Tonight Season 11 of Dancing with the Stars came to a glorious and emotional conclusion with Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough named the dancing champs. Jennifer’s final leader board score of 118 was 8 points ahead of second place winner Kyle Massey, and 14 points more than Bristol Palin. It was Derek’s second win.
In spite of the fact that Jennifer ruptured a disk during the show last night, she elected to join her two competitors in the final shooting match, and all three came out firing on all cylinders.
For the first dance, Kyle and Lacey took a risk and danced a passionate tango. Bristol and Mark chose the tango also, which was Bristol’s breakthrough dance mid-season. Jennifer and Derek performed the very first dance they ever danced together, the Viennese Waltz, bookending their performances for the season.
The final performances lapped one another as each couple hit the floor during their turn on the dance floor to “Raise Your Glass” by Pink in an “Instant Cha Cha”.
Even though second place winner, Kyle Massey drew praise from the judges for his energy and courage, was called a “stage animal” and told he was “on fire”, he couldn’t outshine Jennifer. The judges marveled at Jennifer’s consistent excellence in her dance performances with Bruno calling her “perfection” and “the artist” (hope she doesn’t decide to change her name to “the artist formerly known as……”). Bristol was told it was her best performance ever, as she beamed with the brightest smile she’s worn all season. Carrie Ann gave them all high marks for effort and became philosophical about why these three became the finalists. She said that Kyle represented joy, Bristol hope, and Jennifer perseverance.
During the recap of her journey on Dancing with the Stars, it was easy to see third place winner, Bristol Palin’s improvement over the weeks, and how well her dance partner, Mark Ballas, got her to come out of her shell. A replay of their beginning showed her timid attempt at a shimmy, a far cry from her sexy shimmy fest on last night’s performance. Keep your “sexy on”, Bristol.
Kyle leaves Dancing with the Stars adding polish to the dance skills he brought to the competition, thanks to his talented partner, Lacey Schwimmer. His maturity and kindness won America’s hearts and votes all season and almost took him to the finish line. Kyle, hopefully winning our hearts is some consolation for not winning that trophy.
Jennifer’s crowning was greeted with cheers and confetti and brought her to tears. One of the judges aptly described Jennifer’s journey on Dancing with the Stars as “battling injury to reach perfection.” The win was well-deserved, and it’s been obvious for weeks that Jennifer should be the last dancer standing under that final Dancing with the Stars spotlight. After a season of shocking eliminations, some might have been braced for another surprise tonight but, Jennifer, your fans knew all too well that no one could put “Baby” in the corner.
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