Dancing With the Stars 2013 Finals Recap: Freestyles Bring Super-Sized Tears
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Dancing With The Stars

Dancing With the Stars 2013 Finals Recap: Freestyles Bring Super-Sized Tears

Zendaya Coleman vs. Kellie Pickler. We knew it was coming and it looks like it's here.

One point separates them on the judges’ leaderboard after the Dancing With the Stars Season 16 Finals Performance Show, but that’s only from the Cha-Cha Relay. They got equally perfect scores for their judges’ choice re-do dances and the all-important Super-Sized Freestyles. On All-Stars, Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani won the season after their emotional Contemporary routine. This season, Derek Hough seemed to take a leaf from that book, scaling down from the big production number he did for Shawn Johnson and going with a beautiful Contemporary-style routine that made Carrie Ann Inaba cry and just brought the house down. If you judge a Freestyle by the reaction of the room — and Twitter — Kellie has the momentum going into Tuesday night. And if Freestyles win seasons, well .. that may have done it, scores or no scores. It doesn’t help that voting at ABC.com is down (d’oh!), which won’t help Zendaya's young Twitter fan base go for a quick and easy vote. Bad timing on that one, ABC.

How do you think this will play out Tuesday night? Are the top four as we see them on the leaderboard below, or will we see a shakeup after tomorrow's Instant Dance and however the voting shakes out?


Here’s a quick rundown of where the couples stand after Week 10.

Zendaya & Val — 30 + 5 + 30 = 65
Kellie & Derek — 30 + 4 + 30 = 64
Aly & Mark — 28 + 3 + 30 = 61
Jacoby & Karina — 27 + 2 + 27 = 56

Read on for a full recap of the Week 10 action:


1. Jacoby Jones & Karina Smirnoff — Jive — It’s a sprint to the finish and he topped the leaderboard for the first time last week. He was visited in rehearsals by his light-skinned grandfather, Len Goodman. Ha! Len shows him how to kick a peanut. But not Peanut, Ingo’s cute son! Jacoby showed Len some moves too, and brought some swag out. They even did a fist-bump. Never hurts to butter-up the judge! Karina was definitely shake-shake-shake-shake-shakin’ it out there, even more than Jacoby. Doesn’t seem to be his sharpest, cleanest dance, but they are always fun to watch.

JUDGES: Len said this judges’ pick is all about seeing improvement and there was improvement. The footwork was a bit better. Jacoby got excited on occasion and lost it, but Len saw slightly crisper footwork. Always they see great entertainment. Lovely. Bruno Tonioli says Jacoby brings an unlimited supply of energy, charisma and power. Gandalf the Great has worked some kind of magic at times (meaning Len). Len replied, “Thank you, Frodo.” After all that, Bruno said Jacoby missed a beat quite a few time and went flat-footed, but otherwise great work. Carrie Ann Inaba said yeah, little bit. He brought the swagger and he knows how to turn the house upside-down, but in terms of kicking the peanuts, the peanuts won. He was sharper and crisper. Jacoby asked Carrie Ann if she could wear cleats. She said no. He said he can’t wear heels.

SCORES: 9, 9, 9 = 27 out of 30. What’s it going to take for him to beat Kellie, Aly and Zendaya? “The grace of God.”

Vote for Jacoby & Karina: 1-800-868-3412

Alexandra Raisman & Mark Ballas — Samba — Bruno came to see them in rehearsals. He told Aly she’s coming out strong at the right time. She messed up one tiny little step in her Week 5 Samba, so she wants to perfect it this time. Bruno wants them to add a Samba roll. Mark has some strange tail sash thing off his belt. It’s distracting. She shows great personality in the dance. She’s good about coming out of her shell. You can see Mark’s effect on her. They attempt the Samba roll. She gets down on the floor again and goes for it. Great dance with tons of content. He makes her work out there!

JUDGES: Brunos said “You scrumptious little tease, you!” Grittier, cleaner and slicker than ever. She did everything he asked for. Carrie Ann said Aly has the momentum and she’s become a combination of everyone else in the Finals. She has the swagger like Jacoby, the beautiful lines like Kellie, and the musicality of Zendaya. She saw improvement. Len saw improvement too, and lots of basic steps, plus lots of hot, sexy moves. It was a little heavy in the legs on occasion for him, but he called out Carrie Ann as being … dead right! He said Aly is on the way up.

SCORES: 9, 9, 10 = 28 out of 30.

Vote for Aly & Mark: 1-800-868-3408

Kellie Pickler & Derek Hough — Quickstep — How do they stand out so it says “Kellie Pickler is Season 16 champion?” They were looking for that one point to get to their perfect score, from their last Quickstep. Len visited them in rehearsals and told them to keep their nobbly bits together? Kellie thinks of Len as the principal. He said their Quickstep was the dance of the season up to that point, so it’s not like it needed too much improvement. Carrie Ann just wanted more connection between them. Love their black-and-white intro with … talking! When do people talk at the start of their dances? Nice! Very Great Gatsby. This just looks effortless, with big smiles from both. They are a couple of characters. Great dance from a great couple. Pro level. Crowd goes nuts.

JUDGES: Len said he was palpitated and perspirating. “I got excited I was nearly flatulating, I tell you!” That was excitement. It went into a bit of Viennese Waltz. The were connected like a stamp on a letter. Bruno said Kellie is the Southern belle of the ball. More glamorous, beautiful, brighter, lighter than ever. Technically it was a tour de force. It couldn’t have had more content. Carrie Ann said congratulations, ‘cause the one thing she was looking for was improvement in their body contact and she saw it. Sounds like a perfect score coming.

SCORES: 10, 10, 10 = 30.

Vote for Kellie & Derek: 1-800-868-3401 (1-800-VOTE4-01)

4. Zendaya Coleman & Valentin Chmerkovskiy — Samba — Val got hurt and really bloody in rehearsals. All these injuries! Carrie Ann visited them in rehearsals. They want more Samba feel in the Samba, with the right moves, technique and Zendaya feel. Carrie Ann’s really tough on her, but gave her some good advice. Z learned you can never have enough help. It’s tough to dance in heels!

JUDGES: Carrie Ann said that’s what she’s talking about - a perfect combination of blending an authentic Samba and her own thing. She lost nothing and worked her Zendaya magic. Len said it was eye-popping, show-stopping, jaw-dropping. “That’s the Samba!” We’ve only just scratched the surface of her talent. He loved the mix of steps and they even included one of his favorite steps he hasn’t seen in a while. Since the Falkland crisis? Bruno said Zendaya has a natural flamboyancy. She also went from the fast steps — that were stronger than ever — back to the slow, slinky moves.

SCORES: 10, 10, 10 = 30.

Vote for Zendaya & Val: 1-800-868-3406


Every couple dances for 40 seconds. The couple who does best gets 5 points from the judges, on down to 2 points.

1. Kellie & Derek
2. Jacoby & Karina — Jacoby did a nice jump over K & D and slid between A & M’s legs. Nice.
3. Aly & Mark
4. Zendaya & Val

If we had to guess, Z at first, then Kellie, then Jacoby and Aly?

Len said this is the four that deserved to make it into the Finals and they are all winners. Bruno said they were the magnificent four. None of the judges are really giving any criticism, just general comments. Carrie Ann said they are all here for such different reasons. Kellie has like military precision when she dances. Zendaya is a living, breathing

1st place, 5 points: Zendaya & Val

2nd place, 4 points: Kellie & Derek

3rd place, 3 points: Aly & Mark

4th place, 2 points: Jacoby & Karina


1. Jacoby Jones & Karina Smirnoff — Jacoby and Karina are doing like a big Mardi Gras party for their Super-Sized Freestyle, in honor of his hometown of New Orleans. Tons of people and just fun, fun, fun. That’s them, so it’s probably the right way to go. Jacoby takes his shirt off after the marching band start. They do some impressive lifts and even include children. Cute dancing kids alert! Oh they are really working for those votes.

JUDGES: Len said he got the Freestyle party started. Full-on, flat-out attack. He was bobbing and weaving across the floor. Great energy. Bruno loved the sense of celebration. The energy made him lose time and sync in parts. (Now his mom is mad!) Carrie Ann said she’s with Bruno. It’s a strategy. She thinks they chose the right strategy for him. But Jacoby wasoutshined by everything else happening around him.

SCORES: 9, 9, 9 = 27

Vote for Jacoby & Karina: 1-800-868-3412

2. Alexandra Raisman & Mark Ballas — They are going to use her gymnastics strength in a non-traditional way and built this whole apparatus to use in the routine. They are using a vertical bar and using height. Dancing around a pole, essentially. It’s a futuristic performance showing everything she’s learned. She’s worried about disappointing the judges. The heights make Mark nervous. But he’s the one who wanted it! They have funky, electronic music. It’s a unique routine, very experimental. Is it going to resonate with fans? Or is the pole too stripper-ish? Maybe not the best choice.

JUDGES: Bruno called it futuristic with a touch of exotic. Unexpected. Different. He’s never seen anything like it. They took a big risk with it. They were in sync, which was so hard. Carrie Ann said it took them down memory lane. She worked a pole on Madonna’s tour. That was one of the most amazing routines she’s ever seen on DWTS. Len liked the concept and execution and he dubbed her Alexandra the Great.

SCORES: 10, 10, 10 = 30. Really? Hmm.

Vote for Aly & Mark: 1-800-868-3408

3. Kellie Pickler & Derek Hough — They are selling this on the power of the dance, not the production. Hey, it worked for Melissa & Tony on All-Stars! It’s a beautiful, deceptively simple Contemporary routine with just gorgeous lines and jumps. They are perfectly in sync, too. The spins look stunning. This one worked up the crowd.

JUDGES: Carrie Ann was crying. Did Kellie just win? She went over to hug Kellie. “Kellie, you just bared your soul on the dance floor and it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.” Len said good dancing engages the brain, great dancing engages the heart. They drew everyone into the performance. He gave them a standing ovation. Bruno said they did a dance of spellbinding beauty. It touched everyone.

SCORES: 10, 10, 10 = 30

Vote for Kellie & Derek: 1-800-868-3401 (1-800-VOTE4-01)

4. Zendaya Coleman & Valentin Chmerkovskiy — Their theme is to inspire kids, and they’re showing everything from Cha-Cha to Contemporary and Hip Hop. Plus kids! Love the group part with the kids. It created a fun atmosphere while still showing her off. So worked better than Jacoby’s in that sense, but lacked the emotional impact of Kellie & Derek’s. So now we know - always do emotional Contemporaries for Super-Sized Freestyles! Two seasons in a row now.

JUDGES: Len expected Hip Hop, but he liked all the different styles. There were so many parts to the number but it all came together and created a fabulous routine. Bruno said “Kids in America rejoice!” What he loves about her is she gives everything a unique luminosity. It’s always her. Carrie Ann said “Way to take us home.” She sealed the deal and showcased why she’s such an incredible role model. She’s just divine.

SCORES: 10, 10, 10 = 30.

Vote for Zendaya & Val: 1-800-868-3406

Who had your favorite routine of the night? Sound off below!