Only on “Dancing With the Stars” can you be deemed “my little sausage” and come out on top. After 11 weeks, 19 competitive dances and way too many sparkles and sequins to count, the coveted Season 17 Mirrorball trophy was awarded to none other than ... “Glee” star Amber Riley and her pro partner Derek Hough!
It’s no shock to see Amber walk away with the title. The sometimes Mercedes led the other two finalists on the judges’ scoreboard going into Tuesday’s two-hour finale results show, and only built on that lead with a perfect-30 dance fusion of the samba and quickstep.
“I want to let women of all sizes out there to know you can do whatever you put your mind to, it doesn’t matter what size you are, what color you are,” she said.
And this means Derek Hough is now a five-time pro champ, with his first back-to-back titles (he won last season with Kellie Pickler).
Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff came in second place and received that standing with nothing but gratitude and smiles. Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke were fine with third place because Jack already got a Mirrorball from Cheryl for being the best partner ever.
“Just going the distance for me was winning enough,” Jack said. “It’s like Rocky. He went the distance. He didn’t win.” And we remember him all the better for it.
Each of the finalists had to perform a fusion dance routine for a last chance at judges’ points. Corbin and Karina did a by-the-book fox trot/cha-cha that was excellent on the fox trot, but had a few slip-ups on the cha-cha. They got a score of 27 (and a two-day total of 89 out of 95).
Jack and Cheryl went next with their paso/salsa fusion, which was a cool mix (and Jack's first attempt at salsa) but which Carrie Ann called “a little flat-footed.” They also got a 27 for their routine (two-day total: 84).
Amber and Derek went last with a samba/quickstep that Carrie Ann declared was a whole new dance entirely, and that all the judges deemed seamless, effortless and bedazzling, giving them a perfect 30 (total: 94).
The rest of this two-hour spectacular was a mishmash celebrating all that sparkles and shines in the glitterverse. And all the Season 17 stars came back (though Keyshawn Johnson, we really hardly knew ye).
Bill Nye was rebuilt by Tyne Stecklein into the 6.5-Million-Dollar Dancer, and they performed their “Weird Science” cha-cha again with a clever acrobatic replacement. “I swear, sometimes it was like he was a completely different person!” Tom marveled.
Early evictees Christina Milian and Mark Ballas and Brant Daugherty and Peta Murgatroyd showed off their considerable skills by performing an impressive joint routine to Lady Gaga’s “Applause” that had Kendra Wilkinson fanning herself from its hotness.
Elizabeth Berkley Lauren and Val Chmerkovskiy redid their down-and-dirty “Put Your Hands On Me” cha-cha that earned the season’s first perfect-30 score.
Valerie Harper returned to dance a whole new routine with bonny Tristan MacManus. It was a highlight of the two-hour program to see these two together again.
“I just want to be fully present and savor ever moment,” Valerie said.
I’ll admit my eyes misted over when she avowed her love to Tristan, declaring him “a dream” (to which he charmingly replied, “I think you’re all right”). “What a Wonderful World” (as performed by Colbie Caillat) indeed.
Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi was also back where she wanted to be -- back in the ballroom and dancing with Sasha Farber and a bevy of hot men. “I’m still a hot mess, but I’m a mom hot mess,” she proclaimed. “Not that sloppy party girl anymore.”