We have made it, at last, to the final week of Dancing With The Stars. Believe it or not, this actually makes me extremely depressed. Oh, not that I’ll really miss the show, not at all. A far more pressing concern for me is the fact that I will likely be assigned some other show instead. I have a sinking, soul-crushing feeling that I know precisely what this new show will be, and anyone who has skimmed through my blog entries on occasion probably has a pretty good idea as well. Here’s a hint: when DWTS is over, ABC has a two hour slot to fill on Monday nights…I wonder what programming they will choose to put there? Yeah, I think you might get the picture now. So let me focus on the semi-positive, at least for a few more days, and finish breaking down the final few episodes of DWTS. I’ll deal with whatever comes next for this blog the way I generally do: heavy drinking.

As always, I will review the contestants in the order of their scores from last week (not taking the team score into account) best to worst, with ties defaulting to alphabetical order by last name. I will also include, once again, my own meaningless rankings at the bottom. Enjoy!

DISCLAIMER: Again, I know nothing about dancing, nor could I ever perform any of the dances I am about to critique. If you came here looking for a serious, insightful breakdown of the dances on the show, I apologize in advance.

Note: All performers danced two routines in different styles tonight, receiving marks out of 30 for each. In addition, everyone took part in a “Cha-Cha Relay”, with couples dancing for 40 seconds in quick succession, one after the other. Judges ranked the performances in this event from fourth to first, giving 2 extra points to the fourth place finisher, 3 to third place, 4 to second place, and 5 to first place. As such, the MAXIMUM possible score for the evening was out of 65 points. I hope I explained that decently.

Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff —

Let me just say this right from the top: I don’t know which couples are better anymore. I mean, I could tell last week that Ingo was clearly the worst remaining star, but this week? Everyone left on the show is an amazing dancer, and asking me to rank these people is sheer lunacy. As a result, all I am going to be focusing on are the things that stuck out as silly/dumb to me from each performance. You should just assume that everyone nailed the actual dancing, even if I don’t say that explicitly. Seriously, I am absolutely not qualified at all to continue writing this…but I’m going to anyway. As I have been doing all season long.

Jacoby’s first dance was a jive. I must mention here that Jacoby has demonstrated the best sense of humor out of all the contestants from episode one on, and it isn’t even close. However, during this dance, he and Karina did jump up on the judge’s table, something that strikes me as a form of pandering. Let the dancing do the talking, I say, which helps explain why I am such a silent presence at parties. Bruno also butchered a Lord of the Rings reference, which made a me and nerds like me around the world very agitated.

Jacoby’s second dance, which was a freestyle (all the stars did a freestyle with their second dance of the evening) was pretty neat. It incorporated elements from a Mardi Gras street performance as an homage to Jacoby’s New Orleans heritage. Unfortunately, Jacoby’s mom made yet another performance, defending her son from the “mean” judges. They said the routine wasn’t perfect? They gave my Jacoby nines???? How dare they?!?! I would remind Ms. Jones that a nine is only one number lower than a ten, and that her son was one point off of a perfect 60/60 last week. Simmer down, darling, simmer down.

Judge Score: Dance #1 – 27/30; Dance #2 – 27/30; Cha-Cha Relay Points – 2/5; Total – 56/65

Alexandra Raisman and Mark Ballas —

Aly and Mark’s samba was sweet. Aly even put in her own move, which she demonstrated in the post-dance interview. It was very…evocative. The freestyle she and Mark put together was another matter entirely. They danced to some dubstep number, or at least that is what my untrained ear took it for. They also did a bunch of climbing and swinging around on oversized stripper poles. Did this add anything to the dance? I really don’t know. Climbing to the top of that thing, which both Aly and Mark did, was extremely impressive though. This dance also served to reveal that Carrie Ann worked a pole once (she mentioned this during her critique) so I guess it was all worth it in the end.

Judge Score: Dance #1 – 28/30; Dance #2 – 30/30; Cha-Cha Relay Points – 3/5; Total – 61/65

Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough —

Again, let me stress that Kellie’s dancing is dynamite. However…the hair change-up issue reared its peculiar head again in her first dance, a routine that was also marred by some unnecessary silly dialogue at the very beginning. This dance did elicit the non-word “flatulating” from Len’s mouth, but I simply can’t ignore those first two oddities that I mentioned. If I did, I would have no basis for differentiating Kellie’s amazing dancing from, say Zendaya’s amazing dancing since, as you all know, I really don’t know what the heck I’m doing at this point.

Kellie’s freestyle saw her go back to her natural hair look, and quite simply, it was amazing. Two words: crazy lifts. I’ve got nothing else to say.

Except that the unrelated clip that I just linked to is a classic.

Judge Score: Dance #1 – 30/30; Dance #2 – 30/30; Cha-Cha Relay Points – 4/5; Total – 64/65

Zendaya Coleman and Valentin Chmerkovskiy —

Zendaya was all business from the get go. No judge table nonsense like Jacoby. No wild pole sliding like Aly. No changing her hair around like Kellie. All she did was dance, from start to finish. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: no matter what variety of dance Zendaya does, she brings to it her own unique style, and really takes the dance for her own. It is a joy to watch, and it is the biggest reason why I think she should win the mirror ball trophy on Tuesday night.

Judge Score: Dance #1 – 30/30; Dance #2 – 30/30; Cha-Cha Relay Points – 5/5; Total – 65/65

Intern Paul’s Weekly DWTS Rankings (Not Cumulative, Single Week Only):

1. Zendaya and Valentin (Style and substance in one package, Zendaya is incredible)

2. Kellie and Derek (I actually think she will win; touching life story + amazing freestyle routine)

3. Alexandra and Mark (Wild, crazy freestyle; she pulled it off about as well as anyone could, I think)

4. Jacoby and Karina (Again, doomed by Mom and jumping on judges table…just dance!)

5. Ingo and Kym (Eliminated)

6. Sean and Peta (Eliminated!!!!!!!!!)

7. Andy and Sharna (Eliminated)

8. Victor and Lindsay (Eliminated)

9. D.L. and Cheryl (Eliminated)

10. Lisa and Gleb (Eliminated)

11. Wynonna and Tony (Eliminated — First real dismissal)

12. Dorothy and Tristan (Eliminated — Withdrawn due to injury)

So, that is it then. I’ll be back tomorrow though, to wrap up the season. Each pair has one more dance remaining, I believe, but no fan voting is left. Now, if you all don’t mind, I am going to go pray for a large number of hours in an effort to prevent what is likely inevitable: me being saddled with a horrendous reality show to review. Pray for me.

SEE ALSO: Read More Of “The View From Paul’s Basement”


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