After weeks of appetizers, we finally get to the main course. Tonight is the last hurdle to finding out this season’s winner of Dancing with the Stars. Let’s get it on!
1. Mel B. & Maksim
The Dance: Cha Cha
The Song: "Car Wash" by Rose Royce. Um, sure. Not a likely choice but it pretty much worked.
Not only are Mel & Maks practicing crazy lifts for their freestyle, Mel brings in two dancers from the Spice Tour to teach them some Hip Hop moves. Maks is excited because they’re challenging to him. But, before we can get to the freestyle, Mel has to dance the Judges’ Choice – the Cha Cha. She believes it was chosen because it was the first dance she ever performed and the Judges would like to see how much she’s improved. Mel was rocking an outfit that looked like it was inspired by Princess Leia’s metal bikini. The dance was only slightly less impressive than the outfit (because good grief!). It had a good vibe and Mel was working the steps as usual. I really have to give her credit because she ended up being so much better than I expected her to end up being. And the rest of Le Spice Girls are in the audience, booing loudly whenever the judges say something not entirely complimentary to Mel. Ah, friendship.
Best Judge Line: Not the judges, but Tom says to Mel & Maks, "Yes, yes…get as much in as you can tonight" as they grab at him for the umpteenth time.
Score: 28 (9-9-10 – can’t say I’m surprised as it was great but not quite as as exciting as prior dances [according to Carrie Ann] and because Len gets all grumpy when they put in more than "modern" step)
2. Marie Osmond & Jonathan
The Dance: Samba
The Song: I don’t know the name of the song but it sounds like something Carmen Miranda might’ve sang. A rare appropriate song.
Jonathan breaks out the crash-pad to practice lifts and Marie’s all for it. Later, Marie, curious about what everyone else is doing, uses one of those scaffolding/window-cleaning bits to rise to the window on the second floor to spy on Helio & Julianne. So, on to the first dance. The Judges picked the Samba since, as Marie says, she passed out during it the first time and they didn’t have a chance critique it. It was pretty entertaining but really, I just got distracted by how she’s just not great technically. This is one of those dances where the "show" factor can’t mask the lack of technique, a fault that becomes glaringly obvious now that it’s the finals. There was a nice little dip/turn sequence towards the end though.
Best Judge Line: Nothing of note, though Marie is a little spazzy tonight.
Score: 24 (all 8’s – they were a bit stunned by the "low" scores but there’s no way they get 9’s if Mel got 9’s)
3. Helio Castroneves & Julianne
The Dance: The Jive
The Song: "Let’s Twist Again" by Chubby Checker
Julianne breaks out the extra-thick mat to practice their lifts, one of which is an assisted back-flip by Helio. If he can end up pulling that off during the freestyle, color me impressed. For their first dance the Judges chose The Jive since he scored comparatively low the first time through. Entertainment wise, it was really fun…however the footwork was pretty sketchy. He messed up at the beginning on the stage, which is basically the worst place to mess up, and Helio also had some timing issues. Carrie Ann says it improved from last time and, since I can’t remember and agree with 99% of what she says, I’ll take her word for it.
Best Judge Line: Nothing really of note.
Score: 25 (8-8-9)
4. Mel & Maksim
The Dance: Freestyle
The Song: "The Way I Are" by Timberland. Oh…
First, I fully recognize that it’s a difficult song to duplicate and the music itself was actually pretty spot on but…still. Not so much with the vocals. Sub-standard music aside, the lifts were great and there were some fantastic bits to it, but I kind of agree with Carrie Ann that it didn’t quite do Mel justice. It was good, but I expected more. And I felt like Mel was nervous or something…maybe she should’ve wore a costume with sneakers instead of heels? But, slight oddness aside, it was still enjoyable. And Maks did quite well with the Hip Hop moves.
Best Judge Line: "I know someone who’s not getting tour tickets," says Tom to Carrie Ann after her critique and the chorus of Spice Boos from the audience.
Score: 28 (all 9’s)
5. Marie & Jonathon
The Dance: Freestyle
The Song: "Start Me Up" by The Rolling Stones
Marie comes out as a doll whom Jonathan has to wind up and dances around stiffly. That’s a really smart way to get around her technical issues. It was good conceptually, but not as good on the floor. Think the music box number from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on acid. It was…odd. I think it disturbed me a little. But props on the lifts.
Best Judge Line: Bruno says, "This is the loopiest thing I’ve ever seen. It defies criticism. It’s like Baby Jane and the Bride of Chucky."
Score: 22 (8-7-7 – it goes to show that creepy dolls are never a good idea)
6. Helio & Julianne
The Dance: Freestyle
The Song: "Land of a Thousand dances" by Wilson Pickett
So this one was the most overall together of the three of them. Helio did have a few rough moments, but overall it was very good and the most cohesive of all the Freestyles. The lifts were also solid – the form wasn’t always great but he held it together well. Also, the Happy Muppet Face was in full effect.
Best Judge Line: Not a judge, but Tom once again: "Helio looks like a Brazilian Power Ranger, doesn’t he?"
Score: 29 (9-10-10)
Overall Thoughts: It’s interesting how all the stars sort of choked tonight – none of them fully lived up to their potential. Helio wasn’t as sharp as I’ve grown accustomed to seeing him, on both dances. Marie was…well, Marie. She did the best she could technically on the first dance and went mostly for entertainment value on the Freestyle that backfired on her. Mel was the most consistent, but still didn’t quite elevate to the level she was at last week.
Who’ll Win?: With one dance remaining on tomorrow’s results show, my opinion could change but I’m given Mel the slight edge at this point.
Tomorrow night, Celine Dion performs and we find out who gets to take home the coveted (and incredibly tacky, but in a good way) Mirrorball Trophy.