SAN DIEGO, November 27, 2012 – “And now you have one too.”
With those words from host Tom Bergeron, “Dancing With The Stars: All Stars” had two new champions winning their first Mirror Ball Trophy.
It came down to the fan vote, and the fans gave the Mirror Ball Trophy to Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovoloni, defeating two former champions. Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough were second. Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy were third.
Johnson was the champion of Season 8, the same year that Melissa and Tony came in third place. There is something to be said for being a little hungrier and wanting it that much more to motivate competitors.
Not only was it Melissa’s first win, but also the first win for professional dancer Tony Dovoloni, who is the only dancer who has appeared on all 15 seasons of “Dancing With The Stars.” Tony’s friends and partners in the Dance With Me studios, Maks and Val Chmerkovskiy, were ecstatic about their friend’s win, hoisting him onto their shoulders after the announcement. The entire cast celebrated the win of this popular couple, for whom they have enormous affection.
Both Melissa and Shawn were worthy of winning. It came down to the style the fans preferred. Shawn and Derek emphasized athletic strength, speed and energy, which brought Derek’s complex choreography to life. But it wasn’t all about tricks. Shawn’s lines were exceptional and she had become a much more graceful, mature performer.
Melissa offered the most beautiful lines and extension among all the competitors. Her musicality and grace is exceptional. Melissa performed with terrific joy and enthusiasm. She seemed to love every minute of every performance. She enjoyed the best connection with the audience; she invited everyone to enjoy the experience right along with her. It was evident in her Monday night samba. She worked the crowd like a seasoned pro. In the end it may have been what won the support of the fans.
Two hours after her win, Melissa tweeted this message: “AAAHHHHHH!!!!! OH MY MERCY!!! You guys did it!!! You gave this to us!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! Ahhhhhh!!”
The result was also a much-deserved reward for Tony after being saddled with some less than desirable partners like Kate Gosselin, Wendy Wiliams, Kathy Ireland, and Susan Lucci. He’s never complained, never been less than a gentleman and never less than a professional, caring partner. The fans may have voted just as much for Tony to win as Melissa.
It was a virtual dead head after Monday night, with Melissa and Tony sitting atop the leaderboard after two perfect scores of 30 for a total of 60 points; Kelly and Val were second with 58 points out of 60; and Shawn and Derek were third with 57.5 points of 60.
One more set of scores was added after the “insta-dances” which only tightened up the judges’ scores. Kelly and Val drew a jive and did an admirable job with good energy and an appealing upbeat attitude. They scored 28.5 points. Melissa and Tony drew a samba, the same as their return dance from Monday night. It was a slower rhythm and they suffered a little bit in comparison, scoring 28.5 points. Shawn and Derek drew a cha cha, and danced with good speed and precision, scoring 30 points.
Total judges scores: Shawn and Derek with 87 out of 90 points; Kelly and Val had 87.5 out of 90; and Melissa and Tony with 88.5 out of 90. This is virtually dead even, barely a two percent difference from top to bottom. It boiled down to the fan votes.
Kelly and Val suffered from lack of rehearsal time due to her schedule shooting “General Hospital.” She also had the least amount of experience, dancing only six weeks on the shortened Season 1. She was just starting to hit her stride in the last few weeks. Kelly’s third place finish coming ahead of numerous other champions was an admirable result.
The two-hour finale featured all of the former competitors. Apolo Ohno and Karina Smirnoff performed their emotional, exquisite waltz. Sabrina Bryan and Louis Van Amstel danced their gorgeous, sinuous rumba. Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson danced a new routine to the Huey Louis song “Back In Time” complete with a DeLorean on stage and two young “mini-me lookalike dancer.
Pamela Anderson starred in a burlesque flavored number with the men of the professional troupe that was her best performance ever. And what would the All-Stars season be without seeing the crazy group dances to “Gangnam Style” and “Call Me Maybe”?
Bringing back former competitors may have sounded like a better idea than it actually turned out to be. There weren’t a lot of surprises and it seemed that audience enthusiasm was slightly tempered. It’s telling that the eventually winner wasn’t one of the six former champions or even any of the second place runners-up.
So until next March, we will have to spend our time speculating which new competitors will hit the dance floor for Season 16 of “Dancing With The Stars.” Tell us what stars you’d like to see on the show in 2013.
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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