ABC’s pop culture reality giant “Dancing with the Stars” returned tonight with the season’s final results show. After what had been one of their most anticipated seasons yet, tonight one pair will be named the best of the best and take home the coveted Mirrorball trophy (possibly for a second time)! So how did America’s vote impact the results? How did the couples’ do during their final performance? Here’s how the night went down.
Opening the show was a number featuring all of this season’s eliminated couples choreographed by “Dancing” alum Lacey Schwimmer. Afterwards it was time for the final three couples to prepare to perform one last dance, but in true “DWTS” fashion, it wouldn’t be easy as the dancers would be learning everything about the number live on air and have very little time to prepare.
Following last night’s encore performance and freestyle routines, only three points separated first from third with Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani leading the competition with 60 points out of a possible 60 points. Kelly Monaco and Valentin Chmerkovskiy followed just a point behind with 59 and Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough rounded out the leaderboard with 57 points.
While Shawn and Derek may be behind, it is certainly not from lack of trying as the pair put artistic skill over the judge’s feedback which cost them points in their first dance. Yet their freestyle (aided by the “Fierce Five” US gold medal winning female gymnastics team) completely stole the show and was tonight’s encore performance.
Still tonight the all-star celebrity trio would have their toughest task yet as they had to prepare three different possible numbers for tonight’s “instant dance” as each would pick their style (and accompanying music) at the start of the show. Kelly and Val were the first to randomly draw a mini-mirrorball and selected the jive, while Melissa and Tony pulled the samba, leaving Shawn and Derek with the cha-cha.
While the three finalists prepared for their final numbers, the rest of the season’s all-star cast got a chance to take their final bows. Everyone from the always controversial Bristol Palin to fan favorite Giles Marini each made their presence felt as they teamed up with their partners for one last dance. However the highlight was watching season two champ Drew Lachey return to the dance floor alongside his young daughter Isabella.
Getting back to the competition, Kelly and Val took the stage first with their jive set to “Cat and Mouse.” While the pair set the ballroom on fire, the real heat came during their post-dance interview where they played a cat and mouse type game with co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet about their off-screen relationship. Even though neither outright admitted to seeing the other, you can tell they share a special bond that will last beyond the competition. However for tonight’s final dance, the pair received 9.5’s from all three judges giving them a overall score of 87.5 out of 90 possible points.
Hot on their trail were Tony and Melissa dancing the samba to the song “Life Is A Highway.” The only runner-up still remaining in the competition, Melissa has laid it all on the line this season and both her and Tony have battled back from injuries. Tonight though they actually found themselves at a disadvantage as this was a similar dance to what they performed last night, but with a much faster rhythm which at times disrupted their timing. As with Kelly and Val, Tony and Melissa also received 9.5’s from all the judges and ended with 88.5 points out of a possible 90.
Capping off the night was season eight winner Shawn Johnson and her partner Derek Hough. Dancing with the cha-cha to Aretha Franklin’s “Respect,” the pair ended on a high note with a perfect 10 from each judge giving them a total of 87 out of 90 possible points.
So after the final round of dances, the order remained unchanged, but now just 2 ½ points separating first from third. Yet when all the judge’s scores were added together with America’s vote, host Tom Bergeron revealed the winner of “Dancing With The Stars’” inaugural season was Melissa Rycroft with Shawn Johnson placing second and Kelly Monaco rounding out the top three. This also marks the first win for Rycroft’s very talented partner Tony Dovolani who has been with the show since its second season.
That’s a wrap for tonight (and this season), but remember to subscribe to this column for all the latest reality TV news and rumors surrounding the 16th season of “Dancing” which returns in 2013. You also check out more information on all your favorite “Dancing With The Stars” couples by visiting ABC.com.