That’s right. The “SWTS” finale is a two-nighter, and one of the competition’s early favorites won’t be in attendance “Who?” you ask. Well, you can plainly see in the headline, but let’s just run through the penultimate routines in the spirit of protocol.
The Group Dance:
Somehow amateurish figure skating is infinitely more digestible when it’s set to Christmas music, but isn’t everything? The three finalists spinning in circles to “All I Want For Christmas Is You” was sweet — but it didn’t rock the score boat. Rebecca distinguished herself from runner-up Jonny Moseley, who was just marginally better than Bethenny Frankel.
Rebecca Budig and Fred Palascak (66 out of 70)
Though we’d object that it was a tad too schmaltzy, Budig’s free-skate was an appropriate culmination of her incredible 10-week progress. The lift near the end was possibly the most impressive move on the show yet. And the judges rewarded them accordingly.
Bethenny Frankel and Ethan Burgess (50 out of 70)
Her aptitude for performance will probably never change. But at least no one seems to care anymore. Johnny Weir was almost overly flattering to Frankel’s routine. And though we’d normally suspect producer intervention, maybe the ice-skate-wearing Grinch finally appreciates that she’s just here to have fun. That fun is infectious. And her tears, clearly a tad premature, were a nice punctuation mark to her best routine so far.
Jonny Moseley and Brooke Castile (60 out of 70)
After two cutesy routines, Jonny and Brooke knew what they had to do: get it on. And their free-skate to Al Green included the seasons’ first ice gyrations – something we never even knew we were missing. But it doesn’t work as well for Dick Button, who thought the overt sexuality detracted a bit from the overall performance. Still, a commendable job.
Never underestimate how much America loves its Bethenny. Despite topping the leader board for much of the competition, Jonny Moseley got a shocking boot just one day from the finale. We’re simultaneously surprised and not surprised. Rebecca Budig was a lock for the finale, and Bethenny, regardless of talent, makes for good TV. Also: she hasn’t tried to cut anyone’s finger off.
There’s still one more night of “SWTS,” folks — the holidays truly are a time for generosity — so don’t forget to come back tomorrow to see who gets the boot and who gets the ice trophy. Or whatever.