Last night, the judges were in no mood to celebrate. Maybe if they hadn't inflated their scores all season, the dancers wouldn't have been so surprised when they got realistic scores in the finale. Tom promises that tonight, a champion will be crowned...LIIIIIIIIIIIVE!
Samantha explains that the couple with the lowest total between the judges' scores and the viewers' votes will be eliminated shortly. And then the remaining two couples will do another dance, get scored by the judges, and they'll add in the viewers' votes once again to determine the champion. Sounds kind of complicated to me. I understand that it probably would have killed the contestants to go one more week, but couldn't they have made this a three-night event?
It's funny, because I wasn't that impressed with Mel and Maks's first dance, but after seeing the whole night, it was pretty good. The judges were actually pretty nice to Marie, and yet she had what Tom Bergeron called "a hissy fit." She was seriously off her meds. After their jive, Helio thought that he let Julianne down, but she thinks hearing the judges' harsh criticisms made them nervous. Mel and Maks were hampered by a terrible rendition of "The Way I Are" by Timbaland -- seriously, go here to see the routine with the original song and watch how much better it is. ["That is totally fascinating. When I watched that freestyle, I could not understand what Maks could possibly be going for, but watching that clip, I absolutely do. Thanks, YouTube! -- Miss Alli] And they were also hampered by Maks falling back to his old bag of tricks of showcasing himself more than his partner. The biggest problem with Marie's routine (besides her scary makeup and blowup doll facial expressions) was that she never broke out of the doll thing and started dancing for real. Helio and Julianne pulled off the one exciting dance of the night. Afterwards, Helio says that he's happy with all they've accomplished so far, but he still wants the trophy.
Backstage, Samantha asks Marie what she'll miss the most from the competition. Marie jokes that she'll miss the number eight. Mel says she'll miss the cast and crew. Helio says he'll miss Julianne, and Mel breaks in to say that she'll miss Maks. Helio gets mock-angry that everyone else stole his chance to talk and pretends to walk off.
Let's waste some time by listening to Celine Dion sing "My Heart Will Go On," shall we? Is there anyone out there who didn't get completely sick of this song in the late '90s? Edyta and Alec, real-life married couple, come out to do a routine. They're joined by Cheryl and Mark. Also entering the dance floor, Karina and Tony. It's nice that the pros get a chance to do a routine that actually shows off their skills, with lifts and everything.
It's time to find out who is in third place. Please be Marie. Please be Marie. And the couple leaving the competition is...Marie and Jonathan. Maks gives Mel a hug of relief, and everyone comes over to give Marie and Jonathan hugs. Oh, thank God. The crowd gives Marie a standing ovation. Tom asks Marie about the experience as a whole. Marie starts talking about "at my age," and Tom interrupts, "You're in your seventies, right?" Score one for Tom. Marie alludes to the difficulties she's gone through this season, and then calls herself Cinderella and the judges the wicked stepsisters. This introduces a clip package where we review Marie's whole season. In it, she says that this show gave her some continuity through all the chaos in her life. And then Marie and Jonathan do their tango again. I will say this: Marie has improved this season. This version of the routine is way better than the original, and her moves are much more precise and crisp. Her posture is better too. I don't know how much of it is because the pressure is off too.