DENVER - And what "Babes" they are, indeed! Each with their own attributes and strengths.
With Emmitt and Apolo being eliminated last week, that leaves us with 3 beautiful, talented, and outstanding women: Shawn, Melissa and Kelly.
Shawn has grown beyond belief, steadily improving her expression, grace, and dance poise.
Melissa has become a stunning performer and dancer......beautiful lines, breathtaking elegance with perfect arm and leg extension.
Kelly began a little "rough around the edges", with a bit of giddiness creeping in (possibly because of the infatuation with Val). Well...we there’s none of that now! She is a no-nonsense competitor--delicately precise, strong in her steps and dancing with solid direction of the routine--clearly "in the moment".
They aren't missing steps, losing balance, or making even one, tiny; wrong "tip-toe-step" or move.
We now have extremely accomplished dancers.
MONDAY NIGHT SEMI-FINALS – PERFORM YOUR FAVORITE ROUTINE & SUPERSIZE FREESTYLE
3 couples compete for the coveted mirror-ball trophy choosing their own dances, music, costumes, props and adding additional people to their freestyle routines.
It's the showdown of the showgirls!
Kelly and Val chose to repeat their stupendous, "red" Samba. A HUGE red fabric covered the dance floor, flowing above them in waves. Bullfighter Val wore a short, gold beaded matador jacket, and Kelly was magnificent in her red and black, Spanish-themed outfit. Passion and expression was projected throughout their entire dance. Perfect 30!
Their Freestyle dance opened with Kelly in the air while the "I've Had The Time of My Life" began enticing us into their imaginary, passionate world. They perfected an outstanding, classic lift at the end, as a white-robed Gospel Choir took the entire room into the outer limits! Outstanding performance. Total of 59!
Shawn and Derek chose "Hey Pachuco" which was their energetic, upbeat number that ended in a stairway "dive". Great number and it was great to see it again!
In their first performance of this dance, they broke some rules (lifts and breaking hold). So, as expected, points were again subtracted for the infraction.
Neither of them minded. They were "dancing for the fans" this season.
Their Freestyle employed the talents of Shawn's gymnastic team. The team reunion produced a number flooded with energy, sharp gymnastics, professional dance moves and an entire DANCE FLOOR overflowing with enthusiasm.
Total score: 57 (not bad for breaking rules and the ensuing admonishment from the Judges!)
Melissa and Tony recreated their outstanding Samba with Melissa in that dynamite Pink outfit and doing hot Latin moves like she had done them all her life! It was wonderful--confident, and dynamic.
Freestyle: They created the rarely performed on DWTS "Contemporary" style of dance. Melissa's white, flowing skirt moved angelically and beautifully in the in the soft, hazy breeze. Tony lifted her onto his shoulder as she walked, upside down, in the air, to the lyrics "footprints". As caged cirque-style performers gently circled high above each side of them, Tony lifted Melissa into a perfect statuesque pose while she reached into the sky.
She looked like a Master artist’s creation....an alabaster carving of a goddess of love.
And now.....THE FINAL NIGHT!
Couples were required to create an "Instant Dance" to give the Judges "one last look", then all three scores were added together to give us our new, All-Star WINNER!
The couples drew for their Instant Dance assignments:
Kelly/Val = "Cat and Mouse" - Jive
Melissa/Tony= "Life Is A Highway" - Samba (Melissa's fav)
Shawn/Derek="Respect" Cha Cha
They had less than an hour to create their routines. While they were brainstorming, creating and working back stage, we saw fun repeat performances from all of our eliminated All Stars: Bristol recreated a great Latin piece. Pamela Anderson "oo la la-d" her way through bumps and grinds, with a bunch of guys dancing around her, ending on the bar. Emilio repeated a dynamite Latin performance. Drew brought in his beautiful little daughter Isabella to join their dance. (We ALL enjoyed that!) Then we saw Team Dance "Gangnam Style"again. Joey Patone did a Back to the Future number. Sabrina and Louie restored their sensual "Country Night" Rumba for us. Then, the other fantastic Team Dance "High School Musical" style--not quite so good without Shawn’s gymnastics and Derek, but still a wonderful, "fun" number! Kirsti (in her brown fringe) and Maks were next . The crowd was happy to see them back out there again. Gilles and Peta "wowed us" once again with their Bollywood masterpiece .
Apolo and Karina graced the floor with their beautiful, meaningful Waltz from Country Night. It was a lovely dance with significant lyrics: "when you dance….for a moment she isn't scared". Emmitt and Cheryl burst onto the floor with their energy and gusto, with their hot Cha Cha in bright green.
INSTANT DANCE – LAST DANCE
There’s always emotion and nostalgia attached to the Last Dance of any evening. The DWTS Last Dance was charged with emotion and memories. Reminiscing brought Val to the point of choking back tears of emotion lingering from such a wonderful season.
Kelly/Bal Instant Jive - Turquoise with black polka dots. Mid-dance, Kelly ripped off Val's shirt.....great footwork and precision--terrific choreography, including a Pull-through twist and Val's split-straddle jump over Kelly's head. Great enthusiasm! 9.5’s from the Judges!
87.5 Total for both nights. (Note: Judge’s scores create half of combined total. The Fan votes comprise the other half.
Melissa/Tony - Instant Samba - Melissa's Lime green fringe whipped around accenting her hip action and beautiful legs. She upheld her confidence and stage presence with great style, impeccable footwork, and perfect lines. It is extremely difficult to Samba to a Rock and Roll song, but they did a more-than-commendable job. When the Judges were criticizing/critiquing their dance, Kirsti was behind them, shaking her head "no...no..." in pronounced disagreement with their words. Another round of 9.5’s from the Judges.
Shawn/Derek - Instant Cha Cha – FILLED with "stop-action syncopation" throughout! New style of choreography for Shawn and she danced with perfection.
The Big Finish: Derek did an AMAZING overhead (Shawn) straddle jump landing in perfect position for Shawn to catch his leg, back bending to a freeze-frame, ending pose. The audience was on their feet absolutely ROARING their approval.
"Going out with a bang....perfection!" Bruno exclaimed.
A perfect 30!!! 87 Total
So we watched the 3 couples standing there…..thinking that never before have we seen such evenly matched finalists. It must be coming down to miniscule differences in their scores. It was almost somehow "offending" to have to choose between these three stupendous competitors. So close in ability and performance perfection.
Tick-tock Tick-tock Tick-tock………………... In 3rd place.....................................................Kelly and Val
We took a quick "Stroll down Memory Lane" through their rehearsals and performances.
Tick-tock Tick-tock Tick-tock Tick-tock Tick-tock Tick-tock.
The winner………………………..(The beautiful, elegant) Melissa and Tony
2nd place...... Shawn and Derek
Confetti, cheers, celebration hugs and love permeated the room.
I’m sure that living rooms across the entire country were filled with emotion. Some jumped for joy. Some threw a brick at the TV. Some danced through their living rooms, but without a doubt, ALL of us exhaled deeply, with a sigh of relief, happiness and tremendous emotion for all these wonderful dancers and the memories and happenings throughout the entire season.
I will close by saying, "keep your eyes forward"! Keep watching for MORE! I don’t know if DWTS can ever "top" this season, but without a doubt, we have more surprises and wonder in store for us in the future!
I have so enjoyed writing these blogs for The Denver Channel. This has been a tremendous, extraordinary season and one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to The Denver Channel for this remarkable (and "oh-so-fun") opportunity.
"I am writing this blog as the winner of Denver’s 7 Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars Super Blogger Contest. The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not reflect the opinions Denver’s 7, ABC, Dancing with the Stars or any their related persons."