It’s the DWTS finale of season 22, and I don’t know about you but this season went soooo fast! I don’t know if it’s because I wasn’t competing but it just seemed to whiz by. The Pro dancers often joke about the ‘week 6 itch’ which is the truly exhausted feeling everyone experiences around the week 6 mark. Then around week 8, the accelerator kicks in again and the show zooms by.
Now that we are at the final, I have zero idea who will win. If I were to guess, my idea would be Paige VanZant and Mark Ballas. But then I think Nyle DiMarco, and Peta Murgatroyd have it. But then I absolutely love Ginger Zee. One thing that we can be sure of, this episode tonight will be so explosive, so intense, and SO entertaining!
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I can’t wait to get to the freestyles. That’s my favorite part of the entire season, I think a lot of people wait in anticipation for the freestyles. Let’s get cracking then! Redemption round was first…
Val Chmerkovskiy and Ginger re-danced their contemporary dance tonight although Ginger suffered from extreme back pain during the week. This put their rehearsal time under a lot of stress. Injuries are no joke on DWTS so Ginger, I salute you for getting through this final week and not giving up. And I clap for you, honestly. I adored this dance. Really I did. It was fluid and effective, every move rolled into the other. The reflection on their entire season through use of the props was extremely effective in particular (use of the bench, mirrors, fountain etc). It made total sense. The interaction between each other as well as between the wonderful troupe dancers too was seamless. Only the recovery from one lift in particular was questionable for me.
Second to perform tonight was America’s Next Top Model/Dancer Nyle, dancing the quickstep. Love the barn dance creative, it’s always so much fun (though dare I say a little over used this season). So joyous this dance was, lots of nifty steps. I didn’t quite think Peta and Nyle were as connected in this dance as they could have been. It was calm though, which the quickstep should be despite the misconception that it’s “jumpy.” It should be smooth and natural, something I think Nyle has improved on greatly. It was a big difference in my opinion from his first quickstep. The judges all scored this a 9 which I think is spot on. That’s exactly what I would have scored it. To score a 10 in my opinion, the dance in question should be exceptional, displaying mind-blowing attention to detail and synchronicity. While this was a great effort overall, it didn’t quite push me over the edge. Dance the pounds off by shopping DWTS Workout DVDs here on Amazon!
Wow, Paige and Mark! I was just blown away by that Salsa, and that cements something in my mind. If anyone is at all on the fence about who to vote for in the final, watching a performance like that will knock you clean off that fence. It’s SO important to deliver a gob-smacking routine like that at this point because all these couples now are ONLY COMPETING TO WIN. So they HAVE to put their best foot forward at his stage, it’s the final push now. And that number was killer. The choreography was so intense and fast, just completely sharp and slick. Worthy of a good 10 paddle I’d say! Len didn’t agree and scored this a 9, which is fair enough if he feels Paige lacked hip action. Hip action is important in salsa though I personally didn’t think it was that type of salsa which is perfectly fine. This was a feisty, punchy routine which kept me so entertained. Paige is a fireball for sure! Loved it!
As For The Freestyle
Ginger and Val became Ginger and Fred for their freestyle. They shared a very touching moment during the rehearsal footage where we saw the genuine, beautiful friendship between these too. I believe Val has a lot of admiration for Ginger & vice versa. First off, in this dance she looks great! Her body is to die for! The beginning of the routine was soft, and so charming. It had a beautiful flow. And then the mood changed when mid freestyle, it rained. The set change was lovely and the depth of character they displayed was great too, they played off each other well. However I do think the finale nerves got to her a little. I’m wondering whether also her poor back injury was causing her pain too. Not that it showed at all in her actual dancing. She’s such a trooper. I was just waiting for something during this freestyle but due to the character of the piece it was more classic than screamingly explosive. It was in-keeping with her classiness which I respect. She’s got so much grace about her. Good job tonight Ginger & Val, beautiful choreography and I ESPECIALLY loved your contemporary number.
Nyle & Peta worked hard this week to tell a story in their Contemporary style freestyle dance. I knew I was going to love this the second it started. I’m all about drama and suspense! Peta brought in a contemporary choreographer to build this number which I respect. The powerful simplicity of the set and costume aided their effective and streamlined movements. The sole thing highlighted in this piece (except the simmering piano on fire in the background) was the exquisite story told by Nyle & Peta’s bodies. And that’s a good thing. It didn’t need anything else. Nyle’s dancing is good enough to carry a concept so minimalist like this. It really got me when I saw Peta crying, Erin is right, she is an absolutely angel. Nyle really is nothing short of extraordinary in what he’s achieved this season, and the hardship they have faced together as a partnership only does them credit for they have overcome them all. It reminds me of my own family’s official motto. On the ‘Slaters’ Coat-of-Arms emblem, in the Latin language it reads “Triumph over Adversity.” This should be the tag line for Nyle & Peta. I believe that he is able to connect through his dancing more than the other contestants because movement and the visual sensory is his primary way of expressing himself. He majors in this. And he majored in this dance tonight. Nyle you already know I’m a fan, I’ve told you lots of times. I loved this refreshing routine, it was different and for that, it was unforgettable. Well done Nyle & Peta. They scored perfect scores for their freestyle.
Paige and Mark danced to the beautiful vocals of Mark’s fiancé and Alexander Jean band member, BC Jean (aka voice of an Angel!) Paige & Mark dedicated this routine to the moment in her life where she overcame bullying. I love knowing the backstory behind a routine, it adds so much more reality to the performance. I couldn’t stop looking at Paige’s stunning leg extension. Her feet were so clean and she never stopped performing through her body language. Contemporary is definitely her strength. Mark choreographed a gorgeous piece where both of them supported each other throughout. The dependency and strength of their relationship was so evident. There were times where Paige literally fell into Mark’s arms and rolled out along the floor with such a graceful essence. Her perfectly pointed feet finished off her lines beautifully. Yes I truly loved this dance. For me, this competition is between Paige and Nyle, and it will be a close one. Paige, YOU WERE FANTASTIC, no matter what happens now, I’m so happy you are stronger than you’ve ever been in your our skin. Perfect score from the judges.
So that concludes the short hour-long final tonight, with the finale being tomorrow. I’ll be there in the ballroom, I have my dress all picked out already! Looking forward to it very much. Based on tonight’s performances, I might be inclined to say that Paige will come out on top tomorrow. But I’m interested to know, who will you be voting for?! Let me know in your comments what your thoughts are and who you think will take home the Mirrorball Trophy!
All my love always!