Dancing with the Stars recap: Finals

Dancing with the Stars recap: The Finals Part 1

The two-part Dancing with the Stars finale opened with a confession from Erin Andrews that she was physically unable to lift her arms thanks to the bounds of her tight, hot pink dress. I thought she was going to confess that there was a high likelihood the audience would see her boobs by the end of the night. Her dress made me more nervous that Gleb and Jana dancing with that long piece of material. Then Erin compared herself to the little brother from A Christmas Story, which didn’t make sense because Randy was unable to put his arms down. Is today opposite day? Tom Bergeron moved on as if that conversation never happened. I used it as the intro to my recap. To each his own.


Calvin and Lindsay
Viennese Waltz
“I Am Your Man” by Ryan Snow
Calvin and Lindsay danced the Viennese waltz way back in week 3 and the judges wanted to see how much he’s improved. The wardrobe department draped Lindsay in head-to-toe lavender silk and dresses Calvin to match. There were lots of rises and falls, twists and twirls, but in true Calvin fashion, he flirted with the lights near the edge of the stage again. I feared they were going to run out of ballroom space like they did last week, but my anxiety was assuaged by Calvin’s glittery collar. It was a proper Viennese waltz, but a touch boring. Officer Carrie Ann issued a lift ticket and docked them a point because that’s what she does. No one cared because Calvin’s little boy stole the show by surprising his dad and making Calvin cry. I cried with them. He may be sweaty, but he’s Megatron and loves his kids. Pay no attention to the sour look on Lindsay’s face right now.

Jana and Gleb
“Stay the Night” by Zedd
Remember when Jana tore her inner rib muscle thingy and suffered through a dark, sultry tango once upon a time? The judges would like to see her do that dance again. It’s too bad Gleb has the flu. He sent Alan to do camera blocking. Instead of praising Alan for stepping up to learn the dance the HOUR before, Jana seemed more irritated that Alan wasn’t Gleb. I understand her frustration. Gleb is hot and I wouldn’t mind if he spread his flu germs on me at all. This scenario became a reality when Gleb took the dance floor with Jana among a sea of weird green and red lasers. They were also tangoing on a small stage. I felt like they never really attacked the dance (fear of falling off?) until they descended the stairs and finished the routine on a normal level. I liked the club music they were dancing to about as much as I liked Jana’s nude heels. Read: I didn’t like either. Gleb looked like he was sick. Jana looked like she knew Gleb looked like he was sick. Carrie Ann only watched their feet so she could report that Jana’s foot did indeed come off the floor. NO POINT FOR YOU! Erin made them bedazzled surgical masks, but couldn’t hand them over because again, she can’t lift her arms. It was all very awkward. I hid behind the couch cushion.

Since this was a two-hour show and the producers had some time to kill, Witney and Jenna and a mysterious male JV player introduced the audience to the art form known as J-A-Z-Z! The girls were in Single Lady bodysuits, but my eye was immediately drawn to the dude who popped and locked his way around the girls with ease. Tom told me his name was Jeremy. Tom also pointed to an older gentleman in the audience, announcing that “The famous Norman Lear is in the audience!” I’ll give you once guess who I Google’d first.

Laurie and Val
Paso Doble
“Wicked Ones” by DOROTHY
Laurie slays anything she touches, so the judges are forced to make her dance one of the least popular genres on the show. When Laurie and Val danced the paso before, Julianne complained that they didn’t have enough chemistry. Who cares that he’s twice her age and it’s illegal for them to date? She wants to see fake passion! Val gave Laurie the best advice he could muster, “You know the steps. Just do them better.” Right. Val chose a transparent shirt and slicked his hair back. Laurie was some sort of vixen with a huge neck adornment. I’m not sure why the bare trees from Halloween were re-purposed, but it worked. There was a lot of fire and focus. Val acts as if he’s a proud dad when Laurie is interviewed. He didn’t even flinch when they didn’t get a perfect score. His little girl is growing up!

Look! It’s the band Train! I had no idea they were still around. Good for them. I fast forwarded.

James and Sharna
“It Had To Be You” by Harry Connick, Jr.
Here’s the deal with Sharna: She loves a production. In this instance, I didn’t think they needed the pomp and circumstance. With that said, I loved the idea of Sharna playing a librarian and James playing a nerd. She understands that he can pull off a character, so she plays to that strength. Couple that fact with a sentimental song everyone knows and loves (is that just me?) and you’ve got the makings of a perfect score. Unless you trip in the middle of it. OH HOW THIS PAINED ME! The routine was flawless otherwise. Even the judges were annoyed, except Bruno who pretended he didn’t see the bobble.


Anything goes in this portion of the competition. Carrie Ann hates it because she has no grounds for taking off points for lifts. The pros are freaking out because they have to come up with ideas that haven’t been done before in 23 season. Good luck with that.

Jana and Gleb
“Unstoppable” by Sia
Right off the bat, I thought Gleb choosing contemporary for their freestyle dance was a mistake. It’s not that Jana can’t pull it off, she can. And I understand that he probably wanted to choreograph something opposite of the tango they just performed. But I feel they should have stayed in their sultry wheelhouse. They work best in a smoldering atmosphere. I also appreciate the idea of having a piece of material connecting them. You can do a lot of cool stuff with that piece of rope, but people like me also watch the entire dance completely nervous that someone is going to slip or fall or trip on the prop. I miss the emotion because I’m uncomfortable that my butt is clenched. Although he didn’t technically trip, Gleb did nearly drop Jana mid-dance. He was running with her on his shoulder and he just stumbled over air. Everything went downhill after that.

Calvin and Lindsay
Everything but the Kitchen Sink
“I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5 / “Please Mr. Postman” by The Marvelettes
This is what I’m talking about. Lindsay knows that Calvin’s strengths are, well, his literal strength. And his energy. Plus, his smile can earns points by itself. Squash all that together in a jazz, lindy, jive routine of happiness and you have Calvin’s personality in dance form. Add a treadmill to that business and you have entertainment. I was thankful that Lindsay’s weird outfit turned out to be a cute red dress from the ‘60s once Calvin pulled a string and it magically came tumbling down. The JV dancers were all over the place as Calvin notoriously flipped Lindsay up, around and once straight over his head. It’s a good thing Alan was back there to catch her. I’m going to save you from awkwardness that was “the trombone incident” during Erin’s post-dance interview. Epic fail.

Again, the producers had to kill some time, so they pimped out their very own Mandy Moore who choreographed the dance sequences in the upcoming movie La La Land starring Emma Stone and my boy Ryan Gosling. I love Mandy Moore. Ever since she came on the scene in So You Think You Can Dance, I’ve lightly stalked her career. She’s amazing. Check out her work in the La La Land trailer here:

Laurie and Val
A Little Bit of Everything
“Brand New” by Ben Rector
Val reminded Laurie that she is an amazing dancer, but that won’t necessarily win the mirrorball trophy. It’s all about the freestyle. And since her dancing is way above average, he decided to choreograph their routine in a makeshift playground, complete with merry-go-round, slide and a gaggle of JV dancers. At first I thought they were going to do a Harry Potter dance because I swear the Gryffindor crest was on Val’s sweater vest. But it ended up being your basic, joy-filled number with a bit of tumbling and zero mistakes. I didn’t really understand all of the leaves falling, but I decided not to care when Laurie busted out a front aeriel. You know she does this on the balance beam, right? Give her a real challenge, Val!

Sharna and James
“Beethoven’s 5 Secrets” by The Piano Guys
I admit I was a bit bummed when Sharna announced that she would be pulling freestyle inspiration from James’ car wreck. We’ve been down this road several times. But then James said that there was a period of time when he blacked out. Sharna was going to choreograph that piece of his story as guardian angels who protected him from death. From that moment, I rooted for this routine to be good. And it was. James narrated his story for about 15 seconds, explaining that he should have died. Sharna wrapped herself around him, there was silence and then a troupe of JV dancers came in to symbolize the light fighting the darkness. The routine ended with Sharna wrapped in the exact position she had been in earlier and James standing tall — alive. It was smart, creative, loving, emotional, well-danced and it didn’t hurt that his shirt was open, displaying a sculpted set of abs. As Bruno said, “It will be an unforgettable Dancing with the Stars moment.” I agree. I want James to win. I’m also really hoping Sharna wins her first trophy too!

Erin and Tom quickly announce that Laurie and Calvin made it to the finals. At that moment, Jana knew that it was her time to leave. She was right. She really did grow this season and it’s clear she is coming out the other side stronger.

It’s go time. Who do you think is going to win? Are you rooting for Calvin, Laurie or James? Vote below!

Photo By: ABC.com


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