After a sensational season and first-ever all female final, “Dancing With the Stars” crowned its first All-Star winner tonight (Nov. 27).
In a huge upset, Melissa Rycroft
and Tony Dovolani were awarded the brand-new, still-coveted mirror-ball trophy. Frontrunners Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough came in second place, while Kelly Monaco and her partner, Val Chmerkovskiy followed in third.
The finalists had to perform one last routine for the judges tonight: the Instant Dance, which the teams had to choreograph after a random drawing for the song and dance style. Kelly and Val drew the jive to “Cat and Mouse,” Melissa and Tony picked the samba — which they also performed Monday — to “Life Is a Highway,” and Shawn and Derek chose the chacha to “Respect.”
Leading off the insant dance performances Kelly and Val were praised for their crisp, clean lines and footwork. Each judge shaved only half a point for being off-balance. for a combined score of 28.5 (and a three-dance total of 87.5). And although Bruno called the pair “randy rabbits,” Kelly characterized their mad chemistry as just the “foundation of an amazing friendship.”
Melissa and Tony were thrown a little off-kilter by the slow, samba-unfriendly music, but the judges gave them the same score as Kelly and Val (28.5, and 88.5 overall), with Carrie Ann commending Melissa’s “pure artistry, grace and beautiful lines.”
Shawn and Derek’s instant chacha almost seemed to guarantee a win. After both Carrie Ann and Bruno called their routine “perfection,” it was no surprise that all judges awarded them a perfect score.
Going into the night, Melissa and Tony led with a perfect combined score of 60 for their samba and moving contemporary freestyle routine. Kelly and Val weren’t far behind, with 59 for their paso doble and “spellbinding” “Dirty Dancing”-themed freestyle. And although judges slammed Shawn and Derek for bending the rules again in their quickstep, they were awed by their spectacular freestyle medley — joined by the Fierce Five U.S. Olympic gymnasts (who teamed up again for tonight’s encore performance).
While the pairs quickly choreographed and rehearsed their new routines, the eliminated dancers entertained the audience with encore performances and reunited for the group numbers. Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson filled in for Kelly and Val in the “Gangnam Style” number (even worse/better than the original), while Helio Castroneves and Chelsie Hightower and Drew Lachey and Anna Trebunskaya subbed for the other finalists.
The encore highlight of the night though belonged to Drew’s daughter, who joined the former boy bander and his pro partner on the dance floor and killed it with cuteness.
But the real killers of the night were the final femmes fatale — especially the first-time champion Melissa!