Well, I guess I should be used to the blatant “scoring with an agenda” that the judges have every week now, but not gonna lie – I still get pissed when I see routines that are roughly equal scored with such disparity. Thank goodness tonight’s show was only an hour – I doubt I could have watched any more of the nonsense from the judges. Anywho…the first round of dances was just “meh” for me, and I enjoyed 2 of the 3 freestyles (I’ll let you guess whose I didn’t enjoy) – so I guess tonight wasn’t a complete wash. But it definitely paled in comparison to other finale nights of previous seasons. I felt like the dancing this time last year (the finale of Nicole, Evan, & Erin) had a much higher level of entertainment value. But anyway, on with the rankings – I’m gonna do it in reverse tonight, starting with who I think will nab 3rd.
3rd place: Chelsea & Mark
They may have been overscored to the point that they conveniently tied with Hines & Kym for the top spot, but if what I was seeing on Twitter was any indicator, I wasn’t the only one that thought so and I saw quite a high volume of angry Kirstie & Hines fans that were ready to vote until they passed out. First, that samba – ugh. I have a major bone to pick with anyone who tries to take “Hip Hip, Chin Chin” and “borrow” steps from the original, because really – no one holds a candle to the original. NO ONE. So as if to answer my call, karma conveniently bit Mark on the ass with this one…you know those “crazy arms” that Len disliked so much? Yeah, copied exactly from the original – 2:22 mark :-) Wuh wuh WUHHHH. Chelsea was good in this samba (and she looked very pretty tonight), but I don’t think it was a VAST improvement from her previous one, and really – it was hard for me to appreciate this dance when I saw too many attempts to be the original, and Mark doing his usual overdancing. Sorry kids. As for their freestyle – definitely not 30-worthy, IMO, when poor Chelsea looked like she was trying to remember where she was supposed to be at each beat. She got off-time in the hip-hop sections, was kinda clunky getting in and out of the lifts, and several times, I caught her just kinda standing there, waiting for Mark to pick her up. The energy was fun, yes, but compared to the other two freestyles, it didn’t feel as “inspired” – it just kinda felt like a routine to me. No great personal connection to the dance, like Hines & Kirstie. Perhaps it was the result of Mark making most of the decisions on this one – I’m led to believe it was his choice of music, since he, Derek, & Julianne did a routine to the same song as kids. Anyway – I just don’t think Chelsea’s got the fanbase to beat out some very passionate Kirstie & Hines fans. Or people who are all-around fed up with the nonsensical scoring and blatant favoritism from the judges towards her this season. Chelsea, you’re a sweet girl – but you have kinda gotten dealt a crap hand this season, with all the politics flying around. I think she’ll probably serve as a marytr tomorrow night, for all those opposed to the WTA dance.
2nd place: Kirstie & Maks
I felt so damn proud watching her tonight – I think Kirstie finally let go of the last of her hangups and really enjoyed herself :-) I wasn’t crazy about her samba – felt a bit slow to me – but she seemed to feel pretty comfortable with it, and got back a bit of the same sass I saw from her cha-cha on the very first night. As for her freestyle – say what you will about the technique, the choreography, and the level of difficulty, but what I saw from her in this dance made everything else seem moot: I saw pure joy. She looked so happy and free out there – and honestly, some of those lifts? AMAZING. Not just for “someone her age” but for anyone – hell, Chelsea’s 22, and I saw her struggling with some of her lifts. Kirstie just seemed to float up into some of these “aerials” ;-) Anywho – if the busy signals my mom was getting while dialing in her votes were any indicator, Kirstie’s got the juice to overcome the ridiculous margin between her and Hines & Chelsea. In the end, I think Hines’ score will give him a bit of an edge, but really – I have to commend Kirstie for everything she’s done this season. She came in as the “fat actress” that everyone thought wouldn’t last past the first week, and here she is in the finale – dancing with such joy and skill that none of us thought possible. Her journey has been a pleasure to watch :-D
The winners: Hines & Kym
I feel like these two were the perfect combination of skill & entertainment value tonight – they both connected to and technically nailed their dances. Loved seeing Hines take a page out of Romeo’s book and channeling Jiminy Cricket for his quickstep – the energy of it was so cute, even if he did seem to get out of step with Kym once or twice. I love how much he seems to really enjoy himself in his dances. Their freestyle was my favorite of the night – I have to commend them for trying 2 things that no one else has tried before for a freestyle: dancing to a marching band, and using more than one song (for those of you who didn’t catch it, the first half was the Jackson 5’s “Dancing Machine” and the 2nd half was “I Want You Back). I think it worked quite well for them – the energy was fantastic, and I think Kym really was smart to include so many basic ballroom steps in that freestyle (always a Len-pleaser ;-)). I think when it all comes down to it, these two will have both the votes and the fans to take the MBT – but both Hines & Kirstie are winners in my book ;-)
And so ends my final ranking of season 12! It’s been a fun, crazy, bumpy ride, kids – who do you think will come out on top? And what do you think of the season as a whole? Be sure to tune in for the last round of all your favorites this week – Heidi’s “by the numbers”, Vogue’s post-elimination media, and of course – the last cheesecake until September :-( Better get your fill, kids!