November 22nd, 2011
10:56 AM ET

Surprising results on first day of 'DWTS' finale

Last night's "Dancing With the Stars" consisted of three couples, each performing two dances, all for one Mirrorball Trophy. (And if nothing is solved by tonight's finale, we'll settle it via a rock-paper-scissors battle.)

The first round of dancing begins with Ricki Lake performing a cha-cha. She gets help at practice from Carrie Ann Inaba, although I feared "help" would consist of Carrie Ann talking about happy trees and other nonsense for 30 minutes.

Honestly, the dancers could be motivated with the promise of Carrie Ann not talking.

The dance is on and Ricki is on fire, moving quickly and handling her footwork and spins well. The fans go wild, but let's talk about what the judges think:

Len Goodman said the routine was action-packed, while Bruno Tonioli called her overall body of work "consistently clean." However, all three judges noted some issues with the dance's fluidity. You know we're getting late in the competition when the judges bring out the $5 words.

Ricki Lake: 27/30 (Carrie Ann Inaba 9, Len Goodman 9, Bruno Tonioli 9)

We're now up to the only finalist not to achieve a perfect "30" in the competition, Rob Kardashian. As he continues to climb the Kardashian popularity chart, Rob gets assistance in practice from Bruno Tonioli, who seemed to suggest that Rob could win the "wompetition." No, I'm not sure what that means either.

Rob and pro partner Cheryl Burke perform a waltz that easily delights the crowd with its elegance. Rob also looked quite happy on the dance floor, a far cry from the early weeks of the competition when he looked like he'd soiled himself.

Bruno was impressed with the dance, but noted some footwork issues. Carrie Ann called Rob the "male version of Cinderella." I thought Jerry Lewis played that role in a movie....

Rob Kardashian: 27/30 (Inaba 9, Goodman 9, Tonioli 9)

J.R. Martinez is the final celebrity up, and he's getting tips from Len Goodman at practice. Unfortunately, the tips appear to consist of Len's fascination with J.R.'s hips, as well as the grumpy old judge reminding the audience that J.R.'s pro partner, Karina Smirnoff, has never won a Mirrorball, compared to Cheryl Burke and Derek Hough's combined five trophies.

The cha-cha is on, and J.R. is doing what he can to remain quick and versatile despite a hurt ankle. But something seems off with the overall routine, and I have a feeling the judges know what it is.

Carrie Ann said J.R.'s musicality was off, getting a rise out of the audience. Len said it was "brave" for J.R. to dance solo for a great deal of the routine, but thought there were too many timing and footwork errors. J.R. even admitted to timing problems in his post-dance interview with Brooke Burke Charvet. But Bruno seemed more positive, complimenting J.R. for the "mood" of the routine.

J.R. Martinez: 24/30 (Inaba 8, Goodman 7, Tonioli 9)

It's now time for the freestyle dance, where pretty much anything and everything goes. Ricki Lake performed a quickstep/salsa combo that got off to a hot start, thanks to Derek Hough channeling his inner Ozzie Smith by cartwheeling and back-flipping his way onto the floor. The frenzy continued with Ricki spinning around like no tomorrow, but was it enough to impress the judges?

Bruno said Ricki's performance was demanding yet impressive, while Len expressed delight at the routine.

Ricki Lake: 27/30 (Inaba 9, Goodman 9, Tonioli 9); 54/60 overall

Rob Kardashian is next, and promises to bring everything to the plate to vanquish his competition. Dressing like a '30s jazz club patron and getting down to Cab Calloway's "Minnie the Moocher" certainly helps.

To Rob's credit, he maintained his control and footwork throughout the song, which can get incredibly fast at times. I would have loved to have seen a little audience participation during the "scat" portion of the song - that's what makes "Minnie the Moocher" such a great piece of work - but I'll take what the show gives me.

In the end, Rob looked like he was going to collapse from exhaustion. That was probably the most cardio-intensive routine we've seen this season.

Bruno said everything about the routine was brilliant, while Carrie Ann was "blown away" by what she saw. Len said Rob's family should be proud of him for what he accomplished this season. All of that led to Rob's first "30" of the season.

Rob Kardashian: 30/30; 57/60 overall

J.R. Martinez has our final freestyle of the night, and he gets off to a bad start by wearing white pants after Labor Day. Good thing this isn't a fashion competition. He bounced back with a strong routine that dazzled the audience when it was over. Bum ankle aside, did J.R. win over the judges?

Carrie Ann praised J.R. for a job well done, although half of what she said made no sense. Len was impressed with Karina revealing her body, which may have led to Len sitting in the corner for 15 minutes after the show. Nevertheless, J.R. roared back in to competition with a perfect score of his own.

J.R. Martinez: 30/30; 54/60 overall

Tonight, there's two more rounds of dancing, plus all of the eliminated celebrities are expected to return and dance again. And, of course, the Mirrorball winner will be announced.

What did you think of last night's "Dancing With the Stars" episode? Who should win the Mirrorball?

soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. yonex badminton

    I agree with you, but please look at yonex badminton rackets.

    November 25, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  2. Dee

    Ricky and Derek got robbed, she was the best dancer every week, I hope the result wasnt fixed like alot off the shows. Rob could do no wrong in the judges eyes, I dont get that, his bum stuck out every dance. JR was good, but I think people felt sorry for him thats why he got the most votes.

    November 23, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. frances snyder

    Rikki got robbed! This show is about dancing! The dances she did had a higher degree of difficulty than Rob and J.R. put together and she looked like a pro when she did them! I loved J.R. and what he did for our country, but that is not what this show was supposed to be about!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 23, 2011 at 7:25 am | Report abuse |
  4. rebelwithacause

    Folks, the "fix" was in from the beginning that JR, the disfigured war hero would win. Did you really think anyone else had a prayer to win win this year? Anyway, congrats to JR, but he is about only as good as Hienz Ward. -Art

    November 23, 2011 at 1:41 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jacintha

    It's all about the stars, not the pros. I never cared for Karina but always rooted for JR. What a well deserved win!! JR, you rock!!

    November 22, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tonight I watched Derek lose, that stinks, I had watched alll your shows, it's over for me, that stinks.

    Tonight really a terrible decision, no longer will watch the show.

    November 22, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. chichirod

    yikes, Rikki was booted, she is the best. Cant believe Rob is still standing. He is terrible, not smooth at all. Dont get why he is in the finals. REALLY!!!!! yuk

    November 22, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Andee Sue

    JR for sure! He has charisma, stamina, smoothness, and that smile!

    November 22, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Booo

    Rob deserves to be bashed because he is the laziest, most insignificant member of the family. He is portrayed as lying around the house all day being spoiled by his mommy and that qualifies him to be a celeb? I'm no kardashian lover, but at least the others do something! He is no celeb. He's riding his sisters and parents' fame. I don't care If he dances like swayze or astaire. He has no business on the show. He's not a celeb. He should not win, period.

    November 22, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • @ Booo

      If you haven't noticed, most of the DWTS contestants are nobodies...

      I think it's safe to say it's better he is lazy than to be starring in questionable videos... or being in short-lived marriages, etc... if you honestly think what the others are doing is better than Rob being lazy... then maybe you need a reality check.

      November 22, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. rebelwithacause

    These dammm Kardashians, just won't go away. Wonder if he's bangging Cheryl? -Art

    November 22, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Margaret

    love you rob and cheryl..hope you win!

    November 22, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Truth Hurts

    While I don't believe Rob's the best contestant here... I can't help but feel that a lot of these anti-Rob comments are just a part of the anti-Kardashian thing going around these days... Yes, I understand Kim and the whole clan are wastes of space... but let's be real. He may not be the best dancer but he sure as heck tried harder than his sister ever did and harder than a lot of the contestants on here. I do believe that JR's injury still is bothering him, even though he's recovered score-wise. He's definitely better than Rob, but I think it's Rob's effort and determination knowing he's the underdog that is making him outshine the other two.

    Honestly, Rob winning would be a little surprising... but I wouldn't say it is a farce that he won... look at Donnie Osmond and some others if you want to see bad results.

    November 22, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Praise

    Hooray for ROB AND CHERYL!!!!!!!! Way to go!!!!! Get that Mirrorball tonight!!!!!!

    November 22, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Nadia

    I am on team rob and JR! They both deserve it the most! I just don't like rikki lake. She is a drama queen in my opinion. CANT WAIT TO SEE WHO WON!!!

    November 22, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jacintha

    If Rob wins, people will think it has been fixed with the Kardashian family involved.

    November 22, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cee

      Rob was not good enough to be second best. Name recognition got him as far as he got. He's clumsy and too fat.

      November 23, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Team JR

    Its been between Ricki and JR all season really- consistent from the get go, JR is a better dancer in my opinion but would agree, if Rob wins- DWTS has been ruined for me. JR served his country too and will live forever with a reminder of that, he is due some much appreciation.

    November 22, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mitch

      I agree that JR should win. Rob is not the best out of the 3, in fact Rob is not better than others already voted off. However, JR should win because he is the best, not because he served our country. While I support everyone who serves our country, this is a contest of who is the best on the dance floor.

      November 22, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Jacintha

    I don't think Rob did that good to deserve a perfect score. JR's first dance score was too low! I'm rooting for JR – his freestyle was awesome!!!

    November 22, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Debby

    I can't believe Rob is in the finals. He is ok but not that good. Too clumsy by far. Either JR or Ricki deserve to win. Ricki & Derek were robbed more than a few times. JR looked like the sure fire win all season. He could do no wrong in the judges eyes. Suddenly they are very critical of him and they start fawning over Rob? I don't get it. It would be a total turnoff for me if Rob wins.

    November 22, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  19. The Moose

    I hope either JR or Rob will win the trophy. Either one is deserving although I am inclined to lean more towards JR yet, Rob K is the most improved. Ricki Lake is too much of a drama queen for the likes of me.

    November 22, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  20. portalpunk

    Remember to put sage in your dressing. Also turn the broiler on for about 2 minutes before done. That gives the top an nice crust. But keep an eye on it so it wont burn. Dressing in too good.

    November 22, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  21. portalpunk

    FIIIIIIRSSSSTY ! Happy Thanksgiving week. May your dressing have lots of good gravy.

    November 22, 2011 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |

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