'Dancing with the Stars' Finale Recap: Who Will Win the Mirror Ball?
'Dancing with the Stars' Finale Recap: Who Will Win the Mirror Ball?
Laurel Brown
Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
This is it! The final show, the last night, the ultimate dances! After tonight, we'll know who won the Mirror Ball trophy and who went home empty-handed. It's been a crazy season, and absolutely anything could happen tonight.

Not all titles featured on BuddyTV are available through Amazon Prime.


So let's get to it!


e all had our final chance to vote after Monday's performances, which means that the results have been tallied and are waiting for the final scores to bring us to the end. During the two-hour show, we can expect performances from both our finalists and from the previously-eliminated competitors from season 11. Should be interesting.

Who do you expect to win?
Not that our predictions have been accurate throughout the season, but let's take one final stab at predicting the winner. According to votes on the BuddyTV website, 56 percent of you think that Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough will go home with the Mirror Ball. Bristol and Mark have the second-highest number of votes, garnering the support of 25 percent of readers. Kyle and Lacey seem to have the lowest chance of winning, with only 19 percent of you thinking he'll be the victor.

Will these predictions be accurate? We'll know soon enough!

Miss anything?
Just in case you missed the show last night, we've got the Week 10 Performance Show recap just waiting for you. If you just need a quick refresher, you can try the Performance Rankings to remind yourself of all the action.

Got it? Then we're ready for the Dancing with the Stars season 11 finale!

Thank goodness we're starting with an over-dramatic intro. Wouldn't want to make this seem like a silly TV competition or anything. Good grief -- that was way over the top. Oh well. Show now!

Pros dancing on stairs! I think these are the partners of the eliminated contestants, but they're moving too fast. And here comes everybody! David, Margaret, Situation, Florence, Rick, Kurt and Brandy. Did I miss Michael or Audrina? And the finalists are out! That was actually a pretty impressive opening. Good job, show!

Oh apparently, Michael Bolton is in London and Audrina Patridge is sick. Fair enough. Although I'm sick too, and I'm here! Not that it's the same thing.

Booty-Shaking with the Stars is totally a show that I'd watch. Good call, Kyle!

Winning would be a big middle finger to people, Bristol? Not classy. Sorry, but that is so not classy.

Tom is explaining the complicated scoring. Sigh. Let's just go with what they tell us, OK?

Eek, Jennifer ruptured a disc last night? She may literally fall into pieces at the end of the night.

Before we get to anything at all, a performance by Christina Aguilera is required. Does anybody know what Burlesque is about? Other than Christina Aguilera singing and sexy-dancing in front of Cher?

OK, back to the dancing stuff. Looks like we're going to start off with Kyle and Lacey re-dancing their tango. Other than the incredible ugliness of Lacey's dress, that was an awesome dance. Yay!

Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer
Dancing the tango from Week 6

Judges' Opinions:
Len: "You come out with such a great attitude!"
Bruno: "Kyle, you really are a talented young man. You really have the power to connect with the viewers." "We say something, you go out there and you improve."
Carrie Ann: "You can be poised and powerful, yet in control." "I love what you bring to the floor, it's this freshness."

My Opinion: I liked this dance the first time. Let's hope it's even better tonight! Flames are a good start! It's looking a little stiff possibly, but not bad. And it is a tango, so maybe the stiff is on purpose. Very good dance, but I don't know if it's enough to win the show for them. We'll see...

Now it's time for Bristol and Mark to do their own tango. Is everyone doing a tango? That's a possibility. Wouldn't shock me, actually.

Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas
Dancing the tango from Week 6

Judges' Opinions:
Len: "You and Kyle are two sides of the same coin... He's got the wow but you've got the how."
Bruno: "This is the dance that showed us Bristol the Fighter!" "You earned your place in the finale through this."
Carrie Ann: "I think out of all the dances you performed... this is by far my favorite." "There was a new command that you showed last time, but it was even better this time."

My Opinion: As I recall, this was one of the better dances that Bristol and Mark did. She does seem cleaner in her movements now. Uh-oh, hair everywhere! Bristol definitely had her technique down in this. And she got her air guitar again. Always good to have air guitar. I'm not sure if Bristol is bringing the level of expression that the judges will want. And it ends with Mark's nose bump. What's up with that, anyway?

Jennifer and Derek are up next. And not doing a tango. Looks like it'll be the waltz. Not entirely sure if it's the waltz from week 1 or the waltz from week 9, but I'm sure we'll find out soon.

Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough
Dancing the Viennese waltz from Week 1

Judges' Opinions:
Len: "You are the complete package!"
Bruno: "Quality of movement, musicality, artistry all combined..."
Carrie Ann: "It is so nice to see the full journey someone makes on Dancing with the Stars." "I love the way you allowed the dance to happen."

My Opinion: This could be interesting, since it's from all the way back in the first week. It was awfully good then, so I can't imagine it won't be better this time. Certainly is a romantic dance, isn't it? I love it when waltzes spin around like that. Very, very pretty. And hopefully it didn't break Jennifer anymore. Tears from emotions or pain now?

Now the judges have to decide who gets the 10s, who gets the 9s and who gets the 8s. Each judge can only give each number one time...

Scores for Kyle and Lacey:
9 + 8 + 9 = 26

Scores for Bristol and Mark:
8 + 9 + 8 = 25

Scores for Jennifer and Derek:
10 + 10 + 10 = 30

Now everyone has to prepare a cha-cha Instant Dance to "Raise Your Glass" by Pink. It looks like Kyle and Lacey will go first, Jennifer and Derek will go second, Bristol and Mark will go third.

It's retrospective time. David Hasselhoff is fine, in case you were worried. Also, he has a vivid fantasy life. Oh lord, he's singing. With Baywatch babes. Why exactly did we not want this guy on the show? Oh right, he can't dance. Not so great at lip synching either, as it turns out.

The pros are competitive. This doesn't exactly surprise me. Two of them up for a third Mirror Ball... And then there's Lacey.

Looks like we're going to see the basketball player and football player fight it out on the dance floor. There are many sports metaphors happening right now.

They have silver bells. And sparkly sports uniforms.There go the balls. And here come the cheerleaders! All of this is done to "Eye of the Tiger." Of course. Chest bump. They've traded cheerleaders now.

That was awesome.

Kyle and Lacey are practicing in the back. Lacey is, of course, wearing the most hideous costume they could find.

Time to get Margaret and Florence back. Yay! Margaret gets her rainbow costume again! That was seriously wonderful. And then Florence is wearing... Umm? Some sort of Chiquita banana costume? Way to top the rainbow dress, Florence! I miss these two dancers.

Dramatic moments! Jennifer crying over Patrick Swayze, Brandy and Maks fighting in rehearsals, The SItuation almost killing Karina, Boogate, Bruno not liking The Situation's dance, Jennifer and Derek's staged arguing, Jennifer ignoring medical advice, Bristol wanting to go home, Maks and Carrie Ann fighting... What? No Michael Bolton scoring?

Judges scores at the moment -- 90 for Jennifer and Derek, 82 for Kyle and Lacey, 77 for Bristol and Mark.

Bristol and Mark backstage. I really, really like Bristol's haircut. I should take a picture of that to the hairdresser next time. No, this has nothing to do with the show.

Time for The Situation's clip. Apparently he'll be a governor in 2030. "I ran the race for Governor, and I wasn't even running!" Tee-hee. Time machine! And they're ripping the clothes of The Situation. Yes, this is pretty much his appeal on the show. He's still wearing his pants though. I guess the "family show" thing still applies.

Memorable moments now. The Hoff's elimination, the infamous doghouse ("I think this is probably the worst jive in 11 seasons."), Audrina and Tony eating onions, the time machine, getting flashed (and then scared) by Florence, Kyle's Jackass distractions, Audrina's elimination, Rick's elimination, Brandy's elimination. I guess we're not supposed to see Kurt's elimination as a surprise?

Brandy's turn. And she's doing the quickstep again. With Maks and the lollipop. Still a good dance with music that really doesn't work. Wonder if Brandy just stuck her tongue out at anyone in particular?

Almost time for the Instant cha-chas...

Backstage, Jennifer's not dead! No matter how hard the producers want to portray her as on death's door.

And Christina Aguilera is back. And singing. As she does.

OK, finally time for those final dances! It's about time! Oh good lord, Lacey's outfit is worse than I thought. Bristol's isn't too good either. Evil costumers!

Oh, not dancing. Just annoying commentary about the finalists.

Finally!

Kyle and Lacey
Nice choice, going the sexy-angry route. Very fitting for the music. Lacey is an excellent choreographer. A good re-emergence of the old Kyle here.

Jennifer and Derek
Jennifer's really working those pants, isn't she? Much more serious and cheerful interpretation of the dance. And wow, fast moves! This is where Jennifer seems to stand out for me. Speed.

Bristol and Mark
Bristol now. Which means it's shimmy and nose-bump time. Bristol's doing a good job keeping up with some fast steps there. A bit stiff in the repetitive parts, but otherwise very good. Are she and Mark a little off each other there? A good cha-cha, but not my favorite.

Judges' Comments:
Len: "Bristol, I've never seen you that good. Kyle, you're a marvel. Jennifer, always right up there!"

Bruno: "Jennifer, always the artist. Kyle, you're a powerhouse. And Bristol, you really save the best for last!"

Carrie Ann: "Kyle, you brought us joy, Bristol you brought us hope, Jennifer you tell us about what perseverance is all about.

Kyle and Lacey:
9 + 9 + 10 = 28

Jennifer and Derek:
9 + 9 + 10 = 28

Bristol and Mark:
9 + 9 + 9 = 27

OK, time for some results? Third place goes to... Somebody, after way too long a pause...
BristolFinale.jpg
Bristol and Mark have won third place!!!

Way to be smiley when you've technically been eliminated! Good to have class, guys! Awww, Mark just wiped away a tear.

There might be more results, but first there must be commercials!

Only four minutes of babbling available to the show before they have to tell us... But they're going to use every last second of it, aren't they? And...KyleFinale.jpg

Kyle and Lacey have won second place!!!

Which means that...

Jennifer and Derek have won season 11 of Dancing with the Stars!!!!!

Umm, Derek? You have to let Jennifer touch it eventually. And roughly everyone in the universe is on the stage. Yay for the winners!

JenniferWins.jpg
So, what do you think of the final results? Are you happy? Sad? Devastated? Elated? Let us know by voting in the poll and leaving your comments! And see you next season!!!

(Images courtesy of ABC)





News from our partners