It’s the finals, you guys! The quest for the mirrorball trophy is almost over. I’m usually so stressed out by this night that I record the show and watch it later. But, since I’m writing this blog, I put my big girl pants on and watched every second as it happened. Here we go!
After getting some advice on attitude from Carrie Ann, Ricki and Derek performed a sassy cha cha. Judging by Ricki’s phenomenal body transformation, this show is a great workout program. She sizzled in a short, sparkly red dress. Len declared it a dance deserving of the final, even though it lacked fluidity. Bruno called it fantastic, but agreed with Len on the fluidity issue. Carrie Ann said Ricki was living the dance. Triple 9s gave the pair a 27.
Rob returned from last week’s stellar performance to waltz with Cheryl. Bruno was pleased to see Rob follow his advice, and declared the dance fluid and glowing, despite some footwork mistakes. Carrie Ann said he’s like the male version of Cinderella, and he made it to the ball! Len felt it was simply beautiful. Another set of triple 9s from the judges gave the couple a 27.
After getting the all-clear from a doctor on his ankle injury, J.R. and Karina took to the ballroom floor with a hot cha cha. Carrie Ann commented on the magical quality that J.R. possesses, but noted that his performance lacked musicality. Len said it was brave that he did a lot of the dance solo, but he made a lot of mistakes. Bruno liked the Latin feel and sexuality of the dance. Scores of 8, 7 (come on, Len), 9 gave them a 24.
Freestyle time! I wait for the freestyle all season. My all-time favorite was back in season two, when Drew Lachey and Cheryl danced to “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy),” and went on to win the championship.
Ricki and Derek stormed the floor first with their freestyle. After their season of great performances, I was a little underwhelmed. Len enjoyed it, even though Ricki made some mistakes. Bruno commended Ricki on doing so well with a demanding dance. Carrie Ann loved how they used both ends of the dance spectrum. Triple 9s gave them another 27, making their night’s total 54.
Rob and Cheryl’s freestyle was a huge crowd-pleaser. Rob pulled off an impressive lift at the end. Cheryl really is a master of the freestyle. Bruno said it was brilliant, Carrie Ann was blown away, and Len said Rob should be proud of himself. Triple 10s gave them their first perfect score of the competition, bringing their overall score for the evening to 57.
After some difficult rehearsals, J.R. and Karina rocked the dance floor with a high energy, salsa-inspired freestyle that included some daring lifts. It was exactly the amazing freestyle that I expected from them. Carrie Ann proclaimed the lifts the sickest she’s ever seen. Len said that the dance revealed Karina’s body and J.R.’s talent. Bruno was exuberant with praise. The judges awarded them a perfect 30, tying them for second place with Ricki and Derek at 54.
Wow, Rob and Cheryl are at the top of the leader board! Could this be an upset victory? What effect will the viewers’ votes have on the standings? We’ll find out tonight. Meanwhile, I’m going to practice some deep-breathing exercises to calm down.