Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Dancing with the Stars - Finale

It is the Dancing with the Stars grand finale. The last of the rhinestones are in place. All of the spray tan has been applied. It is time. All the celebrities are back, and we will get to see who gets the mirror ball trophy.

I won't be doing a play by play on the whole night. I will just be focusing on the actual competition aspect (unless I just can't help myself - lol). Mostly, I'm happy that I get to see more of Val. ;)  Here's an example, Danica and Val's Quickstep from Disney Night. (Routine starts at about 2:40.)

Oh my gosh, Tom Bergeron just clarified something about the final scoring that I've been concerned about this season. Viewer votes still count for half of the final standings regardless of judges scores. That has been the case in previous seasons, but I had a hard time finding it among the "rules" on the DWTS' website this season. With the contestants being eliminated, I thought that the ratio might have changed with judges scores counting for more, but the producers being afraid to be transparent about it.

Perhaps as a consolation prize for James and Peter being eliminated last night, but the Twitter voters chose their freestyle routine as the Encore for the finale tonight. I have to say that I prefer the camera work for this routine tonight. Much more impressive.

So we naturally have a retrospective of the past 10 weeks. Repeats of some favorite dances as well as some re-imaginings of some new ones.  I have my favorites too.

And I have to add that I really love the new Michael Jackson song that's been featured this season. I just heard it on a commercial too. If I remember correctly, they said that it was written with Paul Anka back in the 80's. That's my prime time high school time. It's part of the soundtrack of my soul. I also loved this dance, so it will be one of my exceptions. ;) (Routine starts at about 0:21.)

So after all the musical guests and visits from the other celebs from the season, all the fluff is done.  It's time for the fusion dances. The first couple are Amy and Derek dancing Argentine Tango/Cha Cha. Well I like the sparkly fringey costume. It's a beautiful copper color, very warm. We had our Argentine tango portion which was very intricate with lots of kicks and flicks. We're now in the Cha Cha portion with lots of hip action. Fusion dances can be difficult because they have to switch between the two very different styles. Who's to say what's right and what's not right? They finish with Argentine tango, again. I think it was a successful merging. Wasn't over the moon for me tonight. I give it a 9. Total judges scores 30/30. They're being softies tonight. ;) (Routine starts at about 2:15.)

Candace and Mark are next. Candice is one of those that peaked at the right time. When other people were getting injured, she could keep going. Now she's competing against Olympians. She's got to be proud about that. They're doing a Quickstep/Samba. Love the bright red luscious costume. They started off with a Quickstep lots of bounce and fun. Then they went into a Samba. It looked very cute, and ended with some Quickstep. The music was Stevie Wonder's "Sir Duke." I liked it. It was fun. It wasn't perfect, but it looked good to me. She was having fun, and I could actually see the girl I remember from Full House all those years ago. I'm also giving this a 9. Total judges scores 27/30. (Routine starts at about 1:25.)

And our last dance is by Meryl and Maks dancing a Foxtrot/Cha Cha fusion. She's a vision in purple. Started with an elegant Foxtrot with a tear away skirt into the Cha Cha. Lots of basic elements, which Len will love. Looks completely professional. I've gotta give it to 10. I will say all the way through that Meryl has had an advantage, but she is the best of this season. Total judges scores 30/30. (Routine starts at about 1:30.)

The next major thing is the final score. Leaderboard shows Meryl and Maks at 90. Amy and Derek at 89, and Candice and Mark at 78.

Cue drum-roll and tension building music that sounds like it goes on much longer than it actually does ... In 3rd place, Candice and Mark. Not surprising really, but I'm very impressed with her journey through this competition. In 2nd place are Amy and Derek. So, that means that our winners are Meryl and Maks! I'm really pleased for Maks as much as anything who is winning for the first time in 13 seasons.

That's it for this season, kids!  Good news, DWTS has been renewed for another season. However, I expect some changes for the next go-around. Not only is the executive producer moving on, but Len hinted that he might not be there. We'll have to wait and see. I thought that from a production standpoint they may have tried a little too hard this season. Maybe some fresh blood will give the show new life. We'll have to wait and see.


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