Tonight, three competitors entered the Thunderdome of Dance — and one emerged victorious with the Mirrorball Trophy held aloft, while the bodies of the losers were carted off the lot like so many props on a Weekend at Bernie’s reboot.
We saw Jack Osbourne compete as the underdog, while he battled not only the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, but two semi-professional dancers: High School Musical‘s Corbin Bleu and Glee‘s Amber Riley. Did the audience choose their winner based on skill — or storyline?
The only way to know is to have watched the finale and survived two solid hours of pompous circumstance and time-killing performances by Enrique Iglesias and Ylvis (of “What Does The Fox Say?” fame) — or, you know, just read this recap.
Here’s what happened on the finale of Dancing with the Stars:
Best Start To Any Show. Ever: Enrique Iglesias’ face. Julio’s most attractive son went electro-rock in his new single “Heart Attack” — and it’s not half-bad, even if it didn’t feature Lil Wayne or Pitbull.
Deja Vu All Over Again: Last night, fans were supposed to vote for a repeat performance of their favorite freestyle routine. While some of us may have neglected our patriotic duty to cast a ballot via text, Twitter or web, its hard to complain about the results when it means watching Amber and Derek Hough step-dance in a saloon again. It’s like Deadwood meets Step Up — which we would all pay to see.
Most Meme-Iest: While DWTS already dedicated some quality airtime to bringing Ylvis’ viral hit “What Does the Fox Say?” to primetime, apparently once was not enough. So they did it again, but with Ylvis singing live.
Best Trip Down Memory Lane: Bill Nye the Science Guy returned to the ballroom for a performance as a dance robot with some seriously (and surprisingly) smooth moves. Nye was sidelined from the show with a torn ligament way too early to satisfy the interest of the internet. Luckily, he left us with this before he left:
Biggest Missed Opportunity: Saved By The Bell star Elizabeth Berkley Lauren and Val Chmerkoskiy reminded the short-attention-spanned among us that they too competed in this very ballroom just a few weeks ago. However, the duo failed to mark their return with a repeat performance of Elizabeth’s Jessie-Spano’s-“I’m So Excited” dance. This disconnect with the viewing public is exactly why they didn’t make it to the finals, despite topping the leaderboard. Give us Jessie Spano or give us nothing! Luckily, it’s been preserved on the internet so we can watch it again and again:
Best Cautionary Tales: Singer Christina Milian and Pretty Little Liars actor Brant Daugherty returned for the finale to send a message (in jazz hands and pas de chats) and remind future fans to vote for future competitors lest they too will be voted off early.
Biggest Tear-jerking Moment: Colbie Callait sang “It’s A Wonderful World” as beloved Rhoda star Valerie Harper, who is still alive, kicking and waltzing, took a turn on the dance floor, having beaten what was supposed to be terminal brain cancer.
Best Lady Antebellum: Lady Antebellum gave a very Lady Antebellum performance of the new and Lady Antebellum song “Compass.” See for yourself:
Just a quick moment to acknowledge the truth in this tweet:
This is thoroughly entertaining–even the filler! It’s like bizarro #DWTS.
— Andy Dehnart (@realityblurred) November 27, 2013
Wisest Words: “Len doesn’t like gyrating,” said Corbin while helping Karina choreograph a cha-cha-foxtrot hybrid to Icona Pop’s “All Night.” Their dance did not have gyrating, but lots of wiggling, waggling and tail-shaking, before they earned a string of 9s from the judges
Worst Bergeron-ism: While the show creeped into the final stretch of it’s second hour, host Tom Bergeron deadpanned, “After just three more hours, we will name our champion!”
Harshest Inaba-ism: For their final dance, Jack and Cheryl had to dance a paso dobles-salsa mashup, even as Carrie-Ann Inaba couldn’t help but point out that he was a bit flat-footed. Which Len ignored because, in his eyes, Jack has no dance experience and “has overcome mountains,” flat feet and all. 27/30
Best Compliment: After Amber and Derek’s samba-quickstep combo to “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher,” Len told Amber, “You, my little sausage, know how to dance.” With such high praise the was little doubt that they were getting a perfect score.
Third Place: Jack and Cheryl.
And The Winner Is… Amber and Derek! Exclamation points! This is Amber’s first Mirrorball Trophy, and Derek’s fifth.