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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

And The Winner Is... #DancingWithTheStars #DWTS #ABC #SeasonFinale

And The Winner Is... #DancingWithTheStars #DWTS #ABC #SeasonFinale

All pictures courtesy of ABC

What a crazy two nights it has been with all the dancing and the singing and the Christmas spirit and the emotional tug-at-your-heartstrings roller coaster ride. Christmas came a little early this year as Dancing With The Stars (#DWTS) had it's two-night four hour 21st season finale (#SeasonFinale). Woo!

With four couples in the finale, the judges and America had plenty of potential winners from which to choose. First, there was the All-American Hero Alek Skarlatos who, after he and his friends helped thwart a train terrorist in London, became an international story of American bravery. His story along with his shy and humble nature propelled him to the top three as his dancing was clearly not the best. However, the charm coupled with his partner's ingenuity on just how to properly use him in the dances made for not only good routines, but one of the more creative dance numbers in the four-hour finale. Incorporating his military background into the dance, the set designers and prop masters created a dance-worthy bootcamp set equipped with ropes, climbing walls and even a drop wall trampoline for them to fall into at the end of the routine. Though I disagree with Carrie Ann (it wasn't an all-time great and memorable routine that viewers will still look back on fondly), I will say that it was quite possibly his best dance of the season in my eyes.

Next was Carlos Penavega from Big Time Rush fame. After the booting of his wife Alexa (Spy Kids; Machete) a few weeks prior, he tried really hard not only to keep positive (he really wanted to dance against her in the finals), but to give it his all to win the whole thing. While he had a few inspired moments during the first night, I thought it was the freestyle where he both shined and may have floundered. In a never-done-before twist, he invited a few of the past contestants booted earlier in the season to come back and join him and his partner in their sports-themed dance that saw them moving and shaking to Missy Elliot's newest hit "WTF." Probably the one thing everyone looked forward to the most--him dancing with his wife--didn't pack the "oomph!" I would have liked to see. Still, it was a very memorable dance.

Sadly, Carlos' journey would stall in the four spot as he was eliminated after the first two hours on Monday, cutting the group down to three.

My two big contenders for the entire season remained along with Alek. Nick Carter of Backstreet Boys fame not only brought the funk, he brought the speed in his first dance of Monday night. Truly one of the most exciting dances of the night, he and Sharna got everyone on their feet as even he was winded by the end of it, yet still energized enough to run up the stairs to the balcony section of the ballroom. Giving the fans more of what they wanted, in his freestyle he danced to another Backstreet Boys smash hit "Larger Than Life." Living up to its name, the production saw him not only flanked by other professional dancers but holding his own in what was mostly a solo effort in a near mosh pit stage, bringing laughs and fan hysteria with him.

While Nick went for fun and entertaining, Bindi Irwin, daughter of the late Steve Irwin AKA The Crocodile Hunter, went for a more sentimental slant. Partnered with the All-Time great Derek Hough (he's won five times; it's OK to say that), she danced in a number that was a send-up of the big band era as helped by Carrie Ann. Making not breaking hold a point of emphasis as Derek disobeyed that rule of the dance the previous time he danced it with a partner in the finale, he made sure not to break the sacred dance rule this time, ensuring he and Bindi perfect tens for the perfect dance.

For their freestyle, they opted for an emotionally heartfelt dance to encapsulate not only her time spent on the show, but the love she had for her now deceased father. Dancing to a song based off the old poem Footprints, she and Derek danced as one with movements more fluid than water. Sandy footprints projected onto the floor, the routine ended with a special surprise for Bindi from Derek. The surprise? A picture of her kissing her father on the cheek as a little girl. All eyes teary, she could barely make out the second string of perfect tens she garnered for the night, giving her another perfect night for the season.

With the top three set, what a night it was. Performances from Meghan Trainor and Ariana Grande scattered the night with new music. Many of the past contestants returned as they usually do. Kim Zolciak was able to return to do the dance she would have had she not suffered her serious medical condition--a send-up of I Dream of Jeannie. Unfortunately, due to her ongoing condition Tamar could not return to participate in the festivities.

Someone who did return was crazy ass Gary Busey and his strangely hypnotic old man moves. There was also Paula Deen who returned to meander her way through a dance so badly that she didn't even appear to know she was back on Dancing With The Stars. Chaka Khan sang her biggest hit "I'm Every Woman" while her partner pranced onto camera in the most hilarious attention-seeking moment of the night. She then sang with the country/pop guy whose name I forgot, but who makes some really good music.

Another finale that was both outside and inside, the outside setting was a winter wonderland not shying away from the Christian theme equipped with both a huge Christmas tree with a star at the top as well as Santa Claus and his reindeer flying across. The usual shenanigans of clip compilations and behind-the-scenes stuff was interrupted by a few important announcements. Not only would the internet sensation teenager Hayes Grier eliminated earlier in the season be going on tour with the Dancing pros, but Alek would also go on tour with the dancing pros. But the biggest announcement of the night outside of the winner came from across the pond when Len Goodman videoed in that he would return next season to re-take his position as head judge.

The time finally arriving, the contestants were whittled down to two after Alek was sent packing. And after all of that, the winner of the 21st season of DWTS is...

Derek takes home another mirrorball trophy. Almost as dominant as the 50s Celtics. 

Bindi Irwin and Derek Hough. Come on, did you really think that Derek would not win with Bindi Irwin being a natural-born dancer and their chemistry being so phenomenal? Congratulations Bindi and Derek... again, and also congratulations to Nick for making it that far. He was pretty good too.
What do you think? Did you watch this season of DWTS? Did you pick Bindi to win? Are you happy that Len is returning? Let me know in the comments below (hint: click the no comments button if you see no comments).

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Until next time, "dance is not just about dance. Dance is a lifestyle... about dance."

P.S. What? It's a quote about dance? I see nothing wrong with that. I'll think of something better next time.

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