Season 11 of Dancing with the Stars has been filled with twists and turns, leading to a much anticipated final week. Finalists Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough pulled in another spectacular night of perfect scores leading the finalists with a 60, Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer impressed and entertained earning a total of 57, and Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas gave it their all landing a total of 52.
Each couple danced two dances tonight: A redemption dance, whereby they got a do-over, and the free-style. The opinion is that the dancers who ace the free-style usually win the mirror-ball. If that is true, Jennifer will have to make room for that shiny globe!
Dancing with the Stars Finalists: Kyle and Lacey
First Dance – Fox Trot Redemption:
The judges chose the Fox Trot for Kyle and Lacey’s redemption dance to see if they could improve on their previous 20 point socre. Len joined a practice session and coached Kyle on technique. Did I really see Len give Kyle a kiss to the back of his head? Kyle looked flashy and suave in his gold lame jacket as he effortlessly fox trotted Lacey around, looking sharp and spot-on! He did a serious dragging and spinning move that was impressive!
*Len thought Kyle was “so much better”, out of line a few steps, but said that over all he “went from messy Massey to marvelous”.
*Bruno described Kyle as “Slick, sharp and slinky” and thought his technique had improved enormously.
*Carrie Ann saw improvement in Kyle’s footwork but thought he was too focused on that in the beginning (blamed it on Len) and was looking forward to his freestyle dance. She told Kyle, “Great but you could do better.”
Redemption dance score: 27 out of 30
Second Dance: Free-Style
Both Kyle and Lacey gave a fun, energetic performance to “Tootsie Roll” in yellow shirts, jean shorts and baseball caps. Kyle was the master of booty-shaking, slides, dips, moving to-the-left-to-the left, to-the-right-to-the-right and even got a sprinkler move in before executing a successful lift that he had been worried about. There was serious calorie burning going on during this fun routine!
*Len said he “Wasn’t a lover of boogaloo” but called it great fun, great entertainment and said he thoroughly enjoyed it.”
*Bruno called it, “Truly explosive entertainment” and said Kyle showed amazing charisma, was in his element, and that he “loved every minute of it.”
*Carrie Ann informed Len that the dance was called old school hip hop (not boogaloo) and then told Kyle that he “killed it” and dubbed him “Fresh Prince of DWTS.”
Free-style dance score: 29 of 30
Total score for the night: 56
Dancing with the Stars Finalists Bristol and Mark
First Dance – Jive Redemption:
Bristol and Mark’s first attempt at the jive turned into 2 minutes of embarrassment in monkey suits and was an obvious choice for the redemption dance. Bruno joined a practice session and worked with Bristol on “letting go”, coaching her how to snarl the words, “Get out of my life” until she finally said it with a light dose of mad. Bristol shared that she was more intimidated by the people who didn’t think she deserved to win, than by Jennifer Grey or Kyle Massey. Hmm.Bristol has improved over the weeks and executed the routine from start to finish without any monkey antics this time. She delivered a lot of shimmy in the routine, but Mark definitely out-bounced her.
*Len said that Bristol “was a gorilla, now a thriller” and gave her kudos for clean footwork, showing more fun and energy, saying it was a vast improvement.
*Bruno felt Bristol revealed herself, looked like she had a good time and didn’t care (meant to be a good thing), and that everyone enjoyed it.
*Carrie Ann thought Bristol looked brighter, more vibrant and said, “you never cease to amaze me”. Then she reminded her about pointing her toes.
Redemption dance score: 27 out of 30
Second Dance: Freestyle
Mark picked “Cell Block Tango” from Broadway’s “Chicago” for their free-style routine. Bristol had never seen “Chicago” or any other Broadway production, so understandably she was nervous about getting into character, and worried the routine might turn out to be a disaster. She told the camera that there are “lots of haters out there who want me to fail,” and then vowed to prove them wrong. Bristol started the routine dancing in a cage, dressed in a black lacy bodysuit. The routine came across a bit weird for the two of them, almost like bondage between two mismatched people using a long pink ribbon. Did Mark blow Bristol’s chances with picking this routine?
*Len said it was hard to judge a routine performed professionally so many times, but that he tried to get that out of his head when judging her performance and reported to Bristol, “It was no disaster, I thought it was fantastic.”
*Bruno gave her credit for “aiming so high” and dancing to an “iconic dance number”. But he explained this dance required “passion and sexual tension in both face and body”, and while she did it very well, it wasn’t at the level the song required. He gave her a “good attempt”.
*Carrie Ann asked, “Did I just see Bristol dance in a cage?” She said she couldn’t believe that was the same girl who started out so reserved with no energy, and then told her she was proud of how Bristol “got her sexy on.”
Free-style dance score: 25 out of 30
Total score for the night: 52
Dancing with the Stars Finalists Jennifer and Derek
First Dance: Paso Doble Redemption
Jennifer and Derick had some major missteps in their first Paso Doble routine, with Carrie telling Jennifer she needed to “calm down,” so Jennifer appreciated the chance to redeem herself. Carrie coached petite Jennifer on “taking up more space” by making her arms rounder and further away from her body. Carrie’s tips paid off because this time, their Paso Doble routine had what Carrie called the “element of seduction”. It was hot, exact and well, perfectly awesome.
*Len called it a “Lovely Mix of expression and aggression” then stood up and gave her a standing ovation.
*Bruno compared it to “An evening in sultry Seville,” and fell into something akin to an orgasmic soliloquy that included “igniting flames” and “relentless pleasure,” all positive babbling.
*Carrie Ann exclaimed, “This is the meaning of redemption!” She hugged Jennifer and praised her for a performance that was calm and grounded yet powerful.
Redemption dance score: 30 out of 30 (Bruno said, “I wish I had an eleven.”)
Second Dance: Freestyle
During practice, Derek explained he wanted to push Jennifer past her limit, but we understood Jennifer’s hesitancy at risking reinjury to her neck. Derek let us in on the secret that he “was keeping her on a needs-to-know-basis”, and easing her into a more difficult routine.
The song was “Do You Love Me (Now That I Can Dance), and the routine started out with Jennifer in a demure high neck blouse holding a watermelon (don’t ask me why). When the song kicks in, Derek ripped off the blouse to reveal Jennifer’s sexy, pink slinky dance outfit and they both kicked into high gear. The routine was filled with flips and splits executed with precision and energy. This dynamic dance duo even gyrated atop the judges desks, Jennifer straddling Derek. The high point was the spin-lift that went on forever which was a mind-blowing, centrifugal masterpiece of a move! (You’ll have to watch a replay if you missed it!)
*Len praised Jennifer for being consistent and persistent and compared her to a “juggernaut going down the freeway toward that mirror-ball trophy.”
*Bruno called Jennifer a great dancer with great versatility and marveled that she “executed two dances that were at the opposite end of the spectrum equally brilliant.”
*Carrie called it “amazing”, “perfect”, and a “lift extravaganza”.
Free-style dance score: Another perfect 30
Total for the night: A perfect 60
Even though Jennifer has been a frontrunner for most of season 11 of Dancing with the Stars and has delivered perfect scores the past few weeks, it’s anybody’s guess who will win that mirrror-ball trophy. I voted, but I’m not placing any bets in Vegas!