May 24, 2011 08:11 PM by Allyson Wells
The top three went on an amazing journey on Dancing with the Stars. Hines Ward from the world of sports, Chelsea Kane with a fearless attitude and attraction to risk, and Kirstie Alley with roadblocks but unmatched poise. They have proven it is not how hard you fall but what you do when you get up. With the stakes raised, these three showed they had the discipline to break boundaries and shatter expectations. One desperately wants to be the champion. Who will win the coveted mirror ball trophy?
The show kicks off with the eliminated professional dancers and Dancing with the Stars Troupe. The eliminated celebrities enter and each reunite with their former partners in order of elimination. It’s so great to see everyone all together again. Romeo and Ralph get big cheers. Somehow, Ralph looks just like he stepped off the set of the Karate Kid-he looks so young!
The Black Eyed Peas perform their single “Don’t stop the party” from their album “The Beginning.” Where’s Fergie? It’s just the three guys. Ah, Fergie emerges from a perch near the ceiling. The dancers have the futuristic gear they had on at the Super Bowl.
The judges make their comments about season 12. Carrie Ann thinks it has been the most unpredictable season. Len dubs Chelsea little miss dynamite and Bruno thinks she is the best technical dancer. Carrie Ann agrees that she has the most consistent technique. Len believes Hines is the best of the football players they have had on the show. Carrie Ann says that his smile is his secret weapon and Bruno believes everyone loves him. Bruno thinks Kirstie renews herself each week and Len loves how she acts each dance. Carrie Ann boasts that Kirstie always brings the audience to their feet. However, the judges think there is no clear leader.
The finalists enter and take the stage. Tom announces it is one of the closest finales ever. They begin by revisiting the first eliminated dancer. Mike Catherwood is shown obsessing over the show. He’s seen in a leotard and pink legwarmers. He shows up to audition for the Dancing with the Stars Troupe. His audition is awesomely terrible. Next, he takes to the stage and dances with the Troupe before reuniting with partner Lacey Schwimmer. It’s fun to see him incorporate his silly moves into the dance.
Next, Petra Nemcova and Dmitry Chaplin’s waltz to “You Raise Me Up” is reprised for the tsunami victims and her charity, Happy Hearts Foundation. Petra stops cold in her tracks and laughs in surprise when she sees that Josh Groban is on stage performing his hit. How sweet! Petra hugs Josh after the performance. Tom reveals Josh flew in especially to surprise Petra.
Kendra Wilkinson reprises her signature samba Living La Vida Loca with Louis van Amstel, and is joined by the men from the Troupe, along with Tony Dovalani. Len looks like he might lose it watching his favorite dance of the season. That girl sure can shake it. She stands on top of the judges table one more time and shimmies. She almost falls and is caught by the extra men dancing with her.
An announcer takes to the stage and asks if they are ready and introduces Chris Jericho and Cheryl Burke facing off against Sugar Ray Leonard and Anna Trebunskaya. He then says “Let’s get ready to rumble.” Sugar Ray comes out to his “My Prerogative” dance. Chris and Cheryl come out next. I wish he had gone further-I loved watching those two. Cheryl is such a great instructor. Chris and Sugar Ray then face off against one another. It’s a fun ending. Chris does an awesome impression of Bruno. Carrie Ann gives his impression a 10.
Wendy Williams does a segment where she interviews herself and Tony Dovalani. It’s a bit strange and confusing. Wendy jokes she couldn’t tell who wore more eyeliner-Mark or Chelsea. She thinks Kirstie would be the perfect drinking partner. She purrs that Hines is doing well and is very attractive.
Maks, Lacey, Cheryl and Chelsie come to the dance floor to perform to “We Got the Beat” by the Go-Gos. Belinda Carlisle is still super cool in my opinion. Maks enters dressed as a police officer trying to get the women to behave. They rip off his jacket instead. Why did they stop at the jacket? Rip off the shirt, too!
Romeo returns for one last dance that he dedicates to inspire children. He and partner Chelsie Hightower perform to the song, “The Greatest Love of All” by Whitney Houston. It’s a very appropriate song for him, as all season he would always say that he wanted children to know that they could do anything they put their minds to. A children’s choir sings the chorus of the song. It’s very sweet. Romeo does some amazing lifts in this song. What a great guy he is-I would have liked to see him in the finals. After the dance, Romeo reveals that he has a charity called Urban Born to help others in need. He then smiles that they are all winners.
Ralph Macchio and Karina Smirnoff return to reprise their popular quickstep. I loved this dance when they originally did it. Ralph always did better at the ballroom numbers than the Latin ones. I wish Ralph had made the finals to show off his crane kick from the Karate Kid.
Tom interviews the finalists. Chelsea feels great to be in the company of Hines and Kirstie. Kirstie is excited to reprise her first dance and have her journey come full-circle. Hines would like to join Emmitt Smith’s company and win, but jokes he will need to have a twinkle-toe battle with him.
Chelsea and Mark reprise their final dance first. They pick their waltz as their favorite dance, which was to Harry Potter. They decide to make it a bit more traditional. At their last rehearsal at midnight, they both get a bit teary knowing that it is all coming to an end. Their wizard waltz is a great way to finish. Len tells Chelsea she is a fantastic dancer no matter the outcome. Bruno cries that Chelsea is an enchantress and they are all under her spell. Carrie Ann guarantees that everyone knows who she is now. Backstage with Brooke, Chelsea cries that it is a bittersweet ending and she hates good-byes. All of the judges give them 10′s.
Kirstie and Maks go second. Kirstie wants to do the cha-cha because it was her first dance, or first date if you will. She is excited to show everyone that her dress is now half the size it was. Maks notes that she is not passing out anymore. He is very proud of her and hugs her. Kirstie says the journey is beyond what she thought it would be. I’m so glad they picked this dance. I think she surprised everyone in week one with it. They seem to be having so much fun. Kirstie looks great! I’ll miss this pair. Bruno yells that Kirstie saved the best for last. Carrie Ann loves Kirstie and how she is always herself. Len thinks she has overcome setbacks, shown resiliency and produced her best dance. All of the judges give them 10′s. Kirstie embraces Maks and tells Brooke she will miss dancing with him every day.
The last pair to dance is Hines and Kym. They choose the samba as their favorite dance because he originally did it for his mom. Hines dances in his underwear to show how straight his legs are. He is amazed at how much Kym believed in him and transformed him into a beautiful dancer. It’s a great reprise of his breakout dance. I just love his smile. He waves his terrible towel at the end for an ode to his Steeler fan base. He then kisses his mom who is in the audience. What a sweetheart. Carrie Ann believes he is the MVP of the show and is so impressed with him. Len says he brings every dance to life. Bruno boasts that everyone is in love with Mr. Irresistible. All of the judges give them 10′s.
Sara Evans, a former contestant herself, comes to the middle of the dance floor to perform. All three finalists are waiting on the stage as their best footage is shown on a screen behind them. It’s been a wonderful season.
Tom Bergeron announces the couple that will fall short one couple shy of the top two. The third place couple is revealed to be Chelsea and Mark. They come to the floor and Tom tells her he wishes that they had more time to properly send her off. Chelsea and Mark hug and cry on the dance floor at center stage before exiting.
Kirstie and Maks and Hines and Kym go to the center of the dance floor to learn the next champion. Tom announces that the season 12 winner of the mirror ball trophy is Hines and Kym. Kirstie hugs a disappointed Maks. Hines tells Tom he owes everything to Kym and thanks his fans. He also thanks his Steeler and Georgia Dawg Nation. Kirstie smiles to Brooke that she loves Maks. Maks tells Kirstie she has been a special partner and it has been an amazing season. Tom then hands the mirror ball trophy to Hines. The other contestants and professional dancers join them in celebration.
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Photo Credit: ABC