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Dancing with the Stars season finale recap: Letter Perfect

In the season finale, Kristi Yamaguchi beats Jason Taylor with another all-10 dance, becoming the first winner whose name begins with K since season 1

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Stars Taylor Yamaguchi

Dancing With the Stars

TV Show
Reality TV
run date:
Tom Bergeron, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, Len Goodman, Erin Andrews, Julianne Hough
Current Status:
In Season

”DWTS” finale recap: A winner!

Cue the pyro! Olympic champion Kristi Yamaguchi is the first woman and proprietor of a first name that begins with K to win Dancing With the Stars since season 1. Season 7 will be sponsored in part by the letters F, R, I, N, G, and E, the number 10, and viewers like you.

Of course, unless you just tuned in and found last night’s two-hour fillerfest particularly riveting, Kristi’s victory was a bit anticlimactic once it was finally confirmed. We’ve been aware all season that she was the best dancer and should win. It was just a question of ”Can a woman ever win again?” She sure can. And then she’ll immediately attempt to foist her shiny new disco-ball trophy onto a weary-of-saying-”Liiiiiiiiiiive!” Tom Bergeron, who quite simply hasn’t the patience to deal with any more dead weight in one night.

But let’s back up! First, ”Latin Stallion” Cristián de la Fuente got the red-light treatment and finished third. This kind of made sense, as the tasty Chilean sea bass of a man (and that marks the last time I’ll ever type that) was Wayne Newton’s pick to win. At least the C&C Ballroom Factory had ample time to compliment each other, wipe the tears away during a sweet goodbye package, and dance their Ursula the Sea Witch-inspired pleather paso one last time. The routine must have been re-choreographed to take into account Cristián’s injury, but I was too busy watching his bum arm to notice the dance itself. That thing’s become like a screen saver to me — I can never look away because I think something weird or cool might happen, except it never does.

Cristián wasn’t out of the picture just yet, though, as some of the show’s ”judicious” editors (big vocab word, Tom!) put together what was the undisputed (at least according to the mostly dormant sections of my brain) highlight of the finale: a treacly tribute to the Cristián-Jason ”bromance” set to ”Just the Two of Us.” This was choice stuff: sound bites taken out of context, a few lingering gazes set in slow motion, and some absolutely welcome footage of the two choice filets putting together a table outside their trailers on the DWTS lot. While shirtless. And in front of rolling cameras. Of course.

As for Jason ”Just a Pleasure to Be Around” Taylor, the quickstep he and Edyta performed for the final judging definitely deserved the perfect 30 everyone who was watching already knew it would receive. ”Hey, Kristi, it does feel good,” said Jason backstage. He was sooooo excited to have totally nailed that handstand-into-horizontal flop at the end of that dance. (It really was a thing of beauty — he even shifted his hands on the floor to allow for more hang time and better balance.) I loved that Jason trotted up to air-kiss Carrie Ann, but the camera caught DANCMSTR’s delighted reaction instead. Speaking of whom, DANCMSTR’s comment that Jason was ”the people’s champion” almost had me convinced (for at least a few seconds) that we were in for a surprise ending.

NEXT: Kristi strikes back