Finalewatch: The winner of 'Dancing with the Stars'

Derekhough_dancingwiththestars_240 It's been a long road folks but we're finally made it to the end. Now is the time we find out the Season 7 champion of Dancing with the Stars. And by "now" I mean in about an hour and fifty-eight minutes from now.

Spoilers stuffed with more filler than your Thanksgiving turkey - gobble gobble!!

After a recap from last night's show and a group Samantha Harris interview, we get a quick segment featuring Cloris Leachman (who's allegedly been sleeping outside of the studio since she was eliminated) talking to people and seeing who they're rooting for, plus bonus chicanery.

Alicia Keys performs "I Need You" next. Is she wearing a fancy jumpsuit under a shiny short-sleeved jacket? I think she is. And it's black. In case she has to go do some cat burglary after the show. If it were a separate shirt and pants (that weren't tapered - ew), I'd like the outfit. But I digress. She sounds good and dances some with her quartet of backup dancers. I don't always dig her performances but this one was solid.

Post commercial break, we get a quick beginning of the season recap before our parade of eliminated celebrities. Jeffrey Ross & Edtya do their Quickstep. He's really not that bad...better than I remember. Being able to see out of both eyes must really help. Next is Ted McGinley & Inna with a Foxtrot. Ted was good, too. The weeks off have served both he and Jeffrey well. Last in this segment is Kim Kardashian & Mark. Ugh, they're doing the "Baby Got Back" Mambo. Boo on the producers again for picking that song. Mute. Oh Kim, you ruined the streak. She was only marginally improved (stage presence up, technique...um...not so much). If I were her I'd be practicing every darn day until now.

Mistymaytreanor_dancingwiththestars After more commercials, we get another season refresher including Misty May-Treanor's injury. Aw. Misty & Maks join Tom Bergeron and Samantha for an interview since she can't dance. Her tendon is much better - she can actually walk now and is itching to get back on the dance floor since she didn't get to finish. She's still a little emotional talking about things. And she looks fab, though I'd like if she had a necklace. Rocco DiSpirito & Karina do a Mambo afterward. Wow, Rocco's improved too. Good for him. Before the next set of adverts, there's a mock trailer of Cloris Leachman & Corky they called Dirty Dancing: The Senior Years. No word on if Cloris will carry a watermelon. (Wow - two Dirty Dancing references in as many days...someone stop me...)

More summaries are next (including the embarrassing Group Hip Hop and Julianne's departure announcement) followed by another set of eliminated contestants. Toni Braxton & Alec join Tom and Samantha as well due to Toni having some successful minor surgery. But she'll be singing and dancing on the tour so at least there's that. Cloris Leachman & Corky do their Tango, which is cool since it was her best dance the first time around. Tom and Sam interview them after and she's somewhat more subdued than usual, but that's like saying a skunk is less stinky then normal. It's a weird analogy but you know what I mean.

Susan Lucci & Tony perform the Paso Doble when we come back from commercials. I still marvel that she basically never got to do any of the Ballroom disciplines. She would've been phenomenal at the Foxtrot. I'm telling ya'll it's sabotage. Maurice Greene & Cheryl, who will also be on the tour, are doing the Salsa to the Robin Thicke song "Everything I Want" (the singer did much better this time around, though in his defense it's a hard song rhythmically). I'm much more impressed by this number this time around. Everyone must've had a big old bowl of Wheaties this morning.

Another few weeks are covered which included Lance Bass & Lacey's barefoot controversy, Edyta filling in for Julianne, the group dances, and the mandatory solos. But before we get more dances, Jeffrey Ross roasts the remaining contestants. There's a nervous vibe in the air but he starts out bagging on himself, which only dispels the feeling of impending doom for a moment. Warren laughed the most out of all three of them. Jeffrey also ended with a self-inflicted insult. Honestly, considering what he could've said it wasn't that bad and mostly funny.

Back from yet another break, we get the last bit of season recap before Cody & Julianne perform their I Love Lucy flavored Jitterbug. Easily their best number.

Oh goodie. More filler. Hour Two of the broadcast kicks of with the requisite "judges' thoughts on the finalists" segment. Yeah. Hour Two.

Warrensapp_dancingwiththestars_240 1. Warren Sapp & Kym
Dance/Song: The Hustle/"Funkytown"    
Instead of watching a pre-taped rehearsal segment, we get to see Warren & Kym talk about their experiences working together this season. It was very sweet, with both sincerely expressing their fondness of each other. At first I thought this was a weird dance to chose for their encore but since The Hustle is very much about flash and entertainment, it makes sense. Plus they get to do legal lifts which never hurts.
Judges: Len calls him "the public's champion" and that he makes him smile, Bruno says it's great fun and irresistible, and Carrie Ann says they make everyone want to dance.
Score: 27 (all 9's)

2. Lance Bass & Lacey 
Dance/Song: Jitterbug/"Jim Dandy"    
More retrospective sweetness! Seeing their little spat again makes me think it was during the time she was sick too (she was diagnosed with a much less serious case of what Julianne had around that time) so it's really hard to keep someone else up and positive when you feel like utter crap. I Can see why they did this again, what with Lance's show flying off the first time, because it was so much fun, and because it was dedicated to his Grandfather. It was just as enjoyable as the first time around, though the lifts went almost went slightly awry. And his shoe stayed on this time.
Judges: Bruno thought it had "panache and flair," Carrie Ann noticed the struggle with the lift (Lance said the floor was a bit slippery - ever try dancing on a slick floor? Not fun) but found it just as entertaining as the first time, and Len commends Lance for growing so much and performing so well.
Score: 28 (9-9-10)

3. Brooke Burke & Derek
Dance/Song: Viennese Waltz/"Daughters" by John Mayer    
Their package was just as touching as the others. As an aside, I think part of the reason she's done better than all the other "pretty model types" is that she's far more physically fit than the majority of them. You need some solid core muscles to pull off these moves. Also, I'm convinced she knows how to hula because of her proficiency at hip shaking and smooth arm movements. It's a smart move to pull out a Ballroom dance since her deficiencies only show in the Latin disciplines. Plus she got to go and kiss two of her daughters at the end. Did it seem like the band skipped a half-beat or something in the middle of the number or is that just me?
Judges: The judges fawn with Carrie Ann near tears and Len saying he thought it was the number to beat when they first did it and he still thinks it. 
Score: 30 (all 10's)

Lancebass_dancingwiththestars_240_2 Think it's time for results? Only sort of. Our third place couple this season is...Lance & Lacey. Boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! America, you're made me very sad. And thanks for all the underscoring, judges. Though I'm sure having a lift-less Freestyle didn't help either. He should've at least come in second. Anyway, Tom says that, for him, moments like when Lance came out and blew the roof off the place when he had to last week is when the show is at its best. They took it very well though, with Lance adding that Joey will never let him live it down that he came in third and not second.

After another break, it's Miley! Young Miss Cyrus performs "Fly On The Wall" which she just did on the American Music Awards this past weekend. I actually like this song and she's a good little performer. I'm also impressed by how good she sounds live. Thumbs up for Le Miley.

I fast forwarded past Samantha's interview with our remaining two finalists to go straight to Tom talking to the past celebs. Maybe it was that they weren't being judged, Tom notes, but he compliments them all about doing so well in their performances.

Brookeburke_dancingwiththestars_240 So, after much to-do and some manufactured suspense, Brooke Burke & Derek are named the winners. David Charvet is beaming with pride in the audience and I think Derek might cry. Warren takes his runner-up spot graciously. Mark and Corky Ballas are the first out to congratulate them and hoist each of the winners on their shoulders as confetti falls.

The inevitable has happened, Brooke has won. Your thoughts on the final placing, the season in general, or who you want to be on Season 8? Thanks for watching with me and I'll see ya'll next time!

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