By: Logan O’Boyle
Season 11 of Dancing with the Stars started out with 12 hopeful celebrities and their professional dancing partners. While each pair had very different styles of dancing, they were all dancing for the same reason, to win the Mirrorball Trophy at the end of the season. Out of the 12 pairs of contestants, only three were fortunate enough to make it to the final round, which was held on Tuesday, November 22.
The finalists of the competition were Kyle Massey, his partner Lacey Schwimme, Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas and the final couple of the night, Jennifer Gray and Derek Hough. Since the votes of the viewers were already tallied the night before, their final performance would be based on the judges’ scores only. The dancer’s first challenge of the night was to re-dance what they thought was their best ballroom dance of the season. However, there was another change in the scoring system because judges could only give an eight, nine or ten one time during the round.
Massey and Schwimme preformed the tango, which judges say topped their first performance. Palin and Ballas also preformed their version of the tango, and judges complemented Palin on her improved technique since the beginning of the show. Gray and Hough, on the other hand, chose the Viennese Waltz which wowed the judges, putting them in first place with a perfect score of 30. Massey and Schwimme came in second with a 26 and Palin and Ballas in third with a 25.
The night, however, was not over for the three hopeful couples. They had one last challenge of an instant cha-cha to Pink’s song “Raise Your Glass”. In order for all three pairs to put the finishing touches on their cha-cha routines, they were given time to prepare. Viewers, however, did not get a break from the show. There were special performances from all the previous stars of the show as well as a special performance by Christina Aguilera.
The much anticipated instant cha-cha was nothing less than what viewers were expecting, with all three performances blowing away both the viewers and judges as well. At the end of the performance, a new set of scores were given out, this time with Massey and Gray tying for first place with a 28, putting Palin in second with a close score of 27.
Finally the two hour finale came to an end. The awards started out by eliminating Palin and Ballas, leaving Massey and Grey, along with their partners, hopeful for the trophy. Finally, Grey was awarded champion of season 11.
From the first elimination round, this season proved to be one of the most surprising seasons of Dancing with the Stars. Some critics are even calling it the biggest finale in six years. The final show brought in about 24.1 million viewers. As the show continued on, it reached 26.4 million viewers, a number the show has not reached in over six seasons. With Dancing with the Stars ending, some viewers may be disappointed. However, they are in luck. Skating with the Stars, the shows sister show, recently aired on ABC and will be on every Monday at 9 P.M.