Dancing with the Stars season finale recap: Master Performer
Donny goes all the way and takes the Mirrorball trophy
Are you ready, DANCMSTRs? It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for! The big news from the finale…is…that Miss Piggy wrestled Samantha Harris for the spotlight and took her down! Samantha’s fall was swift; her legacy, epic. Her replacement is made of felt. Oh, also: Donny Osmond is the winner of season 9 of Dancing With the Stars!
Sidenote: Does anyone else ”suffer” from DWTS Theme Song Syndrome? Every time I hear ”Dancing With the Stars” out loud — which, as you can imagine, happens often in the office, and usually in my vicinity — I immediately repeat the title in my head but in the voice of Tom Bergeron right before each week’s opening credits. ”Liiiiiive…THIS is Dancinnnng WITH the Starzzzz.” Dun-dun! (Just like Law & Order, another intelligent TV series.) And then the entire song kicks in, and I’m just sitting there in an editorial meeting, eyes glazed over, praying that my head won’t suddenly tilt all the way to the left when the dramatic key change occurs…and that nobody can tell I’m clenching my butt ever so slightly in an effort to keep the beat. Maybe it’s good that the season is over, because now I can have better entertainment-related story ideas than ”The disco ball is exploding into hundreds of purple shingles.”
Mya, she of the elusive accent-over-the-y that I only entertained for one week, was runner-up to Donny. She’s the bigger dance talent; he’s the bigger personality. People vote for different reasons. Mya managed a big smile as Tom announced Donny as the winner, and then inexplicably talked about having a broken foot a year ago after Samantha deliberately asked her what she wanted to say to Dmitry. Oh, well. Maybe Mya can show up at the season 11 finale and talk about him then.
Kelly and Mya both danced well in the judges’ choice (Viennese waltz for Kelly, jive for Mya), but all of the finalists gave perhaps their best performances of the evening in Adam Carolla’s ”Coach” session. I got shades of Glee‘s Sue Sylvester from Adam the self-described ”dance coach who cares a little too much.” The best line was Kelly’s ”Piss off, I live in the States!” and Adam snarling back, ”Well, if you live in America, why do you sound like Madonna?” Coach’s one-on-one psych-up session with Donny was great, too. Carolla was right: The mirror ball is going back to Utah — where, ironically, dancing is illegal.
Donny sang ”Puppy Love” for Louie Vito’s floor exercise. It must have been a relief for Donny to begin a performance in the Rectagon without being terribly nervous…though who knows, maybe the ballroom fright settled in and he thought he might forget some of his ”beautiful lines.” After their dance, Samantha awkwardly acknowledged that the show wished Chelsie and Louie had been dating, even though they’re not, ”so yah knauuuu….” Huh? Hey, Louie’s been working out! Weights, not cardio. Clearly.
NEXT: Hall of Famer shamer
All of the contestants returned to dance, even Macy Gray. Could she have pulled off a season’s worth of routines? ”We’ll never know,” Macy drawled. Ha! Kathy and Tony, Macy and Jonathan, and Debi and Maks had to triple up for a medley. This followed a pretty painful ”award ceremony” for the Losers Club, after which Ashley Hamilton ditched Edyta in the middle of their dance to get it on with Jeffrey Ross. ”Hello! Get that man a spray tan!” The two-hour show clipped along very well, I thought, with a bunch of fun, not-too-dragged-out segments featuring season 9 contestants one and all. Melissa and Mark danced the salsa that could have kept her in the competition. I had completely forgotten about that. I’d not forgotten Natalie and Alec’s rumba, though, so stop asking me ”Do you re-mem-beh,” Phil Collins! I loved how Tom asked if it was too late to bring Natalie back.
Of course, we knew Tom DeLay’s Texas two-step was coming. I could barely see his face under that huge cowboy hat. This is weird, but I kept imagining it was Al Gore instead, probably since he was fresh in my mind having guested on 30 Rock last week. Anyway, this bizarre, slightly terrifying experience was fun for me. Way more fun: Chuck Liddell vs. Mark Dacascos. One’s ”Cold as Ice”; the other’s ”Hot Blooded,” can’t you see? And they can both do martial arts! I liked how Anna Tre-BUN-skaya switched from icy blue to red hot in under an hour, because she had to perform in another high-stakes battle…
…Michael Irvin vs. Jerry Rice: Which Hall of Famer is the greatest ballroom dancer? Wait, how do we know it’s one of these two? Have we put all Hall of Famers to the test? This doesn’t seem very scientific. I really hope they start playing this paso doble before NFL games, especially because the dramatization at the end, with the golden football, was so realistic. Young football fans need to know that even if you wrestle the shimmering ball away from the other team, two spicy Russian ballroom ladies in bikini-capes might intercept it while giggling. You just never know; it’s such an unpredictable sport. DANCMSTR said Irvin was the better dancer, but then awarded Rice his own Mirrorball Ring (dear future husband: please take note that this is my ultimate bauble) for winning the Battle of the Bodies. Here we have another important lesson to learn about football: There are no losers, and sometimes you can earn arbitrary titles by simply looking hot. By the way, I’d like to believe that when Tom cocked his eyebrow and gave a sly little grin after saying ”Tre-BUN-skaya” extra jauntily, it was because he had been thinking ”This one’s for you, EW.com!” I think it’s fine to assume that. I mean, the show’s not on again until March. What else do I have to live for until then?
NEXT: Cloris and Steve’s famous moves
Let’s not forget the rousing Competition Mambo redux that brought Cloris Leachman, Jerry Springer, and Steve Wozniak back to the ballroom along with returning semifinalist Joanna Krupa. We cried desperately to our TVs — ”Why?” — but it was too late. They were there. Tom copped his golf announcer voice, which he seems to have recognized as a Best of Bergeron talent, to cover the liiiiiiive event. ”Steve has just pulled out the dance move that has made him famous.” Yep, Woz tried the Worm again, and it didn’t work. Just as Derek flopped on his belly to demonstrate proper Worm technique, the judges booted Woz and Karina out of there. Then, only Joanna and Derek were left, ”in what appears to be a setup,” said Golf Tom. So instead of allowing us to keep forgetting about it and moving on with our lives, post-trauma, Derek and Joanna reprised their infamous crotch-bobbing move, only this time she controlled the simulated oral pleasure he was giving her! Golf Tom had to raise his muted voice to beg them to stop. ”That’s enough! We get it!”
When the performance recap suddenly cut to the back of Miss Piggy’s head, for some reason I was hesitant to believe it was really Miss Piggy. (I hadn’t noticed Aaron and Karina were wearing their quickstep costumes.) I was suddenly frantic. Does DWTS keep the spare wigs on a head with Miss Piggy ears, and if so, why is this one in the Red Room instead of the Wig Room, I text-messaged no one. All was revealed a few segments later, as the massage techniques of a shirtless Maks caused Miss Piggy to groan, Donny-style. ”Awww yeah, that’s the spot.” Anyway, Aaron and Karina impersonated the future Mr. and Mrs. DWTS Hosts 2010, Kermie and Piggy, with a reprise of their quickstep. Statler and Waldorf (yay!) became a bit distracted right before the dance, and rightfully so, because DANCMSTR really does look like Waldorf. It’s pretty awesome.
I love Whitney Houston and I’m sad about what’s happened to her voice, so I’m not going to make fun of it. The visual effect of a million dollar bills fluttering down into the ballroom during ”Million Dollar Bill” was a bit grotesque, but I did appreciate how Whitney adhered to the DWTS dress code with a sparkly minidress. She switched to solid yellow for ”I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” which was almost as unacceptable as Mark Ballas’ banana suit. If you could focus on the message of the song rather than the vocals, it really was a perfect way for Our Pros to close the season. As always, I’ll miss them most of all.
NEXT: Hidden Gem of the Week:
Hidden Gem of the Week: From glenn: ”My nominee for Hidden Gem is the huge spitball DANCMSTR hurled at the camera when he tried to say the word ”subdued” while visiting Dmitry and Mya — I ducked for cover!” Ha! It’s way more visible on the TV screen than it is here, but this is an amazing gem. This one’s for not showing us your vanity plate this season, ”Len”!
Also, from Josie: ”the gray-domed ball of sequined fabulousness behind Tom. You can’t see a face — just a full head of silver hair and a silver-sequined top that glittered oh-so-dreamily in the lights.” I got partial face for you, Josie! From naynay, who cracked me up: ”The mirrorball on one of the projection screens looked like an egg.” And finally, a Tuesday-night not-so-hidden gem from PopWatch commenter zoot: ”LOVED THE SPARKLES ON CARRIE ANN’S HAND.”
Okay, DANCMSTRs, this is the part where our eyes well up with tears in the style of post-Viennese waltz Louis van Intensité, and we must say goodbye. I’ve had a blast recapping the paranormal activity on Planet Mirrorballus all season, and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading. Please continue to find Hidden Gems in your daily life. They’re out there. Seriously, I’m seeing so many sequined frocks these days. The people who wear them are neither in a liiiiiiive studio audience nor are they kidding. You can do better than that. See you all next year!
The Fringe Fairy
Follow Annie on Twitter: @EWAnnieBarrett