"I've got to go with Brooke. I think she's the one to beat!"
This is what Dr. Crankypants Len Goodman just told us moments ago backstage about who will win tonight's vote on Dancing with the Stars.
Do you agree? ‘Cause Lance and Lacey certainly do not, and they just made a case for themselves—big time.
What else went down inside the theater at tonight's big season-ending show? Well, we had front-row seats and can tell you that Miley Cyrus tripped during her performance (which will air tomorrow night), Bruno scowled at one performance like he'd just sucked on a sour lemon, celebs like Christina Applegate and Shannon Elizabeth (I wonder why) were cheering along, and we caught up with all the finalists backstage to find out how they're feeling…
"I liked the fact that we didn't rely on tricks to get us through it like the others did. [Lance] actually danced."
Meow! The bittersweet little jab above is what Lance's partner Lacey Schwimmer has to say about their final hip-hop dance tonight, and why she thinks they deserve to take home that discoball trophy more than Brooke and Warren. "We were only ones to just do all dancing," Lance agreed.
"The audience has definitely been begging us to do a hip-hop at the end," Lance said of their final dance choice. "We've been looking forward to this all season long…and it was awesome! It's one of my favorite songs, and surprisingly one of Len's favorite songs. Who would've known?"
Something else you wouldn't know unless you were front and center inside the theater: Bruno looked outright disgusted and appalled during Lance and Lacey's performance, but then gave them flattering reviews and a score of 9. What's the what with that? No clue! Maybe someone spiked his water with crushed Lemon Heads?
It also was clear tonight that this season's lovable teddy bear Warren has been showing his, er, competitive and confident side—even though the judges have been knocking him for his technique.
"I'm a world-class football player," he tells us. "If you want to learn how to rush a pass, I'll show you more technique. I'll show you technique till you throw up. I've learned more technique than I've ever learned on this dance floor and I displayed all I can give you. The people love it, so take us home and get my girl the title—because you know she deserves it for working this big body into this!"
Brooke and Derek weren't quite so bold. "After three seasons of being on the show," he says, "I've always wanted to be in the finals, but when we got in the finals, I'm not going to lie: I was really nervous."
"It was a lot of pressure!" Brooke agrees. And admits, "Honestly we never ran that dance beginning to end, because the tricks were so crazy."
What else did you not see at home?
Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys both taped performances that will be shown tomorrow night. Miley's was anything but smooth: Her microphone pack dropped during her first take. And during the second take she backed up right into a male dancer and tripped. Woopsie! She powered through, then asked if she could do a third take, but the production team was already moving ahead and ultimately, she said forget it. What you see tomorrow night likely will be a hybrid edit of the two takes they got.
Also in attendance: Christina Applegate, Shannon Elizabeth, Renee Russo (who cheered loudly for Warren) and Jamie-Lynn Sigler who spent much of the night texting on her Blackberry but also chatted up Tom Bergeron. Could she be gunning to come on the next season?
Do you think Lance and Lacey are right, that they deserve it for leaving out the "tricks?" Or will it be Brooke or Warren?