After nine grueling weeks, it’s finally the finale of Dancing with the Stars: All Stars Edition. Now that the wheat has been separated from the chaff (that’s you Pamela Anderson!), we can talk about who’s who in these finales. There’s Shawn Johnson the Olympic gold medalist who has been pushing the rules all season with Derek Hough in order to incorporate her gymnastic skills into her dances. Then there’s Kelly Monaco, the season one champion and General Hospital star who has a fake love affair of convenience with partner Val Chmerkovskiy. Finally there’s Melissa Rycroft, the former Bachelor winner-turned-runner-up/Bachelorette, who keeps nailing the dances with partner Tony Dovolani, but may lack the star power of her competitors to rally the votes necessary to go all the way. So who is going to take home the extra mirror-y Mirror Ball Trophy? It all depends on tonight’s performances — a repeat of a dance they’ve already done and a freestyle number — and your votes.
Here’s how the final performances played out:
Best Use of Abs: Last week Val Chmerkovskiy stripped down to his knickers to win votes and it worked. Not being a chucklehead, Val performed his paso doble sans shirt.
Most Anticipated Result: Judge Len Goodman has been withholding his highest score from Kelly and Val, because he’s just that kind of guy. So on the second to last performance of the All Stars season, he finally gives it up, awarding the duo a ten for their performance. Len is such a ten slut this season.
There’s No Crying in Samba: The last time that Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani performed a samba, Melissa was recovering from a neck injury and struggled through her solo. The audience cringed in horror as Tony played hacky sack with her delicate head. This time, no one cares about Melissa’s head and the dance went off without a hitch. So much so that they got a perfect 30 for their performance.
Best Woman to Woman Moment: Judge Carrie-Ann Inaba decides to use a few moments of live television to admire Melissa’s abs.
Craziest Choice: A few weeks back, Shawn and Derek performed an invigorating dance that broke the rules by adding illegal lifts, which cost them several points from the judges. For tonight’s repeat performance they decided to do it again with the same result. Isn’t the definition of insanity when you do the same thing and expect a different result? If so, can I go to the same asylum as Derek Hough?
Rules Schmules: While the judges admitted that they once again loved the energetic routine, Carrie Ann Inaba said she was “sad” and “disappointed” by their choice. Len and Bruno agreed with Carrie Ann, but Shawn and Derek were resolute: They wanted to give the fans their best, rules be damned.
Best Behind-the-Scenes Moment: Watching Kelly give Val a wedgie. It’s like the heart of darkness of reality television.
Going Big: For their supersized freestyle routine, Kelly Monaco descended from the ceiling like an aerialist (or Pink) while Val played the violin and then busted out the routine from Dirty Dancing while a gospel choir sang “I Had the Time of My Life.” The only thing missing was a fake cow or a live donkey.
The Big Question: After 15 seasons, Brooke Burke-Charvet finally asked a real question to which we all want to know the answer: Are Kelly and Val a romance or a show-mance? She demanded that they spill the beans now that it’s the finale, but Kelly won’t answer in the hope of eeking out a few more votes before tomorrow.
Most Likely to Succeed: Melissa and Tony’s freestyle was the dance equivalent of a Hallmark Easter card: pretty, pastel and not at all controversial. The judges loved it and they earned another perfect score.
There’s No ‘I’ in Team Until There Is: To make up for her potentially unwise decision to repeat a dance the judges scorned, Shawn Johnson made an absolutely great choice to bring in the Fab Five, a.k.a. her Olympic gymnastics teammates, to perform back-up stunts while she and Derek knocked their freestyle routine out of the park.
Best Audience Member: After Shawn’s routine, the camera cut to her former partner Mark Ballas in the audience cheering her on and beaming in pride. Everybody now: Awwww.
Eau de Success: The judges loved Derek and Shawn’s routine. Len declared, “It was a medley of Derek and Shawn’s greatest hits!” While Bruno trilled, “Fierce, flawless, brilliant!” In Tom Bergeron’s words, “That smells like a 30!” No, no, that’s just the sweat beneath Derek’s star-spangled sequin shirt.
The Results: Melissa and Tony are in the lead with a perfect 60 (30, 30); Kelly and Val follow with an impressive 59 (29.5, 29.5); Shawn and Derek trail with a 57 (27, 30).
Best Reason to Come Back Tomorrow: You’ve put in the time, so stick around for the results when you finally find out who wins this competition and who gets to bring home the most blinged out Mirror Ball Trophy ever.