Winner, winner, winner! Incredible! Helio Castroneves has a new trophy! You could see from his first night out on the dance floor that if any man was going all the way, it was Helio. That guy's smile totally melts me. I knew he could pull it off. He is charismatic, endearing, genuine and adorable. Dangerous combo? Not with this guy. No one deserved it more (sorry, Mel Brown).
The race car driver from Brazil outdanced and outshined every other star. He dropped Julianne like she was hot (literally - not last night, but twice before - and let's face it, she is). He's like America's sweet tart, the foreign exchange boy next door. Helio and Julianne danced their quickstep again last night to get another perfect score. Last night was the third time they quickly stepped, the second time they kissed (this time was a long one... yowza!) and the first time I ever worried for him (dumb). AND Julianne Hough is now a back-to-back winner! High fives all around!
Mel and Maks danced an energetic mambo that earned them 10's across the board (Carrie Ann only gave them a 9 last time). She danced before Helio, which I originally thought put her at a disadvantage. Who was I kidding? Mel is a hard act to follow, but it wasn’t the first time Helio matched one of her perfect performances. I liked their mambo because it was awesome, as usual, and also because I would pay for Maksim Chmerkovskiy to land on top of me after whipping me to and fro. Enough said. (It’s a good thing the bf doesn’t read this...).
Okay, in a nutshell, the way last night worked was this: Marie Osmond was let go at the very beginning of the show, leaving the top spots to the two most worthy. Then she and partner Jonathan Roberts danced the tango to bid everyone farewell. After that, and lots of other entertainment and flashbacks that wouldn’t end that I’ll get to in a sec, Mel and Helio each danced their favorite dance for a final judgement. The judges’ scores last night and Monday night were then added to Monday night’s audience votes to find our winner. Follow me? Either way, Helio must have been the audience favorite, because after dueling perfect scores last night, he was only one point behind Mel in the judges’ eyes.
Sprinkled into the two-hour finale were two performances by the biggest selling female artist of all time, Celine Dion, who looked absolutely fabulous. That woman is Michelle Pfeiffer gorgeous. She sang her classic, “My Heart Will Go On,” and the title track from her new album, “Taking Chances.” She does have a lovely voice. And I loved her shoes. Now if only she weren’t Jane Seymour annoying.
The other nine former competitors also got to take one last turn in the spotlight last night, although not all of them danced. Wayne Newton and Floyd Mayweather each had health and safety issues, so they just said “hello.” Josie Maran danced better than I remember, Albert Reed didn’t gyrate quite hard as last time, Mark Cuban was not dressed like a hobo, Sabrina Bryan rocked but Mark Ballas looked like his arm was hurt, Jane Seymour was elegant, Cameron Mathison was super and Jennie Garth shook her booty in Derek Hough’s face.
By the end of the two-hour ordeal, I really could have gone without all the personal talk-to-the-camera time. We get it. You all had a great time on the show. Everybody got really close and at this point no one wants to lose. You’re in it to win it. You love your family and friends who were supportive and backed you 100 percent. You can’t believe how far you’ve come. Your partner is so proud. Yes, yes. And the slow motion and sappy music did almost make me want to cry, but this week I would cry if my shoe came untied, so disregard.
So this season was a roller coaster ride of emotions and accomplishments, let downs and fall downs, surprises and hookups. Nothing short of reality television bliss. For those of you who fear dancing withdrawal, have no fear. Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli’s Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann premiers on ABC Jan. 7. The tables will be turned and their creativity and leadership will be critiqued. Can’t wait.
I had such a blast week to week! I hope you did, too! Take care everyone!!!