'Dancing with the Stars' Season 4 Finale Recap
'Dancing with the Stars' Season 4 Finale Recap
It’s the finale of Dancing with the Stars season four. Tonight the competition is still alive, says Tom Bergeron. In an “epic showdown,” Laila & Maks, Joey & Kym , and Apolo & Julianne perform one last dance to be scored by the judges.

But first, the eliminated contestants all return. Paulina & Alec, Shandi & Brian, Leeza & Tony, Clyde & Elena, Heather & Jonathan, John & Edyta, Billy Ray & Karina, and Ian & Cheryl dance out onto the floor in the order of their elimination.

Then we have the inevitable recap of last night’s performances, comments, and scores. Laila, Joey, and Apolo all comment on how the most important thing at this point is what the audience thinks.

Kelly Monaco, Drew Lachey, and Emmitt Smith, winners of the first three seasons of Dancing with the Stars are in the audience, and reminisce about their time on the show and the show’s surprise success. “The Story of Dancing with the Stars” tells us about the history of the show. They briefly plug the tour, then there’s a dance by eight pros. We learn that the show’s now being made in 29 countries, and recall the season three “hotbed of scandal” according to US Weekly. Jerry Springer says that his appearance on Dancing with the Stars was one of the high points of his career. Emmit says the public’s practically forgotten about his football career and it’s all dancing now. Len loves that the show’s popularized ballroom dancing, and Drew Lachey would do it all again in a heartbeat.

Finally the finalists are introduced, in very familiar costumes.

First up, Apolo & Julianne choose to redo the paso doble, which Len says he can’t fault one step in. Carrie Ann is glad they chose it, and thinks it was great. Bruno says they have an elixir of youth and put a fresh spin on everything they do. They get tens all around.

Next up, Joey & Kym choose their Star Wars tango, which they got eights on last time. They work on their technique, and the judges love it. Bruno says Joey’s a method dancer, and uses everything he’s got to full effect. Carrie Ann says Joey puts his signature mark on everything, and it was great. Len says Joey’s been “trained but never tamed,” and is impressed that they chose a dance they only got eights on before. Perfect tens for Joey & Kym too.

Last up, Laila & Maks do the mambo. Carrie Ann is proud of Laila, and loved the dance. Len says Laila always gets back up when she’s knocked down, and Bruno calls her the “last standing Amazon knocking us all down,” and thinks they did a great job too. The judges give them all tens too, making this an almost entirely pointless dance round tonight as they’re still in the same order as last night..

Judges’ scores:
Apolo & Julianne: 88/90
Joey & Kym : 86/90
Laila & Maks: 85/90

We hear from the stars’ friends and family, who are pretty much uniformly astounded to see each of them dance, nervous for them, and proud.

And it’s time for one couple to be eliminated….and it’s Laila & Maks. “I won’t go,” she jokes. Tom & Samantha ask Laila what she’ll take from this and what she wants to say about Maks, and she says she had a lot of fun, everyone is great, Maks is great, but “Of course I’m pissed.” We see a recap of Laila & Maks’ partnership, then Laila says it doesn’t matter who wins because Joey & Apolo and bother great, “especially cause I didn’t win.”

Backstage with Apolo & Joey, they both say they’ve learned a lot from each other.

The previously eliminated couples return to reprise dances: Paulina & Alec foxtrot, Shandi & Brian jive, Leeza & Tony mambo, Clyde & Elena cha cha cha, with the other three couples joining them on the floor at the end. Next, Heather & Jonathan mambo, John & Edyta samba, Billy Ray & Karina cha cha cha (with the mullet wig on Billy Ray), and Ian & Cheryl jive, with the other three joining in to finish.

Jimmy Kimmel “shamelessly tries to profit” from the show by offering a DVD of Dancing Along at Home. Joey claims it changed his life, and Laila gives a hilarious endorsement as well. The “special bonus” of Guillermo’s Moustache Magic offered with it has Clay Aiken promoting it. Tom Bergeron points out that this is not a real DVD, in case we’re gullible tonight.

Tom asks the eliminated contestants what they will miss least from Dancing with the Stars: Paulina says “being judged,” which causes Tom to quip that at least it didn’t last long. Shandi says the foot pain. Leeza says Tony’s constant assurances that they’d do better next time. Clyde says the three-hour practises. (Tom Bergeron: “A week?”) Heather says “I’ll miss you, Tom.” Jojn wants Tom’s job next season. Billy Ray plugs his upcoming CD release instead of answering the question. Ian says “dancing shoes.” Laila is asked as well, but says she’s still in shock and can’t answer.

They compare Joey “the showman” and Apolo “the Olympian” at great length.

The previous winners return: Kelly Monaco says it’s “incredible” and “electrifying” to be back on Dancing with the Stars. Drew Lachey has advice for the winner: enjoy it, embrace it, and have fun. Emmit once again says that it’s changed his life because America now sees him as a dancer.

We see clips of Joey & Kym and Apolo & Julianne’s performances this season, their friendships, judges’ comments, and backstage comments. Finally we get to see who wins…and it’s Apolo Anton Ohno & Julianne Hough as the winners of season 4 of Dancing with the Stars.

Apolo & Julianne thank each other, Joey congratulates them. Julianne says “Happy birthday!” as she and Apolo hold up the trophy. (It really is Apolo’s birthday today. Pretty great birthday.)

-Mel, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Photo credit: ABC