The Fall 2008 edition of Dancing with the Stars came to a close this evening as the winner of the seventh season was revealed. The DWTS finale featured special guest performances by Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus and singing sensation Alicia Keys, a roast of the finalists by eliminated season seven competitor Jeffrey Ross, one last round of dances by the last couples standing, and more. Read on for a recap.
The show began as always with a recap of last night’s Dancing with the Stars action, including amusing commentary from the backstage confessionals. Co-host Samantha Harris interviewed the three remaining contestants in the Red Room. Brooke said they hope to end the season well with a dance “that’s special” to her and partner Derek, while Lance said that “heck yeah” he and Lacey would be able to overtake Warren and Kym. Warren said he planned to “do what he always” does and “party on the floor”. Next, a silly segment featuring eliminated contestant Cloris Leachman asking the public who should win the competition aired. Singer Alicia Keys then took to the floor with a rendition of her hit song I Need You.
After a break, Samantha and co-host Tom Bergeron reviewed the first few weeks of the competition, including backstage confessionals and clips from performances by long-since eliminated contestants. The first eliminated contestant, Jeffrey Ross, and partner Edyta Sliwinska then took to the foor to perform their Quickstep. Their performance was followed by a Foxtrot by eliminee number two Ted McGinley and partner Inna Brayer. Finally Kim Kardashian, the third celebrity eliminated this season, shook up the ballroom floor with partner Mark Ballas and their Mambo.
Post-break, an overview of the third and fourth weeks of the competition aired. Injured celebrity Misty May-Treanor and partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy were then interviewed by Tom and Samantha. When asked, Maks said that he’s “rooting for everybody” and had high praise for all three finalists. Then, Rocco DiSpirito and partner Karina Smirnoff performed their Mambo.
A review of weeks five and six came next, and was followed up by an interview with contestant Toni Braxton and partner Alec Mazo. Toni was unable to dance because she recently had surgery. Then, season seven’s rabblerauser Cloris Leachman and partner Corky Ballas danced their Tango.
Susan Lucci and partner Tony Dovolani offered up their Paso Doble next, followed by a Salsa by Maurice Greene and Cheryl Burke. A review of weeks seven and eight then aired. Roastmaster General Jeffrey Ross then took to the stage to roast the three remaining DWTS contestants. He praised Brooke’s “perfect scores”, Lance’s “perfect hair” and Warren’s “perfect boobs”. He suggested that Brooke and Lance’s theoretical baby could come out of “a womb and a closet on the same day”. He called Warren “an inspiration” for managing to dance so much and still “stay so out of shape”. He told all three “to have fun tonight, and remember: Compared to me, you’re all winners”.
Post-break, Tom and Samantha recapped last week’s semifinal action, and then Cody Linley and Julianne Hough returned to perform their Jitterbug. A segment featuring the judges’ thoughts on the remaining three contestants then aired. Carrie Ann called Lance “the total sleeper” of the competition, while Len said he was “shocked” that a “300 pound giant could have such lightness of foot.” Bruno called Brooke’s biggest strengths her “technique and versatility”.
Warren was then the first of the three finalists to hit the ballroom floor with his last performance of this Dancing with the Stars season. He and Kym chose to do an encore of their Hustle. It still to this day amazes me that Warren can move as well as he can, and yowza, did he ever throw Kym around that dancefloor! The personality that he instills in his dances is so fabulous. Len called him “the public’s champion” and said “from the moment you start you make me smile.” Bruno called him “the craftiest” hustler of them all, and Carrie Ann called them “too cool for school” and praised Warren for inspiring men to dance. Their final scores were 9, 9, 9 for a total of 27.
Lance was next to perform, and he and partner Lacey danced their Jitterbug. I’m truly impressed with how far Lance has come this season. Based merely on his first few weeks on Dancing with the Stars, I wouldn’t have pegged him for the finale, but here he is! Bruno said “you have become a great showman” while Carrie Ann said it was “great” but noted that they did struggle with a lift. Len said he’d “come out and done a fantastic job”. Their final scores were 9, 9, 10 for a total of 28.
The last contestant remaining, Brooke, then performed her last dance, the Viennese Waltz, with partner Derek. I’m sure some of it was merely emotion from knowing that this is the last night of Dancing with the Stars until next Spring, but their dance made me cry a little. Brooke truly floats across the floor and is an amazing dancer, period. If all is fair in this competition, she and Derek should win tonight. Carrie Ann, in tears, said “Brooke, you are a star” and that they “deserve that trophy”. Len reiterated his claim weeks ago, saying that this was their dance of the season, and Bruno called it “a grand performance, you truly are the jewel in the crown of this grand finale.” Their final scores were 10, 10, 10 for a total of 30.
After a break, Tom called attention to last season’s champ Kristi Yamaguchi, and then revealed the identity of this season’s third place couple: Lance and Lacey. Lance said that his experience on DWTS had been “the most fun” he’s ever had. Lacey told Lance “I couldn’t be more proud of you and I love you.”
Naturally, to drive me completely insane, they cut to yet another commercial break. After a torturous few minutes, Miley Cyrus hit the stage with her song Fly on the Wall. My kids are young, so I haven’t had any exposure to Hannah Montana and I wasn’t really familiar with Cyrus’ stylings prior to this performance, but I definitely thought she was, well, kind of weird. But that’s really a mere sidenote as I sit here anxiously awaiting the big reveal. Samantha interviewed Brooke and Derek and Warren and Kym in the Red Room. Brooke praised Warren for “always making her smile” and said she wished she could spin like Kym. Kym called Brooke “the coolest woman ever” while Warren called DWTS “the best experience of my life”. Tom then interviewed the eliminated contestants about their solid performances this evening. Rocco gave the win to “Warren for charisma and Brooke for dancing”. We’ll see very soon!
Post yet another very painful commercial break, the big reveal finally aired. And the champions of the Fall 2008 season of Dancing with the Stars are… Brooke Burke and Derek Hough! Brooke said it feels “unbelievable” and Derek said “wow, I can’t believe we actually did it”. I was truly impressed with Warren and Kym’s reaction to coming in in second place. They smiled and applauded and looked genuinely happy for Brooke and Derek. What truly quality people.
Although I absolutely feel that Brooke and Derek earned the win, part of me is a little sad for Kym, since this is the second time she’s come in second. I hope she returns again next season to take another crack at the Mirrorball Trophy.
Well, that’s it from me! With the Dancing with the Stars finale in the books, that’s that. I’ll be back when the next slate of contestants is revealed. Until then, best wishes, and thanks so much for reading along!