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Dancing With The Stars: Finale!

IN THE May 25 ISSUE

FROM THE 2011 Articles,
andBooks & Tales,
andHeather Parish
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by Heather Parish

Dancing with the Stars: Season 12 Finale and Winner!

Actress Kirstie Alley, Disney star Chelsea Kane, and NFL player Hines Ward are all the celebrities left on this season of Dancing with the Stars. For their final Monday show, the judges get to pick their first dance and mentor the celebrities; after that, it’s the infamous freestyle dance round.

Chelsea gets some coaching on dancing like a sexual woman from Judge Carrie Ann Inaba. She dances the samba with her partner Mark Ballas to the very cool “Hip Hip Chin Chin.” And while there is some Chelsea hip action (such as it is), it’s more Disney than dirty. But the judges love it — Len Goodman gives her 9 points; Carrie Ann and Bruno give her 10 for a total of 29.

Chelsea final

Judge Bruno Tonioli visits the rehearsal of Maks Chmerkovskiy and Kirstie, and coaches her on a move intended to increase her control. “I’m not taking my moment!” Kirstie marvels, something many actresses have trouble with, really.

But, Kirstie and Maks are certainly taking A LOT of moments with this samba, to Sergio Mendes’ “Magalehna.” Hers is a slow paced, stately samba. At the end, the judges begin to fall all over each other in their rush to explain to viewers why her slo-mo samba has as much merit as Chelsea’s spunky samba. Bruno praises her “softer” interpretation, which he says is more “rich and full of lively pleasures, and womanhood.”

Back in the Celebriquarium, hostess Brooke Burke asks Kirstie the question nobody is thinking: “What’s it like to be compared to somebody born in 1988?” — meaning Chelsea. Kirstie has the good manners to simply say that the two cannot be compared, they are so different. Kirstie gets three 9’s.

Judge Len visits Hines and Kym Johnson in rehearsal and yucks it up, but shockingly, the few moves the oldest judge demonstrates are surprisingly suave. Hines and Kym do the quickstep to “Puttin’ On the Ritz,” while dressed in evening clothes. Hines partner’s Kym amazingly since she is still suffering from a terrible neck injury from last week, but he still managing to have a spring in his step. It’s a “vast improvement” over their first quickstep, but once again, Len holds out, awarding Hines a 9, while the other judges shower him with 10’s.

Freestyle round:

Chelsea says she and Mark want their freestyle dance to remind viewers they’re the youngest people in the competition, which means they’re “fresh” and “edgy.” So, they come out for their freestyle, to a hot salsa version of “Latinos,” while — riding a bike! Whaaaa? Then they begin a routine that’s consists of some wannabe hip hop moves, lots of lifting Chelsea into the air and some “Tron paraphernalia” that fails to stay lit when Chelsea’s battery pack goes sideways. But the judges love all the bells and whistles – it’s like they were “plugged into the national grid,” Bruno says. Carrie Ann can only illustrate her feelings by standing up and doing a bump and grind.

Maks and Kirstie dance their freestyle to the Pink tune, “Perfect” and we see why they were saving themselves in the first number. After flinging off her full coverage dress a couple minutes into the number, Kirstie, now in black leotard and tights, is jumping and leaping – and doing a cartwheel! And Maks, who earlier in the season suffered humiliation when his thigh gave out under the strain of dancing with Kirstie, redeems himself by demonstrating considerable upper body strength as he flings her around in some major lifts. It all ends with Kirstie striking a look-at-how-much-weight-I’ve-lost victory pose.

“Ten weeks ago I would have never thought of you even attempting lifts…Respect, girl, respect,” Bruno gushes. Carrie Ann calls her the “new poster child for life as it should be lived at 60 years old.” Still the judges only give them three 9’s — a low score for this stage of the competition when the judges seem compelled to throw out a lot of 10’s to confirm the story line that the celebrity competitors are all superb, or why else would they be here? The studio audience boos over the low score. “The world’s best-dressed ugly mob, right here, ladies and gentlemen!” show host Tom Bergeron jokes.

For their freestyle, Kym and Hines demonstrate the discipline of their DWTS strategizing: They have waited till this late moment in the season to play The NFL Card. Now that’s restraint! They will dance a number inspired by a football game halftime entertainment. Hines appears in a band uniform of Steeler black and gold with a big “S” on his chest. Kym is in a gold cheerleader outfit and they have line of black-and- gold uniformed drummers. They do a series of well-executed lifts, then segue into some ballroom steps while the band plays a marching version of the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back.”

At the end of the show, Hines and Chelsea are tied for the high score with Kirstie five points behind. And then the viewers vote. . . .

*****
Tuesday’s Results Show:

During Tuesday’s results show, we discover that Chelsea Kane wound up finishing third because, while she was the season’s best and most consistent dancer – the other two competitors were Kirstie Alley and Hines Ward! And that’s how it rolls when you let viewers/fans do 50 percent of the deciding.

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward claimed the horrifyingly cheesy Mirror Ball Trophy as winner of the 12th season of Dancing with the Stars, with Kirstie Alley taking a very respectable second place.

All three finalists earned perfect scores from the show’s three judges Tuesday when they re-performed their fave dance from the season, illustrating that Season 12 Dancing with the Stars was as legit a competition as it can be with American voting for its favorites. They all became terrific dancers and television performers.

Heather Parish is a contributor to our Area Arts & Entertainment section & a part of KRL’s editing team. She is a freelance writer & theatrical director. Originally from Visalia, she is the artistic director for The New Ensemble in Fresno. Heather can be found on Facebook.

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