Gotta say – going into tonight, I couldn’t recall a time I was THIS EXCITED to see a finale since maybe season 10. Nor have I ever felt this invested in the outcome of a season of the show as I am in this one…seriously guys, I might lose my faith in humanity if JR does not win. Fair warning.
Anywho – as much as I hoped this would be a good, clean, honest finale, there unfortunately seemed to be some shady business afoot. DEFINITE overscoring, and I think you all know who I’m referring to. Overall, the “last unlearned dance” round was pretty underwhelming & lackluster, and the freestyle round only slightly made up for it for me. But let’s get on with it, shall we? Gonna do things a little differently tonight – I’m gonna start with 3rd place and work my way up to the winner, and I’m going to try to guesstimate how things are going to pan out tomorrow night.
3rd place: Rob & Cheryl
As much as Rob may have endeared himself to me this season, methinks he wasn’t as good as his scores would lead us to believe this evening. The waltz was pleasant – if not a bit goofy. That whole “run towards one another and I’ll run around Cheryl as she spins” move made me chuckle a bit…my mom busted out laughing, and said “It looks like he’s going around the Maypole!” And I had to laugh too – because that’s exactly what it looked like. Some footwork & timing issues as well, but overall I wouldn’t say it was painful to watch…just…goofy. Now the freestyle. *sigh* I liked the idea of it, I really did. And I thought it was smart of Cheryl to go with something that seemed to play on Rob’s strengths. But that was by no means a 30-worthy routine. Seemed like Cheryl did most of the tough stuff (it was like Gilles’ freestyle all over again), and it just took too long to really go anywhere. Rob did the best he could with what he was given – little imp. Got a bit scared when he was spinning around with Cheryl on his shoulders, though – thought I was gonna have to use my physics minor to calculate tangential velocity as she flew across the room. I think Rob really likes going around in circles, hehe. Cute idea & choreography – but it was just lacking in content for me, and I don’t think I’m completely alone. So why, then, did the judges give it a 30? *shrugs* Who knows. Part of me thinks they might be trying to shake up the top 2 by displacing Ricki or JR; part of me thinks this could have been a strange strategy for spurring Ricki & JR fans to vote even harder. I honestly can’t give you a theory that’s 100% sound or reasonable. But I am gonna put my faith in humanity (god help me) and say that Rob will probably get 3rd in the favorite dance round tomorrow, and won’t get the points to overcome JR or Ricki. But it’s been nice seeing Rob evolve from kind of a douchebaggy guy to a goofy but kinda lovable guy that managed to emerge from the shadow of his harpies-er, sisters.
Runner-up: Ricki & Derek
Seemed like a bit of a strange night for Ricki – I wasn’t particularly wowed by either of her dances. Her cha-cha was clean, but felt kinda slow and a bit hesitant to me – then again, I thought the song was horrible for a cha-cha, and I’m not a huge fan of cha-cha, either. Now her freestyle had the potential to be great – I really liked her song, and I thought there was no way Derek could possibly get lower than a 28 on a freestyle. Wrongo-bongo, apparently – overall, Ricki’s felt kinda disjointed and slow to me. Heidi mentioned that Ricki “isn’t Nicole or Jennifer”, which I get, but at the same time, I still feel like this could have had more of a feeling of unity to it…which is funny, because Heidi also mentioned they omitted some parts of it, which could explain the random, unconnected feeling I got from it. And in the end – I didn’t really get how that freestyle embodied Ricki. Guess I was just left wanting more. Now as for tomorrow night – I will be surprised if Ricki does not win the favorite dance round. And since she & JR are tied (and from what I can tell, JR’s fans are doing a pretty good job of tying up the phone lines), I think they might both have the juice to surpass Rob and advance to the top 2. But let’s say, for the sake of speculation, that Rob is also slaying it in the votes department – I daresay he’s probably not besting JR, but I think he MIGHT be able to catch or even overcome Ricki. So if humanity decides to spite me tonight – I worry that it could be Ricki being cut tomorrow after the favorite dance round But I’m gonna try to stay optimistic, because I do think she deserves to be in the top 2. But when it comes down to it, I’m 100% rooting for…
The winners: JR & Karina
If the energy in the ballroom after JR dances is any indicator of the national opinion of JR, then he’s already won in my mind Seriously – everyone (including Maks, who looked pretty somber when Kirstie wasn’t cracking him up) seems to just beam after he dances. Even if he doesn’t knock it out of the park! Admittedly, his cha-cha was not so great – the song seemed painfully diluted & slow, and JR actually seemed to have trouble staying on time and moving around to his fullest ability. It was…odd. But I don’t think it deserved a 7…however, I also don’t think it deserved a 9, so I guess they cancelled each other out and he ended up with the right score. As for the freestyle – god bless Karina and her insistence on crazy lifts. This was the only freestyle of the night that actually got my blood pumping – and how awesome was the part on the platforms with the smoke??? They looked like J. Lo & Cris Judd up there…LOVED IT. And anyone that can CORRECTLY do Afro-cuban arm styling in salsa has mad respect from me (you listening, Mark?) If Rob’s freestyle was 30-worthy, this should have gotten a 35, IMO. But alas, the scoring tops out at 30. So what will happen tomorrow night? I’m guessing the judges might have a change of heart about his jive, and he’ll get 2nd to Ricki’s first in the favorite dance round. The instant samba could be pretty close – but ultimately, I think JR’s fans will help him walk away with the MBT.
Ooh wee…I don’t think I’ve ever been so determined to vote! And I encourage you guys to all do the same, regardless of who your favorite couple is. The only way to undo any underhanded scoring from the judges is to vote like there’s no tomorrow. But unfortunately, there is - who do you guys think will walk away with the MBT? And what do you think of the scoring? Even if you’re unhappy with how things panned out tonight, fear not: Carson is coming to your rescue tomorrow night! And he wants you to “let your body move to the music, and let your body go with the flow”…;-) Yes kids, brace yourself…for Carson Kressley’s “Vogue”. *fangirl squee*