Welcome, gem hunters, to the season 19 finale of Dancing With the Stars: You Scratch My Back, I'll Tickle Your Armpits.
Last night marked the (largely un-televised, due to breaking news) departure of Bethany Mota and Derek Hough -- an elimination with such little fanfare, it was almost like America collectively and halfheartedly... closed the tab on a YouTube video or something. Eh, she's young, hot, rich, and loves tacos. She'll get over it. And Derek doesn't even know what happened. "The past doesn't exist," right?
So here we go! Show us what you got, Alfonso & Witney, Sadie & Mark, and Janel & Val... even though the results are basically predetermined and you'll all get perfect scores tonight. You know the drill. Dance your lives away on the DWTS Drill Team! Just please don't break a rib.
There's a walkup hour from 8-9; then I'll be right back here from 9-11 p.m. ET to recap the finale... liiiiiiiiiiiiiive! See you soon!
9:00 P.M. We're liiiiiiiiiive!
THE EYES still have it! Jonathan Bennett came to party.
9:02 So nice of Tom to rhyme/alliterate (?) "Mandy Moore" with "many more."
9:03 CLIP SHOW.
9:07 Bethany and Derek get the encore freestyle; internet pumps fist.
9:13 CLIP SHOW as I wonder whether the teens hovering around the Jonas brother on the pop-up DWTS red carpet are dying inside or LOVING it. Some of them are for sure into it. But some on the fringes were probably just standing around to support their friends. You might even call them fringe fairies. Either way, what fun. To have friends.
9:15 Randy Couture and Karina Smirnoff try on the foxtrot for size again. Do I even recognize this guy? Never did. It's fine. One 360-degree AND three-dimensional swoop (how else to describe it?) during this little exhibition is incredibly intense:
This is so Dancing With the Stars in a buttshell.
9:16 Tom Bergeron is really gunning for this Wolf Glitzer look.
9:18 Cannot handle this Jonas brother, but heyyyy, Artem's pecs. Jonas just sang something about "my chest." I think not, little one. Wait, is this the one in his 30s or something? Are any of them? Not looking it up.
9:23 Did Allison just mess up at the beginning of this tWitchy trio? I suppose people mess up all the time, though. For example, I was 10 minutes late in starting the show. Oh, jeez, she messed up at the end, too. I will not mess up at the end. Eh, I probably will.
9:25 Outtakes! Oh, I love these. Tom Bergeron is being attacked by a light! And what Erin Andrews lacks in communicating-with-children and rapping skills, she makes up for with...
...high kicks. I love Tom's face here. He looks like a Care Bear.
9:26 Betsey Johnson and Tony Dovolani's "Material Girl" cha cha. That's a full-on wig, right? Or her real hair? Why do I even bother asking? These people are on TV; they're all wearing wigs.
9:30 I wouldn't say I resent how much time DWTS has made me devote to thinking about Michael Waltrip's crotch. But I don't love it.
9:36 Aggghh! Cheryl Burke's final DWTS number ended before it even began. Come back, Cheryl. And hello, Antonio Sabato Jr.
9:40 Fresh Prince rap!
Carlton Banks seems super well-adjusted these days.
9:42 How the hell does Jennifer Hudson share a stage with Peta and Sharna and STILL manage to be the hottest thing around?
9:46 Lucky Lea Thompson, resident Maneater, gets to shimmy alongside Artem, Keo, Henry, AND James in gold and black fringe. But the real winner could be Erin for so punchily enunciating "Chig-vint-sev." I've never tried, but it's pretty fun.
Oh, this is as delicious as a cheese roll and a cup of tea (especially if you're stoned): LEN'S IN THE CAR for Cheech and Chong's return. Major missed opportunity to use the trusty DANCMSTR license plate, which is instead sitting on a doorframe right on top of me. I don't feel that bad.
10:00 Tony, Keo, Artem, Emma, Peta, and Sharna usher in winter, snowglobe-style. If you look closely you can see them flexing their hidden gems (abs) under all those cold-weather layers (one thin layer).
Derek wore his Snuggie scarf again; Mirroballus shrugged.
10:20 Okay, the final dances are upon us. Once again, it's "The 24-Hour Fusion Challenge." That ballroom-oriented feat of strength no one would ever ask for. Yay. Sadie and Mark have a "samba quickstep" fusion and they both look nervous. I must say that after she dressed as what's basically a cartoon character last night (Princess Peach), Sadie is looking positively plain without earrings measuring at least a foot in diameter. And yet, she's sparkling. She always will. "You're beautiful, you've grown so much, and we love you," says Julianne. Sounds like a kiss-off. But at this point, most comments will.
10:30 What is the point of these freaking fusions?! No one wants to see them struggle! This round should be a Contestant's Choice instead. (I would totally pick it based on my fave/most flattering costume, duh.) Okay, this foxtrot/paso by Janel and Val seems like a normal paso doble to me. Very liquid-y!
10:41 Here's Fons and Witney with a cha cha/Argentine tango for God knows what reason. It's fun! All of Witney's choreography has been on point this season. "You are like a glitter ball," Carrie Ann abruptly informs the Fons, perhaps in response to his shirt collar, which has been silently screaming "DO I NOT LOOK LIKE THE TROPHY?"
10:45 Oh yikes. Fons is gonna go on the DWTS Live tour! Janel might stop by, too. "We're gonna convince Sadie," Fons insists. "She's coming." Meanwhile, Mark and Sadie both make helplessly apologetic "this is so tragic" faces behind him. It's a bittersweet moment. No rest for the injured, DWTS contestants. You gotta maximize that exposure.
10:48 Seriously, though, how fun would it be to go on the DWTS Live tour? New life goal. (I can actually imagine this happening. So maybe I should aim higher? Nah. I'm good here. Update: To everyone who thinks I should try dancing, I meant it would be fun to go on the tour as part of the production staff, not as an actual player. Don't make me expose my toes!)
10:52 Janel and Val's journey is over: They finished third. Sadie and Mark look shocked to be in the final two. "You've been my trophy the entire season," Janel tells Val. Perfect.
10:59 ALFONSO AND WITNEY WIN! OF COURSE!!!
And FOR ONCE his baby decides to look at the camera. No time like the present, man!
"These are happy tears," Fons assures Tom. No pain! Infinite gain.
I have one word for you: SPARKLEBARF.
Thank you so much for joining me here all season, gem hunters! See you soon...