A new champ reigns supreme on “Dancing with the Stars!” Tuesday night’s finale sees one of the remaining three take home the Mirrorball Trophy.
There’s still one more dance before winner crowned is crowned. But that trophy is in reach. So get that fox costume out of the closet because it’s time to crown the season 17 winner. Ready? Let’s go!
The show opens with a huge production that mirrors the opening number at the start of the season. There is so much going on at the same time, it’s like the climax of some Brian DePalma film. All the eliminated stars are back, even ever-smiling Valerie Harper. Oh, Rhoda.
Then we get to endure a highlight recap of the finals. This is largely unnecessary – especially for the clip of Bill Engvall tearing his shirt off again. Mental whiteout, anyone?
Performance time! New game tonight: is the guest performer lip syncing? Enrique Iglesias is up with “Heart Attack.” Sounds very lip synced, but could be just heavily autotuned.
Time-filler! The show gives us a pre-produced package, where the still-competing pros size up the still-competing stars and their odds. If you want to hear people parrot what the judges say every week, look no farther. Derek wisely says the winner could come down to who people like the most, and not the scores. You mean, this season could end just like every other season? Unexpected!
Encore! Viewers wanted to see “Glee” star Amber Riley and Derek do their awesome freestyle again. It is such a finely-oiled production it runs better than a Japan-made car. (More sarcasm, folks. Hehe – gulp. Please no hate mail.)
Host Tom Bergeron asks judge Len Goodman how hard tonight’s fusion dance challenge will be. His answer doesn’t matter. But Tom’s retort does: “This is so much better than the suggested essay portion.” Ha – best joke of the season.
Time-filler! Let’s just recap how the season all started. If this just nutshells the whole shebang, guess I never needed to watch every week.
Performance time! Ylvis is here to burn “What Does the Fox Say?” into your head for the rest of the day. Amber and Derek do their damage, then Brant and Peta come back for their chunk, before Corbin and Karina utterly kill again, then Jack and Cheryl sweep into the fray, before the whole group wraps it up on the floor with the Ylvis duo in fox body pajamas. Lip sync? Sounds suspiciously like the single’s track to me.
Time-filler! Another package where, I don’t know, the stars just talk about some of the stuff they did this season. But it’s nice to hear from Valerie Harper, Brant Daugherty, and Christina Milian again.
Performance time! All of the female pros dance. I love anything with Sharness Burgess – she’s just the bee’s knees. Hope she makes it far next season; she’s got the goods and lots of heart. Peta rocks, too. Tom says, “You have been watching a public service performance from the Spray Tan and Tassle Association.” Where do I sign up for that newsletter? Seriously – anyone?
Time-filler! Some peculiar Bill Nye package, where they use the story of his injured knee to turn the Science Guy into the 6.5 Million Dollar Dancer. He and Tyne redo their “Weird Science” cha cha – and this guy actually jumps and flips. Or does he? We’re really watching a pre-taped segment of Bill dancing, with a professional gymnastic dancer edited in on wide shots so it appears to be Bill hurtling about. I see what you did there, DWTS – and it’s fine with me. Give pro athletes steroids too if it makes for a more entertaining show (just not Olympians).
To rub in the pain of the loss, Elizabeth Berkley and Val return with a performance. She looks sharper and more comfy this time around – maybe removing the stress of competition frees her up. Long live Jesse Spano.
Time-filler! Another package recapping the season. Didn’t we just do one of these? I don’t even know the point of this one.
Christina and Mark redo one of their dances, in a mashup with Brant and Peta. These couples are solid performers. It’s great to see them again. They dance individually, then side by side and their sync is sharp. Ahh, what could have been.
Performance time! Valerie and Tristan return for their waltz, while Colbie Caillat sings. Lip sync? No – she’s live! Valerie looks younger than ever on this show. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba looks moved by their routine.
Host Brooke Burke asks Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi who she would like to see win – and Nicole actually names a name: Jack. Then we get treated to a gag reel of her wackier moments throughout the season. Oh, she says she’s still a Hot Mess. Guess I can bring back the nickname.
Hot Mess and Sasha return to the dance floor for her jazz to “Work Bitch” by Britney Spears. Hot Mess kills it with her energetic moves and risky flips.
Performance time! Lady Antebellum does one of their country numbers while the pros dance. It looks like the female singer spilled colored glue on her black jacket.
Time-filler! Another package looking back on some of the wackier dances of the season. I guess.
Leah and Tony return to the dance floor with their tango. It’s seems more heated than last time. Out of habit, they stand in front of the judges’ desk, waiting for scores – but of course don’t get any – so Leah sneers at them. Ha.
The most recently eliminated Bill and Emma return for with – what else? – one of their goofy numbers. Which was pretty much all of them.
Competition time – finally.
Corbin and Karina are first up with their fusion dance first, the cha cha foxtrot. He talks about how much he adores her. Their moves are so fluid and polished. Their footwork is sharp and rolls are effortless. Len thinks it was great, but they messed up one part of it. Judge Bruno Tonioli says it was beautiful but Corbin went wrong in the cha cha. Carrie Ann says he lost it in the cha cha. Score: 27, 89 cumulative.
Jack and Cheryl are next with their fusion dance: the paso salsa. Jack says he thinks he could win. This number has a lot more passion and tension than I expected from them. It’s entertaining, but Jack could still have more content and they lose sync a couple times. Bruno calls it a wonderful fusion. Carrie Ann says he was a little flatfooted on the salsa. Len says Jack gives him the most pleasure to watch. Score: 27, 84 cumulative.
Amber and Derek are last with their samba quickstep. Amber is happy she did the show. They do one of those numbers that energizes the crowd. They play up the fun factor while nailing lots of demanding content. Carrie Ann says they virtually created a new dance. Len says watching Amber gives him joy. He also calls her his “little sausage.” (Somewhere, Homer Simpson is going, “Mmm… sausage.”) Bruno says she hit every beat. Score: perfect 30, 94 cumulative.
Colbie Caillat sings a quick number. Lip sync meter: live.
Yet another package in which the stars talk about the impact the pros had on their lives. Jack says he could not have done the experience without Cheryl, who he calls family. Corbin says he could not imagine being with anybody else but Karina, a great partner and teacher. Amber says Derek has the biggest heart and always pushed her do to better and never give up. Genuine moment achieved, DWTS.
Elimination time! The couple in third place is Jack and Cheryl. Everyone applauds. Jack says he’s tied with his sister, former contestant Kelly.
Mirrorball trophy time! All judge and viewer votes combined, between Corbin and Karina or Amber and Derek… the season 17 winners are… Amber and Derek.
She looks to be in disbelief. She says women, of any size or race, can do whatever they dream of.
I get my life back now until March, when season 18 of “Dancing with the Stars” returns, as do my highly-involved weekly recaps.
More information can be found at: http://abc.go.com/primetime/dancingwiththestars/index .