the final three will do a "cha-cha faceoff" as well as each perform a freestyle dance.
The cha-cha faceoff is first, with all three couples dancing back-to-back during the song "Dancing on the Ceiling."
Cristian de la Fuente and Cheryl Burke are the first couple on the floor, and they have a lot of hip-shaking and bare-chest action (his). Then, Jason Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska come out, and they've got all sorts of tricksy moves and body rolls. Lastly, Kristi Yamaguchi and Mark Ballas hit the floor, and their routine has a boatload of spins and an amazing amount of energy. The routine ends with Jason and Cristian lifting Kristi up over their heads, which is pretty impressive since they are so tall.
Len Goodman says at his age, it takes a lot to get him excited, but this did it. He says Cristian has great hips and rhythm, and that Jason has a grace about him and style, but he doesn't think Latin is his big thing. He says Kristi was the "complete package." Bruno Tonioli says Cristian "banged like the best" and that he's shown so much improvement. He says Jason's timing was a tad off, but he was still great and athletic. But then he adds that Kristi was in a master class all her own. Carrie Ann Inaba says it was really interesting watching them back to back. She says she thought Cristian was fantastic but that his injury seems to be messing up his posture a bit. She agrees that she feels bad that Jason had this dance since it's his weakest dance, but he still did a good job. She closes saying that Kristi won that, "hands down."
Cristian and Cheryl's scores: 8-9-9, for a 26/30.
Jason and Edyta's scores: 8-8-8, for a 24/30.
Kristi and Mark's scores: 10-10-10, for a 30/30.
Kristi and Mark prepare for the freestyle. When they come out on stage, Kristi is wearing PJs and Mark has on this bizarre bathrobe and fake-abs T-shirt. They rip off these clothes to reveal pinstriped sequined outfits and Converse sneakers. They are all over the place in terms of styles and choreography and have a ton of energy. They pull off a bunch of lifts, and Kristi even boosts Mark for a backflip. It's a little manic, but a blast to watch. Bruno says it was an inspiring match of mambo and hip-hop and that it was "worthy of the championship." Carrie Ann says she was the big crowd-pleaser. "Loved it!" Len says he isn't a lover of hip-hop when it's in a Latin dance, but this held his attention from start to finish, and that he absolutely loved it. Scores: 10-10-10, for a(nother) 30/30 and a total 60/60.
Jason and Edyta aim to have a ton of tricks in their routine, but during practice, Edyta gets dropped a lot. They perform to "Welcome to Miami" (of course). Edyta starts in a pretty sundress and hat, but Jason rips off her dress to reveal a tiny outfit. Their performance is pretty much straight hip-hop with lots of tricks. It's fun, but doesn't nearly have the finesse or range of Kristi and Mark's. And to keep the percentage of people who have their clothes ripped off during the freestyle round at 100 percent, Edyta removes Jason's tank top as the final flourish of their dance. Carrie Ann tells Edyta she's so glad to see her in the finals. She says, "Who knew, Jason Taylor can get funky!" Len says he loved the humor and the lifts and that he could see them together at the beach, Jason in his Speedo, "me in my thong!" Bruno speaks for all viewers when he says, "I'm not going to have dinner tonight!" Bruno says it was like "watching centerfolds, and the dance wasn't bad, either." Scores: 9-9-9, for a 27/30 and a total 51/60.
Cristian and Cheryl are last, with a Latin-themed performance featuring a lot of hip-shaking and an amazing number of one-armed lifts and tricks. But no clothes were ripped off in the making of this performance. Len says he loved the Latin flavor and that he has to take into consideration that the other two had amazing lifts and some of theirs weren't up to par (which he of course has to mention, regardless of the injury since everyone is being judged by the same standards). Bruno says he hasn't seen so much shaking in L.A. since the Northridge earthquake. (Incidentally, this seems like a bad time to make earthquake jokes, but maybe that's just me.) He calls Cristian a Latin stallion. Carrie Ann says that this is all about seeing who leaves it all on the floor and that while they might not have compared to Kristi's performance, Crisitian is a winner in so many ways. Scores: 9-8-9, for a 26/30 and 52/60.
So I think it's unanimous that Kristi took that -- finally a 60/60, and both performances were a total blast.
Who do you think deserves to win? And who do you think will win?