When the dancing duo of Brandy Norwood and Maksim Chmerkovskiy were voted off Dancing With Starsin the semi-finals, the finale was set. There was a bit of a controversy over Bristol Palin remaining in the competition, but it must be noted that Dancing With The Stars is a democratically selected contest, the dance pair with the least amount of votes being eliminated each week. Although many believed Bristol Palin to be far less deserving than Brandy to be in the finale, she simply received more votes than the R&B artist, and on Monday night, the three remaining couples — Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough, Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer, Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas — competed for the Dancing With The Stars audience vote that will ultimately result in one of the celebrities (and their professional dance partner) winning the coveted Mirror Ball trophy, which will be announced on Tuesday evening.
But to get to that point, each of the couples had to dance two routines. The first number would be a redemption dance, so called because the dancers would get a chance to redeem themselves by performing a dance they had scored poorly on earlier in the competition. The second dance would be freestyle, a choreographed routine that could incorporate any maneuver imaginable.
Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer danced first in both rounds. In Round One, the couple performed a Fox Trot. Their score: 27/30.
Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas performed a Jive routine for their redemption dance. They scored a 27/30, tying Kyle and Lacey.
Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough, favored to win the competition, performed a Paso Doble that Bruno Tonioli judged so good as to deserve an 11 if he could have bestowed it. Needless to say, the couple scored a 30/30 and took the round.
The freestyle round saw Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer score a little better, pulling an almost perfect score, 29/30. Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas did their freestyle with a “Chicago” backdrop that earned them the lowest score of the night: 25/30. Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough continued their flawless performances, garnering a 30/30 for their freestyle routine.
By night’s end, the scores among the dancers were:
Jennifer and Derek: 60/60
Kyle and Lacey: 56/60
Bristol and Mark: 52/60
Given the scores, it would seem that the favored Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough have the competition sealed. However, as has been seen in many of the competitions that derive their results by popular vote, the favored contestant, the frontrunner, the “guaranteed to win” contender, does not always win.
So why do the judges even score the final dances? Because Dancing With The Stars is a competition and competitions are scored and critiqued. Scores and professional reviews of the performances also lend the proceedings an air of legitimacy. Otherwise it is just dancing.
But in the end, it is a popularity contest that depends on the most accumulated votes for a particular contestant. The one with the most votes wins and gets the Mirror Ball trophy. The others become also-rans.
And sometimes the star and their dancing partner with the best judges’ scores go on to garner the most votes and win Dancing With The Stars.
Will Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough win? Or will Bristol Palin’s fan base (Tea Partiers and all the rest) generate enough votes to win? And what about the quiet presence of Kyle Massey, a dark horse in the competition that has just as good a chance of winning Dancing With The Stars as the other two contenders.
“Results Show: Week 9,” ABC.go.com
“Dancing With The Stars,” ABC.go.com