This season might have started out weak, but these last two weeks were something else. Four perfect 30s last week, and then this week, four finalists for the first time and they all deserved to be there, three freestyles that got straight 10s, two that probably could’ve managed straight 11s, and then the last three couples even all nailed the instant dances! It seemed for three of the final four, there simply wasn’t anything they couldn’t do.
But unfortunately, ABC and America collaborated to make trouble, the former cutting out votes needlessly(I actually didn’t vote have because I forgot to and half because I didn’t know who to vote for; three couples were just too good) because of their own technical incompetence, and really, last season, plenty of people weren’t able to vote by any means at all week 6 thanks to Sandy but they still used the votes to kick Sabrina off; there was no need to disenfranchise those of us who voted online. And then those who were left really did leave the wrong couple in 4th. Face it, Jacoby and Karina had a wonderful run, but they’d been trounced fair and square Monday, especially when she really did prove unable to handle the “super-sized” extras of the freestyle, and even when their instant dance was great, one still must ask, would Aly and Mark’s have been even better still? He hands down choreographed his best freestyle ever Monday, and his previous ones were pretty darn good. Why did you not appreciate that, America?
It also meant that instead of a situation where any of the final three could’ve won, we had one where it was only a two-horse race, because with an 8/9 point gap and blown freestyle, Jacoby and Karina still weren’t getting higher than 3rd. Though still that was a suspenseful one; this one truly could’ve gone either way. Though perhaps it is appropriate to say that this season was won in the freestyle, like so many before it, but fewer more recently, when it’s been common for multiple couples to blown the roof off, meaning some other factor is ultimately left to separate them. To ensure a win in the freestyle, you can’t just be magnificent anymore. You have to be out of this world. And when Mark and Aly had already even been that, Derek and Kellie arguably had to be out of this universe. And then Derek, who with all the finals he’s been in and freestyles he’s choreographed, and other memorable numbers he’s choreographed, has probably used up every fancy trick and gag in the book on this show, seemed to recognize when, against the first assumption, there has come the time to not use them, when he’s got a good partner and made her great enough to not need them. By that, he completely earned his fourth Mirrorball Trophy. Fans may sneer that he’s handed ringers(though he’s proven he doesn’t need them), and sometimes they may subject them to late shock eliminations on seasons he might have won had he made the finale, but I he has just proven in the season he nearly didn’t do that he isn’t just a lucky asshole. He is simply the best:
Though one must feel pretty bad for Zendaya and Val. They were great, but not the kind of level of great that was enough. Their freestyle would’ve sealed it up most seasons, but Monday night it was the third best freestyle of the night. Perhaps most painfully, their instant dance was the one that stood out more than the other two, because it was so completely them, but when all three couples maxed out their judges’ scores and the viewers had already voted it didn’t do them any good. And with not only the highest score by a point but no doubt plenty of votes they probably came close, but not close enough.
One hopes when Zendaya gets older at least, and Aly too, perhaps, they’ll appreciate a little better they were part what might have been the best Dancing With the Stars final yet. Though Aly still should’ve been in more of it.
Outside the competition, as we took in the last of our results show filler, for better or worse eliminated next season, one must also praise the encore numbers from the eliminated couples that were done: giving Andy his supersized number, letting Wynonna do what she’s actually good at, and getting Kirsti back along with Dorothy! Though it was kind of saddening not all the eliminated couples got to do an encore. Another move from ABC that made one facepalm; surely they could’ve had one pop singer less to allow for that.