Tuesday, May 19, 2009

It's All on the Line Now! Who's Got What It Takes to Win The Mirrorball?

LIVE! From Hollywood! The FINALS of Dancing With the Stars!!!!!

Don’t know about anyone else, but I’m really looking forward to the Freestyle dances. Each star still in the competition has improved a whole lot with their dancing, and their pros are great choreographers, so this should be a great night! On with the show!

The first dance number for our couples will be a "group" Paso Doble - they will dance together at the beginning and end, but they will each dance as a couple and be judged on that. We see Len with Bruno and Carrie Ann in a three-way - phone call - and I’m wondering if it was Bruno’s idea to be sunning by a pool in his Speedo (probably. The guy does have a great body, but unfortunately, it’s wasted on other guys). Carrie Ann was eating a mound of salad while discussing which star she would be assigned to for assistance in the Paso Doble. Bruno goes to help Shawn and tells her that she needs to do something she hasn’t done before. Carrie Ann tries to impress upon Melissa the need for intensity, and tells Melissa to "push me out of the way." Melissa tries and bounces off Carrie Ann. (Is it me, or is Melissa looking really skinny lately?) Melissa eventually gets the idea and Carrie Ann tells her "that’s it!" Len goes to show Gilles how to "wow the crowd" with big arm movements. He tells Gilles & Cheryl that "you made me do something in the dance studio I haven’t done in a while ... perspire."

I was really disappointed by the music - it was a stupid, stupid choice for the Paso Doble. These were three great dancing couples, it would have been much more dramatic if they’d picked more intense music, rather than "So What" by Pink. However, the dances were absolutely wonderful in spite of the music. Melissa looked very - well, pissed, which went well for her dance. Len mentioned that modern music isn’t the best for the Paso Doble but they all "coped" very well. He told Shawn her rendition was very exciting. Although Melissa had a slight mistake in the middle, she was much more convincing this time. He told Gilles it was not hectic at all (as opposed to Gilles’ last Paso Doble) and very intense. Bruno offered that each couples’ dance was splendid; Shawn had great technique, Melissa’s confidence has grown, and Gilles was strong. Carrie Ann was likewise complimentary, saying that all three are turning into incredible dancers. She told Shawn that every move was "perfection" although because of her age, she was having problems with the emotion of the dance. Carrie Ann said Melissa nailed it, and for Gilles, "I expect perfection and there it was!" Their scores: Shawn & Mark 9-9-10=28; Melissa & Tony 10-9-10=29; and Gilles & Cheryl 10-10-10=30.

On to the Freestyle dances! We see Shawn & Mark’s rehearsals, with Shawn saying they won’t be using gymnastics because they want to show what she’s learned so far. Apolo Ohno comes in to give pointers and encouragement, but he tells Shawn that "no Olympian who has made the Finals has not won." (No pressure, there). They’re wearing some interesting costumes - hooded baggy outfits, glitter gloves and masks. (Which I find out is Jabberwocky-style. I think I’m getting old, not sure where that came from). They ended up ripping them off after a few intro steps (although Shawn looked like she had a little trouble getting her stuff off, like maybe her mask got stuck in her hair) and their dance was a combination of lifts, steps, hip-hop and fun. I really liked it - and Shawn looked really comfortable doing it. They did a lot of side-by-side dancing and they looked great. Bruno leaped out of his chair saying "you are going for creative gold!" He said she sold the performance and their synchronicity was awesome. Carrie Ann said that’s what she wanted to see, very creative and she loved the precision. Len said he loved the Jive elements at the beginning, loved the precision, loved the speed - "I loved it." I guess they did - perfect scores of 10-10-10=30. (Bruno yelled "11!" as he held up his "10" paddle).

Melissa & Tony are next. Tony said the only other time he’d been in the Finals was in Season 2, and Len told him he wasn’t impressed (because it was a snooze fest), so Tony is going to pull out all the stops this time. They’re practicing a lot of lifts and flips, and poor Tony got popped in the eye by Melissa’s arm and it was pretty red and puffy (but the make-up department did great if there were any residual colors on Tony’s eye.) Their routine was very energetic, lots and lots of lifts, and all were performed perfectly. I’m thinking, though, watching them, that Len wasn’t going to like the hip-hop stuff - nothing wrong with a little, but Tony should have mixed in a few other dance steps ... Carrie Ann said she loved Melissa’s new attitude, but that she was a bit disjointed from the dancing to the lifting. Len said they showed their versatility but the hip-hop "is not my cup of tea." He said that Melissa is so elegant, but they went for the cheerleader instead of the ballerina. Bruno agreed with Carrie Ann, that it was disjointed, and said it was "not as perfect as I’d like to see for a final dance." Their scores: 9-9-9=27 (and after those comments, I expected 8's!!)

Gilles & Cheryl will finish off the Freestyle round, and after her dances with Drew Lachey and Emmitt Smith, I’m really looking forward to this one! Gilles is much sexier than either of those guys, and the things she can do with him .... ! (Okay, deep breath. There. All better.) Gilles’ shoulder is bothering him again and he has a doctor come in to fix it up - we find out that he and his daughter will be having surgery at the same time and will share a room (Gilles for his shoulder, and the daughter, I forget, if he even said what it was). Cheryl says that Gilles has the potential to be better than Drew and Emmitt were. They dance to "Flashdance" and immediately my hunny says "that’s a song that highlights the girl, they shouldn’t be dancing to that!" I’m thinking more about the words, "I can have it all and I’m dancing for my life" and think they apply to Gilles in the competition (am I getting too overboard here?) Anyway, the dance was nice, although I will admit that I think Cheryl sold Gilles short compared to what she did with Drew and Emmitt (that Freestyle with Drew to "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy" is my all-time favorite ever). Len loved it, saying it was high energy, slick, and he loved the slow start. Bruno called it a great performance, but said he wanted more dancing from Gilles. Carrie Ann agreed with Bruno and mentioned that it was a weird choice of music, that "Flashdance" was about a female dancer (and my hunny then said "AHA!" He likes to get validated too!) Their scores: 9-10-9=28.

I did some poking around and found a backstage interview with Gilles, who was asked how he liked his perfect scores on semi-final night: "I would never have gotten those scores with any other dancers. Cheryl put in so much work with me. I’d have three 3’s without her. It’s all Cheryl Burke – and I’m not kidding. She molded me into a dancer in front of a live audience. I really want to thank America for giving us the chance."

So we have one more dance tonight for the judges’ scores, and our winner will be announced. All our stars from this season will be back to dance, we’ll find out who the new pro will be next year (betcha it’s Anna). I’ve been trying to see what the deal is with the dances tonight (do the couples pick it, do the judges pick it, is it a new one or a repeat of their best or favorite?) But no luck. It’s a 3-hour finale, though, beginning at 8 PM (and I really REALLY like this show - but three hours? I think they could do it in 1½ or 2 and it would be fine. I TiVo American Idol, but I’d really like to watch it tonight and not stay up all night doing it!)

So did everyone vote? I thought about signing up for a few more screen names to vote more, but I’m sticking with my one name as I have done since Season 2 when I started watching, and just voted my 5 votes. Here are the standings after the judges’ scores:

58 - Shawn & Mark
58 - Gilles & Cheryl
56 - Melissa & Tony

Who will win that wonderful Mirror Ball trophy? Tune in tonight to find out!!!

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WARNING: Big Brother Spoilers!

We watch the current season of Big Brother on CBS, Big Brother After Dark, and the Feeds. We watch all Big Brother 18 coverage and DVR it and watch it again. There will be posts about things we have seen from watching Big Brother 24/7. If you are a casual viewer of the CBS show-only or do not want to read any spoilers, do not read our posts dealing with After Dark and the Live Feeds.