On the season 10 finale of Dancing With the Stars, the judges awarded Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger enough points (or many more than enough; we’ll never know) to roll past Evan Lysacek down the river of disco ball dreams. The power and glory of a huge knob of hardened glitter is hers, now and forever.
Update: Here’s my post-show interview with Nicole. ”I don’t need to feel bad for Evan,” she insists. ”Evan’s a fierce beast as well.”
Many EW readers have already speculated that by scoring the winning couple an unprecedented seven points higher than the runners up, the judges might have deliberately overruled the viewer vote (which they barely acknowledged). I’m of the opinion that Nicole was technically the best dancer of the season and definitely deserved to win. I’m just surprised, because every other season has seemed like a pure popularity contest (with equalized finale-week scoring — 30s for everyone!) and this one seemed like Judges’ Choice. Would Evan have won had their scores been more even? Maybe. But it didn’t happen that way.
Let’s look on the sparkly side: No matter what you think of the outcome, you cannot deny that the giant mirrorball cage/Cinderella carriage suspended from the ceiling — would it turn into a bedazzled pumpkin at midnight? — was one of the most exquisite sights of 2010. Search lights! Smoke machine! Nicole vs. Evan! Eh, your 2010s are probably more exciting than mine. Who knows? What I do know is that a gold medal is slightly more valuable than a silver-colored trophy, and even though poor Anna was on the verge of tears all night, Evan is going to be fine. Or as a bratty child would chant: First is the worst, second is the best, third is the one with a hairy chest.
Grizzly bear Maks and his partner Erin Andrews took third, as everyone — most of all Erin, it appeared — expected. All three couples had danced the Argentine tango, and DANCMSTR and Bruno both told Erin she was the most-improved contestant of the season. Bruno practically leapt at the chance to use the term ”spectacular growth.” But the writing was on the table and as Tom, Len, and Bruno all reminded us, only one couple could get a 30. It was all so dramatic; during a shot of the judges ”deliberating,” Carrie Ann and Bruno even stood up! Erin and Maks performed a farewell routine, but she’d pretty much checked out after the announcement, as if channeling Maks’ whining at the end of their rehearsal footage: ”Okay, enough. I’m sick, I’m tired, I’m beat up. I’m finished.”
Finally, Nicole and Evan performed their ”knockout dances” for the judges. I wish Evan would have gone first, because after DANCMSTR informed Nicole that there were 12 days of Christmas, seven dwarves, and ”only one winner of Dancing With the Stars; it should be you” following her ”Proud Mary” jive, Evan’s quickstep (which scored 28 to Nicole’s 30) seemed almost like an afterthought. But then we wouldn’t have gotten to see Evan mouth ”good job, Nicole” just before commercials, and would I really want to live in a world like that? I’m so torn. He’s such a champion.
NEXT: The ”controver-see-uhl” Kate Gosselin, Niecy and Pam, Jake and Vienna