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'Dancing With the Stars': Brooke Burke voted Season 7 champion

Dwts_7_10_2_p2In contrast to Season 6, it really seemed to me that any of the Season 7 finalists could win, depending on how the audience voted and how the mysterious “Dancing With the Stars” vote weighting worked.

Each finalist brought specific strengths to the competition. Brooke Burke was technically strong and very consistent, and her and Derek’s routines were often more ambitious than those of the other contestants.  Lance Bass and Lacey exhibited a great deal of stage presence and solid technical skills; over time, too, their choreography managed to hit the right balance of personality and adherence to the rules. Warren Sapp and Kym consistently wowed the live audience with their exuberance, and Warren got high marks for degree of personal difficulty, given that he’s a 300-pound ex-NFL player.   

In the end, though, Brooke’s skills won out, with Warren coming in second, and Lance –- surprisingly (to me, at least ) –- landing in third. 

Tonight, all of the stars from Season 7 were back ...

... in the ballroom, and Alicia Keys and Miley Cyrus were the musical guests. 

I’m always struck by how beautiful Alicia Keys is, but the dancing in her number looked to be out of a workout video, and not a particularly vigorous one at that. It would be a workout video with a marketing slogan like: “Lose weight just by walking with a bit of a shimmy!” 

And, hey, Miley Cyrus sure is young.  Didn’t she promise to be in the audience to watch her “Hannah Montana” colleague Cody Linley perform? I guess that promise was conditional: Only if he made it to the finals would she watch him perform. Anyway, I’ll admit that her song was catchy.

I’d forgotten that we got to see all of the stars perform again –- in order of elimination –- and although this seems like fairly flagrant filler, it was interesting to watch the contestants improve as the weeks wore on. 

Jeffrey Ross and Edyta performed the quickstep; if memory serves, this version was more nimble. Ted McGinley and Inna were back with the foxtrot, and it was nice to see Ted’s deep tan, crisp part and sparkling white grin again. Next up were Kim Kardashian and Mark with a mambo, and I’m sorry to report that Kim still hasn’t learned how to move her hips. The footwork was also shoddy. You really get spoiled by the quality of the dances later in the season, don’t you? 

The returning stars and pros must also feel so out of shape compared with those who remained until the end. Even though they couldn’t dance, Misty May-Treanor and Maks were back. Misty got cleared to walk a few days ago, and she expressed eagerness to get back on the dance floor after her injury.  Rocco DiSpirito and Karina danced their best number by far, the mambo, but it wasn’t quite as sharp this time around. Toni Braxton and Alec couldn’t dance tonight because of some “recent, minor, successful surgery” that Toni had, but she will be on the upcoming “DWTS” tour.   

Cloris Leachman and Corky danced their tango, which was as dramatic as I remembered it being the first time. And you can bet that Cloris was excited to be back on stage, reveling in another standing ovation from the audience. Our co-hosts asked about Cloris’s rumored Broadway plans, but, whoops, it turns out that 75% (according to Cloris) of Broadway is closing in early January because, you know, people don’t go to shows during the economic apocalypse. Don’t they realize that Barack Obama is going to solve everything? You mark my words: Those shows will be back on as of Jan. 21, the day after Inauguration Day, which also happens to be the date that “Lost” returns and the day I am supposed to have my second child. An auspicious date indeed. 

Susan_2 Susan Lucci and Tony reprised their paso doble, and something seemed terribly off about Susan’s hair.  But the dance itself was well-executed. Maurice Greene and Cheryl danced the salsa, which had received accolades from the judges, including a hug from Carrie Ann. Maurice seemed to be having a great time, even more so than when they performed the dance for scores. There must be something so liberating about being eliminated. Just look at Al Gore. Cody and Julianne returned with their slap-sticky jitterbug, though they retained their blond hair for this version. And with that, Julianne left to focus on her music career, which, if the comments on this blog are any indication, may not be the best idea. I’m sure “DWTS” would have her back, however, if things don’t work out in Nashville; her energy and choreography add a great deal to the show.   

You knew they’d get a lot of mileage out of Cloris in this finale, right? In filler, one bit found her looking disheveled in her last cha-cha costume, living in a box beside the others’ trailers. She then took to the streets to ask people whom they would be voting for. In another bit, a fake movie promo for “Dirty Dancing: The Senior Years,” we saw what was essentially a highlight reel of Cloris’ most outrageous moments. 

Having been eliminated before he could further his career, comedian Jeffrey Ross was on hand to deliver a roast of the other competitors. The format of “DWTS” doesn’t really lend itself to roasting –- for instance, there doesn’t seem to be any drinking allowed in the ballroom -- so I’ll just report a couple of Jeff’s good lines. “What can you say about Lance Bass that hasn’t already been said about Clay Aiken?” and “Warren, you’re an inspiration.  How can you dance eight hours a day every day for three months and stay so out of shape?”

Finally, we were on to our finalists’ last competitive dances.  First on the dance floor were Warren and Kym, reprising their super-fun hustle, which was a best-of amalgamation of disco moves. Len said that Warren might not be the judges’ champion, but he is the people’s champion. Bruno, wearing a jacket that was even whiter than Ted McGinley’s teeth, said something about Warren’s craftiness, which seemed to be a compliment. Carrie Ann said that Warren makes everyone want to dance, which is actually kind of true. Score: 27/30, for a total of 80/90 from the three dances over two nights.

Next up were Lance and Lacey, who wisely did their nifty jitterbug from last week again. Although I wouldn’t have thought it possible, the dance actually seemed to have more energy than it did the first time. No shoes were shed this time, however. Bruno said Lance has become a great showman. Carrie Ann cited them for struggling with one lift, which even I noticed. She applauded them for never taking the safe road, however. Len expressed surprise that Lance had made it all the way to the finals but said he deserved it and had “sparkled” in the last few weeks. Score: 28/30, for a total of 81/90 for the three dances over two nights.

Dancing last were Brooke and Derek, who chose to do their Viennese waltz again. I felt this was a questionable decision, since the Viennese waltz is so blah compared to the alternatives. It did, however, showcase Brooke’s excellent form, fluidity and grace, and the classicism of the dance seemed to please the judges. There was one obvious little stumble, I thought, but the judges didn’t mention it. Carrie Ann, seemingly on the verge of tears, called Brooke a true star. Len said it was still the dance of the season. And Bruno called it –- or Brooke -– “bellissima.”  Score: 30/30, for a remarkable total of 88/90 for the three dances over two nights.

After these final dances, we found out who landed in third place: Lance and Lacey. I found this shocking –- I’d have thought it would be Warren and Kym. And Joey Fatone –- who finished second in Season 4 -– will have something to lord over Lance forever. The 'N Sync dynamics may never fade, it seems, despite Lance’s progress in getting over the “worst dancer in the group” scarlet letter he was fated to wear.   

And then it was on to the big reveal: the champions were Brooke and Derek, and Warren and Kym the runners-up. Brooke’s fiancé -- who has a very broad forehead and gives off the impression of wearing an ascot, even when he isn't -- beamed with pride. 

So, fans, now that Season 7 has wrapped up, what do you think of the results?  Of the show?  Were you heartened? Disillusioned? Where should “DWTS” go next, directionally? If you could pick any lineup of stars to compete, who would they be?  Which Season 7 star most successfully furthered his or her own career and why? As always, I very much look forward to hearing your comments, corrections and insights.

-- Sarah Rogers

Comments () | Archives (63)

I like the show and the results very much, but dislike your snarky comments. I won't bother reading you again.

Lance and Lacey were terrific and should have placed second.
Lacey's steps were so quick, so precise, so sexy...and she
exhibited a very charming personality. Lance danced like a pro.

I am disappointed by the results. Brooke messed up last week and did not do that well Monday night. Lance and Lacey should have been the winners. They know how to dance and get the crowd going.

I think Lance and Lacey should of won. They brought what is called "FUNK" to the floor.I think brooke won because Len and Tony thought she was a "sizzling diva" because of her looks from the beginning!!!!Come on people,It's 2008 almost 2009. Lance and Lacey bought youth to the dance flloor.Something Len,Tony, and carrieanne apparently have no concept of!!!!!! And i will not be watching season "8"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!nikki from orlando......

I thought DWTS was very entertaining, as was your article. This was the first time I followed DWTS to the end, it was great! Although I really was hoping for Lance and Warren to come out on top due to their vigor and tenacity displayed since the get go and through out, but Brooke seemed to be voted the best candidate. All in all, the three finalist were sensational and all deserved to win!.

Brooke was good and obviouly the judges ( especially Len's) favorite all season- Lance should have won though I think- he was most improved but unfortunatley could never get cut a break esprcially from Len who wouldn't have given him a 10 no matter what- he always made sure his pet Brooke's score woudld top him- too obvious--I think everyone knew fro quite a whikle now that Brooke would win last night-congratulations to her, but Lance got robbed!

Brooke and Dereks Waltz was exquisite and absolutely deserved the win. The choreograhy that Derek did was always more difficult and stunning then any of the others. The fact that Brooke kept up with it was amazing. IMO next should have been Lance and Lacey. Lance consistently improved and at the end was dancing like a pro. I've never understood the Warren love by the judges. I felt he was mostly awkward and lumbering and I failed to see the charisma that others are seeing. I wasn't entertained by him and also missed seeing the joy that the judges were raving about. All season the judges confused me with the love of Warren's performances.
And don't even get me started on the totally inappropriate "roast' of the remaining 3. I felt especially bad for Lance, because the time has passed for sexual orientation to be mocked on national television while the victim of the mocking is standing there looking totally embarrassed. It was awful, and I am surprised that DWTS allowed this. Lance deserves and apology.

Great Show! Brooke deserved to win. Lance was her competition and should have been second. Can you provide further info on the tour that was mentioned.

I have watched DWTS every season, but this is the first season that I didn't watch the finale, nor had any interest. I wasn't rooting for anyone in particular so last night I just cheated and read the DWTS board to see who won. Yes, I believe Brooke deserved to win, and I love the very-talented Derek, but I didn't want to sit through a few hours just to see the end.

By the way, I like reading your blog and don't think you are snarky. :-)

Derek makes me sick, he's an immature arrogant loser

The season was fun, and better in that there was no "obvious" winner from Week 1, like last year's Kristi Yamaguchi. Brooke clearly showed from the beginning she was a front-runner, but it was not a given she would win.

I really hope they don't drag another "Cloris" from the old stars' home or wherever next season; it was pathetic, sad, and kind of mean to her. I think that's why she straightened up after a few weeks, and started behaving; she must have seen what she looked like, sounded like, and realized that people were laughing at her, and not in a good way.

For next season, I think they need a politician (or a former one), a hockey player, a comic who can actually dance a bit (so they last more than 2 weeks), and no one over 65.

Thank you, Ms. Rogers, for the excellent summaries each week, and congratulations regarding the imminent birth of your second child.

I thought Derek had excellent form all season right up until he grabbed the trophy and hogged the microphone after Brooke won. He barely let her touch the damn thing. The name of the show is, "Dancing with the Stars," not, "Dancing with Derek."
Props to Derek for taking her all the way, but it this was her time for recognition, not his.

I hated the show , but I loved your comments. I will read your column forever.

Lance and Lacey should have come in 2nd - or 1st - Brooke had crooked knees all the time when dancing - Please have an age limit!!! 60 yrs of age!!! it's not funny anymore. And If Julianne leaves the show - there goes the show - her brother is one-half of the show with Max of course, but if she leaves, half of the audience will also - she's brilliant - I do not see her as a "country" singer - her voice is good but not exceptional; she just doesn't look country or sound it, she should NOT give up this job (or Cody). I'd love to see more of Cody somewhere in TV or movies- he's adorable and where was Miley to support him during the entire season?

Lance and Lacey should have come in 2nd - or 1st - Brooke had crooked knees all the time when dancing - Please have an age limit!!! 60 yrs of age!!! it's not funny anymore. And If Julianne leaves the show - there goes the show - her brother is one-half of the show with Max of course, but if she leaves, half of the audience will also - she's brilliant - I do not see her as a "country" singer - her voice is good but not exceptional; she just doesn't look country or sound it, she should NOT give up this job (or Cody). I'd love to see more of Cody somewhere in TV or movies- he's adorable and where was Miley to support him during the entire season?

I think this season has shown a blatant bias on the part of the judges. Yes, Warren was an "entertainer" but so was Cloris- that wasn't what their jobs were about. Their jobs were to enforce the rules the home viewer knew nothing about. When they would mark Brooke down because she "danced like a professional" so they scored her as such- not fair. When they overlooked Warren's flatfootedness and mistakes because the crowd loved him- mistake. When they were harder on Lance and Lacey because of matters of taste- not right. It allowed Warren and Kim to go further than they should have and it's the judges fault. Had they ALL been scored correctly and then the fans saved them, well, then's those are the breaks- but it sure made the judges mad (Cloris vs. Toni.) Carrie Ann even said something the next week to influence the vote. This season was not one of my favs for that reason. If these judges can't handle their responsibilities, give us some who will.

I did not watch the season or finale. I just know what happened from my family. But my comments are not about the show, rather you unnecessary jabs at people. really? Is it supposed to be funny? I have a sense of humor but i found your remarks out of place, unwarranted, and honestly unwanted by a reader. A time an a place for everything. Reporting about DWTS is not the place.

Leave the roasting to Jeff Ross

I am thrilled that Brooke won but I am not thrilled with Derek. To me this competition wasn't about making Brooke necessarily the best it was about Derek, Derek even said HE wanted to win it because his sister and his best friend had won it. At the end of last night's results he even grabbed the trophy. Last time I checked the TV guide it was "Dancing with the Stars" NOT "Dancing with the dance instructor"

Warren and Kim are my favorites, mainly because of his wonderful personality, and his imparting of a great "feel good" aura. Brooke, the Playboy centerfold, has absolutely no charisma, and wagged her butt and boobs in the judges' faces way too often (but it paid off, huh?). It was a foregone conclusion that Brooke would win because she was the judges' obvious favorite from the beginning. One more thing... Samantha Harris is downwight PITIFUL and HAS TO GO! She has no idea how to conduct an intelligent interview, is anorexic and makes a number of mistakes each night, etc., etc., etc. If she goes, I'll really look forward to next season.

Loved your comments! Barry will save the world. Yeah right. Brooke should have won-I wanted Warren to win-But, Brooke did deserve it more. Great job on the article!

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