DONALD DRIVER TAKES THE MIRROR BALL
By Jennifer Buonantony
Donald Driver and his pro partner Peta Murgatroyd were crowed champions of Season 14 tonight beating out tough competition William Levy and Katherine Jenkins (and their respective partners) for the Mirror Ball Trophy. In what has been called the 'most competitive season ever' by the judges, Driver was a dark horse who sealed the deal with his critical freestyle dance followed by tonight's perfect cha cha.
But before the winner was announced, I settled in on my couch (margarita in hand), to watch the final three battle it out on the dance floor. The "24 Hour Challenge", aptly named as pairs had 24 hours to prepare their dance, is always one of the biggest unknowns in the competition.
William and Cheryl Burke were given the salsa (I felt my pelvic thrust kick in with excitement at the thought of one last shirtless performance!). Len couldn't help but agree, calling him 'sex on legs' when he stopped by their rehearsal. Katherine and Mark Ballas selected the jive, and Donald and Peta danced the cha-cha. In the end, all three pairs earned 30 points from the judges! It would be up to America to decide (and never put it past the public to screw up a vote...*cough George Bush cough*)
Donald danced the cha cha for his final performance. Coming off his perfect freestyle, tonight's equally flawless routine synched him the #1 spot.
William danced the salsa. He may not have won but the audience all sure felt like they'd found the Golden Ticket watching him shake those hips one last time. Ay Mami!
Katherine's last dance, the jive, showed why she has become a true pro. It was flawless, like her. Win or lose, she has certainly become America's Sweetheart. Bruno calls her a 'bombshell' and Len says she is 'the total package'. Get it girl!
Eliminated contestants Sherri Shepherd, Jaleel White, and Maria Menounose also took to the dance floor. But perhaps the most fun performance of the night was when Melissa Gilbert recreated her infamous "trio dance" from earlier this season alongside partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy and his brother Val. Only this time, the boys grabbed her ass to finish it off!
In a special appearance, past DWTS contestants Chelsea Hightower and Roshon Fegan returned to dance the freestyle they would have done had they made it to the finals their season. Like a genie granting wishes, they got the last dance they never had and the audience loved it!
Speaking of magic, I never thought I'd see judge Len Goodman so under a spell that he would fist pump, but Kelly Clarkson's performance of her new single "Dark Side" brought Len over to well...the dark side as he channeled the Jersey Shore! Eliminated contestant Ms. Gladys Knight also took to the stage. I almost thought I heard Len yell "Cabs are here!"
In the end, America awarded 'Donald the Magnificent' (as Bruno calls him) the top prize and I think this time, the public got it right! Driver was so excited at the announcement he jumped up and down and then fell to the floor and rolled around with joy unti he was joined by his partner for an embrace. Not exactly typical football player behavior but then again, have you seen those touchdown dances?
"This is awesome," he told the audience when accepting his trophy. DWTS returns to ABC this fall.
Who would you like to see on the cast next season? Leave us your comments below!