Dancing With the Stars All-Stars Grand Finale Recap: Tony Finally Wins, Thanks to Bachelor Beauty Melissa!
Underdogs no more!
Just last March, we were begging the Dancing With the Starsproducers to give pro Tony Dovolani a partner he could win with, after making him dance with the likes of Kate Gosselin and Wendy Williams since Season 2. All we had to do was wait a few months — and go back to the future, since Tony found his winning partner, again, in his Season 8 third-place finalist, Melissa Rycroft. Tony and the former Bachelor Season 13 winner just won DWTS All-Stars over six previous champions and a bunch of runners-up. We were pretty sure Shawn Johnson would win again, but Derek Hough was not meant to get his fourth trophy. Instead, Team Shawnough took second, with Team Vally in third.
Did things turn out the way you hoped or expected? The judges certainly made it clear that Melissa was their favorite, and she topped the leaderboard when they combined the scores from last night to tonight. Melissa and Tony made a wise decision to mix things up with a Contemporary Freestyle. Do you think Shawn and Derek’s decision to break the rules in their Quickstep hurt them in the end? They didn’t say how close the votes were... Even if you wanted another winner, you have to at least be happy for Tony, right?
LEADERBOARD Here’s a quick rundown of the Finale Week leaderboard scores:
Read on for a full recap of Tuesday’s Finale action.
GREAT OPENING NUMBER Get up offa that thing! Everyone seemed to have fun out there in the opening number, choreographed by Lacey Schwimmer. Sabrina still looks like one of the pros — she should apply for a job as one of the troupe members.
ENCORE DANCE Shawn & Derek’s Super-Sized Freestyle with the Fierce Five.
DANCE CENTER Love seeing the prettily decorated Jerry Rice and Kenny Mayne back again! Can you imagine if they did do a season bringing back all the worst dancers? Kenny, Master P, Kate Gosselin, maybe Cloris Leachman, Jerry Springer... Favorite part of this DanceCenter: Kenny on Kelly and Val: “I’m not really into the gossipy part of this show, the did-they-or-didn’t-they thing.” [Pause] “They did.” Jerry: “Oh, they definitely did.” Ha!
RETURNING PERFORMERS Bristol and Pamela danced one after the other. Was that why the audience was pretty quiet afterward? Pamela got the knee-high boots and sexy guys, of course. Her dance needed more focus on Tristan! Bristol’s wasn’t that bad, for her. Helio and Chelsie were cute and fun, as always. Why did they leave so early? Drew brought his daughter onto the dance floor to perform with him and Anna. So sweet! Do you think Gilles wishes he had done that with his daughter? Loved Joey’s Back to the Future attempt to go back in time and prepare his childhood self for the Cha-Cha. Joey and Kym also included child performers, although their Mini Mes looked like pros-in-training.
TEAM DANCES RETURN Team Gangnam Style and Team Call Me Maybe performed again! Sorry to be biased, but we could watch Team Gangnam Style’s sexy, bizarre, unforgettable routine all day long. But Joey Fatone instead of Val? What’s up with that? Oh and was that Kym, because Kelly and Val had to practice for their Instant Dance? OK, fine. That makes sense. Team Call Me Maybe did the same thing, replacing Melissa and Shawn with Anna and Chelsie.
INSTANT DANCES They got their songs and dance styles less than an hour before performing. Kelly and Val picked first; they got a Jive to “Cat & Mouse.” Melissa and Tony got another Samba, this one to “Life Is a Highway.” Shawn and Derek got the Cha-Cha-Cha to “Respect.”
1. Kelly Monaco & Valentin Chmerkovskiy — Instant Jive to “Cat & Mouse”— As usual the instant dances are great. They always end up looking like they were intended to go with this particular music the whole time. Val goes shirtless again. One last time for us. Thanks, baby doll!
JUDGES: Len Goodman said Kelly has been a revelation through the whole season. She’s clean, she’s crisp, her spins are fantastic and she really came out there and nailed the footwork. Bruno Tonioli said they have the energy of two randy rabbits going at each other. (!) Oh, Bruno. Sometimes she lost a bit of balance but the effect was magnificent. Carrie Ann Inaba said they were in sync the whole time. There was a little issue but she blamed it on body oil. (!)
SCORES: 9.5, 9.5, 9.5 = 28.5 out of 30. Total of 87.5 out of 90. Romance or showmance? Spill it. “Listen, I hope everybody can have friendships like this,” Kelly said. “This is what it is. It’s a foundation of an amazing friendship. I know you’re laughing but it’s true. It starts from scratch.” Val said, again, that it’s unconditional love, and that doesn’t have to mean boyfriend or girlfriend.
2. Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani — Instant Samba to “Life Is a Highway” — Fast and flirty with huge smiles, as always. Melissa’s abs deserve their own trophy.
JUDGES: Bruno said Melissa is turning into a Southern American siren. She’s slinky with a touch of rock ‘n’ roll. The music wasn’t that Brazilian but she compensated with lots of sex appeal. Carrie Ann said Melissa has shown them artistry, grace and beautiful lines all season, but they rushed this dance. The music was too slow for what they did. Len said the interpretation wasn’t quite as it was last night in their other Samba. Having said that, Melissa has been his greatest pleasure to watch. (We noticed!)
SCORES: 9.5, 9.5, 9.5 = 28.5 out of 30. Total of 88.5 out of 90.
3.Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough — Instant Cha-Cha-Cha to “Respect” — Derek tears up saying he couldn’t have had a better partner. “She’s been a little light in my life and has been my little spark.” She’s inspired him and given him confidence in himself again. He lost his confidence? When? Why? Is that why he wanted to leave DWTS after this season and then maybe changed his mind? Where did her hands end up at the finish of that routine? Ahem! Good to see Miss Julianne in the audience.
JUDGES: Carrie Ann just took in all the audience cheers. The crowd loved this. Carrie Ann said Shawn started out this season as a star and she ended with a star-studded performance. She is perfection. Len said she is the no-stress express. Len said Derek has thrown some great choreography at her and she’s managed it. They’ve had their ups and downs with Len, but he’s proud of them. Bruno said she’s definitely going out with a bang. Perfection.
SCORES: 10, 10, 10 = 30 out of 30. Total of 87 out of 90.
THIRD PLACE This is the first all-female finale, and third place goes to … Kelly and Val. Sorry, Team Vally!
Brooke asked Kelly how she compared this to Season 1. “I mean, this is a completely different experience for me,” Kelly said. “The journey was amazing. As I said up there to you before, Brooke, the friendships and the relationships that I made are what’s going to be long-lasting. And this guy is the most incredible man and he’s the most talented dancer out there. And he taught somebody who had no idea how to stand on both of her feet and talk at the same time how to dance gracefully.”
WINNERS! Who gets the sparkly new blinged-up Mirror Ball trophy? It came down to Season 8 winner Shawn vs. Season 8 third place winner Melissa. So, no matter what, Melissa and Tony moved up a notch. And the DWTS All-Stars winners are … MELISSA & TONY!