DWTS 9 – 11/23 Final Performances Recap: Three the Easy Way
All right! We’ve made it to the show that matters least of all in this whole competition, because we all already know who we’re rooting and voting for, and all we want to know is who wins. Plus freestyle! Let’s do this!
A Rough Ride
Tom seems a little less chipper than usual. Joanna’s elimination must’ve really gotten him down. Don’t be sad, Host with the Most; she’ll be pulling her sweet dork train back into the station in just a few hours. But for now, Host with the Personality of Toast will break down what’s going to happen to us all during these final performances: a brand new dance for each of the couples, followed by the “Megamix,” which used to be called a dance-off until America’s Best Dance Crew became rilly, rilly popular, and finally, we’ll close the evening with the much anticipated freestyle round.
Kelly and Louis will inaugurate the night, and even though there are only 90 minutes to fill tonight instead of 120, there is still plenty of time leftover for mushy clip packages and insight from all of the contestants on the many ways that they have grown.
Kelly, we know, has overcome her own insecurity and turned into a joy to watch not only as a trope, but as a dancer. She ranks her breakthrough Viennese waltz as the first moment she felt she could succeed in the competition. Then she and Louis reminisce over their tango, wherein Kelly’s rollercoaster ride of confidence nearly crashed and burned. But they pulled through, and landed safely at the Charleston, at which point she began to soar, flying above the Ferris wheel, the rubber duck game, and the many fried hot dog stands. Poignant, right? I’m working on a spec script right now. Kelly Osbourne: My Own Private Carnivàle.
Also during these 90 minutes, we see each couple treated to a visit from one of the judges during their rehearsal. I guess Kelly has the most fan momentum so she got stuck with the proverbial rock: Carrie Ann drops in on hers and Louis' practice session to give to them from her wealth of knowledge. Kelly and Louis drew Argentine tango this week, and CA really wants Kelly to put more passion into her expressions and mannerisms during the dance. As if we needed it, but anyway here is yet more proof of my soon to be published thesis No One in the World Likes Carrie Ann, Ever, as Kelly says “She made me so uncomfortable.” But Kelly does go on to thank CA for her generosity of input and time.
Out on stage, Kelly and Louis bring the heat like summertime; Kelly looks lovely in her black sequined wrap dress. She has also adopted a very serviceable passion face, and even though she never varies it, it’s the Argentine tango so it works for me. Her dancing is likewise good – except for one nevertheless cool-looking leap where the line of her back is a bit messy, and a few kind of lethargic kicks, it was pretty awesome. Also, Louis in a dinner jacket and white tie? Tasty as a fried hot dog.
Judging! Len thinks Kelly epitomizes the nature of this competition; Bruno agrees, but thinks that sometimes her footwork was a little loose. He would also have like to see a more light and natural sensuality than Passion Face, but CA applauds the combo of “intimacy and intensity” that Kelly was working. Scores: 9s from Carrie and Len, and an 8 from Bruno for a total of 27. The audience is displeased, but Louis thinks Kelly ruled.
Next up, “The highest scoring star of season 9.” Sly, Tom. Mya and Dmitry have had a kind of charmed run on the show, except for their sometimes rocky relationship with Len. But Old Grumpy Knickers came round on Mya after a couple of sexy Latin dances, and in the last two weeks he has been glad to favor them with his 10 paddle. I tried to make that not sound dirty. Not sure I made it. Mya thinks we have a tabula rasa at this point, and that everyone’s dances matter more than ever. Poor, naïve thing.
Fittingly, Grumpy Knickers is their rehearsal helper. He walks in on Mya and Dmitry’s paso doble, which looks pretty wimpy from where I’m sitting. Len concurs; he works on inspiriting their routine with more aggression and attitude, instructing Mya to be less subdued and to kick his arm off. Hold up the wrong paddle, and she might, my dear.
“We Will Rock You,” their song announces, perhaps the rocking will be accomplished by their not wearing any clothes. Dmitry’s shirt has no buttons, and Mya’s thigh-split skirt serves as the proverbial cape for the dance. The choreography is still a little too wishy-washy for my taste, but I can’t say I wasn’t captivated. Although that could’ve been my great curiosity at seeing a paso to Queen. The crows goes wild for it though, as do the judges. Bruno: “The power of Mya unleashed for all to ad-miyah!” Carrie Ann: I dub you the Queen of The Paso Doble.” Sorry, Mel B. Oh, but Len acknowledges you girl, when he says that Mya’s and Dmitry’s routine is right up there with yours. Scores: all tens, yet again.
Dancing in November
Donny and Kym are necessarily our Comeback Kids of the evening; they had a rather rough time of it last week, but are still smiling. Yeah, I’m happy you’re in the finals too, Kym! In going over their past happenings, Donny makes sure to bring up his “46 years of experience” performing and entertaining, and pokes fun at himself and his early dancing mistakes. They chronicle his transformation from performer and entertainer into dancer, courtesy of a steamy Argentine tango. Donny identifies his own challenge as finding the balance between performing and dancing in order to earn that glittery prize.
Bruno of course consults with Kym and Donny regarding their cha cha. Bruno says he wants Donny to win because of his dancing, and not because he is Donny Osmond. That’s very sweet, and surprisingly, lacking in inappropriate metaphor. He works with Donny on his extension and the effect is pretty immediate. I love when that happens, when you can instantly see someone getting better at something, just from a little expert tip. Well done, Bruno.
Donny and Kym take the floor tonight looking like mirror ball trophies as they cha cha to “September.” They look great, from what I can see in between busting my own moves in my living room. And the dance is even immediately identifiable as a cha cha! I love when that happens too. Well done, Kym. Carrie Ann says, “Where did those hips come from?” Not from Utah. Len says, “Ding dong, Donny,” and congratulates Bruno for working his magic on the traditionally stiff Donny. Bruno says Donny is a credit to his profession, and is a joy to work with. The million Mormon Osmonds in the audience swell the arena with their applause for that sentiment. Backstage, Donny promises that his freestyle will in no way involve dolls. I think then, that he has already won. Scores: triple 9s for 27.
It’s Megamix time, wherein all the contestants will be dancing the same samba, Viennese waltz, and jive choreography at the same time. During rehearsal Kelly gets the yips a bit again because Donny and Mya have so much more experience than she has, but the choreographer, former pro Nick Kosovich, encourages her to keep growing as she has been. I wish I could get that kind of motivational support every day. All I have to encourage me are a bunch of posters with people skydiving and looking into sunsets from the tops of steep hills.
Donny meanwhile is feeling old, as Kym so helpfully reminds him that Mya and Kelly could be his daughters. And although the routine includes the V-waltz, which was her lowest scoring dance of the season, Mya is feeling confident and hopes her hard work on the Megamix will put the trophy in her sights.
And then – they dance. The Megamix! It begins with a pretty sedate Viennese waltz to that “You and Me and All Other People” song, in which everyone acquits themselves well, and I learn to use sedate as a euphemism for dull. The samba portion is next. It necessitates the ripping off of waltzy skirts, and the use again of the term “wardrobe malfunction” as Louis is a bit late in ripping Kelly’s skirt off. The song is Shakira’s “Whenever, Wherever,” and I find my eyes drawn to Kym the most, which only makes sense, but Donny’s getting it too, and keeping up very nicely with her. My eyes go to Mya during the jive to “Maniac;” her hip and leg action is really compelling, but they all look pretty awesome. The mix ends with the three stars striking a pose on in front of the judges’ dais; Kelly hugs Donny, and Donny hugs Mya, and they are all adorable.
Tom kicks it to Len to begin the remarks, and Len assures us that although it seems like there’s a front-runner, this is going to be really difficult to judge. But judge they must, for they are judges. Bruno thinks Mya aced the samba and Kelly worked the waltz, in spite of the whole skirt thing, and he thought Donny looked as good as a pro at times. Carrie Ann says, “there’s not much else to say,” so let’s just leave her out of it. They’ll be ranked from first to last in this round, first earning 30 points, second 28, and third 26.
Backstage, Samantha tries to get post-dance reactions but everyone pretty much has their talking points memorized so it’s rough going. I mean, rougher than usual going. And then we get their rankings: Kelly and Louis in third, Donny and Kym in second, and Mya and Dmitry in first. Duh. It’s a spread of 4 points though, so clearly the competition will not hinge on this. Why, it’s almost like they could’ve gone without having this round at all.
In their freestyle rehearsal, Louis is giving Kelly a bit of a pep talk about how make-or-break this round is. They’ve got a rousing disco self-esteem classic to work with, which should be right up Kelly’s alley, but she’s having trouble dancing in her heels because both of her big toes are injured. She perseveres however, even through Louis trying to convince her to do a handstand in her skirt (why the face, dude?), and Kelly ends up swallowing her fears and going for it because she’s really keen to prove that her abilities are good enough to get her the win.
To the expertly tailored tune of “I Will Survive,” Kelly in a fierce long, white, hooded satin robe, begins going for it as soon as Louis rips the robe off. They are hands down the cutest team ever. If any of you disagree with me, you’re wrong. And although Kelly misses a few moves – most notably her fall during one lift – they neither of them ever stop falling and consistently look like they’re loving what they’re doing. That, for Kelly, is a remarkable achievement. Bruno says she never looked more beautiful. And he knows from disco, because he was there, and sometimes people did fall on the floor at Studio 54, but it was all part of the glamour. Actually, all of the judges pretty much fall all over each other to say that Kelly is great even though she had a few mess ups. CA actually gives Kelly a very sweet (and astute) compliment when she says that Kelly is who we’d all like to be if we were facing challenges like the ones this show presents.
Backstage, Kelly is still laughing as she says one of their lifts looked like “Louis pooped [her] out,” and even after sticking me with that mental image forever, I love her. They score triple 8s for 24, and a final total of 77.
Mya and Dmitry are headed into the freestyle round with a perfect score. During their rehearsal we learn that Mya wants to be risky for the final dance, while Dmitry wants to play it a little safer. Also their respective ideas for risky and safe are Vegas and Broadway, so to my mind this debate is pretty moot, as DWTS is pretty much Vegas! The Broadway Musical. Mya doesn’t want to blend in and wants to make an “artistic statement” (girl, really?), but Dmitry says they’ll stand out most by winning the trophy, so Mya eventually agrees to his plan.
Dmitry’s plan turns out to be a fun romp through Hairspray’s “You Can’t Stop the Beat.” There’s very little ballroom involved, and yet I’m digging it, thanks to the copious amount of retro twisting and shimmying sprinkled throughout. Not much spectacle though, which is kind of curious considering the nature of the number. They be flipping and lifting on Broadway, yo.
Carrie Ann agrees with me and says their rputine was not outstanding because it didn’t really showcase Mya’s capabilities. Hmm. It would’ve been kind of cool to see what Mya could’ve done this season with a choreographer like Maks or Derek. But I digress. Len completely agrees with CA, and says he kept expecting something to happen, but it never did. Bruno agrees with them both, though he says Mya danced wonderfully, with energy, and on the beat, etc, it wasn’t “spectacularrrr!” enough for him. Yeah, pretty much.
Backstage Mya goes on a bit too much about how much she’s sacrificed and worked to be in this, and ends by saying “It’s all about fun now.” Even though they panned it during critique the judges grant Mya and Dmitry triple 9s. That brings their total to 87.
Wind It Up!
And Donny and Kym bring up the rear. In a moment that I’m sure made my partner’s brain explode and ooze out of her ears, Kym lets Marie and her former partner Jonathan Roberts into the rehearsal to strengthen Donny’s concentration. He practices ignoring his sister as we have all learned to do over the past few years (that was for you, MsF!), and gets pretty well inured to blocking out her face as she tries to distract him.
Kym and Donny are also aping Broadway for their freestyle, as Kym is hoping to spotlight Donny’s showmanship and charisma. Donny is mainly worried about keeping his head out of the way when Kym leaps.
Their routine turns out to be meta-Broadway, as we first go through a whole “backstage” portion with them in robes and curlers. This turns into a rollicking, high kicking, gambol of a stage revue, complete with jazz hands and the all-important final vamp. It’s a super cute, but also really entertaining dance, with again precious little ballroom, but lots of pizzazz. It rules the night for me.
Len dubs it a “showstopper,” and says that judging from the noises coming from Bruno’s direction, he loved it too. Oh, DANCMSTR, you’re my very favorite. Bruno does indeed foam at the mouth about Vegas, Hollywood, and Broadway, and calls Donny a master. Carrie Ann says this is a freestyle to go down in history with Drew and Cheryl’s from the first season, and Shawn and Mark’s from this past spring. Backstage with Toast, they get their scores: the first perfect 30 of the season for Donny. Just in time! That puts Donny and Kym firmly in second place with 85, nipping right at Mya and Dmitry’s 87. Kelly and Louis have a bit of ground to make up with 76, but when America votes, nothing is impossible. There’s also the final final dance that only the judges score, so if you think you know what’s going to happen, you’re probably right but it wouldn’t hurt to keep a lid on it just in case.
Tonight brings you the finale, to include many performances and retrospectives and shiny things of course, as well as what we’ve all been waiting on tenterhooks for – the return of New Anna. In the meantime I’m going to go put bars on my windows and stock up on bread and water, and M&Ms, because I’m assuming if Mya wins there will be blood in the streets. (And if Donny wins, Ovaltine.) But this is yet another competition where I’d be happy with any of the finalists winning, so the very best of luck to them all. MsFroggy is on deck to let you know if you need to get your riot gear ready after tonight’s crowning. I’m done for the season, so thanks to all of you for following the show with us here at FORT. MS out.
Re: DWTS 9 – 11/23 Final Performances Recap: Three the Easy Way
Thank you or taking the time to write your recaps - always very funny and factual. Entertaining. Great job.