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'Dancing With the Stars' recap: 'The Finals'

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Adam Taylor/ABC

Dancing With the Stars

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
seasons:
20
run date:
03/21/11
performer:
Tom Bergeron, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, Len Goodman
broadcaster:
ABC
genre:
Reality TV

It’s finals night, DWTS fans, and after the shocking elimination last week where one of the best remaining dancers was cut, many of you seemed to think tonight would be just a two couple race. But after watching each of them perform their two dances tonight, did any of you change your minds?

Let’s hit the dance floor and break down each couple’s repeated favorite dance and their final Freestyles; dances that I’m betting are going to get a lot of people in trouble on Tuesday for watching—over and over again—instead of working. (That’s right, I’m looking at you.)

Favorite routine (repeat)

Noah and Sharna Argentine Tango

After a clip of Noah telling us he only expected to be in the competition three weeks (who do you think he expected to beat? I’m going with Chrissy Snow and the rhythmically challenged farmer) he reminds us that he belongs here. Sharna instructs him to look up and look proud, which he definitely does for the first third of the dance. Looking sharp with his hair slicked back in a side part, Noah is confident and commanding, until he makes a slight timing mistake on a kick and completely loses it for the rest of the dance. He bobbles some lifts and for the rest of the dance has an embarrassed grin on his face. “DON’T BREAK CHARACTER!”, I shout, but as usual, the dancers on this show don’t seem to hear me.

Len hears me, however, and mentions the exact same thing I mentioned at the end of last week’s results recap. “Don’t moan if you don’t phone,” he reminds us. Okay, not exactly the way I put it, but I’m not British so it doesn’t matter how I said it, his way still sounds better.

The other three judges mention the hiccup but tell Noah not to sweat it.

In the red room, Sharna tells Erin, “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.” Um, hate to tell you, Sharn, but this is the finish.

Score: 32/40

Riker and Allison — Pasodoble

Riker and Allison recreate their favorite dance (and mine), their tribute to Pirates of the Caribbean from Disney night, and Riker acknowledges that he needs to really bring it because the competition between him and Rumer is so tight, which confirms that Riker feels the same as about 98 percent of America about who’s left in this competition.

Their Paso is just as powerful and fun as it was the first time, and the judges lose their minds. Even Len, who gives it a standing-O and calls it “epic” and a “swashbuckling performance.”

Score: 40/40

Rumer and Val — Foxtrot

In her video package, Rumer reminds us that she’s bloomed on this show and credits Val for giving her confidence, telling us that she’s “never had anybody who’s believed in her like this.” I mean, in case you were wondering what kind of parents Demi and Bruce were. Ouch.

There’s only one word that can describe their Foxtrot: exquisite. And beautiful. And fun. And perfect. Okay, fine, four (and I’ll bet you can add even more in the comments). It’s easy and relaxed, and it’s so evident that Rumer has grown as comfortable on that dance floor as she is in … nope, never mind. I think the dance floor is it. Rumer has found her new home. I just wish it could be with Val. Anyone else?

Bruno deems her “dancing royalty” by her own merit. “Poetry in motion,” “flawless,” and “”incredible,” are also thrown around. See? I knew there were more.

Score: 40/40

NEXT: Noah “fixes” his doubters with his Freestyle[pagebreak]

Time for the Freestyle (which apparently is what Tom Bergeron has been waiting all season for now that Bruno has checked “fallen off his chair” off the list, I guess).

Noah and Sharna — “Titanium”/”Fix You”

Sharna wants us to see “Noah the vulnerable” and decides to bring him back to the most painful day of his life. Seems like a cruel thing to do to the guy on the finale, but I’m not the choreographer and it’s a good thing, because what Sharna creates is beyond beautiful, and powerfully emotional.  

Dressed in nothing but a cropped pair of pants that look war-torn (and giving us a clear view of his prosthetic leg), Noah shares his and Sharna’s dance with four others who help recreate the story of Noah’s accident. In one of the only times I’ve really felt like Noah was feeling himself dance, he’s lifted up and carried by the others and is caught up in a charged routine that ends with him standing alone and looking up into a spotlight.

Not surprisingly, the crowd goes wild, giving him a well deserved standing ovation. The judges are overcome, and Carrie Ann tells us there’s nothing to “fix” with Noah.

What does Noah have to say about it? “I do better when I’m shirtless. I pull it together when I take it off.” The dance, and that comment, earn a 40/40.

Riker and Allison — “I Won’t Dance”

When I saw Riker and Allison in white tails and top hats, I was expecting the song to be “Puttin’ on the Ritz” because it’s the song I danced to when I wore a costume like that at my sixth grade tap recital, and I wasn’t too far off. Dancing to an old Frank Sinatra tune, the bulk of their Freestyle was a throwback, and I’ll admit, wasn’t my favorite dance from these two. Choreography is apparently not the only thing I should keep my nose out of, however, as the judges loved it.

Julianne called it a “true Freestyle” and said it contained everything they’re good at (it did have some awesome hip-hoppy moves, which now should reveal how much I know about dance style), Carrie Ann thinks they “killed it,” and Len knows Fred is up there looking down and is proud. Astaire, I assume. See? I do know something about the dance.

Score: 40/40

Rumer and Val — “Toxic” (vocals by Rumer; violin by Val)

Rumer and Val tell us they want to create a Freestyle that is “all their own.” Seems they’re both tired of suffering in their parents and brother’s shadows. Tear. Plus, since Val has been in the finals three times with no Mirror Ball, THIS IS HIS TIME, DAMN IT.

I’ll admit, I’m more focused on her vocals (decent!) as I am the dance, which is intense, powerful, and sexy (although that distinction could be due to her plunging neckline and bondaged calves, which looks like a costume that her alter ego from last week might have been given to wear in the Red Room.) Let’s face it: these two are phenomenal. The end.

Bruno says they have “the perfect partnership” and calls the dance “bewitching intensity.” Len loves that it was pure and brave, and appreciates the simplicity of the dahnce (as I’m betting they knew he would), and Julianne and Carrie Ann try to find new adjectives to use but settle for “raw” and “honest.”

Score: 40/40

That’s it for the dancing part of the program, folks. Time to make your predictions! Sure, Noah has a lower judge’s score, but we know he has America’s heart in his pocket (especially after that freestyle). It’s honestly anyone’s game. Who did you vote for? I’ll meet you back here after tomorrow’s two-hour finale to dish about the filler entertainment, the D-listers in the audience, and finally see who will win the coveted 10th anniversary golden Mirror Ball!

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