Aren’t these takes fantastic? After the Grand finale, the cast attended a Dancing With The Stars Season 17 wrap party at Sofitel in Los Angeles, California. Pictured above is Brant Daughtery, Peta Murgatroyd, Sharna Burgess, Paul Kirkland, Emma Slater, Sasha Farber, and Dancing With The Stars executive producer Conrad Green. Their expressions say it all about Dancing With The Stars Season 17, don’t they?!! You can view more fun photos of them and others who attended at Zimbio Pictures.
Well, we’re off!! The opening dance wasn’t nearly as exciting or as well executed as it was the first time around, but still good.
I confess I didn’t watch Enrique as he doesn’t really interest me.
I dig the pro segments, specially when Derek looks so gorg!!
And Amber and Derek win the Encore. Hmmmm…I hope her fans didn’t spend all their time tweeting. 🙂
SPOILERS….in case you couldnt’ tell from the comment…
After getting 9’s in the fusion, there was pretty much no way, mathematically, that Jack was going to win. That left it between Corbin and Amber, Corbin with a bigger deficit than has ever been overcome in a finale.
Season 17 Champs: AMBER RILEY AND DEREK HOUGH.
I think this is the first African American woman to win the MBT, correct? Also the first plus sized woman?? Awesome.
*sigh* Well kids, all good things must come to an end – and last night, the inspired run that Bill had on DWTS this season came to a close. As soon as the judges handed out that first bullsh*t score, I think I knew there was no way in hell they were gonna let Bill even get within striking distance of the MBT – but thankfully, Bill went out on a very high note: I don’t think Emma could have choreographed a more perfect routine for him than his freestyle 🙂 Just wish that the judges had given him just ONE pity 10, but again, I think they were afraid that giving him any excessively kind scores was going to prolong his stay…but it just became even more glaringly obvious when you take into account that each of the other couples got a perfect 30 on their freestyles. I’m trying not to be bitter about it, but the fact that Len admitted that Bill “did improve” on his Viennese waltz, and then proceeded to give him the SAME SCORE as he got the first time around, just doesn’t compute for me. Grrrrr. But alas, I don’t know that poor Bill had the energy in him for more dancing tonight, so I’m partially relieved that the guy gets his life back now…now I just have to work on getting mine back. Gonna miss Bill & Emma 🙁
Speaking of that blasted “judges’ choice” dance – I don’t know what the hell was going on with the scoring & commentary there. They tell Bill he improved, but give him the same score as the first time he did the dance; they tell Corbin he didn’t improve, but give him a higher score than the first time he did his dance. I thought both improved, but from the way the judges were talking, you would have thought both had completely bungled their dances up even worse than the first go-round. But once again, I think the judges had an agenda there, and the scores and commentary given for those two dances in particular had little to do with the actual quality of the dance. The secret judges’ mission statement of finale week, night one seemed to be “make sure Bill goes home at all costs”. Oh well.
Gonna do my rankings in reverse order tonight – starting with 3rd place and working up to the winners.
3rd place: Corbin & Karina
Corbin’s a fantastic dancer, no doubt, and he definitely delivered in all three of his dances last night – but I’m still left just a bit chilly after watching him dance, and it seems to be a sentiment shared by many of our readers. Something about Corbin’s dancing just doesn’t feel connected to me – it’s as if he’s dancing for himself each time, rather than for an audience, and the end result just seems to create a barrier that prevents me from really connecting to him. As I said before, I thought his quickstep was an improvement, but I still felt a bit of a disconnect in it – like he was more in his own head than interacting with the audience. He handled the samba pretty damn well for not having done it before – and while I do agree that he deserved to win the samba relay, I can’t really say that his samba was my favorite or the most fun to watch; it was just very technical. His freestyle was pretty impressive and very ambitious – taking on MJ is no easy task, but both he & Karina did rise to the occasion. Wish they could have made it their own a bit more, as opposed to just throwing in a small section of tango before breaking into a hodgepodge of MJ moves; I also could have done without the extra people, as they only came in for a small portion and they damn near dropped Karina during the one stunt they assisted with. I think he’ll probably handle his cha-cha/foxtrot fusion decently well, but when it all comes down to it, I just have a feeling that he’s going to end up in third place – between the way the judges run hot & cold with him, to the way some of the viewers haven’t been able to connect with him, to a fanbase that I’m really uncertain about, I just think the best he can hope for is third. Amber’s got the judges on her side, and Jack seems to have the viewers – not a whole lot left for Corbin 🙁
2nd place: Jack & Cheryl
For what Jack lacked in terms of technique and energy last night, he more than made up for in heart 🙂 As I found myself tweeting more than once last night, I think poor Jack is just absolutely drained at this point – as someone who lives with someone with an autoimmune disease, I can tell you that the fatigue is neverending; sure, those suffering have good days and bad days, but most days they do just feel kinda sluggish…and on really bad days, they can barely get out of bed. I think after 13 weeks, Jack is just plain pooped – and as a result, his first two dances got a bit bungled. You could tell he was really trying hard with his jive, but he just didn’t quite have the energy to pick his legs up and he may have gotten a little foggy on the choreography. At the very least, he admitted it wasn’t his best and he was mad at himself – I don’t think I would have been as sympathetic if he had acted like that jive was better than his first attempt. I agree with Len about their samba relay – it felt a tad safe and slow-moving, but I’m wondering if that was an intentional choice by Cheryl in order to somewhat preserve his energy for the freestyle. But man, was that freestyle something to behold – Jack seemed to come alive again, and I actually found that the Fred Astaire theme fit him remarkably well. And the tears both he & Cheryl shed after getting through it flawlessly? Just precious. If I think Bill & Emma were the best-matched couple of the season, I think these two were a very close second – I think Cheryl needed Jack just as much as Jack needed Cheryl, and this season has been an epiphany for both of them. I gave all my votes to Jack this week, and I could have sworn that I saw Bill whisper “Now you win this mofo!” in Jack’s ear as the credits were rolling last night. I actually think he’ll do quite well with his paso/salsa fusion – I think Corbin was pretty kind in giving him that, as he would have ended up with jive again, otherwise. I think Jack may benefit from the fact that he’s the only remaining finalist that has really had a strong “growth” arc on the show, and also the fact that he’s fighting with an incurable disease as he’s been learning. Saw a lot of Bill fans tossing their votes to Jack – I’m hoping it helps him pull out 2nd place. Although seeing him hoist that MBT would be nice 😉
Winner: Amber & Derek
Amber was flawless last night – I don’t think she could have done any better with her Charleston or her freestyle. They must have really drilled synchronization when rehearsing that Charleston, because I didn’t see them out of step at all. While they handled their samba relay routine well, it seemed to get a little repetitive to me – a lot of samba runs and pivots – and I think that may have been what Len was referring to when he said that one couple had “almost” nailed it. Loved the concept and execution of their freestyle – the stepping was definitely something that’s never been done before for the freestyle, and this was one instance where the extra dancers actually served to enhance the routine as opposed to just being in it. And best of all: it highlighted Amber and what she is capable of. I doubt the samba/quickstep fusion will give them any trouble – just hope they don’t try to pull out “Sir Duke” yet again. Given their scores and the undoubtled large Glee fanbase, I would be surprised if they didn’t win – still think there’s an outside chance that Jack maybe gained some support after last night, and there’s enough “Derek doesn’t deserve a 5th MBT” naysayers out there that it could make a difference – but at the end of the day, I think Amber deserves to win.
So what did you guys think of last night’s show? And who do you think will be walking away with the MBT tonight?
And so we say good-bye to one of the “Most beloved” couples Dancing With The Stars has ever had, but, it’s not really good-bye because they made it to the bitter end. I’m so deeply proud of them and they will always be remembered for how genuine, fun loving, and heart felt they were in all of their dances and packages. I also want to give props to our girls Courtney and Cher @IBLWR for starting a “If Bill leaves we riot” campaign. After that, Afterbuzz mentioned it on one of their after shows and the idea took off. I think that helped them to get to the finals too!! So, here’s to Bill and Emma!! Thanks for entertaining us and with such fun, heart, and soul!!
ETA: And below is their interview with Good Morning America this morning….
I can’t say too much about the show so far, cuz I was out walking the dog. I’m dog sitting. I used to want a dog. Not so much anymore. 😉
You guys get the ball rolling. I’ll jump in later. 😀
Well, it’s finally the end of the road for Bill and he went out with style and class. So, who’s going to win it all tomorrow?? Could be anyone. But after tonights performances, I’m leaning toward a final two of Amber and Jack. But Jack has an uphill battle. As of right now, Jack needs more than 30,000 votes per million votes cast to beat Amber. He needs 22,000 to get past Corbin. Corbin’s road is much more manageable in that he only needs 8,500 votes per million votes cast to beat Amber.
After Jack’s freestyle, he could do it. What does the fusion dance do to the margins?? Assuming that Corbin and Amber each get a 30 and Jack gets a 28? It does very little to the margin. Lowers it by about 2k.
I have no idea who’s going to win. You?
Carrie Ann Inaba breaks down the finalists on Dancing With The Stars at TV Guide. Below are her thoughts on Amber & Derek and Jack & Cheryl.
Amber and Derek:
Amber’s been grappling with a knee injury all season, but she needs to power through (with clearance from her doctor) for the finale, according to Inaba, who insists that “at this point in the game, injury or no injury, she’s got to bring her A+ game.” The judges’ pick for Amber is the Charleston — the dance where her troubles began. “This is the dance where I was telling her that her upper half was bangin’ and she’s such a great performer with her upper half, but her bottom half was sort of weaker. And I think when you have that kind of weakness, that’s how you get injured,” Inaba notes. And so, if she comes back really strong and tight and balanced with her upper body and lower body performance, I think that would be great.” The judges will also be looking for Amber to make “some sort of breakthrough” in the finale. “She needs to take it up a notch,” according to Inaba. “And I think that’s going to be challenging for her, because she’s sort of ridden at the top of the leaderboard throughout the whole season. … The way she performs, her energy just comes like a skyrocket out of her, and it’s really exciting to watch. But nothing really stands out to me as a super memorable signature for Amber dance.”
Jack and Cheryl
The judges are thrilled with the way Jack’s technique has improved throughout the season, according to Inaba, but they’re looking for a little more oomph in the final. “Jack I think just needs to continue adding pizzazz to his performances,” Inaba says. “He’s definitely impressed us all with his incredible technique, his posture, his hold, his frame, his genteel manner when he dances. … He makes a connection every time he gets out on the dance floor, and he’s got this elegance in the way he moves and great technique, great footwork.” But especially up against Corbin and Karina and Amber and Derek, he’ll have to focus more on the theatricality of the dance. “What he needs to work on is to make sure that his performances have incredible sparkle and a vibrancy,” Inaba says. “Jack has been slower to come out of his shell as far as the exuberant performances. He’s had moments where he’s done it. The judges picked the jive, which I thought he did great the first time, but Len and Bruno felt he had more to improve upon. So I think in order to impress Len and Bruno for that judges’ pick and raise his score, he’s got to really up the excitement and the tightness of it. He needs to just sort of let it go and really sparkle.”
To read about Corbin & Karina and Emma & Bill, see TV Guide.
Just in time before the finale of Dancing With The Stars starts, On The Red Carpet has released some rehearsal interviews. You can watch them dancing too. Too fun! For Amber and Derek’s interviews, please see Pure Derek Hough here.
In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Tom Bergeron gives his thoughts on the new format of Dancing With The Stars 17. He also talks of the guest judges, the Glitter Pit vs. Celebriquarium, the switch-up challenge, and more. He’s a crack-up as always too! Read below….
How well do you understand ballroom dance?
Um, certainly better than I did in 2005. But there are styles of ballroom that I couldn’t tell you the difference. For example, one of the things we did this season was the Switch Up Dance Challenge — the music and dance style changed throughout the number. I was doing my usual low-toned commentary–
Tom’s Golf Announcer Voice!
Exactly, and I had several people comment to me, “Wow, you were able to talk about the different styles of dance so quickly!” Here’s what was really going on. Sharna [Burgess, a pro] was sitting right next to me. She had a piece of paper and a Sharpie — a Sharna Sharpie — and she’d write down some of the dances. Some of them I knew for sure, and it’s true that I can tell when it’s a rumba or tango or paso doble, those more obvious ones. But some of these had subtler changes, so Sharna was jotting them down and I was just reading what she was saying.
What is Sharna’s handwriting like?
Very legible! She did a great job, it was like we’d done it many times before.
I thought they’d have set you up with that dance info well before the show!
No, because the order we used in the live show wasn’t what we did in the dress rehearsal. So it was all on the fly.
Looking forward to Monday night?
I always love the freestyle, so I’m looking forward to those. But the number of musical acts we have coming up Monday and Tuesday — we’ve got Kellie Pickler, TLC, Lady Antebellum, Colbie Caillat, Enrique Iglesias… and Ylvis! What does the fox say?
Can we expect a reprise of that ‘Fox’-y Team Freestyle?
I’d say that’s a safe bet.
Anything else you want to say about season 17?
Just make sure you watch the two-night finale… liiiiiiiive!
More at Entertainment Weekly.
The Las Vegas Review Journal has an update on Bill Engvall’s groin pull. Below is what they are reporting from Bill. Thank goodness he’s not expecting long term complications and let’s hope he’s ok for tonight. For those interested, be sure to catch Bill performing at Treasure Island in December. More information at the link.
“I am taped, wrapped, strapped,” the popular and friendly comedian said.
“I’ve got adhesive tape on my abductor muscle. I’ve got a groin wrap. When I get home, I’ll take a shower, and it’ll take 20 minutes to take all the stuff off of me.
“I’ll put an ice pack on my groin. I then have a machine that shoots electricity into the muscle to relax it.
“Man, I’ll tell you what’s amazing to me. I heard about a football player who had a groin strain and was out three weeks. I was out a day, and had to get back in.
“Now admittedly, I’m not bolting and hitting people. But I tell ya, I’ve got a new respect for (athletes).”
Engvall, a married father of two, doesn’t expect long-term complications.
“I’ll bounce back,” he said.
Good Morning America did a segment with Melissa Rycroft interviewing the couples at rehearsals yesterday!! Too fun! Check it out!
ETA: The pros weigh on their favorite Freestyles at Entertainment Weekly in some interviews they did after the show last week. This is a fun deal to take in before the show. Be sure to check it out at the link.