Recap: It’s all over but the crying on the ‘Dancing with the Stars’ finale

11.23.11 6 years ago


So, this is it! It’s hard to believe this season is finally over. The truth is, as much as I’ve enjoyed some of it, I’ll be happy to see this one go. With so many weird reversals (I never would have guessed Chynna Phillips wouldn’t make it anywhere near the finals), I almost miss the seasons where there’s a ringer who’s clearly set to take home the mirror ball. Okay, not really. But the show’s beginning. Let the nail biting begin!

We get a group dance to remind us of everyone who’s been kicked off the show, then it’s a quick review of Ricki and Derek, followed by Rob and Cheryl and finally J.R. and Karina. Ricki loved every minute with Derek, Cheryl thinks Rob has been her best (celebrity) partner, and J.R. felt really bad about screwing up his first dance last night. 

It’s the television debut of “Dancing Away with My Heart” by Lady Antebellum. It’s fine, but it’s no “Need You Now.” Of course, duplicating that kind of hit isn’t easy, so good effort. 

Ricki and Derek

For their next dance, each couple must repeat a dance they’ve done before. Ricki wants to dance the quickstep. Derek teases her that she just wants to do it so she can kiss him at the end. It’s cute when he says it, I guess, but I’m pretty sure she’s not thinking about that at all. 

No quickstep (and, I guess, no kiss). They’ll be doing their tango. Oh, I do love this dance. Never imagined the theme to “Psycho” could be dance music. 

Len still loves it. Bruno thought it was more than a tango and thinks it was unforgettable. Carrie thought it was beyond perfect. 

Scores will be revealed once everyone has danced. 

Rob and Cheryl

Rob and Cheryl talk about which dance they’d like to do over. They pick the foxtrot, as it meant a lot to Rob. Rob thanks Cheryl for transforming him. Rob says he’s going to prove he’s the final winner. Shut up, Rob. 

He dances, he messes up slightly, his mom cries. I’m guessing she’s not crying because of his screw-up, though. 

Bruno tells him he even made the little hiccup look charming. Oh, come on. Carrie thought he looked elegant. Len thinks he has the best footwork of any guy he’s seen on this show. 

J.R. and Karina

J.R. wants to do the jive, but without the Lindy aspect (which Len didn’t like) and the lift (which Carrie didn’t like). J.R. tells Karina that, as much as he wants to go home, he’s going to miss seeing her every day. 

This isn’t his best dance, unfortunately. Don’t choke now, J.R.!

Carrie Ann saw some mistakes. Len says the band is great every week. Um, okay. And he thinks J.R. has a sparkling personality. In other words, he saw mistakes, too. Bruno thought it was energetic and fun. 

Time for scores! Oh, wait, it’s not. It’s time for Brooke to ask inane questions of the competitors. Rickie’s proud of everyone. Rob loves to dance. J.R. thought the jive was the right dance, even though he screwed up a bit. 

Rob and Cheryl are in third place – 26

J.R. and Karina are in second place – 28

Ricki and Derek are in first place – 30

While someone tallies the scores, we see a montage of the judges goofing around. 

Time to reveal the couple in third place. It’s… Ricki and Derek. She doesn’t look surprised for some reason, but Karina does. Ricki hopes she made her children and her fiance proud. Her fiance is probably proud she didn’t do the quickstep for a chance to kiss Derek. 

In her farewell montage, Derek talks about how she transformed into a beautiful princess. Derek is proud of her, she loves him, it’s all pretty upbeat. Still, I’m sorry to see Ricki go. No women in the top two? Boo! 

We see our final two couples, and the judges tell us what they’re like — in case we only started watching the show TONIGHT. Really, the finale (like every results show) should be one hour, tops. 

Brooke reveals the song they will be dancing their instant samba to — “Shake Your Bon-Bon” by Ricky Martin. J.R. and Karina will be dancing first; Rob and Cheryl second. 

Oh goody, another clip montage! But it’s all to set up Metta World Peace’s dance, followed by Elisabetta’s. At first Metta seems to be counting steps, but he breaks into a smile toward the end. Wow, I’d forgotten all about Elisabetta.  

Kristin Cavalari dances the jive. She blows sow steps, but is otherwise pretty good. She actually seems to be having a lot more fun than she did when she was on the show.

Chynna rehearses with Tony, and she’s panicked because they’re going to be dancing the “Mission: Impossible” dance again. As expected, the dance is pretty darn good. I’m so sad knowing she’s not in the finale. 

Carson is going to vogue! Yes! Oops, Anna tripped. Did I just see guy-on-guy dancing? Awesome! Yes, this will be a watercooler topic tomorrow. Carson is just as awkward and graceless as ever, but man, is he fun. 

Oh goody, a timewasting montage of past performances. But some of these routines are nice to see again, even in truncated form. And there’s that “this is my show” Maks moment. They will be flogging that forever, won’t they?

Time for Nancy and Tristan to do their “Spamalot” number. And yet again, another dancer looks so much happier. So, it’s not fear of dancing in front of millions of people that makes celebrities freeze — it’s the idea of facing those three judges. 

Time to check in with Rob and Cheryl. She’s going to make sure Rob shakes his bon-bon. Apropos, maybe, but ugh.

Chaz and Lacey dance. With Lacey’s dad, Buddy. Oh, this is cute. As the chorus repeats “chunky,” Chaz and Buddy boogie down. Like two adorable little Ewoks. Sorry, Chaz, but you guys are cute. Tom tells Chaz he admires him for coming back to the show every single week since his elimination to root on his friends. 

David Arquette rehearses. He missed dancing. And it’s so much more fun when you’re not being judged! David and Ky, dance their routine from “Grease.” The troupe joins them, which definitely makes it more fun to watch. Not that David isn’t fun, but hey, who can’t use a little professional help? And then David pretends to sneak off with the mirror ball. That David! 

Lady Antebellum performs “Need You Now.” I’d have more to say about this if the Slingbox didn’t just up and die. If you’re thinking about buying one of these gizmos on Black Friday, just make sure they’re really, really cheap. 

When the Slingbox finally grants me access again, Hope and Maks are dancing. I wonder if some of these celebrities are thinking, “Suck this, judges!” when they’re dancing, because a lot of the performances are much improved. 

Time for the instant samba!

Time for J.R. and Karina to dance. Oh my Lord of the Rings I hope he nails this. 

I think, for the most part, he does. 

Frankendashian and Cheryl do their thing. 

Len natters on about how hard things have been for both couples, and he stands up and applauds them. Bruno tells J.R. he brings the party, and he tells Rob he learned how to use his bon-bon. Carrie thought it was fun and she thinks both couples are winners. 

Tom talks to Chynna in the audience and tells her she nailed her dance. He talks to Carson about dancing with Val. Did he really want Maks? Carson says, “There’s always the after party.” Nancy says she’s introducing dancing at the jailhouse on her show. She’s kidding. No one laughs. 

Final scores! 

J.R. and Karina

Carrie Ann – 10 Len – 10 Bruno – 10 Total for all four dances – 112

Rob and Cheryl

Carrie Ann – 10 Len – 10 Bruno – 10 Total for all four dances – 113. 

Time for the big reveal. The champions of “DWTS” are… J.R. and Karina. What a relief. To Cheryl and Rob’s credit, they smile and applaud and seem pretty sincere about it. I think it would be hard to begrudge J.R. the win. J.R. thanks the fans and Karina, telling her he’s glad he could be part of her first mirror ball win. There’s lots of hugging. 

Rob and Cheryl say they’re going to stay friends forever. Cheryl says she’s going to see him once a week. It’s all a big, happy finale for “Dancing with the Stars.” 

Do you think J.R. deserved to win? Were you surprised Ricki didn’t make the cut? And who would you like to see dancing next season?

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