With just three contestants remaining, the Dancing with the Stars 2010 performance finale aired Monday evening on ABC. The show featured actress Jennifer Grey, Disney kid Kyle Massey and teen activist Bristol Palin laying it all out on the Ballroom floor one last time for audience votes. So which hopeful will have won Dancing with the Stars 2010 and claimed the coveted Mirrorball Trophy by the time the curtain falls on tomorrow evening’s season finale? Here’s a look at Monday’s performances and an evaluation of each celeb’s chances of coming away the big winner.
Actor Kyle Massey, Dancing with the Stars 2010’s undisputed king of charisma and entertainment value, was first to dance in both of the evening’s two rounds of competition: The judge-appointed Redemption routines and the fan-favorite Freestyle round, which gave birth to Drew Lachey and Cheryl Burke’s epic season 2 “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy” offering.
Round one required the dynamic duo to improve upon their “Charlie’s Angels” themed Foxtrot, which they did in glowing fashion, earning high praise from all three judges — including a proclamation from Len Goodman that he’d gone from “messy Massey to marvelous” — along with triple nines. Their fun and flashy “Tootsie Roll” freestyle earned even higher praise and higher numbers as Carrie Ann Inaba dubbed him “the Fresh Prince of Dancing with the Stars” and Bruno Tonioli called it “truly explosive entertainment”. The pair ended the evening with a highly respectable 56 out of 60 possible points.
Dancing with the Stars 2010’s most unlikely — and most controversial — finalist followed Kyle in the finale dance order. Bristol Palin and partner Mark Ballas bettered their disastrous primate-suited Jive with a carefree version that left Len declaring “last time you were a gorilla, this time a thrilla”. Like Kyle and Lacey, their Redemption round offering scored a 27 out of 30. The pair had less success, however, with their Chicago-themed freestyle routine, which drew criticism from Bruno for not living up to his preconceived expectations. They ended the evening with a final score of 52 out of 60, which once again placed them at the bottom of the judges’ leaderboard.
The last couple to perform in each round were Jennifer Grey and partner slash perennial DWTS pro finalist Derek Hough. Their Redemption round dance was a Paso Doble that ignited the ballroom with its passion, energy and precision. The dance also drew an extensive and heated review from Bruno, which began by likening the performance to “an evening in sultry Seville” and continued until I blushed and Bruno was hushed by host Tom Bergeron. After earning a perfect 30, they went on to repeat the same feat with their “Do You Love Me” freestyle, which Carrie Ann dubbed “a lift extravaganza” and prompted Len to call her “a juggernaut going down the freeway heading for that Mirrorball Trophy”.
But even after turning in two more perfect routines, will Jennifer Grey still be able to pull off a Mirrorball win once the results of the Dancing with the Stars vote are in tomorrow night? I honestly don’t know. Based on all she’s done, the scores she’s turned in and the praise she’s received from the judging panel, she should win. It would be the fairest outcome. But this is DWTS, and the outcome isn’t always fair. (Check out these arguably superior competitors who didn’t win.)
As for Kyle and Bristol, I feel a little torn. I like Kyle and his energy and enthusiasm. They’re refreshing. But I don’t see him finishing higher than third place. Which leaves Bristol Palin in the mix for the win. And here’s where I feel very, very conflicted. I like Bristol as a person. She seems like a nice gal. I don’t think she’s involved in any Dancing with the Stars vote conspiracies. I don’t think she’s trying to rig anything. I just think she’s the recipient of what may well be political votes going her way. But that’s not her fault; it is what it is. But with Jennifer Grey, the undoubtedly stronger dancer still in the mix, a Bristol (or Kyle, for the matter) win wouldn’t be just. And just imagine the media fallout, too: The endless complaints, the allegations of fraud, the negativity, yuck. Not what I want from my favorite reality show.
With all of that said, this longtime Dancing with the Stars fan has no idea what to expect come tomorrow night. Be sure to tune in to the results show for the crowning of the winner, and for a performance by Christina Aguilera. Or you can just check in with me. You know I’ll be watching.