Thursday, November 16, 2006

Dancing With The Stars Finale--Emmitt Wins!!

When O.J. Simpson does his disgusting Fox interview, when the Oscars once again embody predictability, and when Lost returns to tease and confuse in February, I will always look back on last night's Dancing With the Stars finale and remember when the entertainment world made sense.

Things weren't looking good for Emmitt on Tuesday's final episode of competition, so last night's results show as a true nail-biter for me. As always, he wasn't the most technically polished dancer out there, but his infectious smile and charm made up for it. Mario's tired use of the "relationship" card during his training segments really had me worried for a while--that is, if you call a partners-with-benefits setup that ends as soon as Mario leaves to do Saved by the Bell: The Minivan Years a relationship. Unfortunately, phony romances have been known to generate a lot of buzz. I should never have doubted Emmitt's fans, however.

Part of me wants to know the margin by which Smith beat Lopez, since the judges' scores were completely useless. On a side note, I wish the judges would actually show some backbone and give the finalists different scores. Some might argue that leaving it up to the voters is more entertaining, but I would be curious to see fans call in to "save" a dancer with a lower score. That's what made the earlier rounds so interesting: an adorable dope like Jerry Springer or a blah dancer like Sara Evans got to advance strictly based on audience votes. This isn't the Olympics--why not acknowledge that DWTS is part popularity contest?

Anyway, I thought the results show was pretty good from what I saw. My husband didn't care for the sentimental montages about "the journey" that is Dancing With The Stars, but I enjoyed seeing the eliminated contestants dance one last time. Remember Vivica A. Fox and her open-shirted partner? Remember Tucker Carlson and his blatant non-dancing? I had forgotten how long this show has been on.

My reaction to Emmitt's victory was equal parts relief, excitement, and poor sportsmanship. I totally wanted Emmitt or Cheryl to say something like "in your face, Slater!" They didn't, so I had to step up. Emmitt was classy as usual, praising Mario's toughness as a competitor. My favorite part of the night was watching all the contestants congratulate Emmitt onstage while Mario stood to the side with a sour expression on his face. That's just good TV. Congrats to Emmitt and Cheryl!!!

By the way: aren't you glad that the Taye Diggs Groundhog Day show finally aired, so we can stop seeing those commercials?