What an amazing jam-packed two days of DWTS! I almost feel like this blog would be a novel if I commented on everything, so I will give you my personal opinion on the major stuff.
Before we move on to breaking it down, I just want to say what an incredible season this was, filled with talent, friendship, pure entertainment and of course, the token weekly drama. I truly enjoyed being in the competition and also watching the competition. As always I'm in awe of my fellow pros and what they can produce week to week. Though I'm sad to see our format is changing, I'm also very excited about it. Sometimes change is a good thing after 16 seasons we gotta keep it fresh! If our two-hour jam-packed results finale was anything to go by, it's certainly going to be an amazing showcase. Also lets be honest here, I'm more than happy to have that extra day working with my celeb ;) !!!
My personal thoughts on having Judges’ Pick, Cha-Cha Relay, Freestyles, and Instant dance this week is that it was too much. I feel that we exhausted our pros and celebs past the line this time. It seems that we sacrificed quality for quantity, and it showed. That's not to say there weren't some epic moments this week, and all four couples handled the pressure and stress like true professionals. I was certainly proud to be a part of this show as I was watching our finalists battle it out.
Oh, the voting crash... What can I say here except I'm as surprised as you are and as concerned as the rest. Do I think it affected voting? Of course!!!! How could it not have. We lost all of our international fan votes and to some people that could have changed their fate. Will we ever have proof that it altered the end result? Absolutely not, and who's to say it did or didn't. It's one of those things we just have to let go and trust that the network handled it the only way they could. And FYI it's not ABC that tallies up our scores, it's a hired outside company that specializes in all of that, so ABC was following the advice given to them.
OK! Without further rambling on from me here are my thoughts on our finalists!
I hate to say it, but that song might have been a bad choice, and I just didn't feel like either of them connected to it. To be honest, I was looking for more from Jacoby. As I said last week he suits anything in the Jive family, but I felt like this just never got out of first gear for me. It was a little flat and uninspired in comparison to what I'm used to from him, but still a lot of fun with a lot of personality. Jacoby definitely deserved to be our only male in the finale!
Ugh, I hate to say it (again), but I tended to agree with the judges on this one. For all of Jacoby's energy and spirit that I'm a huge fan of, I just didn't feel it here. I'm also normally a big fan of Karina's choreography and concepts but for me this was a case of too many elements. I didn't know what I wanted to look at and unfortunately Jacoby really did get lost in it. Big sad face from me because I'm a big Jacoby fan and when I heard what they were planning I was super excited to see it!!
Wow! Wow! Wow! This girl came out on fire! I loved her presence and joy. There were lots of bent legs and flat feet, BUT what great energy she came out with. I could see how determined she was to show everyone just how much she deserved that place in the finale. From day one to now she has grown so incredibly much that I can't help but feel proud of her and feel she already won. The trophy is nothing compared to what she has gained in the last few months.
I can't say it enough this girl blew me away this week and yet another fantastic concept from Mark. He could not have created a more perfect routine tailored to all of Aly's strengths. I have to say one of my favorite moments was when they danced underneath that laser ... LOVED IT! I had the pleasure of watching a little bit of their rehearsal late on Saturday night and my goodness Aly is one the hardest workers I've come across. She never complains, she never gives up, and she never fails. I got a little glimpse of the strength this girl had inside and out and what makes her a gold medalist. Congratulations on an incredible journey beautiful girl, when the dust settles and you watch this back you will see how far you've come. I can't wait to see your next floor routine!
Another great dance for Kellie in which I was very impressed with her. If I have to critique something, she is to me very stiff in her neck and shoulders. They lost a mark for lack of body contact earlier in the season, and to be totally honest it was barely better this time. So I feel the fuss made about it was irrelevant. However, it was a very fun routine, which she executed almost perfectly. She was off just a little in the beginning of their first pass down the floor, but after she recovered from that she was just fantastic. Such light shines from this girl when she performs with confidence!
Beautiful, elegant and memorable. I loved the routine, loved the song and feel like Kelly couldn't have been more perfect in it. She had so much control in her movement and so much emotion in her presence. This was literally a routine you may see on SYTYCD or something the pros would dance together. The transitions between lifts were incredibly difficult and she handled them with ease, a credit to not just her talent, but also Derek as a teacher and partner. It's a risk going for something slow in a freestyle when nearly everyone else is going for fast and uplifting, but sometimes that risk pays off. The same way it did for Tony and Melissa in the All Star season. I adored this piece and for me is one of the standouts of the entire season.
This was a great routine that used the music well, and I love how they just come out there and dance! No smoke and mirrors or set pieces, just two people dancing a great samba!! This girl is just a superstar! The performance factor that she has is that of an adult. The way Val molded her this season was perfection. I loved her in this dance and can certainly see that she has been working on her legs and feet. She has extremely long and beautiful limbs which can at times be difficult to learn how to use when it comes to dance. I think she looked in control of her own body and very confident through every step. A score well deserved in my eyes.
I'm not sure how many times I can say it, but move over Beyonce! When Zendaya turns 20 the world will be at her feet! I really enjoyed this dance and thought the kids were an adorable addition giving it that little bit extra. I loved that Val mixed the styles, incorporating Cha-Cha and Contemporary. Everyone expected her to do a straight up Hip-Hop piece, but they had that last week so why not showcase how much she has grown in the competition?! Val has given Zendaya such an incredible foundation of dance for her career. She has always been multifaceted, but he has helped her talent grow so much in the last few months. He's given her an awareness of how to use her body and introduced new ways of interpreting music, which is something I love about his dancing. As is evident in this freestyle, she can do anything you throw at her, and I for one cannot wait to see her career blossom as she matures.
I'm not going to share on the Relay Challenge and the Instant Dance. Some people handled it beautifully, and others didn't. As I said before, we sacrificed quality for quantity, and I think that's a shame. We had four couples very capable of doing some mind blowing stuff, which I feel we would have seen more of had the workload been lifted a little.
For for my final thoughts, (please remember this is my personal opinion just as you have yours!) I was really rooting for Val and Zendaya this season. I wanted to see them take home that Mirror Ball trophy as I think it was well earned and deserved. She was incredible the whole season for me, and I find her an absolute joy to watch. She, for me, took on our ballroom technique better than anyone else in the competition. HOWEVER, that's not to say that Derek and Kellie weren't also incredible and had some of my favorite moments of the season. Both couples were consistent and truly fabulous. Our Season 16 champion Kellie Pickler says it best... "Everybody likes their coffee different" ;)
Love you all and can't wait for Season 17!! I hope to see you all there back with us and in the meantime have an AH-MAZING summer!!! I'll be in Hawaii for the first time ever celebrating my birthday with my man and a group of close friends, so if you are in Waikiki, I just might bump into you ;)