SAN DIEGO, May 20, 2012 – The Mirror Ball Trophy will find a new home this week with either William Levy, Donald Driver, or Katherine Jenkins as the winner of Season 14 of “Dancing With The Stars.” The two-part finale begins Monday, May 21, with the final competition dance and crowning of the winner on Tuesday, May 22.
Each of the couples will perform two dances Monday night. First is a dance chosen by the judges from previous performances this season, one the judges believe will show improvement over the course of competition. The couples are allowed to include new music and new choreography.
Donald Driver let his Twitter fans know that he and Peta Murgatroyd will be dancing the Argentine Tango. It was a bit of a lift fest the first time, taking advantage of Driver’s strength and precision. If Murgatroyd is smart, she will incorporate a little more footwork to show Driver’s finesse and timing. This dance was badly underscored by Len Goodman the first time around (what else is new?), so he’s the one these two need to impress.
William Levy and Cheryl Burke have drawn the cha cha. It was his lowest scoring dance of the season with a 24. But it can be a simple dance and this seems to play up Levy’s obvious strengths rather than asking to see improvement. He may get the judges’ scores but will this obvious favoritism backfire with the fans?
The call-back dance for Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas hadn’t been revealed as of Sunday afternoon, but if it’s based on score it might be their Rock Week paso doble, which was also a 24 and their lowest score of the season. This would present the greatest challenge to Jenkins who is more at home with the ballroom dances.
The second dance is the highlight of the season for many fans, the freestyle dance. Each couple can choose whatever music they like and there are no rules for the performance at all. This is where the choices and not the skills can make or break the star’s chances of winning. Cheryl Burke killed Gilles Marini’s chances of winning when they performed to “Flashdance,” a horrible mistake. Longtime fans are still shaking their heads over Marie Osmond’s Chucky-doll freestyle.
The three pros need to play to their star’s strengths, make it challenging but not so difficult that there are any obvious mistakes, and not do “too much messing about” as Len Goodman is fond of saying. The dances need to be crowd pleasing so the fans will be energized and vote.
After the one-hour performance show on Monday, the couples will come back and dance one last routine on Tuesday night, the “24 Hour Challenge.” Competitors will be given music right after Monday night’s show, and must then come up with a dance of their choice. The routine will be scored on the same 30-point system as the other dances this season, so the judges get the final say. It’s not clear whether all three finalists compete on Tuesday, or just the top two, and how the judges’ scores will be combined with fan votes.
Who will win? Katherine Jenkins seems the long shot. Technically she is the best dancer with beautiful stretched legs and spot-on timing. But the best technician doesn’t always win. Her inclusion in the final didn’t sit well with a lot of Maria Menounos fans, who felt she earned the third spot in the final (including me). It’s doubtful Maria’s fans will vote for Jenkins; expect these votes to be split between the two remaining competitors.
William Levy has devoted fans, and the judges love him. He’s a reliable performer and as long as Cheryl Burke doesn’t do anything crazy with the freestyle, he will do well. He has a compelling personal story and it’s hard not to root for Levy to do well.
Donald Driver has shown the greatest improvement over the course of the season, and has been chronically underscored by the judges. Professional athletes do well on the show due in large part to their competitive drive, and football players have done extremely well. Emmitt Smith and Hines Ward both won in their seasons, and Jerry Rice, Jason Taylor and the improbable Warren Sapp all came in second.
If the Packer Nation mobilizes with a lot of votes, it will help if his scores are low (again) this week. Driver is a crowd pleaser and sensational performer, which will serve him extremely well in the freestyle where he can let his personality loose. Peta Murgatroyd is promising lots of lifts and tricks, which the fans will love. It’s hard to bet against Driver to peak at just the right time, and take home a Mirror Ball Trophy to put next to his Vince Lombardi Trophy at home.
Pros Tristan McManus and Val Chmerkoskiy have both predicted that Donald Driver will win.
Whatever happens, it’s sure to be an exciting, fun to watch show. Make it even more fun by joining our Communities live chat at 8 p.m. Eastern Time. Don’t be late: the show is only one hour long this week.
“Dancing With the Stars” returns for the final week of the competition on Monday night, May 21, 8 p.m. Eastern/Pacific Time, on the ABC Television Network.
Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd
Voting # 1-800-868-3403 or text VOTE to 3403
Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas
Voting # 1-800-868-3410 or text VOTE to 3410
William Levy and Cheryl Burke
Voting # 1-800-868-3408 or text VOTE to 3408
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Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. Read more Media Migraine in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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e first time, taking advantage of Driver’s strength and precision. If Murgatroyd is smart, she will incorporate a little more footwork to show Driver’s finesse and timing. This dance received 27 points and was underscored by Len Goodman the first time around (what else is new?), so he’s the one these two need to impress.
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