Last week, Hope Solo left one week shy of the two-night “Dancing with the Stars” finals event. The biggest surprise of the season was Rob Kardashian’s entry into the finals, joining Ricki Lake and J.R. Martinez in a quest for the mirror ball. On Monday, each couple had to do two dances to impress the judges and the audience, including a “Dancing with the Stars” favorite – the freestyle. The judges also gave pointers to the remaining couples.
New Leader in Final Week
After weeks of inching his way to the top, Rob Kardashian again proved that he belonged in the final by saving the best for last. Rob & Cheryl rose to the top for the first time ever. For their first dance, Bruno gave Rob tips on how to walk like a prince during his waltz. When the dance began, it was pretty good. There were a few awkward moments in the middle and end. Carrie Ann compared him to the male version of Cinderella making it to the ball. They earned a 27.
For the freestyle, Cheryl decided that she and Rob would start the freestyle with slow dances and end with an energetic finish. It wasn’t what you usually see in freestyle, but it was good and played to Rob’s strengths. There were a few little stumbles, but it received a perfect score. Rob & Cheryl received their first perfect score, landing in first place with 57 out of 60.
Ricki & Derek Fell to Second
Ricki & Derek opened the show with a cha cha. They received a visit from Carrie Ann who gave Ricki pointers on being sexy this energetic, butt-shaking dance. As expected, Ricki & Derek had great chemistry on the ballroom floor. Ricki looked confident and sultry in her red dress. The judges were all smiles at the end of the dance. After the first dances, Ricki & Derek earned a 27, tying with Rob & Cheryl after the first dance.
Ricki & Derek followed with a challenging freestyle containing a lot of tricks and lifts. Derek, a past “Dancing with the Stars” champion, wanted to impress the judges and the audiences. He wanted to remind the audience that the freestyle could win or lose the mirror ball trophy. Their freestyle was an energetic dance that blended traditional ballroom dances with lifts and tricks. However, it failed to reach perfection with the judges. It earned three more 9’s, for another 27. Ricki & Derek earned a total of 54 out of 60.
J.R. & Karina Dazzled with their Freestyle
J.R. wanted to make sure that his injury would not impair his performances in the “Dancing with the Stars” final. A doctor gave him clearance to dance. Len paid J.R. & Karina a visit to give J.R. tips for his first performance of the night. He wanted J.R. to work on his hands and arms, the only thing that goes awry during his performances. J.R. & Karina did the cha cha. It wasn’t as exciting a dance as I expected from J.R. I thought the memory of the injury may have gotten in the way. It looked like they played it safe, which led to a few missteps. They only managed to get a 24 for this dance.
After the two high-scoring and crowd-pleasing dances by Ricki & Derek and Rob & Cheryl, J.R. & Karina had to bring it for their freestyle, especially since their cha cha didn’t deliver the best results. Their freestyle delivered. It was enjoyable to watch and filled with complicated moved and lots of energy from J.R. & Karina. This freestyle may have won the competition for them. The judges gave them a 30, for a total of 54 (tying with Ricki & Derek).
And the Winner Is…
Though “Dancing with the Stars” has surprised viewers in the past, Tuesday night will likely be J.R. & Karina’s night. The combination of a good back story and solid performance week after week has made J.R. a crowd favorite and a favorite with the judges. J.R. has had a few missteps, but like Monday, he seems to erase the mistakes with a stellar performance. Of course, Ricki has also become a crowd favorite and Rob could get the mirror ball for being the most improved dancer of the season. All will be revealed on Tuesday, November 22 on ABC.
Rob & Cheryl 9 9 9 = 27 10 10 10 = 30 57 out of 60
Ricki & Derek 9 9 9 = 27 9 9 9 = 27 54 out of 60
J.R. & Karina 8 7 9 = 24 10 10 10 = 30 54 out of 60