Dancing with the Stars 3, November 14: Save the Last Danceby Sandy Lamparello -- 11/15/2006
Hi, hello, and welcome to what promises to be an exciting finale to Dancing with the Stars 3! I know regular recapper Jill Jones and her dog Yoko wish they could be here to bring you all of the hoopla, but unfortunately business called Jill out of town. So, I’m here with my dog Ally instead. I don’t know about you, but I’m really excited for these final performances! (Ally is too, which she shows by enthusiastically chewing on her favorite stuffed teddy bear.) I really feel the best stars made it to the final two and I can’t wait to see their dances tonight!
Tom Bergeron recaps all of the stars who have left so far this season. In case you missed it, they were (in order) Tucker Carlson, Shanna Moakler, Harry Hamlin, Vivica A. Fox, Willa Ford, Sara Evans (who withdrew for personal reasons), Jerry Springer, Monique Coleman, and Joey Lawrence.
Samantha Harris joins Tom and they introduce finalists Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke and Mario Lopez & Karina Smirnoff. The audience cheers, and Ally lifts her head from her chew toy to see what all the commotion is. Tom says it’s come down to “the football hero vs. the heartthrob.” Samantha says the finalists have endured a combined 645 hours of training and 24 competitive dances. Wow! All of that has led them to this final shot at winning the “glamorous trophy” and the exclusive title of Champion of Dancing with the Stars 3.
But first, the toughest night of competition ever seen! Tonight our finalists will perform three dances. The first will require Emmitt and Mario to dance to the same song. The second will be a repeat of their favorite dance from the season and the final performance will be a freestyle dance. The audience hasn’t quieted down at all!
Excitement is in the air as we see a retrospective on Emmitt and Mario’s journey thus far. There’s some commentary but nothing we haven’t heard before. Emmitt felt good when he received compliments from the judges, and Mario was worried about embarrassing himself and Karina. It’s a week-by-week rundown after that as Mario and Emmitt moved up and down the leaderboard. You can read Jill’s recaps if you missed any of it.
Finally, 20 minutes into the show, it’s time for the performances! Both couples will dance their first dance to Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke.” Len tells us that it is a very versatile song and allows for different interpretations. Dancers could perform the quickstep, mambo, samba, or cha cha cha to it and they would all fit, he tells us. Of course that means both couples choose to do the samba. Len returns to say now it comes down to whose samba is choreographed best, and which celebrity can come out and sell it best. We see Mario and Emmitt rehearsing with their partners, and at one point Mario & Karina walk in on Emmitt & Cheryl and the couples compare notes.
Emmitt & Cheryl are up first with their samba. Emmitt is recreating his sleeveless look from last week, and wow look at those green shoes! Cheryl is barely wearing anything! As always, Emmitt is very light on his feet and he and Cheryl move very well together. Those green shoes really emphasize Emmitt’s footwork, which looks very crisp and clean. They’re in sync throughout the dance and at the end they hug. Great job from Emmitt & Cheryl!
Tom gives the band a shout out before turning to the judges. Len says at his age it takes a lot to get him excited, and he loved Emmitt’s dancing. Bruno says Emmitt is blessed with charm and charisma, and he has a twinkle in his toes. Carrie Ann was worried at the start of the dance but she was wrong. She says Emmitt is the everyday man who became a dancer right in front of our eyes.
Oh look, George Hamilton is here! Back to this season, it’s time for Emmitt & Cheryl’s scores. Carrie Ann gives them a 10, Len gives them a 10, and Bruno does the same. Wow! The bar has been set right off the bat!
It’s time for Mario & Karina’s samba. They also look great together, and Karina is wearing even less than Cheryl! Mario & Karina also give a very energetic, crisp, and clean performance. The spins that Mario talked about during rehearsal were ok, but really didn’t add much to the dance for me. This performance was a bit higher on the sexiness factor than Emmitt & Cheryl’s, I have to give them that. Also a great job!
Carrie Ann says it’s going to be a tough night to judge, and for the first time she saw Mario enjoying himself completely. Every step was perfect. Len says it was clean, precise, and had good rhythm. At one point Mario was on the wrong foot, and the audience boos. Bruno says it was scintillating and he had a great time. He brought the audience with him and it was a complicated technical routine.
Tom reminds us that tomorrow night, all of our stars will return for a special performance, and the champion will be crowned. Samantha interviews Mario & Karina backstage as they wait for their scores and ask if they can match Emmitt & Cheryl’s perfect score. Mario says they had a great performance and if they can match that they’ll be ecstatic.
Carrie Ann gives them a 10, Len gives them a nine, and Bruno gives them a 10. Ally’s ears perk up as she realizes we have a leader.
As the second dances begin, Emmitt & Cheryl lead Mario & Karina 30-29. Emmitt’s family joins him for the finals. Awwww, how cute! He & Cheryl will be repeating their mambo, dancing to “Qué Bueno Baila Usted.” This dance looks even hotter this time than when they originally performed it. Emmitt is definitely in it to win it tonight! Their moves are so fluid and there is such energy in this performance! And Marcus Allen is in the audience cheering Emmitt on. Another awesome job!
Emmitt’s family gives him six thumbs up. Bruno says Emmitt is empowered and driven by the muse of dance and that he’s delivering like a true professional. He looks like he’s been doing this his whole life. Carrie Ann agrees, saying Emmitt has mastered the technique and entertained the house beyond belief. Len says Emmitt epitomizes everything he loves about the mambo, and he has an MVP—Most Valuable Partner. Emmitt & Cheryl hug again.
Backstage, Samantha asks how hard or different it was to prepare for tonight. Emmitt says doing a dance they already did once before is difficult. They will miss working together but Emmitt’s feet will enjoy the break.
Carrie Ann gives them another 10, as do Len and Bruno. Another perfect score, for a total of 60 so far tonight! Ally is definitely looking excited now.
Mario & Karina are dancing the paso doble to “Aye Aye Aye” for their repeat performance. Awww, Mario’s mom was at their rehearsal and he dedicates his dance to her and Karina. That’s sweet. Mario & Karina’s moves are in sync and they look great together as usual. This is a hot performance and it’s very well executed. And Mario doesn’t fall down at the end this time! Great job once again!
Len says Mario’s performance was full of fire and passion, and it was a great paso doble. Bruno says a lot of stuff that basically boils down to a killer paso doble. Carrie Ann says this dance showcases what Mario is truly excellent at. His lines were beyond perfection, and it was fabulous.
Tom reminds everyone to vote tonight. Carrie Ann gives Mario & Karina a 10, Len does the same, as does Bruno. They have a total of 59 for the night with one dance remaining. Ally is now running through the house, trying to corner a cat to dance with her.
It’s time for the final round of the finals, finally, as Tom says. It’s a freestyle dance. There are no rules and our finalists can do whatever they want, from dangerous and dramatic lifts to breaking the hold! Emmitt & Cheryl are dancing to M.C. Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This.” They’ll be doing some lifts, and let’s say rehearsal doesn’t go too well. Ally looks concerned. Drew and his wife show up to support Emmitt & Cheryl and make sure she’s not driving him too crazy. He tells them to leave it all on the floor and bring home the championship.
Emmitt is wearing sparkly gold shoes for this final dance. The performance is everything Emmitt has been all season—fun, energetic, exciting, and very well executed! The first lift/spin goes off with out a hitch, as does the second. This song is taking me back to my college days. Another great lift/spin! And more awesome footwork. For the final time this season, I’m going to say it—for a big guy, Emmitt is remarkably light on his feet. The dance ends with Cheryl sitting on Emmitt’s back as he lays on the floor, and they hug again. I’m blown away!
Carrie Ann says they put M.C. Hammer to shame. They didn’t let him down, it was exciting and what they do best. They nailed the lifts. Len says if there was a prize for his dancing hero, Emmitt would win it hands down. Tonight’s performance was a cherry on the cake, it was “spot on,” and it was well done. Bruno says it was the hammer, the chisel, and the shovel tonight. Emmitt threw it all in, but he missed a little bit on the dismount to the second lift. Carrie Ann asks if Bruno could do that lift. Ally actually growls at Bruno.
Carrie Ann gives Emmitt & Cheryl a 10. Len does the same, but Bruno gives them a 9 because the second lift wasn’t clean. They have a total of 89 for the night.
Emmitt & Cheryl have learned a lot from each other, and they ask their fans to vote, even if they have to go find a neighbor and use their phone.
It’s time for the final performance of the season. Well, the final performance that counts in the standings, anyway. Mario & Karina have a history of breaking the rules throughout this season, so now they can do whatever they want. They plan to put lifts, spins, and old school moves in their performance. Mario thinks at the end of the day it all comes down to this performance. Although it’s their last dance together in the competition, they will always remain friends.
Mario & Karina dance to “It Takes Two” and it’s hot from the start. Karina actually starts out in the audience and it’s a nice change from the traditional performances. They sure do incorporate a wide variety of moves and they have a lot of fun. I find the song to be quite distracting though. That aside, the performance is hot, crisp, and entertaining. Wow, break dancing! Their lifts are great and Mario’s smile at the end is just adorable!
Bruno says the dance was a hit parade on the dance floor and Mario is a true dance idol. Carrie Ann mimics their old school moves, and says it was the best dance she’s seen all season. Len says if that dance was a film they’d win an Oscar. Ally appears to agree.
As if there is any doubt, Carrie Ann gives Mario & Karina a 10. Len also gives them a 10. And just to keep things consistent, Bruno does the same. They also have a total of 89 for the night.
Samantha says they have developed a close personal relationship and asks each of them how they will handle the time apart. They plan to call each other and scream through the phone. Mario says their finish is in God’s hands, and reminds the viewers to vote. Wouldn’t that mean their finish is in the viewers’ hands?
The final standings after all of the dances have been danced are as follows:
Wow, that’s as close as it can get, isn’t it?! Once again it all comes down to viewer voting! I wonder if they can split the disco ball trophy in half. Tomorrow night is the big finale, and I can’t wait! Ally and I will be back to bring you every second of the filler, and the winner too, of course. I hope you’ll join us!
Sandy Lamparello is an Assistant Editor for Reality News Online a Legal Editor for a publishing company in Washington, DC. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ciao!
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