DWTS – Season 17 – The Finals (Night Two) – Grand Finale

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Hey! :)

Before I get into any thoughts about last night’s show and tonight, I just want to say two quick thanks. First, to MJ. Thank you for allowing me to come back and do this all over again. It has been an honor to blog on what I personally believe is the gold standard site for reality-competition television and related programs. Second, to those who followed this season with me every Monday night. We may have been a small bunch, but a dedicated one. With your comments, taking part in the polls, and being right there with me with your opinions, you have made doing this a joy. I know I have a tendency to be super wordy and I thank you for putting up with that. To those who didn’t comment but followed along as well, thanks to you too. MJ has given me the opportunity to return again next Spring for the 18th season of the show and I look forward to starting from scratch and doing all of this again. You guys are the bees knees. Okay, let’s get to talking about the show.

This has been on wild season. We had no result show and so, the voting became was different as audience votes carried over to the following week to be added to the scores from the judges. This may have helped some and it may have hurt some. I’m not quite sure the system works and having no result show was a bummer. I get the ratings for the show were not spectacular but I keep going back to thinking that if the old method was in place, would we have lost such good dancers consecutively during the middle of the competition? Of course, some fault has to go the judges for being generous at times they needed to be critical and being critical (or giving lukewarm comments) when they needed to be more lively. Although it made for an exciting show each week, it was a bummer having to lose such solid dancers.

But this is a show where America votes and I can’t knock any celebrity (too hard) for lasting in the competition thanks to their respective fans. You can’t really proceed on this show regardless of how the judges score you without having people behind you picking up the phone and/or voting on their computers. As the saying goes, the people have spoken, and for good or bad, the results are what they are when you allow the public to have a say. If ABC plans on the same type of schedule next season, I do hope they look at how the scoring works and try to come up with something a bit better. Even though I am not a fan of giving the judges so much power, I wouldn’t be opposed to having the bottom two each week dance-off and let the judges decide who goes home. It might not be perfect but it could potentially keep stronger dancers in the competition for a longer period of time.

The producers did do a marvelous job this season on putting the show together. I enjoyed all the theme nights, special guest judges, and overall production of the show. They always made Monday night feel like an epic event. For me, dancing shows like this and SYTYCD do not get enough credit in the world of reality-competition television. Dancing is such a great way to express yourself and it can bring so much joy and inspiration to people. All of the pros and troupe members on this show are the best in the world at what they do and the choreography this season has been top notch. I hope to see some EMMY nominations in 2014 in the choreograph category and it would be super cool if the show was able to win the EMMY for Outstanding Reality-competition program. TV would just not be the same for me if we didn’t have this or SYTYCD showcasing the beauty and art that is dance.

Last night was a very good finale competitively for the final three. I think Amber And Derek took round one for the judges pick. They were the only couple who really showed a marked improvement on a previously done routine. The samba relay was fun, though really short if you have to judge each couple. I would give the round to Corbin And Karina who I think came up with the best samba technically and for musical interpretation and overall performance value. And then we have the freestyles. This is where it gets tricky. The round they say can win or lose the competition for a couple. I don’t think any of the three couples flat out won the round and owned their competition. Each had something great to offer. Jack And Cheryl had some fantastic choreography that showed off Jack’s very uplifting journey on the show. Corbin And Karina were stellar in their Michael Jackson inspired routine. Derek once again gave his partner the opportunity to shine as Amber danced with many male pros yet kept my attention solely on her. It might be cliche to say but they all took the term “go big or go home” to another level.

So, who wins? If I had to give the championship, it would be Amber And Derek. I think they have done enough all season to warrant the victory. I would not be upset to see Corbin And Karina victorious. Karina hasn’t won the trophy in a while and Corbin is a fantastic dancer. And while it would technically be the weakest choice of the bunch if we are talking dancing ability, I wouldn’t be pissed off to see Jack complete his inspiring journey with a victory. Cheryl is another pro who hasn’t won in quite a while, so it would be nice to see her with the trophy again.

A few fun facts about the pros in the finals and the show overall:
1. Cheryl has not won the trophy since all the way back in season three, with Emmitt Smith. It was her second win a row back then and since, she has been runner-up twice, and landed in third place twice.
2. Derek could make history tonight by winning his fifth trophy and for winning back-to-back seasons for the second time. He previously did so with Nicole Scherzinger and Jennifer Grey. He has placed second once and third once.
3. Karina’s previous victory was in season thirteen, with J.R. Martinez. That is her only previous victory on the show. She was runner-up once and placed third once.
4. Tonight will also break the tie as we have had 8 male and 8 female celebrity winners over the course of the show’s history.
5. Going into tonight, the finalists have danced 15 times, excluding the switch-up challenge, dance-off, and the samba relay). Without including points from Maks in week 10), Amber has 414 points. Corbin is right behind her with 411. Jack has 389.
6. Amber And Derek’s best dances have been Viennese Waltz, Charleston, Freestyle, and Jazz (30 points for each). Her weakest dance was the Jive and Quickstep (24 points).
7. Corbin And Karina’s best dances have been Jazz, Rumba, and Freestyle (30 points for each). His weakest dance was the Viennese Waltz (23 points).
8. Jack And Cheryl’s best dance was their Freestyle (30 points) and weakest was Cha-cha-cha. (22 points).

I’ll do a segment by segment recap of tonight’s events, which is how I used to handle the result show in previus seasons. We have one round of competitive dancing left, the fusion dances. Corbin And Karina have the Cha-cha-cha/Foxtrot. Jack And Cheryl will do Paso Doble/Salsa. Amber And Derek must master the Samba/Quickstep. They have all had less than 24 hours to try and perfect what is basically two different routines mashed together into a cohesive one. That ain’t easy. It should be interesting to see if the judges give everyone perfect scores as they have in previous seasons and allow the final result to be in America’s hands. Also tonight, ALL the season 17 celebs will be back and we have special guest performances by Enrique Iglesias, Lady Antebellum, Colbie Caillat, and Ylvis. It will be both a celebration of the season and one last battle to the finish line.

So, with my above novel finished (sorry, LOL), for the last time this season, let’s get this thing started…

Segment 1

The show opens with a MEGA opening number. The finalists are soon joined by all the celebs, pros, troupe members, judges, hosts (yep) and everyone storms onto the ballroom floor. It is an epic dance. Mandy Moore choreographed that. And it couldn’t have been easy considering she had to deal with about 40 people! Good and fun stuff.

Now, we get a quick look at the highlights from last night’s part one of the finale. A look at the leader board showing Amber at the top and Jack at the bottom. But the scores are pretty close. Up next, Enrique Iglesias and the show will reveal which freestyle the viewers tweeted to see a second time.

Segment 2

Snooki and Sasha welcome us back from the break doing a jive.

Enrique Iglesias is out to perform his new single, “Heart Attack.” Kind of a catchy tune I guess. Truth be told, I had no clue Enrique was even back on the scene these days. He was accompanied by troupe members and pros dancing a very current routine, which goes with the song.

Now, some filler. The pros are now discussing their competition. Everyone is sizing up everyone else. Lots of pros and cons being spewed around from each pro about the contestants.

The twitter vote was won by Amber And Derek, who will repeat their superzied freestyle from last night. Just as fantastic the second time around. Perhaps Amber was even more on point this time around. Fabulous!

Len discusses how difficult the fusion dances are. Brooke sends us to a commercial.

Segment 3

Tom wants us to vote for the show to win a People’s Choice Award. So uh, go vote for that. LOL. Now, a look back at the beginning of the season- specifically, the eliminations of Keyshawn and Bill Nye.

Ylvis is on hand to perform the incredibly catchy “The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)” as members of the original team that performed this song (Amber, Corbin, Jack, and Brant) repeat their routine. Ironically, all three finalists are on this team. I am never going to get this song out of my head. So fun to see the celebrities having the chance to have a good time and not worry about scores or critiques. Team Foxing Awesome were indeed just that.

Segment 4

More filler. This season’s stars give advice to future stars who might want to do the show, despite the ups and downs and hilarity of it all.

The female dancers (pros and troupe members) are out to perform another fierce routine. SEXY. Girl power taking over the ballroom.

A look back at the history of Bill and Tyne and how she “rebuilt” him to return tonight. They are making a big joke out of it, as if… shock… this is a science project. HA. Bill and Tyne dance their original routine from week one, with someone else stepping in for Bill doing tricks. The camera pans away each time “Bill” has to jump. Tom makes a joke about how it was like someone else dancing entirely during parts of the routine. RIGHT. Still though, good to see Bill back and he has apparently recovered well enough from his injury to at least repeat the cha-cha-cha.

Segment 5

Brooke brings us back to interrupt Corbin And Karina, who are rehearsing for their fusion dance. Karina explains how she fused the dances and Corbin feels like he already won. He is just on cloud nine.

Val and Elizabeth, who as Tom says, everyone thought would be in the finals, return to perform their original cha-cha-cha.

And now, a look back at the middle rounds of the competition. Now, to other competitors who left way before their time, Christina and Brant take the floor with their respective partners. A great paso/jazz-inspired routine to “Applause.” Damn. Brant is on fire tonight. What a shame that he didn’t last longer in the competition. Christina and Mark danced to this before but Brant and Peta had to learn in. That definitely impresses me. Good stuff!

Segment 6

Brooke is back, and now her job is to annoy Jack And Cheryl during the fusion rehearsals. Jack mentions how nothing easy was on the list of choices. Jack is feeling the pressure and no pressure at the same time.

Colbie Caillat is out to perform her version of “What A Wonderful World” as Valerie And Tristan return to dance. Aww, so sweet. What a lady. May she be in good health for years! Love her.

Brooke is outside talking with Snooki. Snooki is so glad to be back. Snooki is pressed by Brooke to pick a winner. She doesn’t want to but she picks Jack. She also mentions that she missed Brooke’s boobs. (Yep, she said it). And now, Snooki And Sasha are on the floor to perform following a funny backstage package of their history. Snooki HAS MOVES. Love the lifts and the club-style type dancing. Snooki has proven beyond a doubt that she can dance and dance well. She left too early as well.

Segment 7

Brooke gets to chat with Amber And Derek now. Amber says that Derek choreographed this fast and they tried to have fun. Derek mentions that this is a celebration of the season.

Lady Antebellum are out to next to sing “Compass.” Gleb (yum, as usual), Tristan, Val, Whitney, Lindsay, and Tyne are out to dance.

Now, a look back at the week’s leading up the semifinals. Leah And Tony are back to repeat their tango, which was one of her personal best in the competition.

Segment 8

Brooke welcomes us back and Bill And Emma are repeating their samba routine.

And now…time for the fusion dances (the final competitive round of the competition)…

Corbin And Karina are up first.

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Corbin & Karina (dancing a fusion of Cha-cha-cha/Foxtrot)
Karina did well putting together the cha-cha-cha and foxtrot. It starts with the foxtrot, which Corbin is doing an outstanding job with and then the cha-cha-cha comes into it. Corbin is shaking those hips and moving with the music. He and Karina are having a blast. Oops. A minor mistake where it looks as though Corbin got confused with what step was next but he corrected himself instantly and got back into it. Let’s see if the judges award them (and the other finalists) 10’s across the board and leave it up to America or if they are critical at all in their scores.

Len calls Corbin a fantastic dancer. He loved the foxtrot section. He mentioned Corbin messed up one little part of the cha-cha-cha. Bruno is amazed at how much work the finalists are putting into this. He agrees with Len about the foxtrot being amazing and a mess up with the cha-cha-cha. Carrie Ann can’t believe they are still making the stars dance.
Carrie Ann-9, Len-9, Bruno-9, for a total of 27/30

Segment 9

Next up…Jack And Cheryl

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Jack & Cheryl (dancing a fusion of Paso Doble/Salsa)
Cheryl opted for doing paso/salsa back and forth throughout the routine. Smart idea! Instead of doing one and then the other, Jack And Cheryl go from the very intense paso to the fun of the salsa. Kudos to Jack for keeping up with both very well. He has come a very long way in the competition. And of course, Cheryl gets the ultimate props for week in and week out, choreographing right to what makes Jack look strong in the ballroom. He should be very proud of that final dance.

Bruno loved the fusion. He loved the in and out of it all. Carrie Ann enjoyed the strategy. She says he was a hair flat footed on the salsa. Len says Jack has given him the most pleasure to watch out of all the celebrities because of his improvement.
Carrie Ann-9, Len-9, Bruno-9, for a total of 27/30

Segment 10

Finally, Amber And Derek.

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Amber & Derek (dancing a fusion of Samba/Quickstep)
Again, Derek went the Cheryl route by going in and out from one style to the other. I love the way they are doing the quickstep and then go right into the fun of the samba. Amber effortlessly gets into frame for the quickstep, her feet always on point, and then out of hold, entertains with the samba. This is probably the most technically perfect of the three fusion dances we have seen tonight.

Carrie Ann says it was like a whole new dance style was created. Len says he has been critical throughout the season but he had never lost the thought of the joy he gets from watching Amber. Bruno says Amber did not put a foot wrong. And he counted every beat!
Carrie Ann-10, Len-10, Bruno-10, for a total of 30/30

Segment 11

Time for some final filler. The celebs talk about how much their partners mean to them. Okay, not so much filler here because it is actually sweet.

Results time

The couple leaving us right now in 3rd place is…

Jack And Cheryl.
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Congratulations to Jack on 3rd place, tying what his sister did on the show!

Segment 12
And this is it, folks. Here we go…

For the last time this season, results….

THE WINNERS OF SEASON SEVENTEEN OF DWTS ARE…

AMBER AND DEREK!!!
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Congratulations to Amber! Congratulations to Derek on his history making fifth DWTS trophy. And of course, congratulations to Corbin And Karina for earning second place!

And with all of that being said (and boy was it a whole lot to say), another season of DWTS comes to a close. I really hope you guys enjoyed it as much as I did and remember… we will do this all over again in March with a new crop of celebs! I look forward to that and hope you will all be here with me.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!!

  • Bentley1530

    Franky, I have enjoyed your capping and comments so much this season, you have added much with your insights and I am impressed with the speed of your updates. I think this was a season that could have handled the 2 night format. The choreography and production vales have been top notch and the stars have performed at a high level. One thing I really missed this season is the encore dance at the top of night 2. Without the pressure of scoring the second performance of the dance was often better than the first.

  • iluvai

    I thoroughly enjoyed Amber and Derek’s freestyle last night and again tonight. Awesome. Thanks for your excellent recaps!

  • supersonic

    This is what the finals were supposed to be — Team Foxing Awesome.

  • cherelann

    Franky, your passion for dance is evident in every recap. You are not too wordy because you are a very entertaining writer. Thanks so much for all the effort you put into every show!!

  • lola

    Am addicted to What Does the Fox Say. Can’t wait to see it on Glee Thursday night.. It’s the Gangnam style for 2013. Dancers did a great job

  • vd88

    Wow Elizabeth was way better than I realized.

  • Miz

    I don’t post often, but I do read everything you write, Franky. Usually the next day while I watch it (again) online for what I missed the night before.

    Thank you for your insight and making it an enjoyable season. Looking forward to watching when it airs West coast.

  • lola

    Snookie was fabulous IMO!! I would love to see her in some kind of a “review” in Las Vegas like the last bunch of cast offs did. Not sure if the show is still on.

  • vd88

    Even Snooki seemed better now, why do they all seem better after they’re gone.

  • dogncatmom

    Franky, thank you so much for your recaps. I don’t often comment, but I do love this show and I very much appreciate all your efforts!

  • vd88

    I don’t really comment that much either, normally I only comment at when I’m pissed about what the judges are doing. lol I read all your recaps and you do a great job.

  • Franky

    No pressure :)

  • joeclubkid

    Franky, glad you’re doing this, your passion truly comes thru and shows how much you enjoy the show and dances. I always read what you write so i can see all the things I missed… you are my extra judge. =)

  • supersonic

    Exactly.

  • lola

    I think the dancers are doing a much better job this season dancing to recorded tracks rather than live singing. In the past they had to rehearse to tracks but then dance to live music. Sorry about the singers losing their jobs, though.

  • Kesia Monteith

    YEEEEEAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!

  • supersonic

    YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Pretty Horsey

    I’m so glad Amber won :)

  • CanadianLady

    Yeah from me too! Good show – it moved fast. I think they’ve learned something from not having a results show.

  • bentley1530

    So happy with the outcome, D and A make a good team.

  • JLE12

    So happy for Amber and Derek! YES!! I will also add how your great your recaps are each week. There are weeks I miss the show but always have your recaps to keep me up to date!! Thank you.

  • Wellworn

    Yay Amber! My favorites made it to first and second place, so I’m happy. Amber really did deserve the win. Franky I truly have appreciated your recaps, you did a great job. Glad you’ll be back in March. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  • jennyl2

    Yay! Congrats Amber and Derek. Love love them!

  • Kirsten

    Franky, I just want to thank you for your recaps. I don’t often watch DWTS, but I love reading your recaps. Your enthusiasm for dance shines through and the points you make help me to better understand who is doing well or not so well. You also have a great sense of humour and very fluid writing style.

    I often check out the youtubes of dances based on your comments.

    Thanks for another fun season!

    And congrats to Amber!!!!

  • Terry Ormiston Fowler

    Fun season and thanks for all the great recaps. Had to miss a couple shows along the way but I could depend on you to fill me in! Loved Jack’s growth as a dancer throughout the season, and would not have been mad if he had won. That being said, I do think the right person has that mirror ball. Well done to Amber and Derek!

  • Montavilla

    Thanks, Franky, for doing such a great job all season. And what a season this was! I think this was the best one ever. Even though some people went home early, it was worth it to get Bill’s Indiana Jones freestyle. I believe the word “cracktastic” was waiting for that performance in order to justify its invention. :)

  • Kariann Hart

    Thank you, Franky for keeping us well-informed and entertained! This really was a good season. Tom had to be time keeper with the shorten format. He always does a good job. I am please that Amber won and I love her comments about her race and being overweight. She’s an inspiration to many.
    Will you be covering, “So You Think You Can Dance”? It seems you have attended some of the shows? Yes?

  • Cary Gonzalez

    Love Derek and love Amber, however…it’s getting really old and tiresome to have Derek win every single season now. Kind of like Blake/The Voice…

  • emme1000

    I think that his wins speak to what a great choreographer and instructor he is.

  • emme1000

    So excited to see her win! She looked genuinely surprised and overwhelmed.

  • Cary Gonzalez

    I’m not disputing that he’s awesome. He is far and above the best choreographer on this show. Matter of fact, he’s the main reason I even watch but I think they need to give his “streak” a break. The producers have undoubtedly been favoring him by pairing him with the “star” with the best win potential. Would he have won with Cloris Leachman or Valerie Harper? Nope.

  • CanadianLady

    His current streak is two years in a row. As for Amber having the best chance of winning this year, I really don’t think so. And who knows what he’d have done with Valerie of Cloris!

  • Cary Gonzalez

    He’s the only pro who’s won five times, has more perfect scores, most finales, etc. Again…as A FAN OF HIS, I’d like to stop reading the whining from fans of the other pros about how he’s being favored by the producers. He needs to get the token “old lady” next year and either shut everyone up or let someone else win.

  • CanadianLady

    Well, I kind of thought that’s what this year was. :) I didn’t think Amber would be anywhere that good.

  • Alectric

    Think of it this way. The show recently lost its result episodes, and is kind of struggling for ratings. Do you really think it’s best for them to bench their best partner/choreographer?