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'The Hills': 'Twas the season of Stephanie and Audrina

May 13, 2008 |  9:31 am

How did the bonus season finale last night stack up against the third season's?

Last time, LC was getting hot for Brody again and about to jet off for a business trip to Paris, while Heidi decided to take a “relationship vacation” from Spencer. The latest cliffhanger revolved around LC on the brink of losing another friend. (But we suspect that's going to pretty much resolve itself.)

Season three wins by a landslide, right? Sure, we could talk about the finale and LC's ever-shifting philosophy on friendship, but we've already said our piece when it comes to that. Instead, we would like to dedicate this space to the bonus season’s heroes: Stephanie and Audrina.

She-Pratt was a wonder from her first episode, where she confronted LC and Brody in a nightclub and beckoned, quite literally, to Brody to “come back” to Team Spencer. It was dramatic and scary and we were totally mesmerized.

Since then, she almost singlehandedly drove the drama. With careful calculation, Stephanie became everyone’s worst best friend, making moves for both Team LC and Team Heidi. Finally, someone who wants stuff happen on "The Hills"!

This season, Stephanie bonded with LC early on. (Hey, she may have Pratt blood running through her veins but, like, she and LC shared computer class.) She vowed to not reveal too much to big brother Pratt, and then with every LC invite, she’d reluctantly, and sometimes tearfully, break down to Heidi or Spencer.

Stephanie pulled off the confrontation “Hills” fans were waiting for when she convinced Heidi that a night out at Goa would be a good idea even when LC was on the guest list. LC’s response: “Someone kidnap me now, please.” And she even managed to reunite our villainous lovebirds in last night's finale by ratting out Heidi’s out-of-town plans to Spencer, who was rearing to win back his lady love.

We’ve not seen a better puppeteer since “Mean Girls’” Regina George.

Then there was Audrina, who riled things up in her own way, befriending Heidi and reconnecting with Justin Bobby. (We demand more of him next season, which returns Aug. 19.) Her unwavering diplomacy -- she wants nothing to do with the sex tape feud, got it? -- made her a stronger chica than we originally thought.

And while it seemed like the Lo train might just roll straight over her, Audrina stood her ground, not backing down when LC decided to confront their dwindling friendship. It was a “You go, girl” moment.

Looks like her momentum might just continue ahead in the next season…

--Denise Martin