Wow, how about that wild cast party, “Dancing With The Stars” fans? They kick off the finale in style—of course—with a great pre-show montage and an exciting opening routine (choreographed by Mandy Moore) that travels all around their sparkly red carpet. With several exciting musical numbers, new and encored dance routines from returning contestants, and one last performance from the finalists, this is an entertaining show.
For one last time, I present my Top 5 routines of the evening, and there are many to choose from. Amber and Derek’s awesome Country Western freestyle, voted back by America’s Twitter users, is as mind-blowing tonight as it was last night; possibly more.
Bill Nye’s cha-cha is greatly improved from his original performance, and not just because I had no idea he’s capable of such incredible tricks! (Seriously, I almost fell for it at the beginning.) Valerie’s dance with Tristan to Colbie Caillat’s “What a Wonderful World” is awkward but so sweet, and the female troupe dancers—aka: “the Spray-Tan and Tassel Association”—wiggle their booties, strutting and posing, allowing us to see Emma Slater really dance, rather than limiting herself to what Bill can do. But these are not my top picks.
Here are my Top 5 dances this evening:
Ylvis performs “What Does the Fox Say,” with an extended version of Foxing Awesome’s team dance from episode 17×7, which happens to contain all three finalists. The number is still entertaining, and still danced very well. As much fun as the dance and the song may be, this has got to be the most ridiculous song ever written. But in a good way.
Christina and Mark encore their paso doble from episode 17×2, this time incorporating Brant and Peta. While I love this new quartet, I wonder why they didn’t each get their own number. Their routine to Lady Gaga’s “Applause” is sharp and clean, with cool choreography. It just makes me sad that so many really strong dancers, including Christina and Brant, were eliminated much too soon.
Definitely a highlight of the evening is Nicole’s—I mean Snookole’s—group number. Extremely high energy, fun moves, and good choreography, and she’s clearly having a blast. She’s still adorable and funny, especially in the montage, and she’s absolutely right: I really can see the Road Runner in Sasha!
Before I continue, a confession: I lied. I’m actually choosing six dances. The fusion dances are all so good that I’m including all three.
Corbin and Karina’s Fox Trot / Cha-cha Fusion: He’s just such a great dancer. He’s got style, flair and technique, he’s so comfortable dancing, and he’s cute. What’s more, the fusion is awesome. They blend both styles really well, working with the music beautifully. This is more what I thought the music challenge from episode 17×10 was going to be, because there are many ways to interpret a piece of music.
Jack and Cheryl’s Salsa / Paso Doble Fusion: This is really nicely done—especially considering Jack has never done salsa before. I love the blending of the dances, which while both Latin are very different. His timing is ever so slightly off in the salsa, just a tad rushed, but he brings such personality to the dance styles. I feel like we see a different side of him. Very sharp.
Amber and Derek’s Samba / Quickstep Fusion: This dance gives a very interesting blending of the two dance styles, which seem the most disparate of all the combinations: the smooth, staccato, upright bounce of the quickstep versus the grounded, hip-shaking, wiggling rhythm of the samba. The routine captures both well and weaves in and out of each seamlessly, creating a new dance, as coined by Carrie Ann: the quisamba-step. Very cool.
And now, after the contestants give some final, extremely touching thank yous to their professional partners, they announce the winner. Amber Riley and Derek Hough win the Mirror Ball, leaving Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff in second place, and Jack Osbourne (matching his sister Kelly) and Cheryl Burke in third. Amber’s expression when she wins is priceless, and her speech very moving. And Derek, who already surpassed the other pros for the most number of wins, now has 5. Good grief.
I can’t believe the season’s over already.
So there you have it, dance fans! A new champion is crowned, the giant mirror ball is packed away, and Season 17 of “Dancing With the Stars” comes to an end.
Did your vote help Amber win? Or were you hoping for a different result? What did you think of tonight’s finale, and of Season 17? Are you already holding your breath for Season 18?