I admit, I didn’t see it coming Monday. In fact, when JR fumbled on his first dance, I thought it really had all gone to Derek. But he must have thought so too, because the freestyle he choreographed was a complacent one. It had all the tricks and nothing else to give it character. It was the sort of freestyle that was fine when he was dancing with Nicole Scherzinger, because it showcased her exceptional dancing ability, but Ricki even had trouble executing it, and that truly was fatal; 10s instead of 9s and their lead might have been enough to squeak out the win, but one point won’t get you anything in the Finale if your freestyle is third-best. And meanwhile, Cheryl and Karina both knew they had to pull out all the stops, and they did.
Of course, this meant the contest had been lost instead of won in the freestyle, because two of the couples nailed it equally. And with JR getting just enough of his points back Tuesday, it came down to the viewer votes. It’s a comforting thought, that enough of America will still vote for a veteran over a Kardashian that he can make up a two-point difference. A worth champion of a worthy competition indeed. Bring on next season!