I think this very well may be at the top of the list of All-Time-Great DWTS Finals shows. We’ve got ourselves a “photo-finish horse race” ladies and gentlemen! We are, right now, at the Finish Line, cameras poised and ready to snap that fraction-of-a-second moment when the race is so close, the winner is undiscernable with the naked eye. With one more round of Judging left, it is nose-to-nose between “Secretariat” (Kellie Pickler and Derek) and “Seabiscuit” (Zendaya and Val).
Kellie has been the total surprise of the Season. Secretariat produced high hopes against the odds but there was doubt that he would stay the course and be a winner with skilled trainers and his beautiful form. He shocked the world and became the first Triple Crown Winner in 25 years! Kellie is a great singer/performer with no dance training at all. We had high hopes for Kellie, but we had no idea she would turn out to be such a fantastic dancer!
Coming from a difficult background, being pushed by her grandparents to try out for “Idol” (and winning), and now, she is at the Finish Line on DWTS. “You’ve come a looong way, Baby!” and we’re still pullin’ for you!
Zendaya—oh so young and beautiful—is a strong dancer with some training and performing background. She has shown commitment and remarkable dedication, always ready to challenge the best. Seabiscuit had many successes. He was injured and confounded veterinary specialists (who said he would never race again), by returning to the race track. He was trapped at 3rd place. He took firm ground near the rail, and burst to the lead, showing off his old surge. Seabiscuit was the all time highest money-winner. Zendaya has the wonderful ability to perform like a seasoned professional, surging to the top of the Leader Board. She is too tall and lanky to be as coordinated as she is at this young age, and to accomplish performing so gracefully and confidently! And here she is, a tremendous performance season behind her, being groomed and prepared for the Mirror Ball Award (The Kentucky Derby!). To accomplish so much at 16 is ASTOUNDING! You go girl!
ROUND ONE – JUDGES CHOICE OF DANCE STYLE FOR THE COUPLES
Jacoby performed a “swagger-filled” Jive that was superb! Purple shirt, gold tie and accents, were true to his abundance of personality and charisma. Bruno thought he missed some beats and was a bit flat-footed, but overall it was wonderful. Three 9’s!
Aly opened their Samba by herself at the top of the Bandstand stairs. She wore lots of gold beaded designs and a grass-look skirt created from uneven beaded gold fringe. She had more accent on each and every move. I don’t understand why Mark is including that humping back move so much. It gives a rougher-look to her dance and is not real flattering. She danced her choreography perfectly. 9 – 9 - 10 !
Kellie & Derek gave us a 40’s Quick Step, opening with a black and white screen which turned to color. Kellie sported her SO CUTE, curly, blonde, Jean Harlow hair and wore a wonderful white, tea length dress. They could have come straight out of a 40’s, Fred Astaire musical. Perfect!
10 – 10 – 10!
Zendaya and Val were also charged to perform a Samba. Zendaya was in a strikingly beautiful red dress, worn over red, sparkly leggings. All season, DWTS has costumed Zendaya with EXCELLENT taste. Accolades to the staff for respect for her youth, keeping her costumes beautiful and appropriate, and NOT trying to see how LITTLE they could get by with (as we see on some of the others). Their Samba was MUCH more smooth, fluid, and graceful than the heavier moves and styling in Aly and Mark’s rendition. Great job! 10 – 10 – 10
ROUND 2 – CHA CHA RELAY
All 4 couples danced to the same song, tag-teaming with the next couple to come out. There were some innovative “tags”! For example: Jacoby jumped over Kelli & Derek to enter. Others interacted with the next couple in different ways that were creative and clever as well. The judges ranked the couples and corresponding, additional points were awarded.
1st – Zendaya & Val………..5 points
2nd – Kellie & Derek………..4 points
3rd –Aly & Mark………………3 points
4th—Jacoby and Karina…..2 points
ROUND 3 – SUPERSIZE FREESTYLE – ANYTHING GOES!
A New Orleans 2nd Line band struts their stuff to bring out Jacoby and Karina in their own band uniforms. Jacoby strips off his jacket and was joined by a group of “partiers” dancing their steps. At the end, 3 kids tapped and stepped their way into our hearts, with Jacoby joining them. There was so much happening in this number, with so many people doing different things that it really did overwhelm and outshine Jacoby. It was extremely fun and enjoyable, but Karina’s choreography didn’t really showcase Jacoby enough. 9 - 9 – 9 56 Total
Aly & Mark took us into the future with blues and soft silver whites. The opening featured blue stems of light behind them and an effective moving block of yellow light under them across the dance floor. Poles mounted on a 12’ high platform gave them a unique prop in this neon, futuristic atmosphere. Aly’s Olympic gold medal gymnastics were highlighted several times. Their footwork and step segments were perfectly in time with each other—top level synchronization! 10 – 10 – 10 61 Total
Kelli & Derek threw around several ideas. In the end, they decided to just use the strength of their dance itself. They used Contemporary styling and I have never seen anything so beautiful, so amazingly choreographed with lovely, intricate lines and moves. They changed tempos with ease to waltz time at one point. Kellie was so elegant, so graceful and so professional that she looked like one of the pros—only with the delicacy and petite-ness of a fragile, tiny spring flower bending and moving in the evening breeze. A standing ovation from Len! “Should have been an 11!” he said. 10 – 10 – 10 64 Total
Zendaya and Val performed a 3 part number: Cha Cha; Contemporary; Hip Hop (with kids).
Zendaya wore a feathery white skirt cut at an angle. They mistakenly left one section of her skirt too long and out of proportion. She stepped on it at one point, but kept right on dancing! Note: actually, that type of costuming has happened throughout this entire season! Possibly they have changed designers or something……who knows? We have seen pieces of fabric attached haphazardly to costumes, that served no purpose, more exposure from the pros and more unflattering dress lines that EVER BEFORE.
The Contemporary segment of their dance was extremely well done and they thundered into Hip Hop with the kids which was the icing on the cake—the “surge along the inside rail”! Great dance! 10 – 10 – 10 65 Total
Zendaya and Kellie have both experienced being “in jeopardy”. Odds are neck-in-neck…..so, go up to the window and plunk down your money on either one! You’ll have to go with your intuition, because they are so close it is impossible to decide based on their performances!
There is only one unknown: the Fan Vote. That will be a huge, deciding factor.
……….we’ll find out tonight!