Nicole Slips Slightly in DWTS Finale, But Still Shines

Derek Hough and Nicole Sherzinger remained DWTS' couple to beat.  (ABC)

Derek Hough and Nicole Sherzinger remained DWTS' couple to beat. (ABC)

We secretly hoped there would be some sort of major spin on night one of the ‘Dancing with the Star‘s season finale – i.e., that someone might screw up royally for once or do so unexpectedly and insanely well that we could step off our soap box about it being Nicole Scherzinger‘s mirror ball trophy to lose tomorrow night.

And…are you holding your breath?… that did not happen.

Instead I am now more convinced than ever (hmmm, I might even place a last minute bet here if I knew a bookie), that the Pussycat Doll will be holding that sparkly round trophy over her well-toned arms come tomorrow night.

PHOTOS: Highlights from Part 1 of the Big Season Finale!

To put it simply, Nicole and Derek Hough BLEW. MY. MIND. Yet again. And yes, I did see them slip up slightly at the end of the freestyle dance and I didn’t care.

Nicole and Derek Discuss Their Slip-Up

That doesn’ t mean Erin Andrews and Evan Lysacek weren’t good. Oh, they were great too, but it’s just impossible to beat Nicole and Derek’s near perfect twirls around that dance floor tonight. (And unfortunately for my sadistic, drama-craving mind, no one tripped, face-planted, threw up or fainted to make our headline read anything other than praise for the pussycat.)

Does that mean it wasn’t fun to watch? No.

Does that mean tomorrow’s show will be predictable? Double no!

Kate Gosselin is flying in a high wire act. I’m not missing a moment. I’m thinking it’s going to be cookie-dough-pigout-after-a-breakup.

But until then, here’s how tonight’s big showdown went down…

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The Redemption Dance Round Goes to Erin and Maks!

In this round, the judges picked the dance style they felt the couples hadn’t performed as well this season – hence the name, redemption.

Erin Andrews and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Redemption Dance: Samba
Instead of her usual nervousness, which makes me nervous, the ESPN star tonight actually seemed looser than usual! I mean that in a good way. And thank you Maks for your full frontal display of your perfectly waxed chest. Always a treat. The judges loved it, too. “You fulfilled one of my dreams, I always wanted to be kissed by a man with a beard,” said Len Goodman. Bruno Tonioli praised Erin’s rump-shaking: “You worked the butt like I couldn’t believe the results.” Carrie Ann said, “You moved yourself up three notches.” My favorite moment? Watching it live backstage with Tony Dovolani sitting in front of me and shouting out to Erin, “Shake that ass!” Loved that! BT Dubs: He was sitting with former ‘DWTS’ partner Melissa Rycroft.
Score: 29

Evan Lysacek and Anna Trebunskaya, Redemption Dance: Viennese Waltz
Len’s big piece of advice to Evan: Amp up that chemistry with Anna! He listened – and I believed he was into her. In all seriousness, he looked like a Fred Astaire tonight. Maybe it was the backstage corn dogs and soda that got me feeling a bit giddy, but, my, oh my, Evan, nicely done. Perfect posture! I never thought good posture could be so sexy, but it was. “I like to see the connection between you two,” said Bruno. “It was a beautiful, emotional… enchanting dream,” said Carrie Ann. Len, however, complained about something, but overall he loved it.
Score: 28

Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough, Redemption Dance: Rumba
She had her game face on in rehearsal and tonight she brought that determination and focus to the floor. You can tell this girl practices her ass off! “Tonight in this Rumba, I’m going to let go and just live the dance,” said Nicole, who did that – starting with a breathtakingly graceful split. The lift at the end made us giggle. Backstage, Tony Dovolani said, “That was awesome.” (Yes, I eavesdropped on him all night!) “Mesmerizing,” said Carrie Ann. Len shocked me and everybody else by saying there was “a little lack of confidence.” (Where’s Tom B. with one of his Len jokes when you need him?) But Bruno praised its “eroticism, sensuality, romance…This was superlative!”
Score: 28

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The Freestyle Round Goes to Nicole and Derek

In this fan-favorite round, the couples were allowed to do whatever tickled their fancy. No rules, no restrictions, just fun, fun fun.

Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough
Derek promised a non-stop high-octane dance from start to finish and he and Nicole delivered the goods, and then som. The two sparkled in their matching suits and made this blogger wanna get out of her chair and dance. So much fun to watch that it did make me laugh out loud. It was pure fun. That was until the mishap on Nicole’s turn around Derek’s neck, which made everyone backstage go “Oooh.” But no biggie. “That’s the freestyle we were all waiting for,” said Carrie Ann, who said the slip on the last lift killed her. Len loved it. “Dazzling,” said Bruno.
Score: 27

Erin Andrews and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
With Mandy Moore choreographing their fance, the two rocked it out of the park…again! Their blatant body heat almost makes us blush. (Almost) With the addition of the bed – and their rolling around on the bed – it was almost too hot for words, really. I wanted to tell ’em to get a motel room. “That was a psycho drama unfolding out there,” said Bruno. “You took an enormous risk, in part you pulled it off,” said Len. “It was a mix of emotion and commotion.” “I loved the choice…It was so risky,” said Carrie Ann.
Score: 26

Evan Lysacek and Anna Trebunskaya
Evan was certainly picky about their freestyle. Anna even cried. So sad. “I’d rather do a hundred Paso Dobles and Jives than one freelstyle,” she said, tearfully. Why was she crying? I thought they pulled it off. I loved his jump off the steps! “Footloose” was a great choice, too. “Evan, you went demented! I didn’t know if I was watching ‘Footloose’ or screw loose,” said Bruno. “That was odd,” said Carrie Ann. Len didn’t love it either. I’m shocked – and hurt. I saw a completely different dance.
Score: 24

What to expect on tomorrow’s two-hour finale?

All of the previously eliminated couples will return to dance, but the two I’m looking forward to are Kate Gosselin – her high wire act strikes me as a cheesy pop culture metaphor – and Jake Pavelka’s fiancé Vienna Giardi making her dancing debut on the show.

Who do you think will win the mirror ball trophy tomorrow night?

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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