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‘Dancing with the Stars’ Review: Finals Night

donald-peta
ABC

This is it — the week we finally learn who wins ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ All three of the couples in the finals this year were excellent, so the margin of victory will be the narrowest of narrows.

Let’s check out their Monday night performances … LIIIIIIIVE!

Hosts Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke-Charvet, who was dressed in the pieces of mirrorball trophies from seasons past, told us there would be a “judges’ pick” dance and the always popular anything-goes “freestyle” dance.

Onward!

William Levy and Cheryl Burke
First dance score: 30 out of 30 (10/10/10)
Second dance score: 29 out of 30 (10/9/10)

Bruno showed up to help William work on his cha-cha, and it’s always a bit jarring to see the judge in professional mode — from watching him every week, you’d think he was just there for the flamboyant factor, but he really does know his stuff. William and Cheryl’s dance to a crappy cover of Pink’s ‘Raise Your Glass’ was great, with Len saying it was the best cha-cha he’d seen in 14 seasons of ‘DWTS.’ Bruno flipped back into Outrageous Judge Mode, calling it an “intoxicating human cocktail,” and Carrie Ann said William was always good but that he was now “sophisticated” too.

Cheryl loaded their freestyle with lots of lifts and spins, and of course had Will rip open his shirt at the beginning and swivel his hips a lot (hello, lady voters!). Len liked it but thought it was “too predictable,” complaining that there was too much ass-shaking and not enough dancing, but Bruno said they were like “two devils unleashed upon the earth into a Latin-inspired extravaganza,” and Carrie Ann gushed about the dance before Len interrupted and they had a spat. Then Tom cut them off, because Tom is awesome.

http://youtu.be/svOt-xizYtE

http://youtu.be/MkbqY59nQNI


Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas
First dance score: 30 out of 30 (10/10/10)
Second dance score: 30 out of 30 (10/10/10)

Len worked with the couple on a paso doble, with Katherine determined to finally get a 10 from the tough-scoring judge. Last week’s issues with her back seem to be gone (or well-medicated) so Kat put on the terrific show she always does. Bruno said it was “technical brilliance,” Carrie Ann called Kat the “prima ballerina” of ‘DWTS,’ and Len said the dance was “full of tasty tidbits to tickle your tastebuds,” which made us wonder if Bruno is ghostwriting his critiques. But she finally got her coveted “Ten from Len.”

Mark wanted to emphasize Kat’s versatility in their freestyle, and wow did he ever. First he had her take the mic for the song intro, and then he whipped her around like a crash test dummy. Bruno called it a “tour de force,” Carrie Ann said it was the “dance of a champion,” and Len said, “If I’m dreaming, don’t wake me — this is a freestyle.” And she got another 30, giving the pair a perfect 60 for the night.

http://youtu.be/NL_jtwo_rWE

http://youtu.be/Q5IzqDOJxGs


Donald Driver and Peta Murgatoyd
First dance score: 29 out of 30 (10/9/10)
Second dance score: 30 out of 30 (10/10/10)

Carrie Ann coached the pair as they rehearsed their Argentine tango, and the result was absolutely gorgeous, even if Peta was only wearing the front and back of a dress. Carrie Ann said it had a “crispness” she loved, Len liked it but felt it was “too careful,” and Bruno called it “subtle and intimate” and “very, very effective.” Donald was still robbed of his own “Ten from Len,” but promised he’d get one during the freestyle.

During freestyle rehearsals, Donald guessed what type of dances the other couples would do (he was spot-on, by the way), and said he wanted to do something completely unexpected — a country-themed dance. The end result was all very surreal, with the floor lit like a football field and country star Cowboy Troy singing while Donald line-danced in country duds.

And you know what? IT WAS FREAKIN’ AWESOME. Best freestyle of the night, hands-down. All three judges agreed, and true to his word, Donald finally got his long-awaited — and long-deserved, in my opinion — “Ten from Len.”

http://youtu.be/K1pwvPV24bs

http://youtu.be/XMOm5efJ6-s

 

Tuesday night, the dancers take to the floor one last time before the trophy is awarded. See you then.

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