One of three deserving 'All-Stars' couples earns the chance to lug around a bigger 'n' better hardened knob of glitter than ever

By Annie Barrett
Updated November 28, 2012 at 11:10 AM EST
Credit: ABC

After a star-studded finale featuring Dance Center, a Pam Anderson five-man lap dance, and McKayla Maroney not oppressing the urge to make a “Call Me Maybe” hand gesture, one Sparkalien couple has been crowned the new King and Queen of Planet Mirrorballus. And they are….. [ab roll please]….

Mr. and Mrs. Sparkletooth themselves: Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani!

Aggggggggggh! Dying! #sparklebarf!!!

Good God, there were so many delicious space snacks for me to feast on during just those final two minutes. Most were Tony-related, because come on. TONY FINALLY WON! I loved the way he jiggled slightly during Tom’s lengthy verdict, like a little kid who doesn’t know whether he’s getting a 14th lump of coal for Christmas or….a big-ass crystal ball for Albania’s 100th year of independence!

Tony loyalists Val and Maks fiercely hugged each other backstage, while Apolo and Emmitt — along with most of the DANCMSTR nation, I’m sure — looked the most genuinely shocked that Shawn and Derek had not just won. The Chmerkovisionaries raced out to attack their friend and ultimately lift him up, leaving runner-up Derek to hoist up that slip of a thing Melissa with his little finger (it happened to be free because this week the judges were not wrapped around it). General mayhem ensued, and the aggressive confetti had yet to even happen!

The big payoff, of course, was seeing Maks and Val bounce Tony and Melissa around on their shoulders as the winners gazed incredulously at each other’s blinding white teeth — or were those giant pieces of confetti? Who can really say with these two? “WHOA!” screamed Tony in his most profound moment of the series. I’m not being sarcastic. I would never do that. I seriously rewound Tony’s “whoa” 15 times. It just said so much.

Some people might complain that viewers were voting for the pro instead of the star, but I say so what? It’s a show about partnerships; it’s never about one person nor should it be. I fully expected Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough to win — they racked up a higher tally of flashy tricks and seemingly had a broader fan base, not to mention they danced with the freaking Fab Five Monday night. But Melissa and Tony were consistently beautiful to watch, so stoked to be paired up again and aliiiiiiiiiiiiiive!, and gained momentum just at the right time within the last few weeks. They had a fantastic season and deserved to win.

Awww, I am just so over Dovolaniter (one of the sparkly blue cheese moons that orbits Planet Mirrorballus) for Tony. He’s been around for 14 seasons, has dealt admirably with some crap partners, and has always been a class act. Even tonight during their satellite interview with Kimmel, Jimmy asked “Does this make up for when you had to dance with Kate Gosselin?” and Tony brushed it off, saying Other Octomom was “a sweetheart” and had probably even voted for them this season. Melissa playfully swatted his arm and said “You’re so nice,” almost in disbelief. Tony is so nice. He’s the best!

Even when he ATTACKS.

NEXT: Kelly, Melissa, and Shawn race to prepare the somewhat irrelevant ‘instant dances’ Anyway, ’twas second place for Shawn, who is all-around familiar with the agony of a silver medal — or, in this ballroom-specific case: nothing. Shawn’s consolation prize was tons of archived footage of her increasingly amplified cleavage and, just tonight, some teary-eyed footage of Derek calling Shawn “a little spark in my life.” I wonder if this loss will inspire him to stick around for future seasons — a fourth win would have made his rumored exit from DWTS almost as poetic as tonight’s sob session. Many viewers seem to have a love/hate relationship with Derek, but I firmly believe the show would be much worse off without his creativity (with regard to both his choreography and his own often absurd hairstyles).

The finalists all winged it (wung it? wang? wang seems most appropriate for this show) on an instant dance chosen at random out of one of my favorite cheap-ass props, the Mirrorbowl with the red velvet cake center! I’d argue that Melissa and Tony’s samba was the worst of the three, but I also feel like if you have to dance anything to “Life Is a Highway,” you get a free pass. Just pass Go, collect $200 worth of gems from the heap in the corner, and try to move on with your life. Kelly and Val’s instant jive showcased “the energy of two young rrrrrrandy rabbits!” (Bruno, duh) and was pretty incredible considering 1) they pulled it off in less than an hour and 2) Val lost seven sloshing buckets of sweat in the process. Ooh, maybe those could be the gems in the corner. Ew, no.

Shawn and Derek wowed the crowd the most with their instant cha cha, which featured at least two key moments during which Shawn’s face was embedded in Derek’s crotch in a life-or-death situation. That’s usually the precise recipe for a perfect 30 right there. The routine was fabulous, but Carrie Ann’s “You started out the season as a star” (“OH YEAH, WELL SHE’S THE ONLY ONE LOL” –retorted every idiot who claims to hate Dancing With the Stars but reads about it on the internet anyway) and Bruno’s “One thing’s for sure: You’re going out with a bang!” both seemed to foreshadow Shawn’s loss to Melissa.

Meanwhile, third-place blatant sex addicts Kelly and Val continued to deflect questions of their silly/serious showmance, with Kelly babbling something about how “unconditional love doesn’t mean boyfriend-girlfriend” to the [babbling upgraded to] gushing Brooke. Okay, well….does it mean something more than that, then? Nevermind. Over it. Sorry to simplify things, though. They actually had a really classy exit.

NEXT: Kenny Mayne’s bedazzled chest and blissful oblivion bring you Dance Center! Those other classy broads Kenny Mayne and Jerry Rice came back — as gemtastic as ever — to triumphantly keep that flaming Dance Center torch burning. They think Kelly and Val are doin’ it, too, for the record.

It’s always hard to pick favorite lines from D.C. segments — and honestly, this time you could just cut together all the zoom-ins on Len Goodman throwing shade the guys’ way and that’d be a perfect highlight reel for me. But I loved that they called out Mark Ballas for showcasing himself instead of his partners (never gets old), said Apolo had “an upper body that would invite drug testing in most sports,” labeled Shawn “a weird hybrid of a Batman villain and Chip ‘n’ Dale,” and insisted that Helio had been dancing with Julianne Hough this whole time. This line slayed me: “Call it what you want — Chelsie Hightower, restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea — there’s just something different about ’em.”

Everyone returned — including Julianne herself, in the audience! All of the contestants except new front-row BFFs Pam Anderson and Bristol Palin danced a whopping three times during the SUPER-SIZED finale, with Joey and Kym gamely filling in for Kelly and Val on the utter insanity of Team “Gangnam Style” (did Joey really flip himself over Kym’s arm or was I having a terrifying but good-for-the-soul nightmare?) and Helio/Chelsie and Drew/Anna subbing for Shawn/Derek and Melissa/Tony on Team “Call Me Maybe.” The partnerships ware all so talented this season, I had trouble picturing the dances being any better the first time around. That Team Gangnam mess has grown on me, though. I’ve watched that thing on the internet. Like, recently. In my FREE TIME. Maybe I do need a ballroom break.

Tom delivered the best line of the night (surprise, surprise) after Pam — presumably in practice for her rumored Broadway run as Chicago‘s Roxie Hart — offered Tristan and the Troupe Guys a nationally televised lap dance. (To be fair, we could barely make out her boobs/fringed bodysuit behind Pam’s many corridors of problematic hair.) “Wow — usually, to see something like that, there’s a two-drink minimum,” quipped Tom. That’s Our Emmy Winner! Brooke’s mildly disapproving but secretly totally amused glance was perfect here, too. Our Hosts!

The boy banders opted to perform all-new routines featuring children (the biggest fans of boy bands) for the finale. Drew Lachey just broke the sparkleheart of every little girl who’s had or will have a dad compete on Dancing With the Stars by trotting out his adorable daughter for a one-time-only delicate little cha cha sequence with Anna Tre-BUN-skaya. Seriously, will anything ever be able to top this cuteness (besides the fact that Isabella Lachey thinks only “a thousand people” watch this show)?

Also: Is it weird that I cried? IT’S FINE.

NEXT: I wonder if the child version of Kym Johnson will trade lives with me Meanwhile, Joey Fatone time-traveled back to 1987, where he met Past Him. Young Joey met Current Joey and was thoroughly not impressed. “What’s a cha cha?” wondered the kid helplessly as the fat one zoomed away. PSYCH, though. That kid wasn’t Joey at all! They’d tricked us. He was a tiny ballroom dancer about to get his freak on with Joey Fatone in a Back to the Future-themed cha cha. This dance had everything: lifts, flicks, kicks, creepy/awesomeness, a mini-Kym who excelled at self-aware over-the-top facial expressions, and a DeLorean that was being eaten alive by the ballroom’s resident smoke monster. I give it a 10. “Tehhhhhhhhhhn!”

You know, I may miss our old friend Smokey most of all during the hiatus. Well, him and the wind machine. Those two work so hard to manage 50 percent of Planet Mirrorballus’ most frequently occurring elements: Gems, Wind, Smoke, and Sweat. I was going to add Spray Tan, but I wonder if — somehow, considering the ever-fluctuating conditions in the Glitter Galaxy — Spray Tan ends up encompassing all four?!

That’s the most profound thing I’ve ever written, so I may as well stop, collect my shimmery end-of-the-season tears in the multi-faceted chalice I drink from while hidden gem hunting, and bid you DANCMSTRs farewell until March.

Is it possible? A 16th season?! Just kidding; I meant is it possible we can survive that long. I just don’t know.

Thank you as always for coming back to read these insanity pellets/recaps. I’ll see you back here soon enough following a long winter’s nap. Is anyone watching Idol in January? I’ll be all over that, too, swearing at my TV the whole time re: how unfair it is that I just can’t reach in and eat the cotton candy off Nicki Minaj’s head. Because it shouldn’t just sit there and keep existing. Ugh. A travesty.

You bring the red wine, I’ll bring the rhinestones. Exact cave location TBA. Let the hibernation begin!


HIDDEN GEM CITY (forever the name of my wireless network)

Tony’s spellbinding smile and any normal person’s conception of a “Super-Sized Freestyle” encourage you to appraise’s Hidden Gems of the ‘All-Stars’ finals!

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