Jacoby Jones entered tonight's "Dancing with the Stars" finale in fourth place. Bruno Tonioli reiterates the concern that Jacoby's freestyle, with its large-scale production, overshadowed Jacoby himself. Len Goodman, however, has nothing but kind things to say about Jacoby.
Host Tom Bergeron explains that because abc.com went down during the East Coast broadcast of last night's show, none of the votes cast through the ABC website were counted. The calls, texts and Facebook votes were the votes used to determine tonight's results.
With the four couples on stage, the couple eliminated first, and therefore in fourth place and not dancing in the finals tonight, is Alexandra Reisman and Mark Ballas. So Jacoby is still in it!
Jacoby will have an hour with partner Karina Smirnoff to prepare their "instant dance" for the final scores from the judges.
Backstage, we find out that Jacoby and Karina will be dancing a salsa to a Marc Anthony song with a Spanish title. Karina's hip is bothering her, but Jacoby is confident she'll give her all in the dance, regardless. Asked whether he's surprised about still being in the competition despite being last on the scoreboard, Jacoby first gives Brooke a look like, "Are you kidding me, asking this question?" and then deadpans, "All my life, I had to fight." That's the Jacoby we know and love and laugh with.
Jacoby and Karina are the first couple to dance their "instant dance." Karina thinks they need big points to have even a chance at winning the Mirrorball. Jacoby is tired in rehearsals, but Karina successfully encourages him to keep going.
The routine is pretty standard salsa, but it suits Jacoby and his loose, fun style. He also takes advantage of his strength to hold Karina in a really long lift. At one point, Jacoby's left side suspender falls down and he shrugs it back up like it ain't no thing and keeps on dancing. It's a smooth move.
The routine ends with that weird "almost jump over the woman" move, where her face is between his knees while she's in a deep backbend. Something's off about it and it might be that they're closer to the camera than they meant to be. Right after the dance, Jacoby lines up Karina and does the move again, just to show he can do it AND that the move was meant to end like that.
Len says Jacoby is full of fun and vitality and is a breath of fresh air. Bruno says he's got the power and the "spice of life," charisma and showmanship. There's a brief cut to Emily London Jones, Jacoby's mom, and her homemade 10 paddle. Carrie Ann calls it a "dance of a champion" and loved the "redo."
Carrie Ann, Len and Bruno all give the routine 10s. They kind of always do this with the last dance, scoring everybody perfect so it doesn't really matter. Up in the skybox, Brooke Burke-Charvet asks Jacoby to show a touchdown dance. He enthusiastically obliges.
As Jessica Santos sings in the middle of the ballroom, we first see the three remaining couples standing on the stairs – Jacoby has an exaggerated underbite thanks to the tension – and then a brief montage of each couple dancing throughout the season.
The first result given is third place, and it goes to Jacoby and Karina. Not unexpected given the disparity between his judges' scores and the others.
Jacoby says he's never had a trainer push him as hard as Karina did. I think that might count as a dare to the Ravens coaching staff. He also says he'll use his newfound grace and moves to catch touchdowns, like, well, he demonstrates with an unfurling of his arm his new ball catching maneuver.
There's a montage of all his goofy facial expressions throughout the season and some of his best sound bites. He cracks me up. Cheryl says she can't understand what he's saying half the time. And she's worked with a lot of athletes over the years!
They get their final dance, which is really more of a group hug from the other two couples.
It was a good run for Jacoby on "Dancing with the Stars" this season, and he was definitely the most entertaining part of the season for me, and I imagine, a lot of viewers. Well done, sir! See you on the field in the fall.
Oh, and in case you're interested, the Mirrorball Trophy DID go to Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough, meaning Zendaya Coleman and Val Chmerkovskiy took second place.
Jacoby happily hoisted Kellie onto his shoulders to celebrate her victory. As she held the trophy aloft and then held hands with Derek, her crinolines framed Jacoby's face.