BRAND NEW ON E!
Only one Dancing With the Stars contestant could be queen of the night.
Shawn Johnson, Melissa Rycroft and Kelly Monaco, making for the first all-female finale in the show's history, hit the floor one more time Tuesday before finding out which one of them had achieved the magic combination of judges' points and fans' votes that would lead her to mirror-ball glory.
Of course, before one could be crowned the winner of DWTS' 15th season, two hours of finale shenanigans had to swirl around them, from Drew Lachey bringing his 5-year-old daughter Isabella (she was born back when dad was successfully competing for the trophy the first time around) onstage for a cha-cha to Gilles Marini going towel-chic for another go at "Gangnam Style."
The finalists, meanwhile, kept busy rehearsing for their last test, an insta-dance they got the lowdown on less than an hour before performance time.
"Could it please be the jive?" Shawn squeaked hopefully, knowing full well that Kelly and Val Chmerkovskiy had already snagged the jive, leaving Shawn and Derek Hough with the cha-cha and Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani with yet another samba.
One more round of dancing, one more round of potential bombshells at the judges' table.
"You two, you have the energy of two young randy rabbits, going at each other!" exclaimed Bruno Tonioli after Kelly and Val's jive, during which he managed to lose his shirt one last time. "I mean, I'm telling you, definitely something was going on there."
Realizing what a potentially loaded statement that was, Bruno quickly tried to explain himself. "Oh, sorry, no," he said, "I mean it was going on because the jive is a very difficult dance to do, because the precision has to be there."
Sure it does.
"Listen, I hope everybody can have friendships like this," a blushing Kelly said afterward to Brooke Burke-Charvet, who actually asked what was going on between them. "I mean, this is what it is. It's a foundation of an amazing friendship. I know you're laughing, but it's true!"
"They're not laughing, they're disappointed," Brooke said, referring to the groaning audience.
"This is what it is, it's unconditional love for each other, whatever that label is," Val further explained. "It doesn't have to be boyfriend-and-girlfriend. It's a relationship that I cherish. She can rely on me and I know I can rely on her."
They scored a 28.5, however, and, further proving that gimmicks like the insta-dance more or less ensure that we won't get perfect performances when we'd most appreciate them, Melissa and Tony earned only a 28.5, as well.
Oh, wait...strike that! Shawn and Derek were, per Carrie Ann Inaba, "nothing less than perfection."
But it was the couple who were perfect last night who won it all.
Melissa leaped into Tony's arms upon hearing that she had won her first-ever mirror-ball trophy—and Tony's reaction had to be bleeped out, he was so darn excited to be winning his first title as a pro in 14 seasons.
Congratulations, Melissa and Tony!
Do you think the right all-star won? And Brooke promised a "surprising" new cast in the spring. Who do you want to see on Dancing With the Stars?