'Dancing with the Stars' Season 14 Finale Recap: One Last Night to Shine
'Dancing with the Stars' Season 14 Finale Recap: One Last Night to Shine
Laurel Brown
Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
After 9 weeks of competition, 12 surprisingly good celebrity dancers and more 10s than we've ever seen before, it's time for the Dancing with the Stars season 14 finale. Tonight, the remaining three dancers compete for our votes one last time. Whose star will shine the brightest? Find out here!

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It's an exciting time to be a DWTS fan. For once, we go into the Dancing with the Stars finale without a clear frontrunner. Will Katherine Jenkins hold on to her leading status for one more week? Does Donald have the skills to take it all? Can anything stop the sexiness that is William Levy?

Or will it just be about the dances?

What are those dances? In addition to the standard finale Freestyle performances, each of the stars will perform one of their previous styles. This time, however, they're supposed to dance better.

For a quick recap, check out the DWTS Performance Rankings here:



Let's get to it!

I think I might be in love with Cheryl's dress. I think I might have worn Peta's dress -- or perhaps a version that covered more skin -- to a dance in high school in 1995 (...and now you know my approximate age...).

First up...

William Levy and Cheryl Burke
Dancing the cha-cha

My Comments: Of course Bruno is the helpful judge for William. Any excuse to hang with Mr. Sexy.

Who is that bartender? This dance seems to be good. Unfortunately, I am being distracted by the rainbow excellence that is Cheryl's dress. They're moving really fast, and everything seems to be precise. And it ends with streamers!!!

Side note: Does anyone else ever picture some sad janitor sweeping up the confetti, glitter and other props after each dance?

Judges' Comments
Len: "Loud and proud -- and that's just your shirt!" "Good as I've ever seen in 14 seasons of cha-cha-cha!"
Bruno: "That was an intoxicating Cuban cocktail..." "Your hip action leaves me green with envy."
Carrie Ann: "What's now there -- sophistication in the movement." "You've grown miles!"

Scores: 10+10+10 = 30

And we have our first perfect score of the night!


Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas
Dancing the paso doble

My Comments: They say Mark can wear a hat. But I'm not sure anyone can successfully wear that hat. Is it mean to give Katherine Len -- the only judge who has refused to give her a 10?

Hey, Mark took the hat off! This paso is still angry, but there's a lot more grace than that one back in Rock Week. The style is very elegant -- not full of tricks and very classic-looking. I actually get the bullfight theme out of this. Maybe not the most exciting paso doble, but it's a good one.

Judges' Comments
Len: "It was like a buffet of Spanish tapas... Very satisfying. Fabulous!"
Bruno: "That was a paso doble full of vivid, luscious... artistry... "
Carrie Ann: "It was like watching a prima ballerina!"

Scores: 10+10+10 = 30

Better late than never, Len!


Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd
Dancing the Argentine tango

My Comments: Oh no! Donald got a sad letter! This means it's dancing time!

Donald is dancing well, but he might be running into a problem I saw before -- when he gets a serious dance, Donald comes across as stony and loses some of his usual charm. I think the dance is good, but mostly I'm watching Peta. The strength shown by Donald, on the other hand, is unmatched. That's impressive.

Judges' Comments
Len: "I felt there was far more concept." "For me, it was a tad careful."
Bruno: "You went for the subtle and intimate." "It had intensity." "I could read everything in the story, and it was very, very effective."
Carrie Ann: "I loved it the first time, and I loved it again." "There was a new crispness in all your moves."

Scores: 10+9+10 = 29

For the record, these scores were so unexpected that I typed them before the judges announced them. Not because I'm smart or psychic or anything -- just because they're all kind of predictable at times.


William Levy and Cheryl Burke
Dancing freestyle

My Comments: Of course, they have to start with a sexy pose. What else would they do? I like the speed of this dance. It's not quit flowing enough on William's part for my taste, but that might be the intent. It's kind of hard to tell when it's freestyle. They do make excellent use of lighting effects. There's also an impressive use of athleticism here -- almost rivaling Donald.

Judges' Comments
Len: "What you do, you do well." "I liked it -- I liked the lifts, I liked the changes of rhythm... But, for me, it was too predictable." "I'm fed up with it!"
Bruno: "You were like two devils unleashed upon the earth into a Latin-inspired extravaganza!"
Carrie Ann: [After doing the robot] "That was exactly what a freestyle should be." [Followed by an argument with Len]

Scores: 10+9+10 = 29


Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas
Dancing freestyle

My Comments: Wait, is Katherine actually singing? That's new.

She's also dancing in shoes that don't have insane heels. Yay! This seems to be some sort of crazy swing/flapper thing. Kind of like what you'd see in an early Hollywood movie. Half silent film and half Golden Age musical. If you've seen The Artist, it's kind of like that. There may have been a stumble in one place, but I'm not even sure about that. Very, very cool and fun.

Judges' Comments
Len: "Tom, if I'm asleep and dreaming, don't wake me up. This is a freestyle!"
Bruno: "That was a fast and flamboyant tour de force!" "I have never seen so much content!"
Carrie Ann: "You can do anything!" "That was a dance of a champion -- you are a champion!"

Scores: 10+10+10 = 30

Well, if Len had to economize on those 10s, at least he doled them out at the right time.


Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd
Dancing freestyle

My Comments: Well, this is different.

Donald is definitely more in his element with this fun country dance. They're playing on a couple of Donald's strengths here -- precision and physicality. Plus, it's just plain fun. I'm not sure I'm such a fan of that never-ending spin just before the ending, but I like the rest of it.

And there are Cheeseheads in the audience.

Judges' Comments
Len: "You came out, an enormous chance, you went right left field. Fantastic!"
Bruno: "I cannot resist a ride in the Wild West. A country-inspired triumph!"
Carrie Ann: "Oh my God!!!" "No offense to anybody in past seasons... This is my favorite finals and that is my favorite dance tonight!"

Scores: 10+10+10 = 30

So, some good scores tonight, huh?

And that's it for the last night on which we get to vote. Who do you think will get the most audience support? Who will do the best with their 24-hour dance tomorrow? Leave your comments below and see you tomorrow night at 9pm!!!

(Images courtesy of ABC)




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