Dancing With the Stars Recap: The Beginning of the End

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Dancing With the Stars

Dancing With the Stars

Episode 11 Season 25 Episode 11
Editor's Rating 5 stars

It’s hard to believe that this season of DWTS is almost over. It seems like only yesterday that I was introduced to the 13 contestants who all dreamed of winning that dopey mirror-ball trophy.

Some, like Barbara Corcoran and Debbie Gibson, got booted off the show before their Dr. Scholl’s even started stinking. Some held on for weeks before getting the hook. (I’m talking to YOU, Nick and Vanessa Lachey.) And some, including my personal favorite, the hunky NFL star Terrell Owens, almost made it to the finals. But no matter how long they lasted, these folks all have one thing in common: They’re losers.

So now it’s down to the Final Four: real-estate guy/reality-show star Drew Scott, actor Frankie Muniz, violinist Lindsey Sterling, and wunderkind Jordan Fisher. If you’ve been watching this season, you know that Jordan is, by far, the best dancer of the bunch. This kid is like what would happen if Michael Jackson and Fred Astaire had a baby. That joke just conjured up a mental picture I did not anticipate and I deeply apologize to any of you who dreamt up the same one.

Tonight, the judges — cranky Len Goodman, perky Carrie Ann Inaba, and possibly psychotic Bruno Tonioli — are joined by a guest judge: former DWTS pro/judge Julianne Hough. The first round of the evening is the “redemption round,” since the finalists get to attempt a do-over of a dance they bungled on a previous show.

First up is Drew Scott doing a paso doble. Listen, I’ve been tough on Drew and critical of his performances, but that was only because he isn’t a very good dancer and his performances weren’t very good either. But I have to admit, this paso doble is solid. Not solid-enough-to-beat-Jordan solid, but solid nevertheless. The judges give him four nines for a total of 36, a — you guessed it — solid score.

Next is Frankie Muniz doing a foxtrot. Frankie is so damn cute you just have to root for him. He’s like one of those adorable Facebook puppy videos come to life. He does a fine foxtrot, and the judges give him two nines and two tens for a total of 38. Good boy, Frankie! You’re a good boy! Yes, you are!

For some reason, onstage now is Pitbull — not the dog breed, the bald guy with the Gomez Addams mustache. He’s lip-syncing his new song, “Por Favor,” with some lip-syncing help from the group Fifth Harmony. If I remember my Spanish from high school, “por favor” means “please.” So, now, I’d like to say to Pitbull, “Por favor, get off the stage so I can see the rest of the contestants dance.”

Pitbull eventually obeys me and the competition resumes, but not before host Tom Bergeron mentions that Pitbull currently has a residency in Las Vegas. Since I doubt that Pitbull has finished medical school and is training at a Nevada hospital, I have to think that means he’s lip-syncing “Por Favor” at a casino on the Strip.

Jordan is next with a Charleston and, in his pre-taped segment, we see him getting advice from Len Goodman. This makes sense because Len probably invented the Charleston back in 1923. We also learn that Jordan’s dance partner Lindsay has a bad knee and Jordan is suffering from a corneal abrasion. (Side note to any young rockers reading this: Corneal Abrasion would be a great name for your new punk-rock band.)

Of course, despite their injuries, they do a stellar job, and Jordan even manages to make the Charleston look sexy. Wow! That’s like making a Model T look like a 2017 Porsche. Surprise, surprise! They get four tens for a total of 40.

Here comes Lindsey Sterling doing a quickstep. Lindsey is plucky and likable, and I’m reasonably certain that’s the first and hopefully the last time I’ll ever use the word “plucky.” She does a fantastic dance and is awarded four tens for a score of 40. Take that, Jordan!

There is yet ANOTHER break in the competition so Julianne Hough can do an emotional dance routine. Since she’s not one of the contestants, I’m going to take this opportunity to go to the bathroom. Sorry, Julianne.

Okay, I’m back. I’m sure Julianne did a wonderful job, but when you gotta go, you gotta go.

The next round is the Freestyle Round. Drew is up, making me wish I’d held my bladder for five more minutes so I’d be in the bathroom right now. Actually, Drew is doing a good job and I’m almost feeling bad for mocking him and his dancing prowess for the last nine episodes. (Notice I said “almost.”) Drew receives one nine and three tens for a total of 39.

Next is Frankie Muniz doing what his partner calls a “serious, powerful” dance. Really? If I wanted to see something serious and powerful, I’d watch Al Gore shoot a grenade launcher. Anyway, someone named “Frankie” shouldn’t be doing a serious dance. Serious dances should be reserved for people named Harrison or Ethel.

And, boy, is this ever a SERIOUS dance! It’s like a Kafka novel with a beat. The judges like it and say they appreciate Frankie showing his serious side. What’s next? They start calling him “Franklin”? They give him two nines and two tens for a total of 38.

All right, it’s Jordan’s turn to show off again — him and his corneal abrasion. And he’s amazing. Jesus, his routine is like the finale of a big Broadway musical. The judges go nuts for it. I think Bruno may have burst a blood vessel. Um, wanna guess what the score is? Right, Kreskin! Four tens, for a total of 40!

Lindsey is up next. What the hell is she gonna do to follow Jordan’s blockbuster performance? I’ll tell you what she’s doing — she’s playing the violin while doing the dance routine. Let me repeat that. SHE’S PLAYING THE VIOLIN WHILE DOING THE DANCE ROUTINE. And now her partner just flipped her over his shoulder while she’s playing. I’ll repeat that one, too. HER PARTNER JUST FLIPPED HER OVER HIS SHOULDER WHILE SHE’S PLAYING.

Needless to say, the judges love it. Bruno bursts at least three more blood vessels and will need medical attention immediately after the show. Lindsey deservedly receives four tens, for a 40. Now it’s a horse race, but with people. And there’s no racing, just dancing. But except for that, it’s a horse race.

ELIMINATION TIME! Okay, I’m pretty confident that Jordan and Lindsey will be staying. But who will be hitting the road: Drew or Frankie? And it’s … Drew! Whew! Frankie is safe, at least until tomorrow.

And I’ll be right back here tomorrow, ready for the season finale!

I give tonight’s episode five out of five stars because it had everything from a serious Frankie to a built-in bathroom break. See ya tomorrow!

Dancing With the Stars Recap: The Beginning of the End